Experimental study of the strength and behaviour of reinforced coped beams

Chi Ho Michael Yam, Hongwei Ma, Angus C.C. Lam, Kwok Fai Chung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


A total of 10 full-scale tests were conducted to investigate the strength and behaviour of reinforced coped steel I-beams. The test parameters included the length of longitudinal stiffeners, length of transverse stiffeners, combined longitudinal and transverse stiffeners, double transverse stiffeners, cope depth and cope length. For the coped beam specimens without stiffeners, local web buckling failure occurred in the cope. For the specimens with longitudinal stiffeners only, the general failure mode was flexural yielding of the full beam section at the location of maximum bending moment followed by web crippling at the end of the cope between the longitudinal stiffeners and the top flange of the full beam section. In contrast, the general failure mode for the specimens with combined longitudinal and transverse stiffeners consisted of flexural yielding of the full beam section at the location of maximum bending moment followed by flange local buckling near the loading position. The test results show that the reinforcements were able to increase the capacity of the coped beam specimens significantly and the results also illustrate that in addition to cope depth, cope length also affects the behaviour and strength of the reinforced coped beam specimens. Based on the limited test data, a modification to the current reinforcement details for coped beams was proposed. The proposed reinforcement details accounted for the effects of various cope details. To increase the range of applicability of the proposed reinforcement details, a numerical study is currently underway to consider a wider range of cope details.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1749-1759
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Constructional Steel Research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2011


  • Coped beams
  • Reinforcement details
  • Stiffeners
  • Testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Metals and Alloys

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