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Founded in 1904 and headquartered in Farmington Hills, Michigan, USA, the American Concrete Institute is a leading authority and resource worldwide for the development, dissemination, and adoption of its consensus-based standards, technical resources, educational programs, and proven expertise for individuals and organizations involved in concrete design, construction, and materials, who share a commitment to pursuing the best use of concrete.
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Home > Publications > International Concrete Abstracts Portal
The International Concrete Abstracts Portal is an ACI led collaboration with leading technical organizations from within the international concrete industry and offers the most comprehensive collection of published concrete abstracts.
Title: Role of Cover and Bar Spacing in Reinforced Concrete
Author(s): Peter Gergely
Publication: Special Publication
Appears on pages(s): 133-148
Keywords: building codes; corrosion; cover;
crack width and spacing; fire resistance; re --- reinforcing steels; thickness.
Abstract:The effects of the thickness of concrete cover on corrosion, crack width, fire protection, and development length are examined. Increased cover thickness and concrete with low permeability are necessary for corrosion protection, though the former leads to wider surface cracks. However, transverse crack-ing and the width of cracks usually do not aggravate the corrosion problem. Thus it is not advisable in most structures to limit the surface crack width in order to avoid or reduce corrosion. Longitudinal cracks along the bar can cause rapid corrosion. The only reason for surface crack width limitation in buildings is appearance; fortunately recommended limits can usually be met even with heavy covers unless the beam is wide and the bar spacing is large. Fire damage to most indeterminate structures is dictated by thermal forces not as much by temperature rise of the steel. Determinate structures fail when a section loses its capacity but moderate covers are usually sufficient for fire protection of the steel. Crack width limits and cover requirements in current codes should be examined.
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