Viability and performance of demountable composite connectors

M. C. Moynihan, J. M. Allwood

Material production, and associated carbon emissions, could be reduced by reusing products instead of landfilling or recycling them. Steel beams are well suited to reuse, but are difficult to reuse when connected compositely to concrete slabs using welded studs. A demountable connection would allow composite performance but also permit reuse of both components at end-of-life. Three composite beams, of 2 m, 10 m and 5 m length, are constructed using M20 bolts as demountable shear connectors. The beams are tested in three-, six- and four-point bending, respectively. The former two are loaded to service, unloaded, demounted and reassembled; all three are tested to failure. The results show that all three have higher strengths than predicted using Eurocode 4. The longer specimens have performance similar to previously published comparable welded-connector composite beam results. This suggests that demountable composite beams can be safely used and practically reused, thus reducing carbon emissions.