The effects of axial tension on the sagging-moment regions of composite beams

George Vasdravellis, Brian Uy, Ee Loon Tan, Brendan Kirkland

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    36 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper studies the effects of axial tension on the sagging moment regions of steel–concrete composite
    beams. The study comprised an extensive experimental programme and nonlinear finite element analyses.
    Six composite beams were designed and tested under the combined effects of axial tension and positive
    bending moment. The beams were loaded to their ultimate capacity and the experimental moment-axial tension
    interaction diagram was constructed. Following the tests, a finite element model was used to simulate
    the nonlinear response of the composite beams. The validity of the model was thoroughly assessed against
    the available experimental data and a parametric study was conducted to study different beam sizes and
    the effect of partial shear connection on the interaction diagram. It was found that the moment capacity of
    a composite beam is reduced under the presence of an axial tensile force acting in the steel beam section.
    In addition, the use of partial shear connection does not affect significantly the shape of the interaction diagram.
    The tensile capacity of the composite section, however, is limited by the axial capacity of the steel beam
    alone. Based on the experimental results and the finite element analyses, a simplified equation is proposed
    for the design of composite beams subjected to positive bending and axial tension.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)240-253
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Constructional Steel Research
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • Composite beams
    • sagging moment
    • axial tension
    • Finite element analysis

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Civil and Structural Engineering


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