Behavior of channel connectors in steel-concrete composite beams with precast slabs

The use of precast decks in steel-concrete composite construction offers variety of advantages. Research to date has mostly focused on the use of headed stud connectors with hollow core precast decks for building structures. large number of connectors has to be used when headed studs are employed, which increases the labor required to fill the spaces with concrete, grout or mortar. In this paper, a new system is proposed where the headed studs are replaced with channel connectors to reduce the number of connectors. The proposed system was studied through a two-phase experimental program. In the first phase, 20 direct shear tests were conducted on channel connectors embedded in grout or mortar with different strengths. The size of the channel section and its length were considered as the prime variables. The test results showed that the channel connectors embedded in grout or mortar behave similar to conventional systems where the channel connectors interact with in-situ concrete. the second phase, four full scale composite beam tests were conducted for proof-of-concept where the degree of composite action was the prime variable. The test results showed that the proposed system offers strengths similar to conventional fully or partially composite beams and can be an alternative to the existing composite systems.