Edited by David A. Nethercot
The term “composite construction” is normally understood within the context of
buildings and other civil engineering structures to imply the use of steel and
concrete formed together into a component in such a way that the resulting
arrangement functions as a single item. The aim is to achieve a higher level of
performance than would have been the case had the two materials functioned
separately. Thus the design must recognise inherent differences in properties
and ensure that the structural system properly accommodates these. Some form
of interconnection is clearly necessary.
Since its introduction, the utilisation of composite action has been recognised
as an effective way of enhancing structural performance. In several parts
of the world a high proportion of steel structures are therefore designed compositely.
Design codes, textbooks, specialist design guides, descriptions of projects
and research papers directed to the topic exist in abundance; many of these are
referred to in the present text.