Tension Cracking in Columns Under Compression Loads


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Title: Tension Cracking in Columns Under Compression Loads

Author(s): D. J. Carreira

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 227


Appears on pages(s): 163-194

Keywords: cracking in columns; creep; loading history; longitudinal cracks; shrinkage; temperature variations; transverse cracks

Date: 3/1/2005

Reinforced concrete columns under compression loads and under little or no moment may exhibit cracking. Some cracks develop at early ages and others years later under sustained axial loads or no significant loads at all. Flexural cracking may be expected from externally applied loads on columns within the tension-controlled zone in the axial load-moment diagram. However, for columns within the compression-controlled zone of the diagram, cracking is not normally expected to occur under allowable service loads. Concrete shrinkage and creep, temperature variations and loading history cause all these cracks. In this paper, the causes of these cracks are described, analyzed and illustrated with photos of cracked columns. Design and construction recommendations to prevent or reduce these cracks are provided.