Design and experimental verification of an innovative steel–concrete composite beam
This paper deals with the design method and the experimental verification of a new type of steel–concrete composite beam under static and fatigue loading. The connection is an alternative solution for steel–concrete composite bridges suitable for prefabrication and fast erection, while guaranteeing durability. The composite action of the beam is established through an innovative shear connection by adhesion, interlocking and friction. The resistance of the connection to longitudinal shear is based on the development of shear stresses in the confined interfaces that form the connection. The interfaces include a steel–cement grout interface and a rough concrete–cement grout interface. Confinement is provided by the reinforced concrete slab that encloses the connection. A composite beam was designed according to the design method for such type of composite beams in order to resist cyclic loading and to guarantee in the sequence its bearing capacity at ultimate limit state. The beam was initially subjected to cyclic loading and did not present signs of important damage after five million cycles. The damage on such type of connections is expressed by the development of a small residual slip in the interface which with the appropriate design stabilizes with the number of cycles. Finally the composite beam was statically loaded up to failure. The results show the capability of such a composite beam to develop its plastic moment at ultimate limit state.