STRUT AND TIE MODELLING

Background and New AS 3600 Provisions

Peter Dux The University of Queensland

Background 1:
B and D regions
• Strut and tie modelling enables the rational design for the strength limit state of concrete structures in regions of non-linear strain. These are referred to as disturbed or ‘D’ regions. Regions where strains vary linearly are called Bernoulli or ‘B” regions. St Venant’s principle can be used to identify these regions

Shear is transferred to supports via concrete struts.Sketch of possible strut and tie model of a deep beam . Centrelines of struts and ties bisect the near face of the nodal zone and intersect at a common point or node. The distribution of internal forces and the reactions must satisfy equilibrium. Internal forces are stress resultants i.e. a tie and nodes. The orientation of struts is dictated by the shear diagram.the whole beam is a D region. . Struts and nodes have volume. • • • • • The model has struts. design is based on stresses in concrete and steel. Material capacity must not be exceeded.

The figure shows a generalised stress space. a plastic plateau) • The term ‘ductility’ means that the range of plastic deformation is large. Normality rule Incremental plastic strain vector Convex yield surface Stress vector .Background 2: Plasticity and the Lower-bound Theorem – the Basis of Strut and Tie Design The lower-bound theorem is based on the behaviour of ideal rigid-plastic systems. • The term ‘plasticity’ means strength without stiffness (e. yield surface and plastic strain increment vector for an ideal plastic material.g.

The designer has not considered compatibility. Wi . at the point of collapse. which does not violate the yield surface and which equilibrates a design loading. Internal stresses.This figure shows a generalised rigid-plastic structure with generalised loading. are on or within the material yield surface This is typical of design for strength. Incremental displacement component in the load direction at a load point during collapse Consider now a design situation: Suppose a designer has determined some internal stress distribution . λWi . σ* . . σ.

Impose the collapse deformations as a set of virtual deformations on the structure with loads λWi . for small collapse deformations. ε dV But. ε ≥ σ*. ε dV where the dot denotes a scalar product. The integral relates only to stresses on the yield surface and the local plastic strain increments as the material is rigid-plastic. σ. σ*. they are essentially rigid) and only stresses on the yield surface do work. Therefore. elastic regions in elastic-plastic materials do not deform (i. The work equation becomes Σ λWi ui = ∫σ*. ε at all points in the structure.At collapse: External work = Internal work Σ Wi ui = ∫σ. lies on or within the yield surface. everywhere in the structure. the stress state. Hence λ ≤ 1.0 . However.e.

yield criteria are not violated and ductile response is ensured. each load for which any statically admissible stress state can be given is either the collapse load or a lower bound of the collapse load’ or ‘If a designer can figure out a way for a structure to carry a set of design ultimate loads such that equilibrium is satisfied. the structure will be able to carry the loads’ .The previous result leads directly to the lower-bound theorem of plasticity: ‘Provided a structure is ductile.

for example. as indicated by elastic analysis. not an analysis methodology. Concrete stresses must be closely controlled to prevent brittle failure. is invalidated. Therefore the choice of a ‘statically admissible stress state’ must be done with good judgement. steel exhibits plasticity and is ductile . The chosen stress state should reflect the way the structure naturally carries loads.Background 3: Concrete structures do not have unlimited ductility • • • Ignoring strain-hardening. Otherwise. • • • . The challenge in design of concrete structures for strength is to have yield of steel dominate the failure mode.which assumes a good range of plastic response . Properly designed concrete structures do not have unlimited ductility. Plain concrete exhibits neither plasticity nor ductility. adoption of the lower-bound theorem . The strut and tie approach is a design methodology.

the stress distributions are not so intuitively obvious. even though stresses have settled down at the right-hand boundary of the D region. zone of compression Longitudinal stresses Transverse stresses (b) Eccentrically located prestressing anchorage or reaction force at column base .zone of tension Longitudinal stresses Transverse stresses These stress distributions are reasonably consistent with prediction based on application of St Venant’s principle (a) Centrally located prestressing anchorage or reaction force at column base Here.

(a) Centrally located prestressing anchorage or reaction force at column base Likely premature failure here This design poorly reflects the FE results (b) Eccentrically located prestressing anchorage or reaction force at column base .

Background 4: How strong is concrete in compression? Uniaxial compression .

f cmax f 'c = ≤ f 'c 0.8 + 170ε 1 Transverse tensile strain reduces compressive strength due to enhanced cracking. . Transverse compression increases the compressive strength.

the principal tensile strain increases and cracks in the transition zone become wider and more skew to the strut.002 and εs estimated as 0. .8 + 170ε 1 θs Strain conditions at a node ε1 0.015 fcmax 45° 30° 25° 0.001 (around half the yield strain of steel) the compressive strength of the strut becomes f 'c f cmax = ≤ f 'c 0. With ε2 = -0.ε2 ε 1 = ε s + (ε s − ε 2 ) cot 2 θ s e1 es e2 s From Mohr’s circle of strain: As θ s reduces.010 0.40 f ' c 0.004 0.30 f ' c This effect has been confirmed in tests of strut and tie structures.68 f ' c 0.

87 0.67 0.85 φs (prestressing) 0.AS 3600 provisions 1: Material capacity reduction factors φconcrete = 0.9 .6 φs ( reinforcement) 0.6 φsteel = 0.87 0. • The concrete factor is lower . Code AS 3600 Eurocode Canadian φc 0.concrete has less quality control than steel.8 Both are referred to as st in AS 3600 φ • The new code uses material capacity reduction factors for strut and tie design.8 0.8 0.6 0.

. θmin = 20o • Cracks in the vicinity of nodes with prestressed ties develop later in loading and are less severe than cracks in the vicinity of nodes with non-prestressed ties. the law of diminishing returns quickly comes into play as θ reduces.e. • Forces in flat struts are typically high because the vertical component has to equal the shear being carried i. θmin = 30o For prestressed concrete.AS 3600 provisions 2: Minimum angle between any strut and any tie at a node C For reinforced concrete. • The Eurocode specifies a minimum of around 22o for either type of reinforcement. But • For small θ. concrete capacity is severely limited (as has been seen) .

Design stress = 0.0 1.AS 3600 provisions 3: Design strength of struts General: Design strength = φ c βs 0.6 .the ‘strut efficiency factor’ = 1.9f’c Ac i. which is the same thing) ≤ 0.3≤ βs ≤ 1.54 βn f’c At nodes with no ties (CCC) At nodes with 1 tie (CCT) At nodes with more than 1 tie (CTT) βn = 1.66 cot 2 θ 0.0 βn = 0.54 βs f’c where βs .0 and Ac is the minimum cross-sectional area of the strut Additional requirements where a strut enters a node: Incoming axial stress in the strut (code refers to ‘principal compressive stress on nodal face’.e.8 βn = 0.0 + 0.

incorporating nodal stress provisions: .Summary of limiting stress provisions for struts.

1 εs 0 20 30 40 50 60 70 Strut angle θs (i.6 fcmax 0.0015 .002 .8 + 170ε 1 e e 1 2 e s s Strain conditions at a node .4 Design stress (x f'c) 0. for various values of average strain in reinforcement.0025 0.5 0. and design stress = 0.2 .0. in nodal zone. ε 1 = ε s + (ε s − ε 2 ) cot 2 θ s f cmax f 'c = ≤ f ' c .3 AS 3600 . εs .e.θ) Comparison of AS 3600 design stresses for struts with design stresses based on Canadian code formula.001 0.

ef + Δσp )) where φ s = 0.1% proof stress obtained from testing. fsy is typically 500 MPa and the total stress in strand (σp.8. ties anchor through and beyond the node.AS 3600 provisions 4: Design strength of ties Design strength of a tie = φs (Ast fsy + Apt (σp. Ties have to be anchored such that the design strength is achievable at the point where the tie leaves the nodal zone i. . is ≤ fpy or the 0.ef + Δσp ).e.

5W .5 Pw ) applied as a nodal force Δσp Ap = 0.Suppose PE = 1.5 W Effective prestressing force PE = Apt σp.ef (here. = 1.

stresses will diverge as indicated. Over most of the length of the strut the stress field is convex outwards and transverse tension arises. unless a strut is parallel to and immediately adjacent to a free surface (a ‘prismatic’ strut). The code has bursting reinforcement requirements for both strength and serviceability . However. Transverse compression arises. Bursting steel controls the effects of cracking parallel to the strut axis in the bottle zone. the stress field is convex inwards.AS 3600 provisions 5: Bursting reinforcement requirements for bottle-shaped struts Straight-sided struts are used in design. Near the nodes.

2 For service loading.2 C* and Tb.The total bursting force = (force in strut) x Tan(α) For ultimate loading. Otherwise: • For strength.cr • For service. Tan (α) = 0. design reinforcement for the larger of 0.5 The bursting tension to cause cracking: Tb.5Cs ≤ 0. If 0.2 C* and 0. Tan (α) = 0.cr = 0. design reinforcement for 0.cr . lb = lstrut – dc (the ‘convex outwards’ length) and b is the thickness. C*.5Tb. no bursting reinforcement is required.36 √f’c . Cs .5Cs • Provide the larger amount and distribute evenly over lb .7blb f’ct where f’ct = 0.

ρh = ρv ) is: • • • Tb. and assuming a design force for strength of Tb. . To illustrate the amount of reinforcement needed. This would be further divided into grids at front and back face. The grids would extend at least over the length lb.• Because of the Tan(α) values the service load bursting force will typically be larger than the ultimate load bursting force. Except where struts are short and highly stressed (higher strength concrete. ρh = ρv = .cr . high βs and high stress) the default loading case.e. the area of reinforcement in each direction per unit area of concrete (i.cr will dominate the other two load cases. The code provisions also allow for unequal grids and reinforcement in one direction only.002 (or 0.252 f ' c 400 For f’c =40 MPa.004. An equal orthogonal grid of reinforcement offers the same normal force per unit length for all crack orientations. each with ρ = .cr = blbφsfsy • 0. for an equal grid of horizontal and vertical reinforcement. Tb.2%) in each direction.

horizontally and vertically).5Cs The design stress in reinforcement: For a minor degree of crack control For a moderate degree of crack control For a strong degree of crack control 250 MPa 200 MPa 150 MPa Sufficient reinforcement at the chosen stress is required to provide the design force normal to the crack. hence. Even if the design forces for both ultimate and service load cases are less than 0.5Tb. An equal orthogonal grid provides this force in both directions (e. the longer the strut the lower the percentage of reinforcement required. The strut length does not feature. The requirement is then halved for grids at front and back face.Design for serviceability: The design force = 0.cr . .g. grids of reinforcement should be provided at front and back faces.

2C* For serviceability Tbs = 0. Tb is the larger of T*b and Tb. Tb = Tbs . 200 or 250 MPa . T*b = 0.Summary of bursting reinforcement requirements: The bursting force.cr where Tb.7blb f’ct For orthogonal reinforcement. fs =φs fsy For service. the provided horizontal and vertical reinforcement must satisfy Asv Ash Tb 2 2 cos θ + sin θ ≥ sv sh f s lb where θ is the inclination of the strut from the horizontal.cr = 0. For strength.cr . fs = 150.5Tb. Tb is defined as follows: For strength.5Cs Bursting reinforcement is required if T*b or Tbs > 0.

1987 • • . Sources: 1.25G + 1. Arguably. Nick Stevens. Standards Australia. Scott Rathie.1969 3.32. Pergamon. “Engineering Plasticity”. AS 3600 now uses material capacity reduction factors rather than a single capacity reduction factor (0. PCI . “Towards a consistent design of structural concrete”. Chris Calladine. UQ. J et al. For code-surfers. 2007 2.5Q for most situations).8) is still low. Schlaich .3. HonoursThesis. various. 5. the factor for steel (0. 2007 4.Conclusions • The new AS 3600 provisions for strut and ties design are a major change for the better.7). Draft standard DR 05252. The limiting stresses for struts are conservative rather than liberal. the Eurocode provisions are typically less stringent for about the same ultimate loading (1.

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