Designing for the Effect of Progressive Cracking in Reinforced Concrete Slabs


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Title: Designing for the Effect of Progressive Cracking in Reinforced Concrete Slabs

Author(s): C. Thomas Jan

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 134


Appears on pages(s): 115-132

Keywords: cracking (fracturing); failure; finite element method; stresses; fracture properties; models; reinforced concrete; slabs; Design

Date: 9/1/1992

The fracturing phenomenon in reinforced concrete structures has a profound effect on their flexural stiffness. Consequently, the effect of cracking in reinforced concrete has been the subject of intensive investigation for many years. Because of the complexities associated with the development of feasible methodologies, analytical procedures continue in many respects to investigate and verify with experimental results. Historically, a series of rational analytical procedures have evolved to incorporate various methodologies such as material nonlinear models, failure criteria, and layered finite elements to account for the effect of cracking. However, it is to complex and expensive to apply such approached in design practice. For practical purposes, the Direct Design Method and the Equivalent Frame Method are often adopted in accordance with ACI 318 to design two-way reinforced concrete slabs. But the effect of cracking in concrete is not included in those two methods. Hence, an incremental-iterative procedure is implemented as a tool to design reinforced concrete slabs. The proposed incremental-iterative proceduce follows Section as defined in ACI 318 to treat the effect of cracking in reinforced concrete slabs. Although the use of ACI 318 Eq. (9-7) is primarily provided for flexural members, it is permitted for application for two-way slabs as well. In essence, cracks are smeared and assumed to propagate in in-plane directions determined by the maximum principal moment in a finite element. The effective slab stiffnesses are modified accordingly as progressive cracking is detected under increasing loads. Analytical results from design cases are presented to demonstrate its applicability. In addition, a modified procedure is presented to include the ACI 446.1R, based on fracture mechanics of concrete. Further investigations are also recommended for the future developments in the analysis and design of reinforced concrete slabs.