The main objective of this thesis is to develop effective 3-dimensional finite element models to trace the behaviour of headed stud shear connectors in composite girders with\ud solid slabs and precast hollow core slabs. The finite element package ABAQUS was used to conduct the analysis. Push-off tests with both types of slabs were simulated\ud taking into consideration all material nonlinearities of the components. The models are able to predict the headed shear stud capacity, the load-slip characteristic of the shear connection and modes of failure. The results obtained show good agreement with specified data from Codes of practice and results of available numerical and\ud experimental literature. Parametric studies were carried out using both models to investigate the effects of the change in different parameters on the behaviour of shear\ud connections.\ud \ud Full-scale push-off tests with solid and precast hollow core slabs have been carried out to verify the finite element models. The shear connection capacity, load-slip curves and modes of failure were detected from experimental investigation. Both numerical and experimental results were compared and good agreement has been achieved. The\ud comparison has shown that the model is able to predict accurately the behaviour of headed studs in composite girders with both types of slabs.\ud \ud The non-linear load-slip characteristics of the headed shear stud connector obtained from FE models of push-off tests were used in modelling the structural behaviour of\ud composite steel-solid slab concrete and steel-precast hollow core slab girders. A finite element model has been developed for the analysis of each type. The models took into account the non-linear behaviour of concrete slab, steel beam and shear connectors. The accuracy and efficiency of the models have been demonstrated by comparing finite element results with available published experimental and numerical research. An effective parametric study for the evaluation of the effective width for steel-precast concrete slab composite girders is presented.\ud \u
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