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Deep beams - Concept, Applications, Assumptions & differences between Deep & Simple Beams

Written by Syed Ahmad Amin Shah



Deep Beams Concept

Deep beams are structural elements loaded as simple beams in which a significant amount of the load i

Floor slabs under horizontal load, short span beams carrying heavy loads, and transfer girders are exa

Deep beam is a beam having large depth/thickness ratio and shear span depth ratio less than 2.5for concentrated load and less than 5.0 for distributed load. Because the geometry of deep beams, their behavior is different with slender beam or intermediate beam.

Difference Between Deep Beams & Simple Beams
The followings are the major different of deep beam element compared with simple beam based on the design assumption, as follows: - Two-Dimensional Action, because of the dimension of deep beam they behave as two-dimensional action rather than one-dimensional action. - Plane Section Do Not Remain Plane, the assumption of plane section remain plane cannot be used in the deep beam design. The strain distribution is not longer linear. - Shear Deformation, the shear deformation cannot be neglected as in the ordinary beam. The stress distribution is not linear even in the elastic stage. At the ultimate limit state the shape of concrete compressive stress block is not parabolic shape again

The Design is based on the ACI Ultimate Strength Design Method and applies to those flexural members having a clear span to depth ratio of less than 4.0. The flexural reinforcement is designed taking into account the reduced lever arm due to the non-linearity of the strains' distribution. // Deep beams play a very significant role in design of mega and as well as small structures. Some times for architectural purposes buildings are designed without using any column for a very large span. In such case if ordinary beams are provided they can cause failure such as flexural failure.


Farm work of specific dimensions is required. Applications Deep beam has got a verity of applications and can be used in situations where other type of beams or structural components cannot be used such as.Sections perpendicular to the axis of bending that are plane before bending remain plane after bending.2) [ACI Committee 318. .Architecturally it seems unpleasant. . A 60ft X 40ft hall is to be designed with no columns in the hall using deep beams.A perfect bond exists between the reinforcement and the concrete such that the strain in the reinforcement is equal to the strain in the concrete at the same level. .2.5).In bridges where long spans are required.The stresses in the concrete and reinforcement can be computed from the strains using stress strain curves for concrete and steel. . .Concrete is assumed to fail when the compressive strain reaches 0. 1992]. The constraints that can be encountered are .Concept.In large halls or building where no column is to be used. // .003 (ACI 10. Applications. Assumptions & differences between Deep & Simple Beams Written by Syed Ahmad Amin Shah To avoid this problem of construction of some very long span halls etc the concept of deep beams is very effective and durable.Deep beams . .3). . But there are also some minor problems with the construction of deep beams as well let’s consider the following example.False ceiling will be required to make it esthetically beautiful.The compressive stress-strain relationship for concrete may be assumed to be 2/3 . . respectively.Situations where dimensions and span are restricted.2. .2. .The strains in both the concrete and the reinforcement are assumed to be directly proportional to the distance from the neutral axis (ACI 10. .The tensile strength of concrete is neglected (ACI 10.Deep beams are difficult to be cast simultaneously with the slab in case of very long beams. Etc The basic Assumptions made in Flexural Design are: .

2. The inclined cracking shear can be calculated as the shear necessary to cause a principal tensile stress equal to the tensile strength of the concrete at the centroid of the beam.Deep beams . or any other shape that results in prediction of strength in substantial agreement with the results of comprehensive tests (ACI 10.2. also called shear cracks or diagonal tension cracks. // 3/3 . Applications.Inclined cracks form in two different ways. ACI 10. are due to a combination of flexure and shear. In thin-walled I-beams in which the shear stresses in the web are high while the flexural stresses are low. parabolic. Inclined cracks must exist before a shear failure can occur.Concept. a web-shear crack occurs. Assumptions & differences between Deep & Simple Beams Written by Syed Ahmad Amin Shah rectangular. where the flexural stresses are the largest. Flexural cracks start at the bottom of the beam. trapezoidal.7 outlines the use of a rectangular compressive stress distribution which is known as the Whitney rectangular stress block Formation of Flexural Cracks in Beams The cracks that form in a reinforced concrete beam can be due to flexure or a combination of flexure and shear.Inclined cracks.6).