Analytical investigation of composite diaphragms strength and behavior

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Virginia Tech

Composite diaphragm strength and behavior were studied using non-linear finite element analysis. A total of 57 three panel diaphragm models were analyzed to failure.

Parameters studied included beam size and orientation, panel dimension, connector type and distance, slab opening, yield plateau, and beam connection flexibility. Shear connector, deck-to-concrete interface, and beam connection were the components modeled non-linearly. Orthotropic behavior was used for the deck elements. 2-D and 3-D contours of concrete slab, steel deck and deck-to-concrete interfacial stresses and connector forces are presented to clearly show the behavior of the diaphragm in relation with the component behavior.

Complete and incomplete connector force redistributions were observed and an expression of yield plateau length required to develop a complete connector force redistribution was developed. Expressions for diaphragm strength based on beam, beam connection and connector strength for both the complete and incomplete connector force redistribution cases were presented. The diaphragm strength predicted by the expression compared favorably with the finite element results.