Experimental Investigation of Composite (Steel-Concrete) Walls under Pure Out-of-plane Load

Document Type : Research Article


1 Professor / Civil Engineering Department / K.N Toosi University of Technology / Tehran , Iran

2 Civil Engineering Department, K.N. Toosi University of Technology, Tehran, Iran

3 Analysis and Advanced Materials for Structural Design (AMADE), Polytechnic School, University of Girona


This paper presents a new structural system for retaining walls. In civil works, in general, there is a trend to use the traditional reinforced concrete (RC) retaining walls to resist soil pressure. Despite their good resistance, RC retaining walls have some disadvantages such as the need for huge temporary formworks, high dense reinforcing, low construction speed, etc. In the present work, a composite wall with only one steel plate (steel-concrete) was proposed to cover the disadvantages of the RC walls. In this system, a steel plate was utilized not only as tensile reinforcement but also as permanent formwork for the concrete. To evaluate the efficiency of the proposed SC composite system, an experimental program that included six specimens was performed. In this experimental campaign, effects of different parameters such as length of shear connectors, use of compressive steel plate, concrete ultimate strength, the distance between shear connectors, and compressive steel reinforcement were investigated. The results showed that with proper design, the composite walls have very good and ductile behavior under out-of-plane loads. Furthermore, it was observed that even with a large distance between the shear connectors, a short length of the shear connectors, etc., this system is capable to keep the flexural performance and shows semi-ductile behavior. Furthermore, the design equations based on the ACI code for calculating out-of-plate flexural and shear strength of SC composite walls were presented and compared to the experimental database.


[2] J. Yan, X. Wang, T. Wang T, Compressive behavior of normal weight concrete confined by the steel face plates in SCS sandwich wall, Constr Build Mater, 171 (2018) 437-454.
[3] K. Sener, A. Varma, D. Ayhan, Steel-plate composite (SC) walls: Out-of-plane flexural behavior, database, and design, J Constr Steel Res, 108 (2015) 46-59.
[4] Y. Qin, G. Shu, G. Zhou, J. Han, Compressive behavior of double skin composite wall with different plate thicknesses, J Constr Steel Res, 157 (2019) 297-313.
[5] H. Akiyama, H. Sekimoto, M. Tanaka, K. Inoue, M. Fukihara, Y. Okuda, 1/10th scale model test of inner concrete structure composed of concrete filled steel bearing wall, In Transactions of the 10th international conference on structural mechanics in reactor technology (1989).
[6] N. Sasaki, H. Akiyama, M. Narikawa, K. Hara, M. Takeuchi, S. Usami, Study on a concrete filled steel structure for nuclear power plants (part 3). Shear and bending loading tests on wall member (1995).
[7] M. Takeuchi, M. Narikawa, I. Matsuo, K. Hara, S. Usami, Study on a concrete filled structure for nuclear power plants, Nuclear Engineering and Design, 179(2) (1998) 209-223.
[8] T. Fujita, A. Funakoshi, S. Akita, N. Hayashi, I. Matsuo, H. Yamaya, Experimental study on a concrete filled steel structure Part. 16 Bending Shear Tests (Effect of Bending Strength), In Summaries of Technical Papers of Annual Meeting, Architectural Institute of Japan (1998) 1125-1126.
[9] JEAC-4618, Technical code for seismic design of steel plate reinforced concrete structures: buildings and structures, Tokyo, Japan, Japanese Electric Association Nuclear Standards Committee, (2009).
[10] AISC N690-12s1, Specification for safety-related steel structures for nuclear facilities, supplement no. 1, public review draft, (2014).
[11] S. Solomon, D. Smith, A. Cusens, Flexural tests of steel-concrete-steel sandwiches. Mag Concrete Res, 28(94) (1976) 13-20.
[12] T. Oduyemi, H. Wright, An experimental investigation into the behavior of double-skin sandwich beams, J Constr Steel Res, 14(3) (1989)197-220.
[13] H. Wright, T. Oduyemi, Partial interaction analysis of double skin composite beams, J Constr Steel Res, 19(4) (1991) 253-283.
[14] J. Liew, K. Sohel, Lightweight steel–concrete–steel sandwich system with J-hook connectors, Eng Struct. 31(5) (2009) 1166-1178.
[15] K. Sohel. J. Liew, Steel–Concrete–Steel sandwich slabs with lightweight core—Static performance, Eng Struct, 33(3) (2011) 981-992.
[16] N. Subedi, N. Coyle, Improving the strength of fully composite steel-concrete-steel beam elements by increased surface roughness—an experimental study, Eng Struct, 24(10) (2002) 1349-1355.
[17] G. Vasdravellis, B. Uy, E. Tan, B. Kirkland, Behavior and design of composite beams subjected to negative bending and compression, J Constr Steel Res, 79 (2012) 34-47.
[18] M. Xie M, N. Foundoukos, J. Chapman, Static tests on steel–concrete–steel sandwich beams, J Constr Steel Res, 63(6) (2007 )735-750.
[19] M. Xie, N. Foundoukos, J. Chapman, Experimental and numerical investigation on the shear behavior of friction-welded bar–plate connections embedded in concrete, J Constr Steel Res, 61(5) (2005) 625-649.
[20] O. Dogan, T. Roberts, Comparing experimental deformations of steel-concrete-steel sandwich beams with full and partial interaction theories, Int J of Phys Sci, 5(10) (2010) 1544-1557.
[21] Y. Wang, J. Liew, S Lee, Theoretical models for axially restrained steel-concrete-steel sandwich panels under blast loading, International Journal of Impact Engineering 76 (2015) 221-231.
[22] K. Sener, A. Varma, J. Seo, Experimental and numerical investigation of the shear behavior of steel-plate composite (SC) beams without shear reinforcement, Eng Struct, 127 (2016) 495-509.
[23] K. Sener, A. Varma, Steel-plate composite walls: Experimental database and design for out-of-plane shear, J Constr Steel Res, 100 (2014)197-210.
[24] J. Yan, J. Liew, M. Zhang, K. Sohel, Experimental and analytical study on ultimate strength behavior of steel–concrete–steel sandwich composite beam structures. Mater Struct, 48(5) (2015) 1523-1544.
[25] J. Yan, J. Liew, M. Zhang, Tensile resistance of J-hook connectors used in Steel-Concrete-Steel sandwich structure, J Constr Steel Res, 100 (2014)146-62.
[26] J. Yan, Z. Wang, T. Wang, X, Wang, Shear and tensile behaviors of headed stud connectors in double skin composite shear wall, Steel Compos Struct, 26(6) (2018) 759-769.
[27] J. Yan, J. Liew, Design and behavior of steel–concrete–steel sandwich plates subject to concentrated loads, Compos Struct, 150 (2016) 139-152.
[28] J. Turmo, J Lozano, E. Mirambell, D. Xu, Modeling composite beams with partial interaction, J Constr Steel Res, 114 (2015) 380-393.
[29] S. Sabouri, Y. Jahani, A. Bhowmick, Partial interaction theory to analyze composite (steel–concrete) shear wall systems under pure out-of-plane loadings, Thin-Walled Structures 104 (2016) 211-224.
[30] E. Kurt, A. Varma, P. Booth, A. Whittaker, In-plane behavior and design of rectangular SC wall piers without boundary elements. J Struct Eng, 142(6) (2016) 04016026.
[31] Q. Zhao, A. Astaneh, Cyclic behavior of traditional and innovative composite shear walls, J Struct Eng, 130(2) (2004) 271-284.
[32] W. Zhao, Q. Guo, Z. Huang, L. Tan, J. Chen, Y. Ye, Hysteretic model for steel–concrete composite shear walls subjected to in-plane cyclic loading, Eng Struct, 106 (2016) 461-470.
[33] X. Ji, X. Cheng, X. Jia, A. Varma, Cyclic in-plane shear behavior of double-skin composite walls in high-rise buildings. J Struct Eng, 143(6) (2017) 04017025.
[34] S. Epackachi, A. Whittaker, A. Aref, Seismic analysis and design of steel-plate concrete composite shear wall piers, Eng Struct, 133 (2017) 105-123.
[35] S. Epackachi, N. Nguyen, E. Kurt, A. Whittaker, A. Varma, In-plane seismic behavior of rectangular steel-plate composite wall piers, J Struct Eng, 141(7) (2014) 04014176.
[36] S. Epackachi, A. Whittaker, A. Varma, E. Kurt, Finite element modeling of steel-plate concrete composite wall piers, Eng Struct, 100 (2015) 369-384
[37] Z. Huang, J. Liew, Compressive resistance of steel-concrete-steel sandwich composite walls with J-hook connectors, J Constr Steel Res, 124: (2016)142-162.
[38] Y. Qin, Y. Li, Y. Su, X. Lan, Y. Wu, X. Wang, Compressive behavior of profiled double skin composite wall. Steel Compos Struct, 30(5) (2019) 405-416.
[39] Y. Qin, G. Shu, X. Zhou, J. Han, Y. He, Height-thickness ratio on axial behavior of composite wall with truss connector, Steel Compos Struct, 30(4) (2019) 315-325.
[40] ACI 318-05, Building code requirements for structural concrete and commentary –ACI 318R-05, American concrete institute, Farming Hills, MI, USA (2005).
[41] AWS, Structural Welding Code—Steel. American Welding Society (AWS), D1 Committee on Structural Welding (2010).
[42] K. Zhang, A. Varma, S. Malushte, S. Gallocher, Effect of shear connectors on local buckling and composite action in steel concrete composite walls, Nucl. Eng, 269 (2014) 231-239.
[43] Eurocode 4, Design of composite steel and concrete structures–Part 2: General rules and rules for bridges. SòTN Bratislava
[44] A. Varma, K. Sener, K. Zhang, K. Coogler, S. Malushte, Out-of-plane shear behavior of SC composite structures, International Association for Structural Mechanics in Reactor Technology. (2011).