Design of Hollow Reinforced Concrete Columns in the Tubed Mega Frame : Dimensionering av ihåliga armerade betongpelare i ”Tubed Mega Frame”

University essay from KTH/Betongbyggnad; KTH/Betongbyggnad


A new concept for the structural system for tall buildings, called the “Tubed Mega Frame”, has been developed by Tyréns AB. The structure consists of several hollow reinforced concrete columns at the perimeter of the building and at certain levels, the columns are tied together with perimeter walls. Together they carry all the vertical and lateral loads. A purpose of the new concept is to eliminate the core in the center of the building which allows utilizing more floor spacing compared with other skyscrapers. This kind of structure has never been examined before and thus never been designed for such a large building. In this thesis the vertical hollow concrete columns are designed according to the American concrete design code, ACI 318. A literature study on reinforced concrete columns has been investigated, where the goal was to identify the most critical design aspects for columns in high rise structures, especially utilizing high strength concrete.

Since this kind of structure never has been designed before, an evaluation of the ACI 318 has been performed to check if it is possible to design the hollow reinforced columns in the Tubed Mega Frame according to this design code.

The loads and forces used for the design were extracted from a global finite element model in ETABS of a concept prototype of 800 meter. The design process consisted of design calculations according to the ACI 318, a buckling analysis in SAP2000 and a non-linear FE-analysis in ATENA.

For the buckling analysis in SAP2000 the lower region of the building was isolated between two main perimeter walls. The model was modified several times to analyze how sensitive the structure was to buckling, with regard to different wall thicknesses, cracked cross-sections, openings in the columns and the dependency of intermediate perimeter walls.

The non-linear analysis in ATENA focused on a single hollow column between two perimeter walls in the lower regions of the building. Two models were created, one with a full wall thickness and one with a reduced wall thickness where the ultimate capacity and failure behavior of the columns were investigated.

The ultimate capacity of the sections designed by hand calculations and analyzed in ATENA were found to be brittle failure modes. To achieve a more ductile failure, an alternative reinforcement geometry with confining reinforcement has been proposed.

The results from the design shows that the structure is redundant against buckling, even with reduced bending stiffness and without intermediate perimeter walls. From the analysis in ATENA, the results demonstrated that the columns are capable of carrying all the ultimate loads even if the wall thickness is reduced by 50%, and that it is possible to use the ACI 318 to design the reinforced concrete columns. However, an unexpected brittle failure occurred in the flanges of the column corners in the tensile region were shear lag may affect the behavior and caused the premature failure. A deductive conclusion has been drawn which states that proper confinement will be critical to achieve a ductile failure behavior even in the tensile region, which will require further studies in order to fully understand the behavior.

Even though the results show that it was possible to reduce the cross-sectional thickness of the columns, more studies have to be performed to evaluate if the global structure fulfills the requirements with the decrease in column wall thickness. 

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