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ACI STRUCTURAL JOURNAL

TECHNICAL PAPER

Title No. 111-S51

Seismic Behavior of Hybrid Concrete Beam-Column


Connections with Composite Beams and Cast-in-Place
Columns
by Weichen Xue and Bin Zhang
The objective of this study is to develop a new type of momentresisting hybrid beam-column connections that are economical and could be easily constructed. The new type of momentresisting hybrid concrete beam-column connections proposed
for the seismic region consisted of cast-in-place (CIP) concrete
columns and composite concrete beams with precast U-shaped
beams. An experimental study of two full-scale hybrid concrete
beam-column connections with composite beams and CIP columns,
including an exterior and interior connection and two control CIP
connections under reversed cyclic loading, is presented. Results
revealed that two hybrid concrete beam-column connections, as
expected, exhibited a strong-column/weak-beam failure mechanism, and were capable of matching the performance of monolithic
connections. Test specimens behaved in a ductile manner, and
exhibited stable hysteresis loops. The difference in load-carrying
capacity between the hybrid concrete connections and their control
specimens was less than 10%. A restoring force model was developed based on the test results.
Keywords: concrete composite beams with precast U-shaped beams; cyclic
loading; energy dissipation; hybrid concrete beam-column connection;
restoring force model.

INTRODUCTION
The potential benefits of precast concrete in terms of
high quality control, construction efficiency, and time and
cost savings are well recognized, and precast concrete
frame structures are widely used in the United States, New
Zealand, and Japan.1 As one of the most appropriate structures for residential buildings, particularly low-cost housing,
precast concrete frame structures have been booming in
China since 2009.
Although precast concrete construction provides highquality structural members, the performance of precast
concrete frame structures is mostly governed by seismic
behavior of the beam-column connections. Beam-column
connection design is one of the most important considerations for successful construction of precast concrete frame
structures. The detailing and structural behavior of the
beam-column connections affects the strength, deformation,
ductility, and constructability. It was therefore necessary to
evaluate seismic behavior of precast concrete beam-column
connections used in seismic zones. Up until now, many
experimental and analytical studies have been conducted
on seismic performance of reinforced monolithic concrete
beam-column connections subjected to reversed cyclic
loading. There have been only a limited number of studies,
however, on seismic performance of precast concrete beamcolumn connections.
ACI Structural Journal/May-June 2014

Park and Bull2 tested three full-scale exterior precast


concrete beam-column connections consisting of precast
beams and columns. The test specimens detailed for
seismic loads performed satisfactorily in terms of strength,
ductility, and energy dissipation, and could be used in
ductile moment-resisting frames. A test program conducted
by Khaloo et al.3 studied the characteristics of a simple
moment-resisting precast connection with precast beams and
columns. The connections transferred bending moment by a
combination of lap-splicing and end anchorage of bars. The
main conclusions drawn from the study were that the simple
precast connection matched the performance of monolithic
connection. Priestley et al.4 presented a paper about a test
of two ungrouted, post-tensioned, precast concrete beamcolumn connections with precast beams and columns under
cyclic loading. It was reported that satisfactory seismic
performance could be expected from the specimens. Studies
on the seismic behavior of precast concrete beam-column
connections with precast beams and columns and CIP high
strength concrete joint or with bolted joint were conducted
respectively by Zhao et al.5 at Tongji University, China.
Results from the tests indicated that the connection with
cast-in-place (CIP) high-strength concrete joint performed
seismically as well as the monolithic control specimen, and
the seismic behavior of the connection with bolted joint was
quite different from the monolithic control specimen, particularly in energy dissipation. Lin et al.6 conducted a test of
four ductile precast concrete connections with precast beams
and columns and concluded that the detailing of the connections had a major influence on the seismic performance of
the connections.
Generally, existing studies were mainly focused on the
seismic behavior of precast concrete beam-column connections with precast beams and columns. The experimental
investigations on hybrid concrete connections composed
of composite concrete beams and CIP concrete columns,
however, were very scarce. In addition, there is an absence of
prescriptive seismic code provisions for this kind of precast
concrete structures in ACI 318,7 EC 8,8 NZS 310,9 and the
Chinese GB 50011.10
Since 2005, a test of precast concrete connections and
frames composed of composite concrete beams and CIP
ACI Structural Journal, Vol. 111, No. 3, May-June 2014.
MS No. S-2012-282.R1, doi: 10.14359/51686577, was received September 7,
2012, and reviewed under Institute publication policies. Copyright 2014, American
Concrete Institute. All rights reserved, including the making of copies unless
permission is obtained from the copyright proprietors. Pertinent discussion including
authors closure, if any, will be published ten months from this journals date if the
discussion is received within four months of the papers print publication.

617

concrete columns under monotonic and cyclic loading was


carried out by Xue et al.11,12 A type of composite concrete
beam, which had precast inverted T-beams and a section
of CIP concrete at the beam end, was adopted in the test
connections and frames. The test results indicated that this
type of precast concrete connections and frames showed
the good integrity. Nevertheless, the shortcoming is that
more formwork and shoring are needed in the construction
process. In this paper, a new type of connections composed
of concrete composite beams with precast U-shaped
beams and CIP concrete columns was proposed, in which
the precast U-shaped beam was directly supported on the
column instead of a section of CIP concrete at beam end
(refer to References 11 and 12). The improved type of
connection offers advantages over the previous one: better
construction efficiency due to the less formwork and shoring
and smaller deadweight of precast beams because of the
U-shaped section adopted in the composite beam.
So far, the new type of connections with composite
concrete beams and CIP concrete columns proposed in the
paper has been implemented in some pilot projects in China.
An experimental program was carried out to study seismic
behavior of this type of hybrid beam-column connections
subjected to reversed cyclic loading in this paper.
RESEARCH SIGNIFICANCE
The new type of hybrid concrete beam-column connections
proposed in the paper consisted of CIP concrete columns and
composite concrete beams with precast U-shaped beams.
This study presented experimental data that showed the
seismic performance of the proposed beam-column connection was as good as the conventional CIP connection. The
results presented in the paper will contribute to the muchneeded database of knowledge on the expected performance
of precast concrete structures subjected to cyclic loading
as well as the instructions for applications of the precast
concrete structures.
EXPERIMENTAL PROGRAM
Design basis
Compared with the hybrid concrete beam-column connections11,12 investigated previously, the new type of connection proposed in the paper was composed of CIP concrete
columns and composite beams with precast U-shaped beams,
in which the precast U-shaped beam was directly supported
on the column instead of a section of CIP concrete at the
beam end. The hybrid concrete specimens tested were fullscale concrete connections from the bottom story of a prototype building structure in China, which has a large beam
cross section of 13.78 x 25.59 in. (350 x 650 mm), and the
column dimensions were 31.50 x 31.50 in. (800 x 800 mm).
The prototype was designed according to a strong columnweak beam seismic design philosophy. The joint region of
each connection had sufficient strength to prevent the joint
shear failure before beam and column yielding. In addition,
the specimens were detailed according to the requirements
for special moment frames in ACI 318.7

618

Specimen details
Of the four specimens, two were hybrid concrete beamcolumn connections made with composite concrete beams
and CIP concrete columns, and the others were the CIP
control specimens. Specimens HIC and HEC represented a
hybrid concrete interior connection and a hybrid concrete
exterior connection, while Specimens MIC and MEC were
the CIP control specimens of HIC and HEC, respectively.
The dimensions and reinforcement details of test specimen
are given in Fig. 1. The specimens were designed assuming
that the slab within an effective width equal to one-third
of the span length would be participating in the moment
strength. This effective width was defined in the Chinese
Code10 as the calculated width of the slab for T-beam
flange, which was 33.3% larger than the effective slab width
suggested by ACI 318.7
Specimens HIC and HEC
Specimens HIC and HEC consisted of composite concrete
beams and CIP columns, and the composite beams were
composed of precast U-shaped beams, precast slabs, and
CIP slabs. For the interior connection Specimen HIC, buttwelding was used to connect the longitudinal reinforcements
of the beams in the connection region, while for the exterior
connection Specimen HEC, anchoring bolts were used in
the end of the longitudinal reinforcements in the joint region
instead of the conventional 90-degree hooked anchorage.
To improve the integrity of hybrid beam-column concrete
connections, the following measures were taken: a) a new
type of hybrid beam, as shown in Fig. 1(e), was adopted,
which was made up of a precast concrete U-shaped beam,
precast concrete slabs, and CIP concrete; b) the precast slab
was directly supported on the precast concrete U-shaped
beam; c) the average roughness amplitude of the precast
components was 0.20 in. (5 mm); d) the truss steel reinforcements, as shown in Fig. 1(e), were placed between the
precast concrete slab and CIP concrete; e) the reinforcing
bars were used between the precast slab and CIP concrete
in beam; and f) for Specimen HIC, the tie bars were placed
along the beam above the joint of the precast concrete slabs,
as shown in Fig. 2.
Specimens MIC and MEC
Specimens MIC and MEC had the same dimensions as
Specimens HIC and HEC and were cast monolithically.
Construction process
The construction sequence of the new type of hybrid
connections was as follows. The precast slabs and U-shaped
beams first were prefabricated in the factory. The longitudinal bars and transverse hoops of column were tied in the
construction site. The precast components prefabricated in
the factory were then transported to the construction site,
and the precast U-shaped beams were set in position with a
temporary brace. The precast slabs were placed on the either
side of the beams. After this, the longitudinal reinforcing
bars in the CIP topping and stirrups in the joint region were
placed on the top of the beam and slab and in the joint core
area, respectively. In the end, the concrete was placed in
ACI Structural Journal/May-June 2014

Fig. 1Specimen geometry and steel details. (Note: Dimensions in mm; 1 mm = 0.0394 in.)
the column and on the top of the precast slabs. It should be
noted that, compared with the hybrid beam-column connections11,12 investigated previously, less shoring and formwork
were needed in the construction process of this new type of
hybrid connections.
Materials
Samples representing all sizes of reinforcing bars were
tested in tension to failure. Table 1 summarizes the properties
ACI Structural Journal/May-June 2014

of the reinforcing bars. The concrete mixture was designed


for a cubic compressive strength of 7252 psi (50MPa) for
all specimens. Details of the ingredients in concrete are as
follows: cement = 22.16 lb/ft3 (355 kg/m3); sand = 39.33lb/ft3
(630 kg/m3); aggregate = 72.10 lb/ft3 (1155 kg/m3); water =
9.99 lb/ft3 (160 kg/m3); high-range water-reducing admixture = 0.22 lb/ft3 (3.54 kg/m3); and fly ash = 5.49 lb/ft3
(88kg/m3).

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Table 1Properties of reinforcing bars


Bar
type

Yield
strength fy,
ksi (MPa)

Ultimate
strength fu,
ksi (MPa)

Youngs modulus,
Es, ksi ( 105 MPa)

Elongation at
fracture, %

10

52.3 (361)

72.8 (502)

26,100 (1.80)

27.1

12

48.4 (334)

76.3 (526)

25,665 (1.77)

28.3

14

55.5 (383)

80.9 (558)

27,695 (1.91)

28.6

18

54.4 (375)

82.7 (570)

28,855 (1.99)

28.9

25

64.4 (444)

92.7 (639)

29,290 (2.02)

24.8

32

61.5 (424)

85.7 (591)

29,000 (2.00)

27.5

Notes: Nominal diameter of bars: 10 = 0.39 in. (10 mm); 12 = 0.47 in. (12 mm);
14 = 0.55 in. (14 mm); 18 = 0.71 in. (18 mm); 25 = 0.98 in. (25 mm); 32 =
1.26in. (32 mm).

Fig. 2Schematic diagram of tie bar location in Specimen


HIC. (Note: Dimensions in mm; 1 mm = 0.0394 in.)
Table 2Material properties of concrete
MIC

MEC

HIC

HEC

Specimens

CIP

CIP

CIP

Pre

CIP

Pre

Cube
strength fcu,
ksi (MPa)

9.0
(62.1)

8.7
(60.1)

9.2
(63.6)

8.6
(59.6)

8.8
(60.7)

8.5
(58.3)

Split
strength ft,
ksi (MPa)

0.64
(4.4)

0.52
(3.6)

0.67
(4.6)

0.55
(3.8)

0.54
(3.7)

0.58
(4.0)

Elastic
modulus Ec,
ksi ( 104
MPa)

5220
(3.6)

5365
(3.7)

4930
(3.4)

4495
(3.1)

5655
(3.9)

4930
(3.4)

Notes: CIP is cast-in-place concrete; Pre is precast concrete.

The nominal maximum size of the coarse aggregate was


0.98 in. (25 mm). The mixture had a slump of 1.57 in.
(40mm). The concrete was vibrated when placed to ensure
good workability in the mixture. Table 2 lists the material
properties of concrete at the time of testing.
Test setup and loading procedure
The adopted geometry of specimens was determined by
the span of beam and column in the prototype structure as
well as the loading space and ground anchors in the laboratory. The boundary conditions are presented in Fig. 3. The
column was supported by a pinned connection at its base,
and the top of the column was free to move. The beam
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end was designed as a roller support. A constant axial load


was applied to the column by using a vertical 2248 kip
(10,000kN) hydraulic actuator, which could automatically
trace the column top when loading. The axial compressive
ratio n was 0.5, representing the vertical load experienced in
the prototype building. Herein, the axial compression ratio
n, is defined as n = N/(fc A), where N is the axial load, fc
is the axial compressive strength of concrete, and A is the
area of column cross section. According to the Chinese Code
GB 50011-2010, the relationships between standard cube
compressive strength and the axial compressive strength
are as follows10: fcu = 0.88c1c2 fcu, where fcu is the cubic
compressive strength of concrete, c1 is a conversion factor
between axial compressive strength and cube compressive strength (c1 = 0.76 and 0.82, for fcu 50MPa and
fcu 80MPa, when 50 MPa < fcu < 80 MPa,
(c1 = 0.76+ 0.06 [fcu 50]/30), c2 is a reduction
factor considering the disadvantage of brittleness of high
strength concrete (c2 = 1.0 and 0.87, for fcu 40 MPa and
fcu 80MPa, when 40MPa < fcu < 80 MPa,
c2 = 0.87 + 0.13 [80 fcu]/40). After the application of the
column axial load, the lateral load was applied to the column
top. The loading history was divided into two phases. The
first phase was a load-controlled phase. The second phase
was a displacement-controlled phase consisting of cycles
of increasing magnitude 0.5% story drift, namely 0.59 in.
(15 mm), with three cycles applied at each drift level. The
loading history is shown in Fig. 4. The constant axial load
was first applied to the top of the column through a vertical
2248 kip (10,000 kN) hydraulic actuator, which could automatically trace the column top when loading.
Applied loads and lateral displacements were monitored
through load cells and linear variable differential transducers
(LVDTs), respectively. LVDTs were mounted on the specimens to measure the story drift, joint rotation, beam curvature, and slip between precast beam and precast slab and
between precast slab and CIP slab. Electrical resistive strain
gauges were mounted at critical locations, including the
cross sections in the beams and column with larger bending
moment. The net displacement at the column top was calculated by subtracting the column base lateral displacement.
Top displacement of the column was measured using LVDTs
mounted at the level of the hydraulic actuator. Column base
displacement was measured at the pinned support.
EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
After the design and construction of the four beamcolumn connection specimens, they were subjected to the
basic loading history described previously. During the test,
the progress of the cracking was recorded, and pictures were
taken at each level of story drift. The behavior of the specimens was evaluated on the basis of failure pattern, displacement ductility, restoring force model, stiffness degradation,
energy dissipation, and slip.
Behavior of specimens
Interior connections: Specimens HIC and MICWhen
the specimens were tested under the lateral load after the
application of the column axial load at the top of the column,
ACI Structural Journal/May-June 2014

Fig. 3Boundary conditions. (Note: 1 mm = 0.0394 in.)

Fig. 4Loading history.


for Specimen HIC, a flexural crack appeared first on the
tension side of the beam at a distance of 6.3 in. (160mm)
from the column face at the 0.06% story drift level when
the applied lateral load was 22.48 kip (100 kN). For Specimen MIC, the first hairline flexural crack occurred on
the tension side of beam at a distance of 7.9 in. (200 mm)
from the column face at the 0.11% story drift level when
the applied lateral load reached 26.98 kip (120 kN), which
indicated that Specimen MIC possessed the higher cracking
resistance than Specimen HIC. The cracks on the beam
opened wider as the bending moment level was increased. In
the later stage of test, for both Specimens HIC and MIC, as
expected, the diagonal and flexural cracks were observed on
the beam in the vicinity of the joint, while no visible cracks
were observed in the column and the joint region under the
reversed cyclic loading. Specimens HIC and MIC reached
their yield state defined according to the criteria for equiva-

ACI Structural Journal/May-June 2014

lent elasto-plastic energy absorption used by Park13 at a drift


of 1.07 and of 1.29%, respectively.
At the yield stage, the average strain of the steel bars in
the bottom of the beam was 2150 for Specimen HIC,
while it was 2459 for Specimen MIC. It was indicated
that the deformation of Specimen HIC was close to that of
the control specimen. Specimens HIC and MIC failed at a
story drift of 2.64 and 3.12%, respectively, as the lateral
load of both specimens reached the 85% of their lateral peak
load. During the test, of the two specimens the maximum
strains of the steel bar in the columns and stirrups in the core
regions were below the yield strains measured, which indicated that the steel bars in the columns and the stirrups in the
core regions remained elastic.
Exterior connections: Specimens HEC and MEC
For Specimen HEC, the first hairline flexural crack was
observed on the tension side of the beam at a distance 13.0
in. (330mm) from the column face at the 0.32% story drift
level when the applied lateral load reached 35.52 kip (158
kN), while for Specimen MEC, the first hairline flexural
crack occurred on the tension side of the beam at a distance
of 6.3 in. (160mm) from the column face at the 0.2% story
drift level when the applied lateral load reached 29.67 kip
(132 kN). In the later stage of the test, for each specimen,
as expected, the diagonal and flexural cracks were observed
at the beam-column interface, while no visible cracks were
observed in the column and the joint region under the
reversed cyclic loading. This was similar to that of Specimen HIC and MIC. Specimen HEC reached its yield state
at a drift of 0.95%; Specimen MEC reached its yield state
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Fig. 5Crack patterns and failure modes: (a) Specimen MIC; (b) Specimen HIC; (c) Specimen MEC; and (d) Specimen HEC.
at a drift of 1.13%. The Specimens HEC and MEC failed at
a story drift of 2.04and 2.21%, respectively, as the lateral
load of both specimens reached the 85% of their lateral peak
load. At the yield phase, the average strain of the steel bars
in the bottom of the beam was 2058 for Specimen HEC,
while it was 2380 for Specimen MEC. It was indicated
that the deformation of Specimen HEC was close to that
of the control specimen. In the whole loading process, the
steel bars in the columns and the stirrups in the core regions
remained elastic.
Failure pattern
The failure pattern of the four specimens, as expected,
involved the formation of a plastic hinge in the beam at the
column face. The formation of plastic hinges caused severe
cracking of the concrete near the beam end of each specimen. No cracks, however, were observed on the column and
the joint region. In other words, the precast beam-column
connections exhibited a strong column-weak beam failure
mechanism. There were also some prominent shear cracks
in the hinge region, mainly due to the large depth of the
beam. At the end of the test, concrete damage was visible in
the beam near the face of column, particularly in the beam
plastic hinge zone, and the reinforcements fractured at the
bottom of the beam end near the column face. This could be
due to the fact that the neutral axis of beams moved upward
owing to the presence of the concrete slab, which caused the
large strain demand for bottom longitudinal bars.
It should be noted that there were no horizontal cracks
observed between CIP concrete and precast concrete in the
failure cross section in hybrid concrete connections until
the lateral load reached the peak load, and in the later stage
of the test, the horizontal cracks occurred in the interface
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between the CIP concrete and precast concrete in the slabs. It


could be seen that the measures, that is, roughing the contact
surface and having truss steel reinforcements in precast
concrete slabs, were effective for the integrity of the hybrid
beam. Figure 5 shows the final failure patterns observed at
the end of testing.
Hysteresis characteristics
The lateral load-versus-drift hysteresis curves of all specimens are given in Fig. 6. The envelope curves are plotted
in Fig. 7. The hysteresis loops of Specimens HIC and HEC
were quite similar to those of their control specimens. The
reason lies in the few differences with seismic performance
between the precast concrete specimens and the monolithic
specimens. This behavior is considered to be an indication
of satisfactory performance. It can be seen that the areas of
the hysteresis loops became larger with increasing drift. The
curves exhibited slight pinching, as well as some stiffness
and strength degradation, during same-drift repeat cycles,
which is mainly attributed to bond degradation between
concrete and reinforcement, concrete cracking, reinforcement yielding, or a combination of these. The results showed
that the yield load, peak load, and corresponding drift of
Specimens HIC and HEC were very close to those of its
control specimen. For the exterior connections, the hysteresis curves were not symmetrical due to the presence of the
concrete slab.
Displacement ductility
The lateral load versus displacement envelope curve
was used to define the yield and ultimate displacements
according to the criteria for equivalent elasto-plastic energy
absorption used by Park.13 As shown in Fig. 8, when area
ACI Structural Journal/May-June 2014

Fig. 6Hysteresis curves.

Fig. 7Envelopes of hysteresis loops.


S1 is equal to area S2, the position of Point C is determined.
The line CG, perpendicular to the transverse axis, intersects
the P- curve at Point E. The displacement corresponding to
Point E is used as y, the yield displacement. The ultimate
displacement u was determined as corresponding to a 15%
drop of the lateral peak load. The displacement ductility
for all the specimens is listed in Table 3. In this table, cr
was the displacement corresponding to the lateral cracking
load, and max was the displacement corresponding to the
lateral peak load. The monolithic Specimen MIC exhibited excellent ductile manner. Take the positive direction,
for example. The measured yield displacement was 1.52in.
(38.7 mm) at a lateral load of 190.90 kip (849.2 kN). The
ultimate displacement was recorded at 3.68 in. (93.5mm),
for a ductility factor of 2.42. The load attained at this
ductility level was 189.30 kip (842.1 kN), or 0.99 times the
measured yield load. According to the results in Table 3,
the following conclusions could be drawn. The displacement
ductility factor of Specimen MIC was 2.42 to 2.55, of SpecACI Structural Journal/May-June 2014

imen HIC was 2.47 to 2.57, of Specimen MEC was 1.95 to


2.16, and of Specimen HEC was 2.05 to 2.14. These results
indicated that both the hybrid concrete connections behaved
comparably under the cyclic loading. It should be noted
that the displacement ductility of the specimens was determined by the deformation of the beam end at the column
face due to no damage in the columns and the joint regions,
and the beam end had shear deformation as well as flexure
deformation, which lessened the displacement ductility of
thespecimens.
Stiffness degradation
The secant stiffness is used to evaluate stiffness degradation at each drift level. The secant stiffness is calculated on
the last cycle for each successive story drift level according
to the method used by Soubra.14 The secant stiffness was
defined as the slope of the straight line connecting the
maximum drift levels of that specific load cycle. The secant
stiffness is plotted against drift in Fig. 9. The stiffness of each
623

specimen continuously decreased as story drift increased and


was close to zero at the end of test, as shown in Fig. 9. The
stiffness degradation trend of the hybrid concrete connections was very similar to that of their control specimens.
The stiffness of each of the hybrid concrete connections
was almost equal to that of its corresponding control specimen. Stiffness degraded rapidly before the drift of 1% for
all specimens, which was probably because most concrete
cracking and reinforcement yielding occurred in this stage.
For hybrid connections, the connection details had a small
effect on its initial stiffness, however, there was no effect on
its latterstiffness.
Table 3Displacement ductility values of
allspecimens
Specimen
MIC

HIC

MEC

HEC

cr, in.
(mm)

y, in.
(mm)

max, in.
(mm)

u, in.
(mm)

u/y

POS 0.13 (3.37) 1.51 (38.74) 2.35 (60.32) 3.65 (93.53) 2.41
NEG

1.43 (36.60) 2.36 (60.39) 3.64 (93.37) 2.55

POS 0.07 (1.85) 1.25 (32.04) 1.76 (45.16) 3.09 (79.16) 2.47
NEG

1.21 (31.00) 1.76 (45.01) 3.11 (79.77) 2.57

POS

1.32 (33.84) 1.76 (45.01) 2.58 (66.15) 1.95

NEG 0.03 (0.65) 1.22 (31.41) 2.40 (61.61) 2.65 (67.98) 2.16
POS 0.37 (9.46) 1.11 (28.40) 1.83 (46.82) 2.39 (61.23) 2.16
NEG 0.02 (0.63) 0.82 (21.00) 2.38 (60.99) 2.73 (70.01) 3.33

Notes: POS is positive direction; NEG is negative direction.

Fig. 8Method used to define yield and ultimate


displacements.

Restoring force model


By analysis of P- hysteresis curves, skeleton curves and
characteristic loads of the four connections, a four-linear
restoring force model for test specimens was proposed, as
shown in Fig. 10. The normalized characteristic parameters
for the P- hysteretic model are listed in Table 4, and in
this table, Pcr, Py, Pmax, and Pu represented cracking load,
yielding load, peak load, and failure load, respectively; cr,
y, max, and u were column-tip lateral displacement corresponding to these loads, respectively. In Fig. 10, + and
at the top right corner of letters denoted the characteristic
values in positive and negative directions, respectively.
Main hysteretic rules were expressed as follows: a) the
envelopes of the test specimens were simplified into a fourfold line in the positive direction and negative direction, and
the descending branch was taken into account. The characteristic points were cracking point, yielding point, peak
point, and failure point; b) before beam end cracking, the
initial stiffness K1 (K1 = Pcr /cr), was taken as the loading
stiffness, and stiffness degradation and residual deformation
were not taken into account during unloading, and reloading
rules in the negative direction were that the curves directly
pointed to cracking point in negative direction; c) during
the stage between the cracking point and yield point, K2
(K2= (Py Pcr)/(y cr)), was taken as loading stiffness,
and stiffness degradation and residual deformation were
considered; d) post-yielding stiffness K3 (K3 = (Pmax Py)/
(max y)), was defined as loading stiffness after yield point,
and loading stiffness K4 (K4=(Pu Pmax)/(u max)) became
negative stiffness after ultimate load point; e) the initial stiffness, K1, was taken as unloading stiffness by reduction factor
. Herein, = (y/m), where y was yield displacement,
and m was the maximum displacement experienced, and
was regressed from the test results; and f) reloading rules in
negative (positive) direction after post-cracking unloading
were that the curves directly pointed to pivot pinching
point, J (K), the ordinates of which were listed in Table 4, in
positive (negative) direction then pointed to the maximum
previous displacement point, and then took K2, K3, or K4 as
the loading stiffness pointing to the skeleton curve.
Energy dissipation capacity
The energy dissipation capacity of beam-column connections is a function of the area under the load-displacement

Fig. 9Stiffness degradation.


624

ACI Structural Journal/May-June 2014

Table 4Normalized characteristic parameters for hysteretic model


MIC

MEC

HIC

HEC

Specimen

POS

NEG

POS

NEG

POS

NEG

POS

NEG

Pmax

1.00

1.00

1.00

1.00

1.00

1.00

1.00

1.00

Py

0.92

0.83

0.85

0.86

0.78

0.71

0.87

0.83

Pcr

0.13

0.18

0.12

0.45

Pu

0.91

0.72

0.85

0.85

0.82

0.79

0.85

0.85

max

1.00

1.00

1.00

1.00

1.00

1.00

1.00

1.00

0.64

0.61

0.75

0.51

0.71

0.69

0.61

0.34

cr

0.06

0.01

0.04

0.20

1.55

1.55

1.47

1.10

1.75

1.76

1.31

1.15

0.58

0.22

0.05

0.00

0.08

0.06

0.07

1.19

0.25

0.23

0.11

0.14

0.31

0.34

0.62

1.14

0.53

0.44

0.20

0.24

0.45

0.48

0.63

1.12

0.61

0.53

0.22

0.25

0.51

0.53

0.43

0.98

0.63

0.55

0.53

0.55

might be because there was only one beam in the exterior


connection and two in the interior connection. The energy
dissipation of the test specimens was mainly in the beam
end hinging.

Fig. 10Restoring force model.


curve, and indicates the degree of effectiveness of the
connection to withstand earthquake loading. The cumulative
energy dissipation is the commonly used method to calculate the energy dissipated during the loading.15 The energy
dissipated per cycle is defined as the area enclosed by the
load-displacement curve. The cumulative energy dissipated
at each of the drift levels in the test is given in Fig. 11.
Generally, both the hybrid concrete connections and their
control specimens demonstrated an almost similar pattern
of energy dissipation, namely, energy dissipation increased
with the increasing story drift. During the first loading cycle,
the dissipated energy was very small, showing that the test
specimen exhibited elastic behavior. At a drift of 3%, the
cumulative energy dissipated by Specimen MIC was 14.3%
lower than that of Specimen HIC. This was also the drift at
which Specimen MIC failed. The precast Specimen HIC did
not fail at this drift, and underwent additional cycles until
failure occurred. The cumulative energy dissipated by Specimen MEC was only 2.1% lower than that of Specimen HEC
at a drift of 2%, at which the Specimen MEC failed. The
energy dissipation capacity of the interior connection was
obviously higher than that of the exterior connection. This
ACI Structural Journal/May-June 2014

Slip
The slip between precast beam and precast slab and the
slip between precast slab and CIP slab were measured
during the test of both the hybrid concrete connections.
The slip at a particular drift level is presented in Table 5.
It was shown that both the slip between precast beam and
precast slab and the slip between precast slab and CIP slab
had an increasing trend with drift level increasing. At yield
state, the slip between precast slab and CIP slab in positive and negative directions was 0.00254 and 0.00924 in.
(0.065 and 0.237mm), respectively, in Specimen HIC; and
was 0.0094and 0.00956 in. (0.241 and 0.245 mm), respectively, in Specimen HEC. This showed that the slip between
precast slab and CIP slab was small, and those in the exterior
connection were larger than those in the interior connection.
The slip between precast beam and precast slab in positive and negative directions was 0.00511 and 0.01026in.
(0.131 and 0.263mm), respectively, in Specimen HIC;
and was 0.00971 and 0.00402 in. (0.249 and 0.103 mm),
respectively, in Specimen HEC, when the yield state was
reached. These slips, in general, are small, indicating that
the measures to improve the integrity of cross section and
prevent the shear failure between precast slab and CIP slab
were very effective.
CONCLUSIONS
Based on the cyclic loading tests of hybrid concrete beamcolumn connections and their CIP control specimens, the
following conclusions can be drawn from the study.
1. Each specimen, as expected, developed plastic hinge in
the vicinity of the beam-column interface without damage
in the column and joint region, and exhibited a strong
625

Fig. 11Cumulative energy dissipation.


Table 5Slip in hybrid concrete connections
Drift, %
Slip 1
103
in.
(mm)

Slip 2
103
in.
(mm)

0.5
HIC

HEC

HIC

HEC

1.0

1.5

2.0

2.5

3.0

3.5

Yielding

POS

0.16 (0.004)

1.99 (0.051)

3.00 (0.077)

5.27 (0.135)

4.21 (0.108)

2.85 (0.073)

14.86 (0.381)

2.54 (0.065)

NEG

2.30 (0.059)

6.40 (0.164)

9.83 (0.252)

19.89 (0.510)

20.94 (0.537)

34.20 (0.877)

56.43 (1.447)

9.24 (0.237)

POS

2.46 (0.063)

11.39 (0.292)

29.60 (0.759)

29.41 (0.754)

41.93 (1.075)

9.40 (0.241)

NEG

2.61 (0.067)

7.88 (0.202)

19.58 (0.502)

37.32 (0.957)

26.83 (0.688)

9.56 (0.245)

POS

1.37 (0.035)

4.45 (0.114)

5.89 (0.151)

8.15 (0.209)

45.44 (1.165)

33.38 (0.856)

30.19 (0.774)

5.11 (0.131)

NEG

1.21 (0.031)

8.54 (0.219)

27.11 (0.695)

90.95 (2.332)

157.56 (4.040)

208.73 (5.352)

92.04 (2.360)

10.26 (0.263)

POS

0.16 (0.004)

10.80 (0.277)

20.36 (0.522)

23.13 (0.593)

41.34 (1.060)

9.71 (0.249)

NEG

4.49 (0.115)

4.95 (0.127)

10.96 (0.281)

18.68 (0.479)

34.24 (0.878)

4.02 (0.103)

Notes: Slip 1 is slip between precast slab and CIP slab; Slip 2 is slip between precast slab and precast beam; yielding is test specimen has reached its yield state; POS is positive
direction; NEG is negative direction.

column-weak beam failure mechanism. The design intention


wasachieved;
2. Both Specimens HIC and HEC with composite beams
and CIP columns exhibited a stable lateral load versus drift
hysteretic response. The hysteresis curve of each of the
hybrid concrete connections was quite similar to that of its
corresponding control specimen;
3. The displacement ductility of Specimens HIC and HEC
was more than 2, and very similar to that of the corresponding
control Specimens MIC and MEC, indicating that both
hybrid concrete connections behaved in a ductilemanner;
4. For both hybrid concrete connections and their control
specimens, the trend of stiffness degradation is similar.
Although there are obvious differences in details between
hybrid concrete connections and their control specimens, all
specimens exhibited a similar energy dissipation capacity.
The energy dissipating capacity of each hybrid concrete
connection was almost identical to its control specimen; and
5. Both the slips in the composite beams were very little,
showing that the measures to improve the integrity of cross
section and prevent the shear failure between precast slab
and CIP slab were very effective.
By comparison of load-carrying capacity, displacement
ductility, and energy dissipation between hybrid concrete
connections with composite beams and CIP columns and
their control specimens, it could be concluded that the
seismic behavior of hybrid concrete connections with
composite beams and CIP columns were similar to those of
the respective control specimens. The results of this inves626

tigation could enrich the data available that document the


behavior of hybrid concrete moment-resisting frames, and
contributed to enlarge the application of the hybrid concrete
structures in seismic zones. The connection details have
been adopted in Chinese code.
To fully understand the seismic behavior of the buildings
with the connection details proposed herein, it is necessary
to perform a large-scale, pseudo-dynamic test and propose
design guidelines in the future.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support provided by


the Key Project of Scientific Supporting Plan in the Chinese Twelfth FiveYear Period (No. 2010BAK69B28), the program for New Century Excellent Talents in University (No. NCET-10-0636), the Fundamental Research
Funds for the Central Universities, and the project of Shanghai Science and
Technology Commission (No. 10dz0583700).

AUTHOR BIOS

Weichen Xue is a Professor of structural engineering at Tongji University, Shanghai, China. His research interests include precast, prestressed
concrete structures; composite structures; and fiber-reinforced polymer
used in concrete structures.
Bin Zhang is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Building Engineering at Tongji University. His research interests include precast
concretestructures.

NOTATION

Pcr = cracking load


Pmax = peak load
Pu = 0.85Pmax
Py = yield load
c = displacement corresponding to Py
cr = displacement corresponding to Pcr

ACI Structural Journal/May-June 2014

max =
u =

displacement corresponding to Pmax


displacement corresponding to 0.85Pmax

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NOTES:

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