Experimental study on the behaviour of reinforced concrete thin-walled open section compression members

K. Nagaraju, D. Aditya Sairam



Reinforced cement concrete wall panels are load bearing integral structural elements of a building system. The conventional wall panels are heavy, reinforced at least with minimum percentage of compression steel and possess handling and erection problems. Thin-walled reinforced concrete wall panels may eliminate the above shortcomings of the conventional wall panels. They are also highly suitable for modern construction as well as economical. A thin-walled open section compression member may be a suitable alternative to the rectangular thin wall panels to overcome the stability problems. Various geometrical sections like channel, trapezoidal and curved sections can be used in place of conventional wall panels. By virtue of their geometrical shape, the slenderness effect, hence the stability problem can be minimized if not completely eliminated.

The main objective of the investigation is to study the behaviour of reinforced concrete thin-walled open section compression members with web stiffener in terms of load bearing capacity, lateral deflection and failure mode and formulate suitable design equations if the existing popular equations are not compatible. Regression analysis based on experimental data is carried out to suggest minimal changes to the existing design equations of IS 456 – 2000 and ACI 318 – 1989.

         Suitable buckling factors were identified, optimized and incorporated in the above formulae without altering the present form of these equations. The compatibility of the modified IS and ACI expressions has been tested for channel and trapezoidal specimens and found to be satisfactory. Finally comparison of theoretical ultimate loads of empirical equation, modified ACI precast wall equation and IS 456 – 2000 short column equation were made. In order to simplify the modified IS short column, buckling coefficient for channel and trapezoidal sections have been computed. All the three proposed equations are simple to use and yield reliable estimation of ultimate load. Out of the three suggested equations, the proposed empirical equation is the most reliable, very simple to use with buckling coefficient and nominally conservative in estimating the ultimate failure load. The maximum limits of slenderness ratio, height to flange width ratio, height to thickness ratio and web width to flange width ratio are suggested to exploit the section efficiency and material strength effectively. .

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