CFDST sections with square stainless steel outer tubes under axial compression: Experimental investigation, numerical modelling and design

F. Wang, Ben Young, L. Gardner

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


The use of concrete-filled double skin tubular (CFDST) cross-sections for compression members has become increasingly popular in construction. A recently proposed innovative form of CFDST cross-section, ultilising stainless steel for the outer tube, offers the combined advantages of the composite action seen in CFDST member alongside the durability and ductility associated with stainless steel. CFDST sections with stainless steel outer tubes, for which there are currently little experimental data, are the focus of the present study. A comprehensive experimental and numerical investigation into the compressive behaviour of CFDST sections with square stainless steel outer tubes is presented in this paper. A total of 19 specimens was tested under uniform axial compression, and the test observations are fully reported. The ultimate loads, load-displacement curves and failure modes from the tests were used for the validation of finite element (FE) models. Parametric finite element analyses were then performed. The combined set of experimentally and numerically derived data was employed to assess the applicability of the existing European, Australian and American design provisions for composite carbon steel members to the design of the studied CFDST cross-sections. Overall, the existing design rules are shown to provide generally safe-sided (less so for the higher concrete grades) but rather scattered capacity predictions. Modifications to the current design codes are also considered—a higher buckling coefficient k of 10.67 to consider the beneficial restraining effect of the concrete on the local buckling of the stainless steel outer tubes, as well as a reduction factor η to reflect the reduced relative effectiveness of higher concrete grades. Overall, the comparisons demonstrated that improved accuracy and consistency were achieved when the modified design rules were applied.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110189
JournalEngineering Structures
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2020


  • Composite structures
  • Experiments
  • Numerical modelling
  • Stainless steel
  • Tubular structures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering

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