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Prediction of Shear Capacity of Flange-to-Flange Connectors of Double-Tee Beams Under Static and Cyclic Loading Conditions


Double-tees used as roofs and floors in commercial buildings and parking garages are generally joined by mechanical connectors to form floor systems. The in-plane behavior of a double-tee diaphragm depends on the properties of the flange-type connectors. In this study, three types of double-tee flange-to-flange connectors—C-plate–bar and bow-shaped connectors in untopped double-tees and H-plate–bar connectors in pretopped double-tees—are investigated and their behavior under shear loading is examined. These connectors are simulated using the finite element method (FEM), and the modeling results are compared to the experimental assessment findings of the selected connectors. The failure modes, hysteretic behavior, deformation capacity, ductility, and shear capacity of the double-tee connectors are elucidated in this paper. The FEM analysis results show good agreement with the experimental ones in terms of the shear capacity of the connectors, with approximately 20% error at most. The diameter of the anchor bars and the thickness of the steel plates are revealed to have particular effects on the strength of the connectors. Specifically, using large-diameter anchor bars changes the shear capacity of the connectors to a certain extent, with a maximum increase of 11%. Modified truss and modified shear friction models are developed to accurately estimate the shear capacity of the three connectors.

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The study presented in this paper is supported by the National Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (Grant No. 52178126). The authors would like to thank our research workgroup for their efforts for the site experiments.

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Correspondence to Wei Zhou.



\(C - PB - 50\) is C-plate bar connector in untopped double-tees

\(H - PB - 130\) is H-plate bar connector in pretopped double-tees

\(BS\) is bow-shaped connector in untopped double-tees

\(\sigma\) is the strength of concrete

\(d\) is the damage parameter

\(d_{c}\) is the compression damage parameter

\(d_{t}\) is the tension damage parameter

\(s_{c}\) is the compressive stiffness recovery

\(s_{t}\) is the tensile stiffness recovery

\(\varepsilon_{c}\) is the plastic compressive strain

\(\varepsilon_{t}\) is the plastic tensile strain

\(E_{s}\) is modulus of elasticity

\(\upsilon\) is the Poisson’s ratio

\(\psi\) is the dilation angle of concrete

\(K_{c}\) is the shape factor of concrete

\(\sigma_{b0}\) is biaxial compressive strength of concrete

\(\sigma_{c0}\) is uniaxial compressive strength of concrete

\(\varepsilon\) is the eccentricity of concrete

\(V_{m}\) is peak shear force

\(V_{FEA}\) is shear capacity obtained by FE method

\(V_{DESIGN}\) is shear capacity calculated by truss model or shear friction model

\(V_{MEASURED}\) is shear capacity obtained in the test

\(\Delta_{u}\) is deformation of connectors at failure

\(\Delta_{y}\) is deformation of connectors at yield

\(K\) is in-plane stiffness of connectors

\(\mu_{\Delta }\) is ductility coefficient

\(A_{s}\) is cross-sectional area of one anchorage bar of the connector

\(f_{y}\) is the yield strength of the anchorage bar

\(\mu\) is shear friction factor

\(\alpha_{1}\) is strength reduction factors of anchors

\(\alpha_{2}\) is strength reduction factors of concrete

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Li, H., Zhou, W. Prediction of Shear Capacity of Flange-to-Flange Connectors of Double-Tee Beams Under Static and Cyclic Loading Conditions. Int J Civ Eng (2022).

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  • Double-tee
  • Connectors
  • Shear capacity
  • Finite element analysis
  • Parameter analysis