|Abstract: ||High strength steels (HSS), which are generally considered to be those with yield strengths over 460 MPa, are being increasingly utilised in construction, particularly in high rise structural applications and where long and column-free spans are an important design requirement. In place of ordinary carbon steels, the use of HSS can enable structural elements with smaller cross-sections, resulting in significant material savings. However, compared to normal strength steels, the structural use of HSS is still quite rare.
The European design code EN 1993-1-12 provides design rules for HSS up to S700, but was conceived as a simple extension of the rules in EN 1993-1-1 for normal strength steels. In order to contribute to the existing limited HSS data pool and to verify and develop the current Eurocode 3 design rules, a comprehensive experimental programme on hot-finished S460 and S690 square and rectangular hollow sections has been carried out. The testing programme covered different structural aspects at the material, cross-section and member levels and consisted of 40 tensile coupon tests, 11 compressive coupon tests, 11 stub column tests, 11 full section tensile tests, 22 in-plane bending tests, 12 eccentrically loaded stub column tests, 30 long column tests, as well as measurements of geometrical imperfections and residual stresses. Numerical models, validated against the test results, were also developed to examine the cross-section and member behaviour, and subsequently employed in a comprehensive parametric study in order to generate further data. Based on the combined test and numerical data set, as well as experimental results reported in the literature, the current HSS design rules in Eurocode 3, including the slenderness limits for cross-section classification, effective width equation, N-M interaction curves and column buckling curves, were assessed by means of reliability analyses in accordance with Annex D of EN 1990.
To realise the potential of HSS in long span structures, a novel structural form was also examined, namely an HSS truss with prestressing cables housed within the tubular bottom chord. A total of 4 prestressed trusses, made of S460 square hollow sections with different prestress levels, were tested under static downward loading. The truss test results showed the enhanced structural efficiency brought about by the addition of prestressing cables and by the application of prestress. Additionally, 12 tensile and 10 compressive member tests with cables, representing the bottom chord of the truss under gravity and uplift loading, respectively, were carried out to investigate the behaviour of individual prestressed cable-in-tube members. Analytical models and numerical models were also established to compare with the test behaviour and to contribute to the development of design rules for prestressed cable-in-tube systems.|