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**A. Elenas,1 L. Vasiliadis,1 E. Pouliou2 and N. Emmanouilidou2
**

1Democritus 2

University of Thrace, Department of Civil Engineering, GR-67100 Xanthi, Greece; Institute of Structural Mechanics and Earthquake Engineering,

Abstract:

This paper presents the beneficial act of the tension stiffening effect in the design process according to the rules of the EC2 Eurocode and DIN 1045-1. Different approaches for the modelling of this phenomenon are offered. To describe this effect, two different basic approaches are possible using micro- or macro-elements. The first technique is coupled with a discrete representation of cracking, while the second one is coupled with a smeared representation of cracking. The advantages and the disadvantages of using these models are discussed. A numerical example shows the beneficial act of the tension stiffening effect on a reinforced concrete plate. The economy in reinforcement, when the tension stiffening effect is taken into account during the design procedure, is quantified. Finally, non-linear analyses expose the difference in stiffness and deflection, when tension stiffening is considered. tension stiffening; reinforced concrete; numerical methods; design process.

Key words:

1.

INTRODUCTION

It is well known that when the concrete tensile stress in a member reaches the tensile strength, cracking develops. Simultaneously, the load carried by the concrete before cracking is transferred to the reinforcement crossing the crack. Then, the reinforcing bars transfer local tensile stresses to the concrete between the cracks through bond stresses at the steel–concrete interface. Therefore, the intact concrete between cracks continues to carry tensile stresses and offers stiffness. This phenomenon resulting from crack formation and the bond between steel and its surrounding concrete is defined as the tensionstiffening effect1. This is a property neither of the reinforcement nor of the concrete. It is a typical property that appears only in the composite material of reinforced concrete, where the two constitutive materials are present. Its ignorance leads to a too soft approx-

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M.S. Konsta-Gdoutos, (ed.), Measuring, Monitoring and Modeling Concrete Properties, 215–220. © 2006 Springer. Printed in the Netherlands.

Contact elements can also be used in a two dimensional formulation. geometrical restrictions imposed by a preselected finite element mesh cannot be avoided. This can be rectified to some extend by redefinition of element nodes. This is done by disconnecting the displacement at nodal points for adjoining elements and adding link elements perpendicular and parallel to the reinforcement bar axis6. Thus. Loading progression continues the crack building and with this a drop of concrete stress between the cracks is connected. These are two disadvantages of the bond link element.216 A. describes the tension stiffening phenomenon by a modification of the stress-strain relation of the steel or the concrete material. The second approach. Elenas et al. A second way of modelling bond in a finite element calculation is through the employment of contact elements7. The contact element has a finite dimension and at least two double nodes and the same length as the connected reinforcement element. two different basic approaches are possible utilising micro. particularly the isoparametric ones. DIRECT APPROACH OF TENSION STIFFENING EFFECT As mentioned in the introduction section. yields rather poor-quality corner-stress definition which does not blend well with the edge cracking associated with the discrete crack concept. The most important difference is their finite dimension. They model the contact surface between steel and concrete as well as the concrete in the immediate vicinity of the reinforcing bar by an adopted material law that considers the special properties of this bond zone. When a crack is closed. imation of the structure. The use of high-order elements. At last. only the vertical spring stiffness to the crack surface is set equal to the initial large value. Setting the spring stiffness of the link element both normal and tangential to the crack surface from the initial large values to zero represents the crack initiation. coupled with the smeared representation of cracking. The first approach is coupled with a discrete representation of cracking and is used when the size if the finite elements is of the same order if the crack width. So in this case the influence of the tension stiffening effect vanishes. the cracks are too close for developing tension concrete stress and the concrete has no carrying capacity perpendicular to the crack direction. Using the finite element method to describe this behaviour.or macro-elements2-5. Thus. Finally. These elements connect the nodes of a steel element with the respective of an adjacent concrete element. Such direct techniques of modelling of bond effects are extremely complex. the direct approach of tension stiffening effect is coupled with the discrete modelling of concrete cracking. The closing or reopening of a crack is judged on the crack width. 2. . a third group of bond zone elements8 differs significantly from the two types described previously. One obvious difficulty in the discrete modelling is that the location and orientation of the cracks are not a priori known. these approaches can be only used in simulation of laboratory tests and for very simple structures or elements.

This additional stress represents the total incremental tensile force in fact carried by the concrete between the cracks. Orientation and properties of reinforcement have no influence.Tension stiffening effect on design of RC structures 217 3. Figure 1. The first approach postulates a fictitious unloading branch in the stress-strain curve of concrete instead of the abrupt drop-off of the tensile stress. Its magnitude decreases with increasing strains (further development of cracks) until there is no tension stiffening after the formation of the final crack pattern. The crack directions are not affected by the finite element mesh pattern. Any direction of crack propagation may be represented equally well. If no tension stiffening is taken into account. The concrete is assumed to carry no stress normal to a crack but an additional stress will be carried at the steel level. Stress-strain diagrams for steel (a) and concrete in tension (b) The second approach postulates an adjustment of the stress-strain diagram of steel reinforcement after the surrounding concrete has cracked. then the descending branch at tensile concrete stresses vanishes. In connection with the smeared crack model. Its representation may be achieved by changing the element stiffness matrix. This assumption is physically reasonable. 4. conveniently lumped at the level of the reinforcement and oriented in the direction of the bars. assuming that the material becomes orthotropic with the modulus for extension normal to crack band reduced to zero. They have proposed different length and the appearance of the descending branch. Figure 1 shows the modified stress-strain diagrams for steel and concrete in tension for numerical modelling of the tension stiffening effect. INDIRECT APPROACH OF TENSION STIFFENING EFFECT The indirect approach of tension stiffening effect is coupled with the smeared modelling of concrete cracking2-4. The increase of the steel stresses is taken into account by an increase of the steel modulus of elasticity. TREATMENT OF TENSION STIFFENING IN DESIGN CODES Modified steel stress-strain laws are frequently used in non-linear analyses and are also implemented in EC2 Eurocode11 and DIN 1045-112 to take into account the tension stiffening effect. and incremental-iterative solution procedures may account for crack propagation. in view of the material non-homogeneity of concrete. there are two basically different approaches to represent the tension stiffening effect: it can be attributed either to the concrete itself or to the reinforcement9. In these models the steel strain results numerically from a horizontal . A variation of the second approach is the representation of tension stiffening by a fictive additional reinforcement. This concept developed by Gilbert/Warner10 is popular since tension stiffening as a bond property depends strongly on the orientation of the reinforcing bars.

b and d can be used for the evaluation of the internal forces using nonlinear numerical procedures. Figure 2. For the horizontal movement there are different approaches in the literature presented. NUMERICAL EXAMPLE AND RESULTS A simply supported square plate has been designed in accordance to the design rules of the EC2 Eurocode11 for uniformly applied load of 10 KN/m2. Finally. Moreover. Alternative tension stiffening lines after DIN 1045-1 5.218 A. The dimensions of the plate are 10 m x 10 m and its thickness is 20 cm. The concrete material is C20/25 and the steel material is S500. First the plate is designed for the ultimate limit state which pro- . Thus. move for constant steel stress. while the DIN 1045-1 a piece-wise linear one. for different design procedures as it is explained in Figure 4. Model b is to be used for the evaluation of the structural displacements. the EC2 Eurocode specifies a parabolic approach. As shown in Figure 2. Tension stiffening lines after EC2 and DIN 1045-1 Figure 3. The physical meaning is a strain decrease of the steel reinforcement for the same stress. Model c is to be used for the evaluation of crack widths. in DIN 1045-1 additional models for the numerical treatment of the tension stiffening effect are given. Elenas et al. An important difference between the two codes is that the EC2 model ignores the tension stiffening effect in the yield region of steel. the models a.

which is about 2.30 mm. is not of practical interest and is here only presented for completeness reasons.05 mm crack width.30 mm crack width.23 cm2/m for 0. especially for small crack widths. The tension stiffening effect decreases the amount of the required longitudinal reinforcement bars.404 cm2/m as mentioned previously).Tension stiffening effect on design of RC structures 219 vides 4. The results are exposed graphically once neglecting the tension stiffening effect (curve 1) and once taking into account the same effect (curve 2). Figure 5 shows the difference of the required area of longitudinal reinforcement between neglecting and taking into account the tension stiffening in the design procedure. Next.05 mm to 0. The latter design procedure was carrying once neglecting and once taking into account the tension stiffening effect. Required longitudinal reinforcement Figure 5. Figure 5 shows the absolute value of the difference. Midpoint deflection of the plate . the plate is designed for the serviceability limit state for different crack widths from 0.30 mm). After that. Figure 4.404 cm2/m required longitudinal reinforcement bars in the directions parallel to the plate edges. when the tension stiffening effect is taken into account. This means that the economic effect is present in all the cases. Difference of the required longitudinal reinforcement Figure 6. This effect was taken into account by considering the average steel strain between the cracks. This value drops below 0. The values where the reinforcement is less than statically required (4.05 mm up to 0.8 cm2/m for 0. Figure 4 shows the required area of the longitudinal reinforcement bars for different crack widths (0. Observing the two curves it can be recognised that curve 2 remains permanently below curve 1.

and Tworuschka. pp. . The midpoint deflection of the plate is about 10% to 15% increased when tension stiffening is neglected. when the tension stiffening effect is taken into account during the design procedure. 8. 11. and Warner. Stahlbeton und Spannbeton. Eibl. 227-286.. Elenas et al. 9. 1999).I. E. Ramm. Div. 7. A. Thus. in: Finite Elemente in der Baupraxis. 1-10. Nilson. Non-linear analyses have been carried out for the estimation of the influence of tension stiffening on the maximum plate deflection. 1995). M. To describe this behaviour.M. Institut für konstruktiven Ingenieurbau. Baupraktische Anwendung nichtlinearer Traglastermittlung Bemessung im Stahlbetonbau. (Ruhr-Universität Bochum. (Ernst & Sohn. 1885-1990 (1978). E. 49-57 (1991). Tragwerke aus Beton. Since non-linear analyses have been introduced in modern design codes for reinforced concrete structures. Berlin. Cracking and deformation in structural concrete. R. 5.. 6. 153-158 (1991). Parche. Dragosavic. CONCLUSIONS Several numerical treatments of the tension stiffening effect in reinforced concrete elements have been presented. R. Figure 6 presents the midpoint deflection in dependence of the crack width. edited by E. Design of concrete structures. (1992). Finally. 2. all these comments should be taken into account for the safe and economic design of composite reinforced concrete elements in the civil engineering praxis.. Bochum. 757-766 (1968). Dissertation. edited by E. Non-linear analysis of reinforced concrete by the finite element method. Wunderlich (Ernst & Sohn. 96-10.. Querschnittsverhalten und Schädigung stabförmiger Stahlbetonkonstruktionen unter schiefer Biegung und veränderlicher Normalkraft infolge Erdbeben. Influence of tension stiffening on behaviour of structures. IABSE reports 54. Technisch-wissenschaftliche Mitteilung Nr.F.. ASCE J. 335-354 (1975). while the second one is taking into account the same effect. Wunderlich. M. 1995). München.. J. rules for handling the tension stiffening effect have also been introduced in these codes. (2001).. Pravida. The economy in reinforcement. 4. A numerical example demonstrated that neglecting the tension stiffening effect leads to a too soft approximation of the structure. Berlin. 10. DIN 1045-1.. IABSE reports 62.5%. 1990). H.or macro-elements. The first one is neglecting the tension stiffening effect. Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering 6. has been quantified. non-linear analyses pointed out the difference in deflection when tension stiffening is considered. 7. Von Grabe. two different fundamental approaches are possible using micro. 6. modified steel stress-strain laws are used in EC2 Eurocode and DIN 1045-1 to take into account the tension stiffening effect. Tension stiffening in reinforced concrete slabs. Modelling of bond. 131-138 (1987). Thus. Zur nichtlinearen adaptiven Finite–Element–Analyse von Stahlbetonschei-ben. Stein and W. the mean difference percentage in reinforcement for the example used in this investigation was 21.H. 3. J. S.. Ramm. A contribution to the solution of contact problems with the aid of bond elements. IABSE reports 62. EN 1992 Eurocode 2. 12. W. 105. REFERENCES Wicke. Two different cases have been considered.. Cauvin A. Furthermore. in : Finite Elemente in der Baupraxis. Gilbert. ACI Journal 65. 1. H. Stein and W.220 A. (Technische Universität München. Schäfer. Die FE-Technik im Massivbau zwischen Praxis und Wissenschaft. pp. Struct.

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