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Behavior and Design of Corner Joints under Opening Bending Moment

Article  in  Aci Structural Journal · January 2014


DOI: 10.14359/51686514

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1 BEHAVIOR AND DESIGN OF CORNER JOINTS UNDER

2 OPENING BENDING MOMENT

3 Marina L. Moretti, Theodosios P. Tassios and Elizabeth Vintzileou

5 Biography: ACI member Marina L. Moretti is an assistant professor of civil engineering at

6 University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece. She received her MS and PhD from the National

7 Technical University of Athens, Greece. Her research interests include seismic design of

8 reinforced concrete structures.

9 Theodosios P. Tassios, FACI, Professor Emeritus National Technical University of Athens,

10 Honorary President of fib. His research interests include technology and seismic behavior of

11 reinforced concrete structures.

12 Elizabeth Vintzileou, PhD in Engineering, is a Professor of Reinforced Concrete and

13 Masonry Structures at the Department of Structural Engineering, Faculty of Civil

14 Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Greece. She has authored/co-authored

15 more than 180 publications on seismic behavior and design of reinforced concrete and

16 masonry structures, on assessment and interventions to cultural heritage assets.

17

18 ABSTRACT

19 Results of an experimental program concerning the influence of the reinforcement detailing

20 on the behavior of corners subjected to opening moment are presented. The motive for this

21 work was the damage observed in an actual lignite bunker. Three full-scale specimens were

22 tested with different types of reinforcement in the joint. The first specimen had characteristics

23 identical to the existing structure. The other two specimens were conceived and tested

24 consecutively, each of them being detailed in accordance with the observations made during

25 testing of the previous specimen. The mode of failure and the strains of the reinforcement

1
1 measured in each case are discussed. Practical conclusions for design are drawn.

3 Keywords: corner joints; opening moment; reinforcing bar detailing; anchorage; strains;

4 cracking load; corner efficiency

6 INTRODUCTION

7 1.- The importance of the detailing on the behavior of opening corners in reinforced concrete

8 structures has been often pointed out in the past and a lot of relevant research has been

9 conducted, as discussed subsequently. To ensure ductility, the design of a joint ought to be

10 such that the failure of the adjoining members precedes failure of the joint. In corners

11 subjected to closing moment this goal is achieved without difficulty.1-3 In opening corners,

12 failure of the joint may be caused for various reasons depending on the amount and layout of

13 reinforcement. Some of the reasons are: a) splitting failure of concrete or anchorage failure of

14 the reinforcement anchored in the joint, b) excessive cracking starting from the inner part of

15 the reentrant corner due to tensile stresses ([x] in Fig. 1), c) diagonal tension cracking due to

16 tensile stresses parallel to the corner diagonal ([y] in Fig. 1), d) failure of a member

17 converging to the joint due to shear or bending.

18 Cracks initiating from the reentrant corner are of bending type and not critical since they are

19 restrained by the adjacent compressive stresses x. Diagonal tension cracks caused by

20 stresses y may lead to brittle splitting failure of the joint if the diagonal crack is not

21 controlled by reinforcement. In the absence of appropriately detailed reinforcement, failure of

22 the joint is imminent at the onset of diagonal cracking. Hence the capacity of the joint will be

23 reduced compared to the moment-carrying capacity of the members framing into the joint.1-13

24 For a knee joint (right-angled corner) subjected to opening moment, Fig. 1, the main

25 reinforcement of the joined members should preferably be extended to the outer edge of the

2
1 joint and anchored by bending at 180 or 225 degrees into the compression zone of the same

2 cross section.1,2,4,5 Inclined reinforcement at the reentrant part of the corner equal to at least

3 50% of the area of the main reinforcement of a joined member should be added1 to handle the

4 tensile stress σx, restrict the crack width, and stiffen the joint.1,7 Appropriate reinforcement,

5 such as adequately anchored radial hoops or ties along the corner diagonal section, is

6 recommended to address the σy stresses, provided joint geometry permits fitting the

7 reinforcement into the space available. The magnitude of tensile stresses y is directly

8 proportional to the amount of tensile reinforcement in the adjoining members. An upper limit

9 in the percentage of the tensile reinforcement of the joined members has been proposed by

10 Nilsson1,2 so that yielding of the reinforcement occurs before diagonal tension cracking.

11 Subsequent work3-10 has pointed out the increased risk of failure of the joint due to high

12 percentage of tensile reinforcement of the adjoining members.

13 A haunch at the reentrant corner, apart from improving the anchorage of the main

14 reinforcement, leads to increased internal lever arm within the joint and reduced internal

15 forces. Thus failure of the joint may be avoided.13 Solutions based on the theory of elasticity

16 indicate that as the size of the haunch increases the magnitude of the bending stresses σx and

17 the radial stresses σy decrease.1

18 The distribution of stresses, [σx] and [σy] shown in Fig. 1, results from the theory of elasticity

19 on a linear homogeneous material and is valid prior to cracking. Experimental measurements

20 have shown that similar stress distributions are in fact observed prior to cracking.1,6,7,8,11,14

21 The stresses developed in corner joints may be calculated by means of finite element

22 analyses.1,15,16,17

23 2.- This research was prompted by the observed cracking in 15 m high reinforced concrete

24 lignite storage bunkers at a power generating station in Greece, shortly after the bunkers had

25 been put in use. Detailing of reinforcement in the joint was clearly deficient and was

3
1 considered as one of the causes of the damage observed. On the other hand, the bunkers were

2 subjected to working loads only and not to their ultimate capacity. The experimental study

3 reported here mainly investigates the behavior of the as-built reinforcement details at failure

4 loads.

6 RESEARCH SIGNIFICANCE

7 This research work complements available experimental results and describes behavior,

8 cracking, and detailed strain measurements -the latter being rather scarce in previous

9 investigations. Such detailed information is very useful in describing specific load transfer

10 and failure mechanisms identified in this paper. Thus a more rational design modeling is

11 feasible. Besides, the present work is carried out on full-scale specimens.

12

13 EXPERIMENTAL

14 Specimens were full-scale (1:1) replicas of the dimensions and reinforcement in the 90-deg.

15 corners of the bunkers. The three specimens differed only in the arrangement of the

16 reinforcement in the joint. Initially, specimen 1 was tested with a reinforcement layout

17 identical to the bunkers. The other two specimens were designed and tested consecutively,

18 each of them being detailed reacting to the observations made during the testing of the

19 previous specimen. The objective of the other two specimens was to eliminate damage in the

20 joint.

21 The specimens were subjected to repeated opening moment so as to simulate the loading and

22 unloading conditions of the real structure.

23

24 Test specimens

4
1 All specimens had the same dimensions as the 90-degree corner of the lignite storage bunkers

2 studied (Fig. 2). The specimens’ height of 500 mm (19.5 in), as well as the length of the

3 corner sides, 2500 mm (97.5 in), were chosen as representative of a horizontal section cut-out

4 of the corner. The end parts of the specimens were widened and heavily reinforced.

5 Moreover, steel plates were added on the ends (well anchored into concrete) so as to exclude

6 the risk of local failure during testing.

7 Specimens had reinforcement identical to the bunkers and differed only in the reinforcement

8 arrangement of the joint and the concrete cover, as described later. The reinforcement of the

9 specimens is shown in Figs. 3 and 4. Each member converging to the joint contained tensile

10 (inside the corner) reinforcement 816 mm (4.06 in.), compressive (outside the corner)

11 reinforcement 416 mm (4.06 in.) and 2-leg closed stirrups 10 mm (0.39 in) at 90 mm

12 (3.51 in). The compressive reinforcement bars were continuous and bent at right angles. At

13 the re-entrant corner haunch, all specimens had “inclined” reinforcement 420 mm (0.78 in)

14 calculated so as to carry the component of the tensile reinforcement As1 (816 mm), of the

15 adjoining members (equal to 2 /2As1).

16 The tensile reinforcement of each converging member was anchored in the joint as follows:

17 In specimen 1, identical to the bunkers, the reinforcement was anchored by 90-degree

18 bending in the compression zone of the other member (Fig. 3). In specimen 2, anchoring of

19 the corner tension steel was made by a 180-degree hoop ending in the compression zone of

20 the member as shown in Fig. 4. In specimen 3 the tension reinforcement was bent 225

21 degrees and anchored in the corner joint (Fig. 4 and Fig. 5).

22 In addition, specimen 3 contained seven 4-leg closed stirrups, 710 mm (0.39 in) in the joint,

23 extending from the compressive to the inclined reinforcement, calculated so as to carry the

1
24 components of the tensile reinforcement (equal to 2 As1). Moreover, six two-leg ties 10

5
1 mm (0.39 in) transverse to the bars being anchored were placed around the hoop so as to

2 avoid tensile failure of concrete in a plane parallel to the hoop.5

3 The amount of stirrup reinforcement in the members framing the corner (the “legs”) was

4 intended to exclude shear failure, and not to simulate the wall vertical reinforcement. Also,

5 the reinforcement ratio at the end-parts of the specimen was calculated so as to exclude any

6 possibility of local failure.

7 Tensile reinforcement concrete cover was equal to 50 mm (1.97 in.) in all specimens,

8 duplicating that in the bunkers. For the compression reinforcement, in specimen 1 the

9 concrete cover was only 15 mm (0.59 in.), as in the bunkers, but 50mm (1.97 in.) in

10 specimens 2 and 3 to satisfy the Greek concrete code regarding the permissible radius of

11 bend.

12

13 Materials

14 The concrete used was meant to provide a strength close to the C25 class (compressive

15 strength fcc=25 MPa, 3,625 psi) of the bunkers. The compressive strength of concrete was

16 measured on cylinders 150  300 mm (5.9  11.8 in) the day of each test and results are

17 shown in Table 1. The specimens were cast horizontally on the laboratory floor.

18 The main reinforcement in all specimens, as well as the diagonal stirrups in the joint of

19 specimen 3, consisted of deformed weldable steel bars with nominal yield strength 400 MPa

20 (58,000 psi) and actual yield strength fsy=450 MPa (65,250 psi). Stirrups in the legs of all

21 corners, as well as the ties around the hoop of specimen 3, consisted of plain mild steel bars

22 10 mm (0.39 in.) with nominal yield strength fsy=220 MPa (31,900 psi).

23

24 Loading History

6
1 The specimens were tested in horizontal position under statically imposed repeated opening

2 moment. The loading was carried out by a hydraulic jack, with a capacity 500 kN (112.35

3 kips), situated between the end parts of the specimens as shown in Fig. 2. It should be

4 mentioned that under large imposed displacements the right member was more stressed than

5 the left one, as it was verified by the measured strains of the reinforcement and the damage

6 recorded. This differentiation in the behavior of the two legs is attributed to the contact areas

7 of the hydraulic jack with the specimen: The head of the jack was in full joint contact (right

8 leg) so it remained always in contact and perpendicular to the specimen, while the base of the

9 jack (left leg) had limited rotational capacity and at high rotation angles was only partially in

10 contact with the left member of the specimen. As a consequence, for high loads P (e.g. for

11 specimen 2, P200 kN, 44.9 kips) the contact level of the jack at the left member was closer

12 to the joint as compared to the right member. Thus a higher moment was introduced into the

13 right member. The shortcoming of the loading set-up was realized after testing specimen 1,

14 but the setup was not changed in the other two tests so that the results could be comparable.

15 In the assessment of specimen behavior, the failed right-hand member was considered to be

16 representative of the specimen.

17 All specimens were first loaded up to P=140 kN (31.5 kips), which was considered to be

18 approximately the working load. At this point unloading and reloading took place (only one

19 half-cycle for specimen 1-not recorded- and six half-cycles for specimens 2 and 3).

20 Subsequently, before Pmax was reached, cycling was performed at the following load levels:

21 for specimen 1, one cycle at P/Pmax=0.91 at P=210 kN (47.2 kips), and for specimen 2, one

22 cycle at P/Pmax =0.97 at P=185 kN (41.6 kips). The cycling loading, even at load levels close

23 to Pmax, did not seem to influence the load-displacement curves for higher loads.

7
1 The load-displacement curves for each specimen are shown in Fig. 6. In Table 1 the

2 maximum load Pmax attained by each specimen and the respective displacement δmax are

3 listed.

4 The different joint reinforcement detailing did not influence the initial stiffness of specimens

5 2 and 3, even during cycling at load P=140 kN (31.5 kips), as shown in Fig. 7. The initial

6 load-displacement diagram up to load P=140 kN of specimen 1 was not recorded and

7 therefore for this specimen only the diagram after first unloading is presented in Fig. 7. As

8 was observed, second cycle stiffnesses of specimens 1, 2, and 3 are comparable.

10 Measurement of strains and displacements

11 The strains in the stirrups and in parts of the anchored bars were measured by means of

12 electrical strain gauges (S.G.) glued to the reinforcement bars. The strains of the main

13 reinforcement were measured by demountable mechanical strain gauges (DEMEC) situated at

14 consecutive 200 mm (7.87 in) sections. In the Figures that follow, strains measured by

15 mechanical gauges are identified by the numbers of the points between which the strain was

16 measured (by means of a caliper), e.g. 23-24. In a number of cases, the strains were measured

17 both by electrical and by mechanical gauges. The measurements of the two methods were

18 similar.

19 The variation of the joint dimensions along the corner bisector and along the haunch (which

20 are perpendicular to each other) was measured by means of linear displacement transducers

21 (LDTs).

22

23 RESULTS

24 Experimental procedure and failure mode

8
1 Initially, specimen 1 was tested with reinforcement layout identical to the corners of the

2 bunkers. The joint cracked badly along both X and Y axes, as seen in Figs. 8 and 9.

3 “Diagonal tension” cracking parallel to axis X was observed at load P=140 kN (31.5 kips)

4 which subsequently led to diagonal compressive failure of the joint (Fig. 9) and to concrete

5 crushing on the free surface of the corner.

6 In order to reduce cracking, specimen 2 was constructed with its tensile reinforcement

7 anchored by 180-deg hook as first suggested by Nilsson.1,2 This reinforcing layout reduced

8 cracking in both directions considerably, but a long “diagonal tension” crack with small

9 width parallel to axis X at load P=120-140 kN (27.0-31.5 kips) (Fig. 10) still occurred. Since

10 this type of crack is dangerous for the integrity of the joint, the third specimen was designed

11 to cross the diagonal crack with reinforcing steel. Therefore, diagonal stirrups were added in

12 the joint, calculated to carry the whole force along axis Y, Asw= 2 As1, where Asw, As1

13 denote the area of the diagonal stirrups and of the tensile reinforcement of the adjoining legs,

14 respectively.1,2,13 In addition, six ties 10 mm (0.39 in) were placed transverse to the hoop as

15 described above. As a consequence of this additional reinforcement, in specimen 3 only, a 50

16 mm (1.97 in.) length crack appeared parallel to axis X at load P=140 kN (31.5 kips) that did

17 not extend further (Fig. 11), probably because the stirrups were activated (see Appendix).

18 The following failure and cracking characteristics are applicable to all specimens:

19 a) Specimens failed in flexure in the leg at section a-a (the section where the inclined

20 reinforcement bars reach the compression zone of the leg, Fig. 12). Crushing of concrete in

21 the compressive zone at the critical section a-a was also observed (Fig. 13).

22 b) Bending cracks first appeared at the inner part of the corner legs at loads P=60-80 kN

23 (13.5-18.0 kips). As it was intended by the design, practically no inclined (shear) cracks

24 appeared on the legs.

9
1 c) In the haunch of the joint at the reentrant corner, cracks parallel to axis Y (Fig. 9a)

2 appeared at loads P=100-140 kN (22.5-31.5 kips) that extended to the height where

3 compressive stresses σx develop (Fig. 1).

4 d) Diagonal tensile cracks parallel to axis X were recorded at loads P=120-140 kN (27.0-31.5

5 kips) as discussed earlier, at about a distance “h” measured from the outer corner along a line

6 parallel to the axis Y (h =the height of the leg). At this section, stresses σy attain their

7 maximum value.1 In the Appendix a simple strut-and-tie model is used to demonstrate that

8 diagonal tensile cracking was anticipated for specimens 1 and 2, whereas for specimen 3 the

9 presence of the diagonal stirrups restricted the extension of this crack. Numerical calculations

10 (see Appendix) are based on the steel strain measurements described in the following section.

11 e) Cracks observed along the tensile reinforcement anchored in the joint, mainly in specimen

12 1, could not be attributed to bond failure. The tensile reinforcement has proved to be

13 adequately anchored (see following section). These cracks may be just secondary ones

14 following the appearance of main bending cracks.

15 f) Cracks along the inclined reinforcement, mostly on the right leg of the corner, on the

16 contrary, may have been caused by bond failure due to the large bar diameter 20 mm (4.49

17 in) with a rather inadequate anchorage, as it is also indicated by the respective steel-strain

18 distributions.

19 More particularly, in specimen 1 compressive crushing of the body of the corner occurred

20 under loads P=170-190 kN (38.2-42.7 kips) as presented in Fig. 9. This failure is

21 approximately situated along a line connecting the bent extremities of tensile reinforcements

22 of the two legs (line AB, Fig. 14). The concrete crushing could be the outcome of the quasi-

23 horizontal resultants R of compressive forces Fc (due to the flexural moment of the leg) and

24 F1c (the anchorage force) shown on Fig. 14. The considerable reduction in the concrete

10
1 compressive strength fcx along axis X results due to the presence of transverse tensile stresses

2 σy (see Fig. 1) and contributes to the occurrence of a local concrete compression failure.

3 The larger widths of the cracks of specimen 1 resulted in increased dimensions of the joint in

4 both directions X and Y, as shown by the measurements of LDTs (Fig. 15). The presence of

5 stirrups in specimen 3 not only practically eliminated the opening of cracks in the X direction,

6 but also reduced the total width of cracks parallel to Y direction.

8 Steel strain measurements

9 The variation of steel strains, εs, with the load P, measured at points every 200 mm (7.87 in.)

10 along the tensile reinforcement is shown in Fig. 16 for the three specimens.

11 In all specimens the tensile reinforcement proved to be adequately anchored thanks to the

12 large dimensions of the joint. The strains measured on the top of the tensile reinforcement

13 loops in specimen 2 were very small, or even negative (Fig. 17).

14 In specimen 1 the small strains of the tensile reinforcement near the bent parts of the bar

15 indicate that its anchorage was also adequate, as shown in Fig. 18. The local yielding of the

16 left-hand bar between points 22-23 is attributed to the secondary appearance of a local

17 compressive crushing at load P=170kN (38.2 kips) while no such crack was observed

18 between the corresponding points 28-29 of the right-hand member bar (see also Fig. 8).

19 The strains along the compressive reinforcement of specimen 1 for different load levels are

20 shown in Fig. 19. In all specimens, for applied loads P up to 180 kN (40.4 kips) no significant

21 difference in the behavior of the compressive reinforcement was observed. Higher strains

22 were measured close to the point where the inclined reinforcement bends (section a-a, Fig.

23 12) where compressive failure of concrete was recorded.

11
1 The inclined reinforcement was more stressed in the case of specimen 1 (Fig. 20), which is

2 attributed to considerably more cracking parallel to the Y-axis as compared to the other two

3 specimens.

4 The strains of the additional diagonal stirrups of specimen 3 remained lower than 0.5%0 (Fig.

5 21), an indication that the total cross section of these stirrups was higher than needed. It is

6 also interesting to observe that the end part of the tensile reinforcement bent at 225 degrees in

7 the joint had tensile strains higher than those of the adjacent stirrups, as depicted in Fig. 22.

8 These tensile strains cannot be attributed to inadequate anchoring of the tensile reinforcement,

9 since the strains measured at the top of the loop were negative. They could rather be evidence

10 that the 225 deg-bent bar contributes to carrying stresses σy.

11

12 Efficiency of the corner reinforcement layout

13 The adequacy of the detailing of a joint is frequently expressed by the ratio of the moment

14 causing failure of the entire corner, Mmax, to the calculated flexural capacity MR of the

15 member framing into the joint. This ratio is called corner or joint efficiency.1,2,5,7,8,10,11,13,15

16 We maintain that such a definition of corner joint efficiency does not seem to be adequate. It

17 is in fact only a useful criterion of corner detailing in the case of a clear corner joint failure

18 while legs remain intact. In this case the ratio Mmax / MR < 1 (corner cannot develop the leg

19 moment) is indicative of the adequacy of the corner joint.

20 If, however, Mmax / MR > 1 (“intact” corner joint, while a leg fails), this ratio (a) bears no

21 information on corner joint detailing, and (b) is bound to the well-known difference between

22 experimental and calculated flexural moment resistance. If this be the case and we still need

23 to compare between various joint detailings, then we must further reinforce the legs in order

24 to reach a corner joint failure before legs’ rupture.

12
1 This, however, assumes failure is defined by bending moment. We also should consider the

2 damage level of the corner joint in the definition of failure. If the joint is unacceptably

3 damaged under a moment M < Mmax, then this M-value should be considered as a failure

4 moment of the corner joint. Specimen 1 of the present investigation falls into this category,

5 since after a load P=170 kN (38.2 kips) the joint was badly cracked and crushed.

6 However, not many experimental investigations provide sufficiently detailed information

7 about the crack pattern and the local failures of the corner joint.

8 In any event, and in the shortage of data simple evaluation of a given corner detailing could

9 be made by means of a performance rule “failure of legs should precede unacceptable

10 damage of the body of the corner joint”.

11

12 Additional numerical data

13 In Table 1 are presented the experimental failure loads Pmax of the specimens, as well as the

14 calculated values of moment resistance of the corner legs at sections b-b and a-a (see Fig.

15 12), with and without the contribution of the inclined reinforcement, respectively.

16 Johansson9,10 has stressed the importance of calculating the flexural resistance of the

17 adjoining member and suggested that the contribution of the inclined reinforcement ought to

18 be taken into account in calculating the moment resistance of the leg. In the calculations in

19 Table 1 at section b-b adjacent to the corner (Fig. 12) the tensile reinforcement area is

20 increased by the component 2 /2Asi of the inclined reinforcement, Asi.

21 The ratios of the experimental resistance Mmax for maximum load Pmax to the calculated

22 resistance MR at the two sections above are also shown in Table 1 for all specimens.

23 It should be noted that due to the loading set-up used in the present project, the magnitude of

24 the applied moment is different at each section, since it depends on the distance of the section

25 from the axis of the hydraulic jack (1.00m for section a-a, 1.20m for section b-b).

13
1 The moment resistance MR of the adjoining legs is calculated by also taking into account the

2 tensile axial force for the maximum load Pmax introduced in the legs because of the

3 experimental set-up used. The ultimate bending moment of the cross section of specimen 1

4 was around 10% higher as compared to the other two specimens due to the smaller concrete

5 cover (original design). This difference should be recognized given that bending failure of the

6 leg was controlling the maximum load that could be applied.

7 From the values of ratios Mmax / MR it is evident that failure is more likely to occur first at

8 section a-a than section b-b, because at section a-a the ratio between acting and resisting

9 moment is higher. This explains why actually in all specimens of this project, as well as in

10 other works with similar setups, failure occurs precisely at this position.

11

12 CONCLUSIONS

13 Based on the results of this investigation the following conclusions could be drawn:

14 1. The anchoring of the tensile reinforcement in the corner by a hook of 180 or 225

15 degrees leads to a better overall cracking behavior of the corner, and more

16 significantly, to the reduction of the dangerous diagonal tension splitting cracks of the

17 corner.

18 2. The anchoring of the tensile reinforcement of the legs into the body of the corner by a

19 90 degree hook leads to increased tensile cracking and to compressive failure in the

20 joint and this detail should be avoided.

21 3. Calculations using a simple strut-and-tie model suggest that the diagonal stirrups did

22 contribute to the reduction of diagonal tensile cracking, as was also observed at the

23 test. However, the total area of the diagonal stirrups used in our test sample case was

24 much greater than needed. It is estimated that half of the reinforcing steel would

14
1 suffice, resulting in a spacing distance of 100 mm (3.9 in) between consecutive

2 stirrups. Thus, concrete placement is unobstructed.

3 4. When the tensile reinforcement is anchored by a 225-degree hook, the end part of the

4 bars (parallel to the corner bisector) may help in carrying the developing tensile forces

5 after cracking. This detail is recommended, especially when no diagonal stirrups are

6 included in the joint (provided that the corner joint dimensions enable adequate

7 anchoring of this reinforcement).

8 5. At the level of working load and under a certain number of cycling, the following

9 basic conclusion is of importance: It was observed that only the layout of specimen 3

10 succeeded in reducing the overall cracking, and practically eliminating diagonal

11 tensile cracking of the corner joint.

12 6. The presence of inclined reinforcement along the haunch of the corner switches the

13 location of the flexural failure of the leg toward the cross section where the inclined

14 reinforcement is anchored in the compression zone of the leg. Furthermore, when

15 calculating the moment resistance of the leg at the cross section adjacent to the corner,

16 the contribution of the inclined reinforcement should be taken into account (although

17 it is conservative to ignore the inclined reinforcement).

18 7. Bi-directional crack formation, especially in a plate element like the corner joints

19 under consideration may produce (a) additional deformations, (b) local reduction of

20 compressive strength of concrete, and (c) potential bond degradation. Consequently,

21 the provision of small diameter reinforcement may alleviate those risks.

22 8. Since cracking is unavoidable even under low loads, for durability purposes it is

23 recommended to use an additional light mesh reinforcement along the internal surface

24 of legs and haunch.

15
1 9. The basic design rule is that the joint connecting the two legs should remain

2 practically intact, without substantial overall cracking and no diagonal tension cracks

3 at the time of the leg’s flexural failure. The “corner efficiency” ratio as defined up to

4 now needs further refinement to account for the damage condition of the corner joint

5 itself.

6
7 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

8 The authors gratefully acknowledge the contribution of Mr. M. Kritsotakis and Mrs P.

9 Chondrogianni to this work, as well as the financing of the investigation by the Sector of

10 Thermoelectric Works of the Greek National Company of Electricity (DEH). The

11 experimental work described in this paper was carried out in the Laboratory of Reinforced

12 Concrete at the National Technical University of Athens. The technical assistance and

13 cooperation of the Laboratory staff is acknowledged and greatly appreciated.

14

15 REFERENCES

16 1. Nilsson, I. H. E., “Reinforced Concrete Corners and Joints Subjected to Bending Moment”,

17 National Swedish Institute for Building Research, Document D7, 1973, Stockholm, Division

18 of Concrete Structures, Chalmers University of Technology, PhD. Thesis, Publication 73:6,

19 Göteborg, Sweden, 249 pp.

20 2. Nilsson, I. H. E., and Losberg, A., “Reinforced Concrete Corners and Joints Subjected to

21 Bending Moment”, Journal of the Structural Division, ASCE, V. 102, No. 6, 1976, pp. 1229-

22 1254.

23 3. Mayfield, B.; Kong, F. K.; Bennison, A.; and Twiston Davies J. C. D., “Corner Joint

24 Details in Structural Lightweight Concrete”, ACI Structural Journal, V. 68, No. 1, May-June

25 1971, pp. 366-372.

16
1 4. Mayfield, B.; Kong, F. K.; and Bennison, A., “Strength and Stiffness in Lightweight

2 Concrete Corners”, ACI Structural Journal, V. 69, July-Aug. 1972, pp. 420-427.

3 5. Skettrup, E.; Strabo, J.; Andersen, N. H.; and Brondum-Nielsen, T., “Concrete Frame

4 Corners”, ACI Structural Journal, V. 91, Nov.-Dec. 1984, pp. 587-593.

5 6. Kordina, K., “Bewehrungsführung in Ecken und Rahmenendknoten” (Reinforcement

6 Design of Corners and Joints in Reinforced Concrete Frame Structures). In German.

7 Deutscher Ausschuss für Stahlbeton, Heft 354, 1984, pp.5-93.

8 7. Abdul-Wahab, H., M., S., and Ali, W., A., “Strength and Behavior of Reinforced Concrete

9 Obtuse Corners under Opening Bending Moments”, ACI Structural Journal, V. 86, No. 6,

10 Nov.-Dec. 1989, pp.679-685.

11 8. Abdul-Wahab H., M., S., and Salman, S., A., R., “Effect of Corner Angle on Efficiency of

12 Reinforced Concrete Joints under Opening Bending Moment”, ACI Structural Journal, V. 96,

13 No. 1, Jan.-Feb. 1999, pp. 115-21.

14 9. Johansson, M., “Structural Behaviour in Concrete Frame Corners of Civil Defense

15 Shelters”, Division of Concrete Structures, Department of Structural Engineering, Chalmers

16 University of Technology, PhD. Thesis, 2000, Göteborg, Sweden.

17 10. Johansson, M., “Reinforcement Detailing in Concrete Frame Corners”, ACI Structural

18 Journal, V. 98, No. 1, Jan.-Feb. 2001, pp. 105-115.

19 11. Singh, B., and Kaushik, S., K., “Detailing of Steel Fiber-Reinforced Concrete Opening

20 Corners”, ACI Structural Journal, V. 99, No. 5, Sept.-Oct. 2002, pp. 614-621.

21 12. Elingehausen, R., and Gerster, R., “Erlaüterung zu vershiedenen Gebräulichen Bauteilen”

22 (Detailing of typical Structural Elements). In German. Deutscher Ausschuss für Stahlbeton,

23 Heft 399, 1993, Berlin, pp. 5-31.

24 13. Paulay, T., and Priestley, M., J., N., “Seismic Design of Reinforced Concrete and

25 Masonry Buildings”, 1992, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., pp. 716-752.

17
1 14. Ingham, J., M.; Priestley, N., M., J.; and Seible F., “Cyclic Response of Bridge Knee

2 Joints with Circular Columns”, Journal of Earthquake Engineering, V. 2, No. 3, 1998,

3 Imperial College Press, pp. 357-390.

4 15. Johansson, M., “Nonlinear Finite-Element Analyses of Concrete Frame Corners”, Journal

5 of Structural Engineering, V. 126, No. 2, Feb. 2000, pp.190-199.

6 16. Otani, R., and Krauthammer, T., “Assessment of Reinforcement Details for Blast

7 Containment Structures”, ACI Structural Journal, Mar.-Apr.1997, V. 94, No. 2, pp. 124-132.

8 17. Haach, V., G.; De Cresce El Debs, A., L., H.; El Debs, M., K., “Evaluation of the

9 Influence of the Column Axial Load on the Behavior of Monotonically Loaded RC Exterior

10 Beam-Column Joints Through Numerical Simulations”, Engineering Structures, V. 30, 2008,

11 pp. 965-975.

12 18. Eurocode 2 (EC 2), 2004, Design of concrete structures - Part 1-1: General rules and rules

13 for buildings.

14

15 APPENDIX

16 Verification of the diagonal tension cracking load by strut-and-tie model

17 To estimate the load causing diagonal tension cracking of the joint, a simple strut-and-tie

18 model is used in which the contribution of concrete tensile stresses at cracking is also taken

19 into account. The joint with the forces acting is shown in Fig. 23. The resultant tensile force
.
20 from the main reinforcement along the line bisecting the corner is 2 Fs1= 2 Fc

21 The position and the length of the diagonal crack are known to be a source of uncertainty.1 In

22 the calculations below, the diagonal crack is assumed to occur at a distance equal to the

23 height h of the leg, measured from the outer corner. This crack location is in accordance to

24 our experimental observations as well as to theoretical predictions.1 The length of the crack

25 Ldc is assumed to be equal to the joint’s dimension at this section minus the projections 2x

18
1 along the direction of the crack (x= height of the compression zone at section b-b, Fig. 23).

2 Consequently Ldc=0,45m (0.10 in).

3 In the corner portion shown at the top of Fig. 23, for equilibrium of the forces acting on

4 section b-b the following is required:

5 Fc = N + Fs1 (1)

6 For equilibrium along the line bisecting the corner at the instant of diagonal cracking

7 according to Fig. 23 (bottom) and taking into account equation (1) the following is required:

2
8 2 ( N + Fs1) = 2 F΄s + fct,mbLdc + Fsw (2)
3

9 If the average concrete tensile strength, fct,m, is substituted by tensile stress σct, equation (2)

10 yields:

[ 2(N + Fs1 - Fs' ) - Fsw ]


11 σct = 1,5 (3)
b × L dc

12 where:

13 Fc = compressive force at section b-b

14 Fs1 = force of the tensile reinforcement at section b-b

15 F΄s = force of the anchored tensile reinforcement at section I-I

16 Fsw = resultant force of the diagonal stirrups and the 225-deg. parts of loops (in specimen 3)

17 N = axial force acting at the leg

18 fct,m = average concrete tensile strength

19 σct = maximum concrete tensile stress

20 Ldc = length of the diagonal tension crack

21 b = width of the joint = 500 mm (19.5 in)

22 The concrete tensile stresses are assumed to be parabolically distributed across the diagonal

23 before the occurrence of cracking.1 The forces of the reinforcement Fs1 and F΄s are calculated

24 according to the values of the strains measured for each specimen. The average of the

19
1 measurements of the reinforcement bars along the two legs is considered in the following.

2 Calculations are made according to Equation (3) for loads P=120-140 kN (27-31.4 kips) at

3 which diagonal tension cracking was recorded in the joints (see Figs. 8, 10, 11).

4 For specimen 1, at load P=140 kN (31.4 kips) the steel strains εs measured are as follows

5 (values for both legs and averages are provided):

6 Section b-b, main tensile bars: εs = (1.14+0.94)/2 = 1.04 %0

7 Section I-I, anchored part of the main tensile bars: ε΄s = (0.38+0.26)/2 = 0.32 %0

8 Corresponding to the above strains for the 8 bars 16mm it is Fs1= +332.8 kN (+74.5 kips)

9 and F΄s = +102.4 kN (+23 kips). Tensile force N acting at the legs at this load, due to the

2/3 18
10 setup, is 2 /2 P= +99 kN (+22.2 kips). The relationship fct,m= 0,3 fcc was applied.

11 (fcc=compressive cylindrical concrete strength in MPa). Equation (3) yields: σct = 3.1 MPa

12 (450 psi) > fct,m = 2.86 MPa (415 psi).

13 For specimen 2 for load P=120 kN (27 kips) the respective steel strains εs measured are:

14 Section b-b, main tensile bars: εs = (1.36+1.58)/2 = 1.47 %0. Correspondingly, Fs1= +470.4

15 kN (+105.8 kips).

16 Section I-I, anchored part of the main tensile bars: ε΄s = (0.35+0.74)/2 = 0.54 %0, and F΄s =

17 +172.8 kN (+38.8 kips).

18 Equation (3), for N=+84.8 kN (19.1 kips), yields: σct = 3.64 MPa (528 psi) > fct,m =2.77 MPa

19 (402 psi).

20 For specimen 3 at load P=140 kN (31.4 kips) the respective steel strains εs measured are:

21 Section b-b, main tensile bars: εs = (1.68+1.82)/2 = 1.76 %0 and correspondingly Fs1= +563.1

22 kN (+126.7 kips).

23 Section I-I, anchored part of the main tensile bars: ε΄s = (0.73+1.25)/2 = 0.99 %0, and F΄s =

24 +319.9 kN (+71.3 kips).

20
1 In section I-I, the measured strains of the seven 4-leg stirrups at P=140 kN are: εsw = (0

2 +0.28+0.25+0.10+0.10+0.08+0.25) and the strains in the end parts of the tensile

3 reinforcement loops: εs = (0.25+0.08). The respective total force resisted is Fsw 172 kN (38.7

4 kips).

5 (In section I-I the average of all measurements available in each reinforcement bar –electrical

6 and mechanical strain gauges– has been taken into account).

7 Equation (3), for N=+99 kN (+22.2 kips), yields: σct = 2.1 MPa (305 psi) < fct,m =2.8 MPa

8 (406 psi).

9 The above calculations are in fact compatible with the observed cracks. Only in the case of

10 specimen 3 the equilibrium tensile stresses were less than the tensile strength of concrete.

11 Actually in specimen 3 the diagonal tension crack in the joint did not propagate due to the

12 presence of the diagonal stirrups. On the other hand, in specimens 1 and 2, Equ. (3) predicts

13 that diagonal tension cracking ought to have occurred at the given loads since σct > fct,m. This

14 simple strut-and-tie model may consequently be applied for calculating the diagonal tensile

15 cracking load. Nilsson had suggested a similar model for the prediction of this load,1,2

16 without taking into account the forces F΄s of the anchored main reinforcement. However, the

17 contribution of these reinforcing bar forces is essential as shown in the above calculations,

18 provided of course that the tensile reinforcement is adequately anchored in the joint.

19

20 TABLES AND FIGURES

21

22 List of Tables:

23 Table 1 – Experimental and calculated characteristics of the specimens

24

25

21
1 List of Figures:

2 Fig. 1 – Stresses σx and σy in a right-angled corner subjected to opening moment

3 Fig. 2 – Dimensions and overview of a specimen in position ready for testing.

4 Fig. 3 – Reinforcement layout of specimen 1 (dimensions and reinforcement bars are in mm,

5 1 mm=0.039 in.).

6 Fig. 4 – Joint reinforcement layout of specimens 2 and 3 (dimensions and reinforcement bars

7 are in mm, 1mm=0.039in.).

8 Fig. 5 – Joint reinforcement layout of specimen 3.

9 Fig. 6 – Load-displacement diagrams (P-δ) of specimens.

10 Fig. 7 – Comparison of load-displacement diagrams of the three specimens.

11 Fig. 8 – Crack pattern of specimen 1 at the joint (the loads at which the cracks were initiated

12 are in kN, 1 kN=0.2247 kips).

13 Fig. 9 – Crack pattern of specimen 1 at failure.

14 Fig. 10 – Crack pattern of specimen 2 at the joint (the loads at which the cracks were initiated

15 are in kN, 1 kN=0.2247 kips).

16 Fig. 11 – Crack pattern of specimen 3 at the joint (the loads at which the cracks were initiated

17 are in kN, 1 kN=0.2247 kips).

18 Fig. 12 – Critical sections of the corner legs (b-b, section of maximum applied moment, and

19 a-a, section of member failure).

20 Fig. 13 – Failure at the leg of specimen 2 with crushing of concrete (section a-a).

21 Fig. 14 – Compressive forces in the vicinity of the bent reinforcement bars of specimen 1.

22 Fig. 15 – Elongation of the corner joints tested as measured by LDTs.

23 Fig. 16 – Strain distributions [εs] along the tensile reinforcement of the three specimens as a

24 function of load P. (Measurements by means of mechanical strain gauges, 1 kN=0.2247 kips).

25 Fig. 17 – Variation of the strains εs of individual electrical strain gauges placed along the

22
1 loop of the tensile reinforcements of specimen 2 as a function of load P.

2 Fig. 18 – Variation of the strains εs at the anchorage of the tensile reinforcement of specimen

3 1 as a function of load P. The average measurements of electrical and mechanical strain

4 gauges are presented.

5 Fig. 19 – Variation of the strains εs of the compressive reinforcement of specimen 1 as a

6 function of load P. (Measurements by means of mechanical strain gauges, 1 kN=0.2247 kips).

7 Fig. 20 – Variation of the strains εs of the inclined reinforcement of the three specimens as a

8 function of load P. (Measurements by means of mechanical strain gauges, 1 kN=0.2247 kips).

9 Fig. 21 – Variation of the strains εs of stirrups in the joint of specimen 3 as a function of load

10 P. (Measurements by means of electrical strain gauges, 1 kN=0.2247 kips).

11 Fig. 22 – Strains εs of a) the 225-degree bent part of the tensile reinforcement (S.G.7), and b)

12 the adjoining stirrups of specimen 3 (S.G.6, 9), as a function of load P. (Measurements by

13 means of electrical strain gauges, 1 kN=0.2247 kips).

14 Fig. 23 – Strut-and-tie idealization with flexural forces and resulting splitting forces in a

15 corner joint subjected to opening moment.

16

17

18 Table 1–Experimental and calculated characteristics of the specimens

fcc Pmax δmax MR,a-a MR,b-b .


M max,a-a M max,b-b
N/mm2 ω kN, mm, kN-mm kN-mm
M R,a-a M R,b-b
(psi) (kips) (in.) (kip-inches) (kip-inches)
Spec.1 29.5 0.146 230 99.5 215,600 340,900 1.07 0.81
(4,277.5) (51.7) (3.9) (1,908.3) (3,017.3)
Spec.2 28 0.154 190 92.8 197,800 304,600 0.96 0.75
(4,060) (42.7) (3.6) (1,759.6) (2,710.2)
Spec.3 29 0.149 220 99.4 195,700 302,900 1.12 0.87
(4,205) (49.4) (3.9) (1,734.8) (2,686.3)
19

20 where:

21 fcc = cylindrical compressive strength of concrete

23
1 ω = volumetric ratio of leg tensile reinforcement = (As/bd)fyk/fcc

2 Pmax = maximum load applied at the test

3 δmax = displacement corresponding to Pmax (variation of initial distance between legs)

4 MR,a-a = calculated moment resistance of leg at section a-a

5 MR,b-b = calculated moment resistance of leg at section b-b

6 Mmax,a-a = experimental resistance at the leg section a-a, Fig. 12 (bending of inclined

7 reinforcement) for Pmax

8 Mmax,b-b = experimental resistance at the leg section b-b, Fig. 12 (adjacent to joint) for Pmax

10 Fig. 1 – Stresses σx and σy in a right-angled corner subjected to opening moment

11

12

13 Fig. 2 – Dimensions and overview of a specimen in position ready for testing.

24
1

3 Fig. 3 – Reinforcement layout of specimen 1 (dimensions and reinforcement bars are in mm,

4 1 mm=0.039 in.).

25
1

2 Fig. 4 – Joint reinforcement layout of specimens 2 and 3 (dimensions and reinforcement bars

3 are in mm, 1mm=0.039in.).

6 Fig. 5 – Joint reinforcement layout of specimen 3.

26
1

4 Fig. 6 – Load-displacement diagrams (P-δ) of specimens.

27
1

2 Fig. 7 – Comparison of load-displacement diagrams of the three specimens.

5 Fig. 8 – Crack pattern of specimen 1 at the joint (the loads at which the cracks were initiated

6 are in kN, 1 kN=0.2247 kips).

28
1

3 Fig. 9 – Crack pattern of specimen 1 at failure.

29
1

2 Fig. 10 – Crack pattern of specimen 2 at the joint (the loads at which the cracks were initiated

3 are in kN, 1 kN=0.2247 kips).

6 Fig. 11 – Crack pattern of specimen 3 at the joint (the loads at which the cracks were initiated

7 are in kN, 1 kN=0.2247 kips).

30
1

2 Fig. 12 – Critical sections of the corner legs (b-b, section of maximum applied moment, and

3 a-a, section of member failure).

6 Fig. 13 – Failure at the leg of specimen 2 with crushing of concrete (section a-a).

31
1

2 Fig. 14 – Compressive forces in the vicinity of the bent reinforcement bars of specimen 1.

5 Fig. 15 – Elongation of the corner joints tested as measured by LDTs.

32
1

5 Fig. 16 – Strain distributions [εs] along the tensile reinforcement of the three specimens as a

6 function of load P. (Measurements by means of mechanical strain gauges, 1 kN=0.2247 kips).

33
1

2 Fig. 17 – Variation of the strains εs of individual electrical strain gauges placed along the

3 loop of the tensile reinforcements of specimen 2 as a function of load P.

6 Fig. 18 – Variation of the strains εs at the anchorage of the tensile reinforcement of specimen

7 1 as a function of load P. The average measurements of electrical and mechanical strain

8 gauges are presented.

34
1

2 Fig. 19 – Variation of the strains εs of the compressive reinforcement of specimen 1 as a

3 function of load P. (Measurements by means of mechanical strain gauges, 1 kN=0.2247 kips).

10

11

12

13

14

35
1

5 Fig. 20 – Variation of the strains εs of the inclined reinforcement of the three specimens as a

6 function of load P. (Measurements by means of mechanical strain gauges, 1 kN=0.2247 kips).

36
1

2 Fig. 21 – Variation of the strains εs of stirrups in the joint of specimen 3 as a function of load

3 P. (Measurements by means of electrical strain gauges, 1 kN=0.2247 kips).

6 Fig. 22 – Strains εs of a) the 225-deg. bent part of the tensile reinforcement (S.G.7), and b)

7 the adjoining stirrups of specimen 3 (S.G.6, 9) as a function of load P. (Measurements by

8 means of electrical strain gauges, 1 kN=0.2247 kips).

37
1

2 Fig. 23 – Strut-and-tie idealization with flexural forces and resulting splitting forces in a

3 corner joint subjected to opening moment.

38

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