Behaviour of Partially Composite Precast Concrete Sandwich Panels under Flexural and Axial Loads
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Precast concrete sandwich panels are commonly used on building exteriors. They are typically composed of two concrete wythes that surround rigid insulation. They are advantageous as they provide both structural and thermal resistance. The structural response of sandwich panels is heavily influenced by shear connectors that link the wythes together. This thesis presents a study on partially composite non-prestressed precast concrete wall panels. Nine flexure tests were conducted on a wall design incorporating ‘floating’ concrete studs and Glass Fibre Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) connectors. The studs encapsulate and stiffen the connectors, reducing shear deformations. Ultimate loads increased from 58 to 80% that of a composite section as the connectors’ reinforcement ratio increased from 2.6 to 9.8%. This design was optimized by reinforcing the studs and integrating them with the structural wythe; new connectors composed of angled steel or Basalt-FRP (BFRP) were used. The load-slip response of the new connector design was studied through 38 double shear push-through tests using various connector diameters and insertion angles. Larger connectors were stronger but more likely to pull out. Seven flexure tests were conducted on the new wall design reinforced with different combinations of steel and BFRP connectors and reinforcement. Composite action varied from 50 to 90% depending on connector and reinforcement material. Following this study, the axial-bending interaction curves were established for the new wall design using both BFRP and steel connectors and reinforcement. Eight panels were axially loaded to predesignated loads then loaded in flexure to failure. A technique is presented to experimentally determine the effective centroid of partially composite sections. Beyond the tension and compression-controlled failure regions of the interaction curve, a third region was observed in between, governed by connector failure.Theoretical models were developed for the bond-slip behaviour of the shear connection and to analyze the full panel’s flexural and axial response to determine the longitudinal shear force transferred between wythes and account for partial composite behavior. The models were validated against experiments and used to conduct a parametric study. Among several interesting findings, the study demonstrated how composite action increases with the slenderness of axially loaded panels.