Analytical model for the composite effect of coupled beams with discrete shear connectors

Tianxin Zheng, Yong Lu*, Asif Usmani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Two-layer coupled or composite beams with discrete shear connectors of finite dimensions are commonly encountered in pre-fabricated construction. This paper presents the development of simplified closed-form solutions for such type of coupled beams for practical applications. A new coupled beam element is proposed to represent the unconnected segments in the beam. General solutions are then developed by an inductive method based on the results from the finite element analysis. A modification is subsequently considered to account for the effect of local deformations. For typical cases where the local deformation is primarily concerned about its distribution over the depth of the coupled beam, empirical modification factors are developed based on parametric calculations using finite element models. The developed analytical method for the coupled beams in question is simple, sufficiently accurate, and suitable for quick calculation in engineering practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-389
Number of pages21
JournalStructural Engineering and Mechanics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2014


  • prefabrication
  • modular structures
  • coupled beam
  • discrete shear connection
  • composite effect
  • simplified solution

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