Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Nonlinear finite element analysis of double skin composite columns subjected to axial loading

  • 6 Accesses


The study aimed to simulate the behavior of the concrete-filled double skin steel tubular (CFDST) composite columns having a circular hollow section using the finite element method (FEM). To indicate the accuracy and the reliability of the model, the proposed FEM model was verified by the experimental test results available in the literature. Moreover, the code-based formulas (ACI, AISC, and Eurocode 4) and some empirical models suggested by the previous researchers for predicting the axial capacity of CFDST columns were used in this study to compare their results with the proposed FEM model. Furthermore, to visualize the effectiveness of sectional properties and infilled concrete compressive strength on the ultimate axial strength of double skin composite columns, a parametric study was conducted. For this, 72 test specimens were modeled considering two outer and inner steel tube diameters, three outer and inner steel tube thicknesses, and two different concrete cylinder strengths. All results were statistically evaluated. It was observed that the proposed FEM model had a good prediction performance. As well, the FEM model results indicated that the sectional properties, in particular, the diameter of the outer steel tube and concrete compressive strength, had remarkable effects on the load-carrying capacity of CFDST columns.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11
Fig. 12
Fig. 13


  1. 1.

    Spannverbund. Composite columns. http://www.spannverbund.de/index.php/en/composite-columns.html. Accessed 18 Apr 2019.

  2. 2.

    Uenaka K, Kitoh H, Sonoda K. Concrete filled double skin circular stub columns under compression. Thin Wall Struct. 2010;48:19–24.

  3. 3.

    Zhao XL, Han LH. Double skin composite construction. Prog Struct Mat Eng. 2006;8:93–102.

  4. 4.

    Kalemi B. Numerical modeling and assessment of circular concrete-filled steel tubular members. Master in Science Thesis. Istituto Universitario di Studi Superiori di Pavia; 2016.

  5. 5.

    Hsiao PC, Hayashi KK, Nishi R, Lin XC, Nakashima M. Investigation of concrete-filled double-skin steel tubular columns with ultrahigh-strength steel. J Struct Eng. 2015;141(7):04014166.

  6. 6.

    Furlong RW. Strength of steel-encased-concrete beam columns. J Struct Div. 1967;93:113–24.

  7. 7.

    Chen WF, Chen CH. Analysis of concrete filled steel tubular beam-columns. Int Assoc Bridg Struct Eng Publ. 1973;33(11):37–52.

  8. 8.

    Lin CY. Axial capacity of concrete infilled cold-formed steel columns. In: Proceeding of ninth international specialty conference on cold-formed steel structures. St. Louis, Missouri, USA; 1988.

  9. 9.

    Luksha LK, Nesterovich AP. Strength testing on larger-diameter concrete filled steel tubular members. In: Proceeding 3rd international conference on steel-concrete composite structures; 1991.

  10. 10.

    Prion HGL, Boehme J. Beam-column behavior of steel tubes filled with high strength concrete. Can J Civ Eng. 1994;21(2):207–18.

  11. 11.

    Kato B. Compressive strength and deformation capacity of concrete-filled tubular stub columns. Part I: strength and rotation capacity of concrete-filled tubular columns. J Struct Construct Eng. 1995;468:183–91.

  12. 12.

    Morino S, Sakino K, Mukai A, Yoshioka K. Experimental studies of CFT column systems: US-Japan cooperative earthquake research. New York: ASCE; 1997. p. 1106–10.

  13. 13.

    O’Shea MD, Bridge RQ. Design of circular thin-walled concrete filled steel tubes. J Struct Eng. 2000;11:1295–303.

  14. 14.

    Elchalakani M, Zhao XL, Grzebieta RH. Concrete filled circular steel tubes subjected to pure bending. J Constr Steel Res. 2001;57(11):1141–68.

  15. 15.

    Elremaily A, Azizinamini A. Behavior and strength of circular concrete-filled tube columns. J Constr Steel Res. 2002;58(12):1567–91.

  16. 16.

    Han LH, Yang YF, Tao Z. Concrete-filled thin-walled steel SHS and RHS beam-columns subjected to cyclic loading. Thin Wall Struct. 2003;41(9):801–33.

  17. 17.

    Fujimoto T, Mukai A, Nishiyama I, Sakino K. Behavior of eccentrically-loaded concrete-filled steel tubular columns. J Struct Eng. 2004;2:203–12.

  18. 18.

    Wheeler A, Bridge R. The behavior of circular concrete-filled thin-walled steel tubes in flexure. In: Composite construction in steel and concrete V proceeding 5th engineering international conference, ASCE, Reston, VA; 2006. pp. 412–23.

  19. 19.

    Goode CD, Lam D. Concrete-filled tube columns: tests compared with Eurocode 4. In: Composite construction in steel and concrete VI proceeding engineering international conference, ASCE, Reston, VA; 2008. pp. 317–25.

  20. 20.

    Zhang GW, Xiao Y, Kunnath S. Low-cycle fatigue damage of circular concrete-filled tube columns. ACI Struct J. 2009;106(2):151–9.

  21. 21.

    Roeder CW, Lehman DE, Bishop E. Strength and stiffness of circular concrete-filled tubes. J Struct Eng. 2010;136:1545–53.

  22. 22.

    Ho JCM, Lai MH. Behaviour of uni-axially loaded CFST columns connected by tie bars. J Constr Steel Res. 2013;83:37–50.

  23. 23.

    Lu ZH, Zhao YG. Suggested empirical models for the axial capacity of circular CFT stub column. J Constr Steel Res. 2010;66:850–62.

  24. 24.

    Nour AI, Güneyisi EM. Prediction model on compressive strength of recycled aggregate concrete filled steel tube columns. Compos B. 2019;173:106938.

  25. 25.

    Güneyisi EM, Gültekin A, Mermerdaş K. Ultimate capacity prediction of axially loaded CFST short columns. Int J Steel Struct. 2016;16(1):99–104.

  26. 26.

    Essopjee Y, Dundu M. Performance of concrete-filled double-skin circular tubes in compression. Compos Struct. 2015;133:1276–83.

  27. 27.

    Zhao XL, Grzebieta RH, Elchalakani M. Tests of concrete-filled double skin CHS composite stub columns. Steel Compos Struct. 2002;2(2):129–42.

  28. 28.

    Tao Z, Han LH, Zhao XL. Behaviour of concrete-filled double skin (CHS outer and CHS inner) steel tubular stub columns and beam-columns. J Constr Steel Res. 2004;60(8):1129–58.

  29. 29.

    Han LH, Li YJ, Liao FY. Concrete-filled double skin steel tubular (CFDST) columns subjected to long-term sustained loading. Thin Wall Struct. 2011;49:1534–43.

  30. 30.

    Wang J, Liu W, Zhou D, Zhu L, Fang H. Mechanical behaviour of concrete filled double skin steel tubular stub columns confined by FRP under axial compression. Steel Compos Struct. 2014;14(4):431–52.

  31. 31.

    Lu H, Zhao XL, Han LH. Testing of self-consolidating concrete-filled double skin tubular stub columns exposed to fire. J Constr Steel Res. 2010;66:1069–80.

  32. 32.

    Wang F, Young B, Gardner L. Experimental investigation of concrete-filled double skin tubular stub columns with stainless steel outer tubes. In: Eighth international conference on steel and aluminium structures Hong Kong, China; 2016.

  33. 33.

    Hu HT, Su FC. Nonlinear analysis of short concrete-filled double skin tube columns subjected to axial compressive forces. Mar Struct. 2011;24:319–37.

  34. 34.

    Pagoulatou M, Sheehan T, Dai XH, Lam D. Finite element analysis on the capacity of circular concrete-filled double-skin steel tubular (CFDST) stub columns. Eng Struct. 2014;72:102–12.

  35. 35.

    Hassanein MF, Kharoob OF. Analysis of circular concrete-filled double skin tubular slender columns with external stainless steel tubes. Thin Wall Struct. 2014;79:23–37.

  36. 36.

    Abaqus. Analysis user’s manuals and example problems manuals, version 614. Providence: Dassault Systemes Simulia Corp.; 2014.

  37. 37.

    Han LH, Huo JS. Concrete-filled HSS columns after exposure to ISO-834 standard fire. J Struct Eng. 2003;129(1):68–78.

  38. 38.

    Hu HT, Huang CH, Wu MH, Wu YM. Nonlinear analysis of axially loaded concrete-filled tube columns with confinement effect. J Struct Eng. 2003;129(10):1322–9.

  39. 39.

    ACI-318. Building code requirements for reinforced concrete. American Concrete Institute; 2002.

  40. 40.

    Mander JB, Priestly MJN, Park R. Theoretical stress-strain model for confined concrete. J Struct Eng. 1988;114(8):1804–26.

  41. 41.

    Rirchart FE, Brandzaeg A, Brown RL. A study of the failure of concrete under combined compressive stresses Bull, vol. 185. Champaign: University of Illinois Engineering Experimental Station; 1928.

  42. 42.

    Saenz LP. Discussion of ‘Equation for the stress-strain curve of concrete’ by P. Desayi, and S. Krishman. J Am Concrete Inst. 1964;61:1229–35.

  43. 43.

    Hu HT, Schnobrich WC. Constitutive modeling of concrete by using nonassociated plasticity. J Mater Civ Eng. 1989;1(4):199–216.

  44. 44.

    Ellobody E, Young B. Nonlinear analysis of concrete-filled steel SHS and RHS columns. Thin Wall Struct. 2006;44:919–30.

  45. 45.

    Ellobody E, Young B. Design and behavior of concrete-filled cold-formed stainless steel tube columns. Eng Struct. 2006;28:716–28.

  46. 46.

    Giakounnelis G, Lam D. Axial capacity of circular concrete-filled tube columns. J Constr Steel Res. 2004;60(7):1049–68.

  47. 47.

    Damaraju AV. Investigation on the stability of noncompact and slender concrete filled tubes subjected to axial loads. MSc Thesis, University of Cincinnati, India; 2013.

  48. 48.

    Eurocode 4. Design of composite steel and concrete structures—Part 1.1: general rules and rules for buildings. London: British Standard Institution, ENV 1994-1-1; 2004.

  49. 49.

    AISC. Load and resistance factor design specification, for structural steel buildings. Chicago: American Institute of Steel Construction; 2010.

  50. 50.

    Han LH, Ren QX, Li W. Tests on stub stainless steel-concrete-carbon steel double-skin tubular (DST) columns. J Constr Steel Res. 2011;67:437–52.

  51. 51.

    Yu M, Zha X, Ye J, Li Y. A unified formulation for circle and polygon concrete-filled steel tube columns under axial compression. Eng Struct. 2013;49:1–10.

  52. 52.

    Hassanein MF, Kharoob OF, Liang QQ. Circular concrete-filled double skin tubular short columns with external stainless steel tubes under axial compression. Thin Wall Struct. 2013;73:252–63.

  53. 53.

    Eurocode 3. Design of steel structure—Part 1.1: general rules and rules for buildings. London: British Standard Institution, ENV 1993-1-1; 2004.

  54. 54.

    AIJ. Standard for structural calculation of steel reinforced concrete structures; 2002 (in Japanese).

  55. 55.

    Hassanein MF, Kharoob OF. Compressive strength of circular concrete-filled double skin tubular shorts columns. Thin Wall Struct. 2014;77:165–73.

  56. 56.

    Liang QQ, Fragomeni S. Nonlinear analysis of circular concrete-filled steel tubular short columns under axial loading. J Constr Steel Res. 2009;65(12):2186–96.

  57. 57.

    Hassanein MF, Kharoob OF, Liang QQ. Behaviour of circular concrete-filled lean duplex stainless steel tubular short columns. Thin Wall Struct. 2013;68:113–23.

  58. 58.

    Liang QQ. Performance-based analysis of concrete-filled steal tubular beam-columns. Part I: theory and algorithms. J Constr Steel Res. 2009;65(2):363–73.

  59. 59.

    Tang J, Hino S, Kuroda I, Ohta T. Modeling of stress-strain relationships for steel and concrete in concrete filled circular steel tubular columns. Steel Constr Eng JSSC. 1996;3(11):35–46.

  60. 60.

    Zhao XL, Tong LW, Wang XY. CFDST stub columns subjected to large deformation axial loading. Eng Struct. 2010;32(3):692–703.

  61. 61.

    Lin ML, Tsai KC. Mechanical behavior of double-skinned composite steel tubular columns. In: Proceedings of the joint NCREE-JRC conference, Taipei, Taiwan; 2003.

  62. 62.

    Dong CX, Ho JCM. Improving interface bonding of double-skinned CFST columns. Mag Concrete Res. 2013;65(20):1199–211.

  63. 63.

    Minitab R12. Statistical tool. Quality Plaza, 1829 Pine Hall Rd., State College, PA, 16801-3008, USA.

Download references


This study was not funded by any supporter.

Author information

Correspondence to Süleyman İpek.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest regarding the publication of this paper.

Ethical statement

Authors state that the research was conducted according to ethical standards.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

İpek, S., Güneyisi, E.M. Nonlinear finite element analysis of double skin composite columns subjected to axial loading. Archiv.Civ.Mech.Eng 20, 9 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s43452-020-0012-x

Download citation


  • Axial loading
  • CFDST columns
  • Circular hollow section
  • FEM
  • Modeling