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Publication# Shear strength of reinforced concrete bridge deck slabs

Résumé

Reinforced concrete bridge deck slabs without shear reinforcement can be subjected to concentrated or distributed loads of important magnitude. Under these loads their structural response is not always ductile. In particular under concentrated loads their deformation capacity can be limited by shear or punching shear failures, which prevent them from reaching the ultimate load predicted by pure flexural analysis. This problem has been studied in this research by means of an important experimental program and theoretical modeling. The limited ductility of bridge decks was investigated by means of full scale tests on bridge deck cantilevers under groups of concentrated loads. Six large scale laboratory tests were performed on two bridge deck cantilevers with a span of 2.8 m and a length of 10.0 m. All slabs failed in a brittle manner, in shear or punching shear. The theoretical flexural failure load estimated using the yield-line method was never attained. Despite the brittle failures, the results of tests on cantilevers have shown that some amount of yielding can occur before the shear failure and therefore reduce the shear strength. This effect was quantified on eleven full scale tests on slab strips without shear reinforcement with a length of 8.4 m. The results clearly show that the increase of plastic strains in the flexural reinforcement leads to a reduction of the shear strength. The measured rotation capacity of the plastic hinge was thus limited by a shear failure. A particular problem of bridge deck slabs is the introduction of concentrated loads applied by wheels with pneumatic pressure. Punching shear with these loads is usually treated in a manner similar to punching by a column. A punching shear test was performed with a concentrated load simulating a vehicle wheel with pneumatic pressure to investigate the differences. It appears that punching shear with a wheel with pneumatic pressure is less critical because curvatures tend to be distributed over the surface of the applied load rather than concentrated near the edges of the column. In order to investigate the experimental results on slab strips without shear reinforcement, a mechanical model is proposed to predict the shear strength and rotation capacity of plastic hinges. The shear strength is formulated as a function of the opening of the shear crack and of the strength of the concrete compression zone. The results of the mechanical model are in good agreement with the measured values, both for the shear strength and for the shear carried across the shear crack. Based on the mechanical model, a simplified equation is proposed. The model can also be used to predict the shear capacity of yield-lines. A non linear finite element model was implemented during this work and used to correctly predict the measured rotations and load-displacements curves of the tested cantilevers and other full scale tests performed by other researchers. The measured failure loads are accurately estimated by using the results of the non-linear model and the one-way shear and punching shear criteria proposed by Prof. A. Muttoni (Muttoni 2003).

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In engineering, shear strength is the strength of a material or component against the type of yield or structural failure when the material or component fails in shear. A shear load is a force that t

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This thesis addresses the seismic evaluation of existing buildings. In particular, it focuses on the seismic behavior of lightly reinforced shear walls that are not designed to withstand earthquake actions. A shear strength envelope for the assessment of deformation capacity of these non-ductile walls is presented. The approach is the result of experimental investigations and analytical modeling. Existing models for plastic hinges in beams are enhanced in order to determine drift capacity of lightly reinforced concrete shear walls. The static-cyclic behavior of non-ductile, reinforced concrete shear walls is investigated by testing four small-scale specimens of shear span ratio equal to 0.8. The design of the specimens includes reinforcement ratios, and axial force levels in existing shear wall buildings. Although the specimens were expected to fail in brittle shear, low to moderate ductile response is obtained. The deformation capacity, not the shear strength, is found to be restricted by shear failure. It is observed that inherent shear strength of concrete and the concrete compression zone are the principal contributors to the shear capacity of lightly reinforced shear walls. It is also observed that low reinforcement ratios and moderate levels of axial force can efficiently prevent brittle response in shear. The analytical model consists of a plastic hinge over the entire height of the low-rise shear wall. Proposals are made for the strain distribution inside the plastic hinge. Explicit relationships between drift and base shear are established and it is found that the model accurately predicts the envelope curve of static-cyclic loading. The shear strength envelope is formulated by using the analytical model. Criteria for the failure modes of diagonal tension, of concrete crushing, and of sliding enclose the shear strength envelope. In addition, inherent shear strength forms the lower bound of this envelope. The contributions of reinforcement and concrete to shear capacity are formulated in terms of initial strength and strength decay. Accurate prediction of both the ductility supply and the drift capacity obtained in static-cyclic tests is observed. Validation of the shear strength envelope on full-size walls prevalent in existing buildings shows potential for further application. The proposal contributes to more realistic evaluation of shear strength in selected situations where available methods are too conservative. Hence, it allows for both avoiding costly seismic strengthening in such situations and better allocation of resources where they are really needed.

The addition of a thin overlay of Ultra-High Performance Fibre Reinforced Concrete (UHPFRC) to Reinforced Concrete (RC) members is an emerging technique to strengthen and protect existing structures and to design durable new structures. Combining UHPFRC with closely spaced, small-diameter steel rebars in Reinforced UHPFRC (R-UHPFRC) layers improves the UHPFRC's strain hardening behaviour. For reasons of practicality, R-UHPFRC layers are cast or glued (in the case of prefabricated elements) on top of RC members, thus changing the latter into R-UHPFRC - RC composite members. The high strength and deformation capacity of R-UHPFRC elements make them a suitable external flexural reinforcement for RC members over intermediate supports, e.g., bridge decks and slabs or beams in buildings. Over reinforcement of RC beams and slabs with tensile flexural reinforcement can result in their shear failure at either a lower resistance or deformation than the associated values for member failure in flexure. A comprehensive experimental program was conducted to study the flexure-shear behaviour of R-UHPFRC - RC composite beams. The program comprises two test series on cantilever beams and continuous beams. The test parameters include shear span-depth ratio (a/d), the amount of transverse reinforcement ( ρν), the amount of longitudinal reinforcement, and the strength and bond condition of the R-UHPFRC rebars. The experimental results reveal the different failure modes of R-UHPFRC - RC composite members and the contribution of the R-UHPFRC elements to the member resistance, ductility and capacity to redistribute the internal stress. It was shown that in R-UHPFRC - RC beams with ribbed rebars and a shear span to depth ratio greater than 2.5 the stresses are carried by beam action. Depending on the degree of longitudinal reinforcement, all but two of the beams with 3.0≤a/d≤3.4 and ρν≤0.17 had a flexure-shear failure; the rest failed in flexure. The flexure-shear failure of the composite beams was at an approximately equal rotation level as their RC reference beam but at a resistance 2.3 times that of the RC beam. This is due to (1) the debonding interface zone between the elements that allows the R-UHPFRC - RC beams to rotate more freely and (2) the out-of-plane resistance of the R-UHPFRC element that contributes to the shear resistance. The internal flow of forces and the structural response of composite members strongly depend on the bond condition between the R-UHPFRC and RC, the UHPFRC and its rebars, as well as the concrete and its rebars. Cracking of the concrete along the interface zone causes bond reduction, i.e., softening of the shear connection, between the two elements. In presence of high shear stresses and diagonal flexure-shear cracks, interface zone softening is observed between the elements prior to the maximum resistance, while UHPFRC is strain hardening. The cause of this softening behaviour is the prying action due to the relative rotational movement of the RC rigid bodies separated by the flexure-shear cracks. Static and kinematic solutions of the theory of plasticity for RC beams are extended to predict the collapse load of R-UHPFRC - RC composite beams at the ultimate limit state. A mechanical model for predicting the structural response of composite beams is proposed. In combination with truss models, the concept of an R-UHPFRC - RC plastic hinge is introduced to calculate the force-displacement response of composite beams. The failure criterion based on the collapse mechanisms (kinematic solutions) sets the limit of the force-displacement response. The model is corroborated by the experimental results. This model provides a tool for analysis of RC members reinforced with an added tensile R-UHPFRC element.

Francisco Manuel Maciel Natário

Reinforced concrete slabs without shear reinforcement under concentrated loads near linear supports are typical cases of bridge deck slabs, transfer slabs or pile caps. Such members are often designed or assessed in shear/punching shear with code provisions calibrated on the basis of tests on beams or one-way slabs loaded over the full width, as well as tests on isolated flat slab elements supported on columns in axis-symmetric conditions. However, these tests are not representative of the actual behavior of slabs under concentrated loads near linear supports. Moreover, concentrated loads of heavy vehicles have a repetitive nature, causing loss of stiffness and potential strength reductions due to fatigue phenomena. In this thesis, two experimental campaigns are presented. The first one consists of twelve static tests on six full-scale cantilever slabs subjected to a concentrated load with a central line support, that allows tracing the linear reaction evolution. Parameters such as the location of the concentrated load, and the presence, material and injection of ducts were varied. All slabs failed in shear and significant redistributions of the linear reactions were observed prior to failure. The second campaign has a similar test setup and consists of four static tests on two full-scale cantilever slabs (reference tests) and other eleven fatigue tests on eight identical slabs. The results show that cantilever slabs are significantly less sensitive to shear-fatigue failures than beams without shear reinforcement. The static reference tests presented shear failures. Some of the fatigue tested slabs failed due to rebar fractures. They presented significant remaining life after the first rebar failure occurred and eventually failed due to shear. The shear failures exhibited by the static tests on cantilever slabs from this thesis and others from the literature can be reasonably predicted with the Critical Shear Crack Theory (CSCT), provided that the influence of direct load strutting and redistribution of internal forces is accounted for, and that no contribution due to the inclination of tapered members to shear transferring is considered. Simply supported slabs under concentrated loads near linear supports may exhibit shear or punching shear failures. Factors like the ratio between the dimension of the load parallel to the support and the slab width, or the type of loading (monolithic or not) seem to be crucial to determine the failure mode. In this thesis it is proposed to use the CSCT for both shear and non-axis-symmetric punching shear combined with certain proposals on how to determine the internal forces and punching perimeter lengths to assess tests from the literature. The proposed approaches are not fully capable of predicting the correct failure mode, but allow a safe design. A reasonable accuracy is obtained, either knowing or not a priori the correct failure mode. A consistent design approach for shear-fatigue failures of reinforced concrete members without shear reinforcement is also presented, based on FM applied to quasi-brittle materials in combination with the CSCT. This leads to simple, yet sound and rational design equation incorporating the different influences of fatigue actions (minimum and maximum load levels) and shear strength (size and strain effects, material and geometrical properties). The accuracy of the design expression is checked against available test data in terms of Wöhler (S-N) and Goodman diagram