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Int. J. Fatigue Vol. 20, No. 10, pp. 767–773, 1998 © 1998. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.

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Stress concentration and fatigue of profiled reinforcing steels
H. Zheng* and A. Abel
Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia (Received 6 November 1997; revised 8 June 1998; accepted 12 June 1998)
Stress concentrations arise from profiles of ribbed reinforcing steel bars and in this study the results of calculated stress concentration factors (SCF), by using finite element method, are related to the fatigue test results. It is apparent that the degree of confinement of a ribbed bar embedded in concrete not only affects the magnitude of the ultimate bond stress but also the bond stress-slip relation. Thus the rib geometry or profile pattern is designed for optimum bond characteristics and not for fatigue considerations. However the rib geometry influences the fatigue performance through the SCFs arising from the root radius, width and flank angles of the profiles. It is shown that these latter factors have a significant influence on the fatigue behaviour of reinforcing steel bars. © 1998. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved
(Keywords: fatigue; reinforcing steels; stress concentration)

INTRODUCTION MacGregor et al. and Helgason et al. demonstrated that the fatigue strengths of profiled reinforcing steels, bars with extrusions on the surface as shown in Figure 1, are much lower than those of smooth bars machined from the same steels. Bars with different types of profiles3 and bars produced from milling rolls suffered different wearing conditions4 have shown that the radii at the bases of transverse lugs have a major influence on fatigue strength. It was also suggested that the influence of lug geometry on fatigue properties even offset the effect related to the grade of steels1,4,5. Although it has been attempted to quantitatively relate fatigue behaviour of reinforcing steels to their profile geometry2,5, so far there is no method which can be applied universally. This is partially due to the various SCFs arising from the rib geometry. Jhamb and MacGregor6 in 1974 carried out a theoretical stress analysis using finite element method on the stress concentration at the vicinity of lug root and concluded that the concentration factor increases as lug radius decreases and as the lug width and flank angle increase. In this paper, using a similar method, the influences of the lug geometry parameters on stress concentration are investigated and the results are related to the appropriate fatigue test results.
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PROFILE PATTERNS AND ANALYTICAL MODELS Pictorial exposition of typical profile patterns are illustrated in Figure 1 and a typical geometrical lug profile obtained by laser displacement meter is shown in Figure 2 with the parameters described below. r/h: W/h: : D/h: l/h: ratio of lug root radius to lug height; ratio of lug width to lug height; flank angle of the lug; ratio of bar diameter to lug height; the distance between neighbouring lug roots.

*Corresponding author.

Although optical comparator, plastercasting and microscopy were also used in the determination of the lug parameters, the laser displacement meter method, enables one to carry out multiple section measurements and a further advantage of this method is that the data can be analysed by computer. In order to cover a large number of lug profiles, the following parameter ranges were used: r/h = 0.1–1.5; W/h = 3.0–4.0; = 45º–65º; D/h = 8–16. Two models were used to simulate transverse lugs in the study of stress concentration. Model I simulates an equally spaced transverse lug pattern where each lug is relatively far away from its neighbours, Figure 3a. This model corresponds to the bars marked b, c, d and e in Figure 1. Model II simulates any unequally spaced lugs distributed in such a way that a lug is closer to its neighbour lug on one side but far away
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respectively. Model II mesh is basically a copy of Model I. The same models are applied in the analysis of identification marks. STRESS CONCENTRATIONS RELATED TO PROFILE GEOMETRY Model I A total of 135 cases with different geometry parameters were studied and the results of maximum SCFs at the surface and at the point 0. On the surface and along the longitudinal direction the SCF drops to 50% of the peak value at a distance of 0.002916 h and = 0. The mesh of Model I. Elements along the circumferential direction of the lug root is fixed to be 10 and thus the smaller is the lug root size the higher is the element density around the corner. This model corresponds to the bars marked a and f in Figure 1. (a) Model I—for long distance spaced transverse lugs.013 h below surface are given in Tables 1 and 2. It is quite clear that stress concentrations are limited in a very small area in the vicinity of the lug root and the maximum stress is at the lug root junction with the base material.4 h. consisting of 2150 8-node biquardratic (CPE8) elements.8 and 0. (b) Model II—for unevenly spaced lugs from the one on the other side. Due to symmetry only a quarter of each geometry pattern was analysed with boundary conditions in such a way that the displacement of nodes along ad in axial direction and those along dc in radial direction were set to zero. is shown in Figure 4. l0.768 H.3 h and r = 0. Figure 5 shows typical stress concentrations along the bar axis at different depths below the surface. l0/ . l0/ 2 where l0 = 0. The largest principal stresses at the surface and layers below the surface were calculated with a sequence incremental of l0. In the analysis the material was assumed to be elastic and isotropic with a uniform axi-symmetrical tensile loading. respectively.01 h from the lug root and it becomes negligible at Figure 2 Lug profile and the geometry of a transverse lug measured using laser displacement meter .57—commercial program. l0/ . l0/ 2. Abel Figure 1 Typical profile patterns of reinforcing steels Figure 3 Models used to simulate the geometry of transverse lugs. Figure 3b. Zheng and A.7 for r = 0. The calculation was performed employing the ABAQUS 5.

246 2.955 1.613 1.5 h from lug root.664 1.297 2.931 1.580 1.517 W/h = 3.013h below surface W/h = 3.503 1.818 1. Calculations show that the maximum value of SCF decreases only 0.522 1.154 1.538 1.519 1.584 1.538 1.3 1.564 1.586 1.789 1.5 0.516 W/h = 4.3 1.565 1.0 = 65º 3.551 W/h = 4.603 1.1 the SCF drops 6.667 1.552 .520 1.557 W/h = 3.892 1.561 2.622 1.596 1.072 2.663 1.2 1.4 0.743 1.665 2.535 1.717 1.5 Maximum stress concentration factors at the surface of lug root W/h = 3.015 1.0 = 45º 2.764 1.631 1.501 1.373 2.631 1.610 1. Some of the differences between the present results and those reported by Jhamb may be attributed to the analysis of the latter where the average SCF W/h = 3.599 1.480 Table 2 r/h 0.448 W/h = 3.542 1.1 0.589 2.838 1.675 1.764 1.725 1.972 1.2 0.615 1.616 1.341 2.376 2.517 1.4 1.167 2.937 1.711 1.6 0.035 1.2 to 28.725 1.559 1.699 2.866 1. The lug itself does not carry large stress and at the top surface of the lug there is no stress at all.642 2. at the maximum SCF.578 1.980 1.9 1.565 2.820 1.557 1.739 1.605 1.094 1.1 1.578 1.786 1.389 2.628 1.635 1.590 1.524 W/h = 3.640 1.603 1.780 1.142 1.7 0.621 1.016 1.183 2.989 1.602 1.045 1.739 1.640 1.836 1.595 1.3 0.0 = 65º 2.829 1.541 1.663 1.2 1.555 1.682 1.561 1.5 = 55º 2.607 1.722 1.973 1.883 1.265 2.5 = 45º 2.804 1.0 1.497 1.701 1.996 1.568 1.5 = 65º 2. only the maximum SCF is taken into account when fatigue is discussed.010 1.924 1.587 1.539 1.6% and 24.719 1.144 2.538 W/h = 3.631 1.053 1.818 1.771 1. Regression analysis shows that a polynomial function of an order of 6.5 = 55º 3. increases from 5.521 W/h = 3.699 1.909 1.584 1.796 1.1 1. This is in agreement with the result obtained by Jhamb and MacGregor6.0 = 45º 2.000 1.597 1.22% as the bar diameter versus lug height ratio.174 2.996 1.536 1.501 W/h = 3.505 W/h = 3.625 1. The influences of the lug root radius on SCF are presented in Figure 6 showing the great influencing effect of the r/h ratio.575 1.491 W/h = 3.861 1.0 1.843 1.518 1.6 0.569 2.218 2.761 1.071 1.689 1.0 = 45º 3.194 2.722 1.918 1.902 1.746 1.612 1.234 2.095 1.0 = 55º 2.327 2.785 1.847 1.429 2.0 = 55º 3.771 1.799 1.676 1.865 1.116 1.2 0.720 1.540 1.622 1.641 1.595 2.684 1.579 1.555 1.762 1.463 1. The gradient of SCF along the radial direction of the bar is rather large and increases as the r/h ratio decreases.5 = 65º 3.4 0.592 1.893 1. respectively.607 1.747 1.561 1.625 1.0 = 55º 3.484 W/h = 3. D/h.939 1.808 1. is more appropriate to describe such relationship than the logarithmic function presented by Jhamb6.659 2.446 2.479 1.580 1.745 1.847 1.Stress concentration and fatigue of profiled reinforcing steels 769 Figure 4 Mesh for Model I 0.127 1.559 1.449 2.0 = 65º 2.543 2.688 1.771 1.472 2.586 Table 1 r/h 0.743 1.778 1.571 W/h = 4.704 1.650 1.500 1. Beyond a distance of 2.073 1.651 1.3 0.867 1.824 1.592 1.496 2.215 2.953 2.852 1.8 0.328 2.296 2.283 2.653 1.1 0.657 1. As fatigue cracks start at the bar surface.698 1.650 1.5 = 45º 3.900 1.572 1.039 2.541 1.538 1.368 2.498 1.785 1.615 1.695 1.7 0.738 1.670 1.518 1.639 1. as shown in Appendix A.4 1.717 1.575 1.518 1.681 1.257 2.5 Maximum stress concentration factors at the point 0.593 1.702 1.645 1.539 1.670 1. It is shown in Figure 5 that 0.584 1.0 = 55º 2.711 1.886 1.163 2.649 1.0 = 45º 2.0 = 65º 3.668 1.691 1.659 1.159 1. This trend indicates that the stress concentration is independent from bar size within the practical D/h range of 8 to 16.7%.9 1.810 1.480 2.561 1.964 1.345 2.218 2.685 1.557 1.093 2.868 1.639 1.5 and 0.123 1.8 0.469 W/h = 3.5 h there is essentially no stress concentration.129 1.570 1.557 1.537 W/h = 4.955 1.013 h below the surface for the r/h ratios of 0.5 0.

Zheng and A. the SCF increases as the lug width and flank angle increase. The data in Table 1 indicates that the change in the value of W/h by 0. It is believed that the SCF at the surface is more important than the average value at a certain depth when fatigue evaluation takes place since cracks develop from the plastic deformation of crystals at the very surface.5 leads to no more than 5. In addition. Generally. these effects decrease as r/h increases and the effects of flank angle becomes negligible when r/h > 0. On the outside of the lug.026 h below surface.5.3% change in SCF.5% change in SCF at most. Figure 9. while the change in flank angle — by 15 degree results in 3. but these influences are much smaller than that of the r/h ratio as shown in Figure 7. In fatigue test the cracks developed from these high SCF points. Model II This analysis shows that as the distance between the two neighbouring lugs diminishes the SCF increases at the inner side of the lugs. This increase in the value of SCF reaches a maximum of 2. Figure 8.65 when the two lugs merge.770 H. After initiation the cracks propagated away from . Abel Figure 5 Analytical results-stress distributions along longitudinal axis Figure 6 Stress concentration factor changes as a function of r/h values were taken at 0. the maximum increase in the SCF values is only 2%. DISCUSSION The high SCF resulted in large number of fatigue crack initiations along the lug root as shown in Figure 10.

as otherwise the cracks would have grown along the root where the magnitudes of stress concentrations are much higher than elsewhere. According to the above analysis sharper merging of a profile into the base of the bar substantially increases the SCF and therefore reduces fatigue crack initiation time.Stress concentration and fatigue of profiled reinforcing steels 771 Figure 7 Stress concentration variation with lug widths. These results and models used for the analysis are therefore compatible. The radius of the merging root of the identification mark is nearly zero while its height is of the order of 88% of the value measured for the height of the transverse lugs. and . Identification marks. prove this point strongly. flank angles and r/h ratios Figure 8 Analytical results of Model II Figure 9 Cracks initiated at the intersection point where the SCF is the largest the transverse lug on the bar surface into the body of the bar normal to the bar axis. Jhamb6 measured that the strain in the longitudinal direction was always higher than that in the direction normal to the lug at the root. indicating the name of the supplier. In fact. without exception. Thus bars containing identification marks failed from identification mark roots. Figure 11. This no doubt suggests that the largest stresses lie in the longitudinal direction.

there is some scatter if the fatigue limit is plotted against SCF. . Zheng and A. Abel Figure 12 Crack initiated from a sharp identification mark close to a transverse lug Figure 10 Crack initiation in an evenly spaced transverse lug Figure 13 Crack initiation at the identification mark where is a small gap between the mark and lug Figure 11 Crack initiated from a sharp identification mark exhibited fatigue limits far lower than the bars free of such marks. The cracks shown in Figure 10 are not going through the lugs indicating the validity of the analytical results. which increases the SCFs according to Model II. In Table 3 the sharpest geometry parameters are listed for seven TEMPCORE reinforcing bars together with the calculated SCFs and measured fatigue limits. Although the general trend is that the fatigue limit decreases when the calculated SCF increases. It may also suggest that in the calculation of SCF the surface roughness should be taken into account. Even when identification marks and ribs are in close proximity. The data in the table indicates a good correlation: when the r/h increases from 0. the identification mark appears to be the crack initiator. This indicates that the fatigue limit is not dominated entirely by SCFs but is influenced by residual stresses and microstructure features.0 (16 and 20 mm bars) the SCFs decrease approximately by 23% and the fatigue limit increases by about 30%.3 (32 and 36 mm bars) to 1.772 H. Figures 12 and 13 also show fatigue crack initiations associated with identification marks.

that is. REFERENCES 1 2 MacGregor. The proposed Models can predict SCFs associated with reinforcing bar profile patterns. The effects of deformation width are more significant than those of flank angles.799(r/h)2 − 14. p. Hanson. In Concrete Bridge Design ACI SP26-38.79 3. 2.951(r/h)3 + 42.031(r/h)5 + 61. the stress concentration on the lug surface and in the body of the lug are not significant. K. Jhamb. W.0 4. Smaller root radius naturally results in a higher stress concentration factor.562 1.08 0. G. Burton. T.. Fatigue initiation frequently takes place at identification marks as they sharply merge into the bar base and also at neighbouring transverse lugs when they are in close proximity. American Concrete Institute. I.0.930 2. N. N. Fatigue strength of high-yield reinforcing bars. M. 1971. and Hognestad.5. Hibbitt.4 3. W/h = 4.0° 42. 1968.7° 41. D. I. In Fatigue of Concrete. ABAQUS 5.191(r/h)3 + 50.679(r/h)2 − 13. March. = 65ºSCF = 5.1992.262(r/h)4 − 70.153(r/h)5 + 55.48 0. p..306(r/h)2 − 17. C.293(r/h)4 − 68. The root radius is the prime factor affecting the value of SCF.15 0. Inc. Corley. Detroit. September. Amer¨ ican Concrete Institute. 1995.6629.. stress concentration factors and fatigue strengths of TEMPCORE reinforcing bars Bar size 12 mm 16 mm 20 mm 24 mm 28 mm 32 mm 36 mm 36. ACI Journal. and Hognestad.497(r/h)3 + 43.665 1.0. W/h = 4. W/h = 3. = 65ºSCF = 5. Somes. F. 5.7° 37.855(r/h)2 − 15.191(r/h)3 + 38.20 4.9 1. ACI SP publication 41-7. W/h = 3. = 45ºSCF = 5.700 1.3° 46. I.0. G. In cases where the transverse lugs are normal to the bar axis. 139.4° r/h 0. Journal of PCA research and development laboratories. and MacGregor J.1408(r/h)6 − 28. 2. Washington. however. Stress concentration increases as the profile width and flank angle increase but these influences are much smaller than those relating to the r/h ratio. 169. Hanson.96 0.. 1971. p.9643 . E. 1011.-O.704 2.241(r/h) + 4. J. M. Stress concentration increases as the lug spacing approaches zero. Jhamb. Thus inclined transverse lug pattern is better in terms of fatigue resistance. T..9972(r/h)6 − 32. ACI publication SP 41-8.31 0. and Nuttall.0° 44. = 45ºSCF = 4. 1974.174 2. 3 4 5 6 7 APPENDIX A Regression results for the relationship between SCF and the r/h. Detroit. National cooperative highway research program report 164. J.0. E. 169.906(r/h) + 4. 1976.3359. Karlsson and Sorensen.274(r/h)5 + 62.216 Fatigue limit 270 MPa 310 MPa 310 MPa 240 MPa 230 MPa 240 MPa 240 MPa 773 6. Gronqvist.455(r/h) + 3.067(r/h) + 4.5° 39. C. Transverse lugs normal to the bar axis reduce fatigue life when compared with bars where the lugs are angled to the bar axis. C.812(r/h)5 + 71.Stress concentration and fatigue of profiled reinforcing steels Table 3 Geometry. J. C. cracks initiate in one plane of the cross section and coalesce easily. 1. N. 3. CONCLUSION From the finite element approach and the obtained experimental data the following conclusions may be drawn.30 W/h 4. G.65 3. and MacGregor J. Transportation research board national research council. Jhamb.6015(r/h)6 − 25.7 Calculated SCF 1.143(r/h)4 − 62.07 2. 4. 1973.. G.1524(r/h)6 − 28. Helgason.994(r/h)4 − 81. In Fatigue of Concrete.