Numerical simulation of concrete encased steel composite columns

E. Ellobody, Ben Young

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

134 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates the behaviour of pin-ended axially loaded concrete encased steel composite columns. A nonlinear 3-D finite element model was developed to analyse the inelastic behaviour of steel, concrete, longitudinal and transverse reinforcement bars as well as the effect of concrete confinement of the concrete encased steel composite columns. The interface between the steel section and concrete, the longitudinal and transverse reinforcement bars, and the reinforcement bars and concrete were also considered that allowed the bond behaviour to be modeled and the different components to retain their profile during the deformation of the column. Furthermore, the initial overall (out-of-straightness) geometric imperfection was carefully incorporated in the model. The finite element model has been validated against published experimental results. The main objective of the study was to understand the structural response and modes of failure of the columns and to assess the composite column strengths against current design codes. The study covered slender, non-slender, stub and long concrete encased steel composite columns. The concrete strengths varied from normal to high strength (20110 MPa). The steel section yield stresses also varied from normal to high strength (275690 MPa). Furthermore, the variables that influence the composite column behaviour and strength comprising different slenderness ratios, concrete strength and steel yield stress were investigated in a parametric study. It is shown that the increase in structural steel strength has a small effect on the composite column strength for the columns having higher relative slenderness ratios due to the flexural buckling failure mode. The composite column strengths obtained from the finite element analysis were compared with the design strengths calculated using the American Institute for Steel Construction AISC and Eurocode 4 for composite columns. Generally, it is shown that the EC 4 accurately predicted the design strength for the concrete encased steel composite columns having a concrete cylinder strength of 30 MPa and structural steel yield stresses of 275 and 460 MPa, which are in the limits of the code, which otherwise, was generally conservative. The AISC predictions were quite conservative for all the concrete encased steel composite columns. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-222
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Constructional Steel Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Composite columns
  • Concrete encased steel
  • Finite element
  • High strength
  • Modelling
  • Pin-ended
  • Structural design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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