University Of Tasmania
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Experimental investigation of the mechanical behaviour of wall–beam–strut joints for prefabricated underground construction

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 20:38 authored by Liu, T, Lu, J, Wang, D, Hongyuan LiuHongyuan Liu
Prefabricated construction is becoming increasingly prevalent, however, it is rarely applied in underground constructions, except for tunnel linings, due to the difficulties that arise in jointing various prefabricated components in underground conditions. To solve the vertical location problem of embedded mechanical couplers during the construction of wall–beam–strut joints for a prefabricated metro station, a new connection using welded steel plates is proposed. In this paper, four full-scale specimens of wall–beam–strut joints connected using welded steel plates and mechanical couplers were experimentally tested under monotonic and low-reversed cyclic loading conditions. The testing results were analysed in terms of the ultimate bearing capacity, failure mode, hysteresis, skeleton curve, stiffness degradation, energy dissipation and strain of the reinforcement bars. Notably, the two kinds of joints had similar ultimate bearing capacities and failure modes, but the crack distributions on the tops of the waler beams were different. For the specimens with the welded steel plate connection, tensile horizontal cracks first appeared on the top surface of the beam, where the welded steel plate was located, and then coalesced gradually; however, this cracking pattern was not observed during the experimental test of the specimens connected with the mechanical couplers. Furthermore, it was determined that the energy dissipation and ductility of the welded steel plate connection were better than those of the mechanical coupler connected joint, because the steel plate could redistribute the internal force in the joint and increase the stiffness. It was concluded that the proposed welded steel plate connection could be more favourable than the mechanical coupler connection in the construction of a prefabricated metro station in Guangzhou. Moreover, the results obtained from these experiments could provide guidelines for the corresponding connections employed in underground-prefabricated structures.


Publication title

International Journal of Concrete Structures and Materials








School of Engineering



Place of publication


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Copyright 2021 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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Expanding knowledge in engineering