Structural steel-reinforced concrete (SRC) coupling beams offer an effective and smart alternative to conventional and diagonally-reinforced concrete coupling beams due to their improved ductility, higher energy-dissipation capacity, and convenient practical applications. They can provide an efficient coupling within a limited depth and are gaining wider acceptance among structural designers and practicing engineers around the globe. These beams, however, offer little improvement in terms of initial stiffness when compared to other types and configurations of coupling beams. Moreover, the available modeling and design recommendations for these SRC coupling beams are based on limited experimental data and cross-sectional configurations. This study, therefore, aims to address this gap by proposing a comprehensive experimental and numerical evaluation of SRC coupling beams having improved detailing schemes to achieve higher initial stiffness.
In collaboration with the industrial partner, the research team is working on proposing optimal cross-sectional detailing for enhanced seismic performance of SRC coupling beams. Large-scale samples of these beams will be subjected to reverse-cyclic lateral loads to understand their strength and stiffness properties, hysteretic response, reverse ductility, residual deformation capacity, and energy-dissipating capacity. Overall, this program will result in more accurate modeling recommendations and practical design guidelines for SRC coupling beams in Canada.