Cyclic performance of prefabricated composite shear stud connectors for accelerated bridge construction

Chengjun Li, Junlin Heng, Zhixiang Zhou, Yulin Zhan, You Dong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


This study examines the cyclic shear-slip performance of a novel prefabricated composite shear stud (PCSS) connector designed for accelerated bridge construction (ABC) of composite structures. An in-depth experimental procedure is employed involving the design and fabrication of four push-out specimens with two different stud configurations. The specimens are then tested under both monotonic and cyclic-to-monotonic loading protocols. Upon completion of the testing phase, a meticulous inspection of the fractography is conducted to delineate and qualify the failure mode of the PCSS connectors. Simultaneously, a comprehensive shear-slip curve is derived from the measured data, enabling a detailed analysis over the mechanical performance. Furthermore, the study calculates a series of deformation-associated indicators from the shear-slip curve, effectively quantifying the ductility, recoverability, and capacity of the PCSS. The test results accentuate a well-deformed and ductile failure mode of the tested PCSS specimens, marked by the stud fracture and crushing of surrounding concrete. This could be attributed to the constraint of vertical plates of the PCSS on the concrete, which improves the capacity and recoverability of the PCSS. Whereas, the performance of the PCSS is also notably influenced by the group nail effect, for which the ductility and per-stud capacity degrade with the increase in the number of studs. Especially, the PCSS specimen exhibits full elastic-to-plastic hysteresis loops under cyclic loads, together with the satisfied ductility, implying an excellent potential of the PCSS to dissipate energy under impact loads. In addition, the PCSS displays a robust stiffness across different cyclic loading blocks. Hence, satisfactory post-damage ductility has still been observed in the PCSS under the monotonic loading after the cyclic loading. In conclusion, this work elucidates the superiority of the PCSS in terms of capacity, ductility, and recoverability, providing a promising basis for their application in the accelerated construction of composite bridges.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAdvances in Structural Engineering
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


  • accelerated bridge construction
  • Composite bridge
  • prefabricated composite shear studs connector
  • push-out tests
  • shear-slip behaviour

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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