You are on page 1of 27

11.

DEFLECTION AND CRACKS IN REINFORCED
CONCRETE STRUCTURES
11.1 Introduction
To fulfill safety requirements the changes of behaviour of structure must
be analyzed with great care. These changes are often caused by local
reduction of the stiffness of the structure caused by serviceability limit
irregularities in the structure. Deflection and cracking happen to be
critical serviceability limit design considerations for R.C. structures.
Thus the structure should not become unfit for use due to such limits
as excessive deflection, cracking or vibration.
The deflection provisions are set out in:
BS 8110: Part 2 Section 3.2.1.
The crack provisions are set out in:
BS 8110: Part 1: Sections 2.2.3; 2.2.3.4.1; 3.12.11.2
BS 8110: Part 2: Sections 3.8.1; Section 8
11.2 Deflection in Reinforced Concrete Structures
11.2.1 Deflection limits
Deflection in an element is noticeable if it δ
250
L
>
; where L is the length of
the element. However to avoid damage to non-structural elements such
as partitions and finishes the deflection limits are set out as:
(a)
mm or
L
20
500
; whichever is lesser for brittle finishes
(b)
mm or
L
20
350
; whichever is lesser for non-brittle finishes
11.2.2 Deflection control
BS 8110 stipulates that deflections in r.c. structures will be under control
if the ratios of span of element to effective depth of the element are
limited to the restrictions set out in section 3.4.6 of Part 1. Under normal
circumstances if the above restrictions are adhered to then the design will
result into a structure whose deflections will be within the allowable limits.
Otherwise deflections will have to be computed as outlined below and
then compared with the serviceability requirements given in section 3 of
BS 8110: Part 2 of 1985.
Example
1
A simply supported rectangular reinforced concrete beam is as shown in
FIGURE 1.1. Given the following design data, determine what depth, h, of
the beam will ensure that deflection criterion is not violated? Take fire
resistance to be 1.5 hours.
i) Nominal cover to main reinforcement = 20 mm
ii) Dead load on beam due to finishes = 0.75 kN/m
2
iii) Imposed load on beam = 3 kN/m
iv) Unit weight of concrete = 24 kN/m
3
v) Concrete strength, f
cu
= 25 N/mm
2
vi) Reinforcing bar strength f
y
, = 460 N/mm
2
(a) Longitudinal section of the beam
(b) Transverse section XX of the beam
2
h
250 mm
5000
X
X
b
h
FIGURE 1.1
Solution
From the basic
depth
span
ratio given in Table 3.10 of BS 8110: Part 1: 1985,
and assuming a modification factor of 1.2
mm
x
d
x
d
Span
3 . 208
2 . 1 20
5000
2 . 1 20
min
min
·
·
·
Thus initial depth of the beam
c d h + + ·
2
min
φ
Assume that 16 mm φ bar is used, cover of 20 mm for 1.5 hour fire
resistance, then we have
mm
h
250
3 . 236
20
2
16
3 . 208

·
+ + ·
For fire resistance of 1.5 hour the minimum breadth of the beam from
Figure 3.2 of BS 8110: Part 1:1985 is 200 mm
Thus use a beam of
mm b mm h 200 250 · ·
Then effective depth is
mm d 222 20
2
16
250 · − − ·
Loading computation
Dead load Self weight =24 x 0.25 x 0.2 kN/m
=1.2 kN/m
Finishes =0.75x[0.25+0.2]x2
=0.675 kN/m
Total D.L., g
k
=1.2+0.675 = 1.875 kN/m
Imposed Load q
k
= 3 kN/m
Total ultimate Load n = 1.4g
k
+ 1.6q
k
= 1.4x1.875 + 1.6x3
=7.425 kN/m
Applied ultimate bending moment for simply supported condition, M
kNm
x
nl
M
2 . 23
8
5 425 . 7
8
2
2
·
·
·
Design ultimate bending moment of resistance, M
u
kNm
x x x x
d b f M
cu u
44 . 38
10 222 200 25 156 . 0
156 . 0
6 2
2
·
·
·

3
Since M
u
> M, provide only tension reinforcement only.
4
Design of tensile reinforcement
K =
cu
f bd
M
2
=
25 222 200
10 2 . 23
2
6
x x
x
= 0.094
Lever arm, Z = d[0.5+ )
9 . 0
25 . 0 (
K
− ]
= 222[0.5+ )
9 . 0
094 . 0
25 . 0 ( −
= 0.881 x 222 < 0.95d
= 195.65 mm
Area of tensile reinforcement
A
s
=
Z f
M
y
87 . 0
=
65 . 195 460 87 . 0
10 2 . 23
6
x x
x
= 296 mm
2

Check adequacy of reinforcement
A
st(min)
=
bh
100
13 . 0
=
100
13 . 0
x 200 x 250
= 65 mm
2

A
st(max)
=
bh
100
4
=
100
4
x 200 x 250
= 2000 mm
2

Thus provide, 3Y12 ≡ 339.3 mm
2

Check deflection
2
bd
M
=
2
6
222 200
10 2 . 23
x
x
= 2.35 MPa
Service stress, f
s
=
b prov s
req s
y
A
A
f
β
1
8
5
) (
) (
Equation 8 (BS8110 Part 1)
=
1
1
3 . 339
296
460
8
5
x x x
= 250.8 MPa
Modification factor, M.F.
M.F. = 0.55 +
) 9 . 0 ( 120
) 477 (
2
bd
M
f
s
+

≤ 2.0 Equation 7 (BS8110 Part 1)
= 0.55 +
) 35 . 2 9 . 0 ( 120
) 8 . 250 477 (
+

= 0.55 + 0.58
= 1.13 < 2.0
5
Allowable span/d ratio = 20 x 1.13 = 22.6
Actual span/d ratio = 5000/222 = 22.5
The beam depth is satisfactory with respect to deflection. Thus provide a
minimum depth of
mm h 250 ·
for the beam.
11.2.5 Deflection Calculation
The calculation of deflection in reinforced concrete is spelt out in BS 8110:
Part 2 Sections 3.6 and 3.7.
Procedure of calculating deflections in reinforced concrete elements is as
follows:
Step 1: Determine the moment acting on the element
Use elastic analysis using gross concrete section and taking serviceability
limit loads, viz.
k k
Q G 0 . 1 0 . 1 +
with appropriate loading patterns. No
redistribution of moment is allowed.
Step 2: Determine the curvatures of the element
BS 8110: Part 2 Section 3.6 outlines the procedure of determining the
curvature due to the loading. It differentiates the curvature for a cracked
concrete section from that of an uncracked concrete section, then adopts
the one that gives the larger value.
(i) To determine the curvatures of an r.c. element that has
cracked – Method one
Assumptions Refer to section 3.6 page 3/2 of BS 8110: Part 2.
N A
SECTION STRAINS STRESSES FORCES
Figure 1.2: Section properties of a cracked r.c. element (Figure 3.1(a) of
BS 8110: Part 2)
6
f
st
ρ
f
ct
f
cc
d
/
d
/
d
b
h
A
st
A
sc
d-x ε
st
ε
sc
ε
cc
x
f
sc
T
s
T
c
C
s
C
c
NOTE: h is the overall depth of the section
x is the depth from the compression face to the neutral
axis
d Effective depth of the section
f
cc
is the maximum compressive stress in the concrete
f
st
is the tensile stress in the reinforcement
E
s
The modulus of elasticity of the reinforcement
E
c
The short term modulus of elasticity of the concrete
Curvature:
x r
cc
ε
ρ · ·
1
; from strain diagram, Eqn. 7 of BS 8110:
Part 2
Compression strain in concrete:
c
cc
cc
E
f
· ε
; from Hooke’s Law
Compression stress in concrete:
cc c cc
E f ε ·
Tensile strain in steel:
s
st
cc st
E
f
x
x d
·

,
_

¸
¸ −
· ε ε
; from stress diagram.
Tensile stress in concrete:
,
_

¸
¸ −
·
x
x h
f f
cc ct
'
; from stress diagram
Tensile stress in concrete at level of steel:
,
_

¸
¸ −
·
x
x d
f f
cc ct
; Where
ct
f
is
fixed at 1.00 N/mm
2
in short term loading and 0.55 N/mm
2
in long-term
loading.
From the BS 8110 assumptions, curvature at mid span of a beam or for
cantilever at the support section is given by:
( )
s
st
c
cc cc
b
E x d
f
xE
f
x r −
· · · ·
ε
ρ
1
Which is given as equation 7 in the BS 8110.
The Procedure
(a) Construct the strain, stress and force diagram for the section as
shown in Figure 1.2 above. Note that for long-term loads the
effective value of E
c
should be used.
Let α
e
= Modular ratio =
c
s
E
E
(b) Express the reinforcement stresses in terms of concrete stresses
cc
sc
e
cc c
sc s
cc
sc
E
E
f
f
ε
ε
α
ε
ε
· ·
but from the strain diagram
x
d x
cc
sc
/

·
ε
ε
thus;

,
_

¸
¸ −
·
x
d x
f f
cc e sc
/
α
Similarly;
,
_

¸
¸ −
·
x
x d
f f
cc e st
α
(c) Compute the internal forces
bx f C
cc c
5 . 0 ·

,
_

¸
¸ −
· ·
x
d x
A f A f C
sc cc e sc sc s
/
α
7

,
_

¸
¸ −
· ·
x
x d
A f A f T
st cc e st st s
α
[ ]
[ ]

,
_

¸
¸


·
x d
x h
b f T
ct c
2
5 . 0
(d) From the equilibrium of internal forces
0 · − − +
c s s c
T T C C
The respective values in the above equation can be substituted from
equations in step (c) above
(e) Taking moment about the N.A. for the internal forces
( ) ( ) ( ) x h T x d T d x C x C M
c s s c I
− + − + − + ·
3
2
3
2
/
The respective values in the above equation can be substituted from
equations in step (c) above.
(f) Equating the external moment computed in Step 1 and the internal
moment computed in Step 2 (e). That is moment due to internal
forces must balance the moment due to external loads.
Thus there are two polynomial functions in terms of two unknowns,
f
cc
and x, which can be solved by successive trials to obtain the
desired values.
Note that the area of concrete occupied by the reinforcement has
not been deducted in the expression above.
(ii) To calculate the curvatures of an r.c. element that has
cracked – Method two
An alternative equation defining ρ is given by:
; where M is the moment at the section
considered I is the second moment of
area.
The Procedure
(a) Transform the reinforced concrete section into a pure concrete
section as shown in Figure 1.3 below
8
b
I E
M
r
c b
· ·
1
ρ
d
/
α
e
A
sc
R.C. Section Transformed section
Figure 1.3: Transformed r.c. section
(b) Compute the second moment of area of the transformed section
about x-x
( ) ( ) ( )
( ) ( )
2
2
/ 3
2
2
/
2
3
3
1
2 12
1
x d A d x A bx
x d A d x A
x
bx bx I
st e sc e
st e sc e xx
− + − + ·
− + − +
,
_

¸
¸
+ ·
α α
α α
(c) Establish the reduced moment of resistance
Consider the concrete in the tension zone. The moment of
resistance of the concrete in tension is
( ) x h T M
c c
− ·
3
2
. Where T
c

was computed in step 2.
c R
M M M − ·
. Where M was computed in step 1
(d) Compute the curvature
Otherwise calculate;
x c
R c
I E
M
x
·
ε

x
R
c
I
x M
f ·
c
c
c
E
f
· ε
; where E
c
depends on whether the loads applied are short-
term or long-term.
Then
x r
c
ε
·
1
(iii) To calculate the curvatures of an r.c. element that is un-
cracked
Assumptions See BS 8110: Part 2 section 3.6(b) page 3/3
9
D
cc
α
e
A
st
2(h-x)/3
T
c
x-d
/
d-x
x
f
ct
d
/
d
b
h
A
st
A
sc
x c
R
b
I E
M
r
· ·
1
ρ
f
cc
d
/
A
sc
d-x ε
st
ε
sc
ε
cc
x
f
sc
T
s
T
c
C
s
C
c
SECTION STRAIN STRESS
FORCE
DIAGRAM DIAGRAM DIAGRAM
DIAGRAM
Figure 1.4: Section properties of a uncracked r.c. element (Figure
3.1(b) of BS 8110:
Part 2), with
x D
cc
3
1
·
and
) (
3
2
x d D
ct
− ·
(a) Establish the equivalent area of the transformed section
[ ]
st sc e e
A A bh A + + · α
(b) Find the depth of the neutral axis, taking moment of area about the
compression fibres
( )
e
st sc e
A
d A d A
h
b
x
+ +
·
/
2
2
α
(c) Find the second moment of area about the neutral axis
( ) ( )
2
/ 2
2
3
2 12
d x A x d A x
h
bh
bh
I
sc e st e xx
− + − +
,
_

¸
¸
− + · α α
(d) Find the curvature
xx c
I E
M
r
·
1
(iv) Curvature Due to Long Term Loads
(a) Creep: See BS 8110: Part 2 Section 7.3
(b) Shrinkage: See BS 8110: Part 2 Section 7.4
Step 3: Calculation of Deflection from Curvatures
The deflected shape of a member is related to the curvatures by Eqn 10 of
BS 8110: Part 2, thus:
2
2
1
dx
a d
r
x
·
; Equation 10 (BS 8110 Part 2)
where,
x
r
1
is the curvature at x and as computed above
a
is the deflection at x.
10
D
ct
f
ct
f
st
d
/
d
b
h
A
st
Deflections may be computed directly from this equation by calculating
the curvatures at successive sections along the member, and using a
numerical integration technique.
Alternatively, the simplified scheme given by Eqn 11 of BS 8110: Part 2
can be used
b
r
kl a
1
2
·
; Equation 11 (BS 8110 Part 2)
Where
b
r
1
is the curvature at mid-span or, for cantilever,
at the support section
l is the effective span of the member
k is a constant that depends on shape of the bending
moment diagram.
The various coefficients of k for common shapes of bending moment
diagram are given in Table 3.1 of BS 8110: Part 2 page 3/5.
11
12
11.3 CRACK CONTROL AND CALCULATION IN REINFORCED
CONCRETE STRUCTURES
11.3.1 Introduction
The presence of the crack does not necessarily mean that the structure
will collapse, but it is a signal that the behaviour of the structure
should be considered more carefully.
Cracking may detract from the appearance of the structure, permit
ingress of moisture and lead to corrosion of steel. Excessive cracking and
wide cracks will thus affect the durability of the structure.
An accurate prediction of the initiation of cracks and the subsequent
monitoring of their behaviour during the structure’s response to loading
play a significant role in the prediction of the general safety of the
structure.
11.3.2 Sequence of Crack Formation
RC elements experience cracks in the tension face when the tensile
strength of the concrete is exceeded. The tensile strength of concrete is
generally less than 20% of the compressive strength.
Primary cracks form first and as applied moment increases secondary
cracks follow. The width of secondary crack at a point on the surface of a
beam is affected by:
1 Surface strains which can be found by analyzing the section
assuming the section remains plane in accordance with Bernoulli’s
beam theory
2 The distance of the point from a point of zero crack width. The
points of zero crack width are the neutral axis and the surface of
longitudinal reinforcing bars. The larger the distance of point from
the points of zero crack width, the larger the cracks width will be as
shown in Figure 1.1 below.
13
Figure 2.1: Critical locations for cracking in a beam are:
• At A equidistant between the neutral axis and the bar
surface.
• At B equidistant between the bar.
• At C on the corner of the beam.
11.3.3 Code Provision for Cracks
The following sections in BS 8110: Part 1, Sections 2.2.3; 2.2.3.4.1;
3.12.11.2 and BS 8110: Part 2: Sections 3.8.1 and Section 8 deal with
crack phenomena in reinforced concrete structures.
11.3.4 Sources of Cracks in Reinforced Concrete
(i) Incorrect detailing is the most common source of cracking in RC
structures. For example, wrong or no placement of movement joint
during detailing and construction. Movement joints are provided to
reduce or eliminate cracking by permitting relative movement to
occur. Movement joints are covered in BS 8110: Part 2, Section 8.
The various types of movement joints as shown in Figure 1.2 are:
• Contraction/expansion joints
• Sliding joints
• Hinged joints
• Settlement joints;
Figure 2.2 Joints in R.C. Structures
(ii) Errors in design calculation and detailing;
(iii) Reinforcing bar spacing limits in tension zones;
14
(iv) Amount of reinforcing bars;
(v) Poor construction methods such as:
• Incorrect placement of steel leading to insufficient cover
• In adequate cover to reinforcement
• Poor curing - loss of water can cause shrinkage cracking.
During curing the concrete should be kept damp and covered;
(vi) External physical and mechanical factors such as:
(a) Restraint of elements against movement causes cracking. The
movement might be due to elastic deformation, creep under
constant load, shrinkage on drying and settlement of
foundations; changes in temperature and moisture content.
(b) Overloading the structure - overloading may be brought about
by change of function of the building or room i.e. classroom
changed to library increases Imposed Loading which was not
catered for in the earlier design.
(c) Structure settlement namely:
 Differential settlement of foundation can cause
cracking,
 Shrinkage of clays from ground dewatering,
 Drying out in droughts,
 Tree roots causing disruptions,
 Ground movement from nearby excavations.
11.3.5 Crack Control
Cracking should be kept within reasonable limits. A maximum surface
crack width of 0.3 mm is appropriate, as stipulated in BS 8110: Part 1
Section 3.12.11.2, and can be achieved if correct detailing is done. This
can be controlled by adhering to detailing rules with regard to bar spacing
in zones where the concrete is in tension. However, if this limit will impair
the efficiency of the structure a smaller value may be more appropriate.
For instance for water tightness values of 0.2 mm or even 0.1 mm may be
adopted.
BS 8110: Part 1 Section 2.2.3.4.1 specifies two methods of crack control.
(i) Limiting maximum bar spacing in the tension zone of
members under normal situations - maximum spacing is specified in
BS 8110: Part 1 Section 3.12.11.2 Table 3.30.
(ii) Use of the formula provided in BS 8110: Part 2 Section
3.8 for assessing the design crack width, in special cases.
In addition, however, the following should be complied with:
(a) Allowance should be made for stiffening effects of concrete in the
tension zone, and for creep and shrinkage;
(b) Minimum areas of steel to control cracking in beams as per BS
8110: Part 1 Section 3.12.5.3, Table 3.27;
(c) Bar spacing control rules to limit crack width to 0.3mm, thus:
15
• Bars of diameter less than 0.45 of the largest diameter should
be ignored except when considering beam side face bars.
• Refer to Figure 2.3 below for bar spacing control to limit crack
width.
Figure 2.3: Illustration of bar spacing rules
Bar spacing rules;

b
a
should not be greater than values specified in Table 3.30
of BS 8110 Part 1
• s
b
should not be greater than 250 mm
• Clear spacing,
b
a

y
b
f
β 75000
≤ 300; where
tion redistribu before Moment
tion redistribu after Moment
b
· β
For β
b
= 0; maximum
b
a
= 300 mm, for f
y
= 250 N/mm
2
and
maximum
b
a
= 160 mm for f
y
= 460 N/mm
2
• An alternative method of computing
b
a
is:
16
Clear spacing,
b
a

s
f
47000
≤ 300; where f
s
is the service stress
determined using Equation 8
Table 3.10 (BS 8110: Part 1)
b prov s
req s y
s
X
A
A f
f
β
1
3
2
.
·
Equation 8 of BS 8110: Part 1; 1997

c
a

should not be greater than 0.5 of
b
a
• If h exceeds 750 add bars as indicated in Figure 2.3 above, on
the right hand side (as per Section 3.12.11.2.6 of BS 8110: Part 1:
1997). Otherwise the side reinforcement is not necessary, as on the
left hand side.
• The size of the side bar should not be less than that specified
in BS 8110: Part 1 Section 3.12.5.4
( )
y
b
f
b a
• The maximum clear spacing for slabs is given in BS 8110: Part
1 Section 3.12.11.7. Other control measures are outlined in
3.12.11.8 for slabs.
11.3.6 Calculation of Crack Width
11.3.6.1 General
The equations for assessing crack width for flexure and direct tension are
stipulated in BS 8110: Part 2 Section 3.8. The computation of the crack
width for flexure and direct tension shall be treated separately in this
course.
11.3.6.2 Crack width calculation for reinforced concrete
elements in flexure
The design crack width,
cr
w
, at any point on the surface of the tension
zone of the element under flexure is calculated using Equation 12 of BS
8110: Part 2, thus:
1
]
1

¸



+
·
x h
c a
a
w
cr
m cr
cr
min
2 1
3 ε
Eqn. 12 (BS 8110: Part 2)
Where;
cr
a
is the distance of the point considered to the
surface of the nearest longitudinal bar,
ε
m
is the average strain at the level where the
cracking is being considered,
c
min
is the minimum cover to the tension steel,
h is the overall depth of the element,
x is the depth of the neutral axis.
17
This is provided that the strains, ε
st
, in the tension reinforcement is not
greater than
1
]
1

¸

s
y
E
f 8 . 0
, viz. the steel has not yielded.
Determination of ε
m
An approximate method for the determination of ε
m
is given in BS 8110
Part 2 Section 3.8.3.
For a rectangular tension zone, use Equation 13 given in BS 8110 Part 2
Section 3.8.3, thus;

( ) ( )
( )
1
]
1

¸


− −
− ·
x d A E
x a x h b
s s
t
m
3
'
1
ε ε Eqn. 13 (BS 8110: Part 2)
Where; ε
1
Strain at level being considered,
calculated while ignoring the stiffening effect
of the concrete in the tension zone.
'
a Distance from the compression face to the
point at which the crack width is being
considered/calculated.
b
t
Width of the section at the centroid of the
tension steel.
E
s
Modulus of elasticity of the reinforcement
A
s
Area of tension reinforcement
The term within the square brackets defines the
tension stiffening effect.
If the whole section is in tension an effective value of (h–x) can be
estimated by interpolation between the following conditions:
(a) Where the n.a. is at the compression face (h-x) = h, i.e.
x

=0
(b) For axial tension with (h-x) = 2h
NOTE
1. If ε
m
< 0 the section is not cracked.
2. The modulus of elasticity of the concrete is taken as 0.5 of the
instantaneous value (see Table 7.2 Part 2 BS 8110).
3. For high drying shrinkage, viz. > 0.0006, ε
m
should be
increased by adding 50% of the shrinkage strains. Otherwise,
in normal cases shrinkage may be neglected.
Implications of Equation 13 of BS 8110: Part 2
The following can be illustrated diagrammatically as shown in Figure 2.4
overleaf:
18
1. Along the bottom edge in the region of maximum tension for
which
'
a = h
ε
m
becomes
( )
( )
1
1
]
1

¸



− ·
x d A E
x h b
s s
t
m
3
2
1
ε ε
, a constant value. So in the crack
width formula
cr
a
is the only variable and as the maximum value of
cr
a
is midway between bars, the maximum crack width occurs at this
point.
2. Immediately below the reinforcing bar,
cr
a
is a minimum and
equals to c
min
, so crack width = 3 c
min
ε
m
and is the minimum value.
3. At the corner
cr
a

=
c
a
which is greater than c
min
so the crack
in wider.
4. Moving up the side of the beam;
• ε
m
decreases linearly from a maximum at the corner of the beam
to zero at the n.a.
• The value of
cr
a
decreases to a minimum at the level of the
reinforcement and then increases up to the level of n.a. If no
further longitudinal bars are encountered.
• It will be found that the maximum value of the crack width occurs
at about 1/3 of the distance between the longitudinal steel and
the n.a.
Note that these comments assume that the maximum tensile stress is in
the span of the element. Where the maximum stress occurs in the top of
the element, e.g. over support, the diagram will be inverted.
19
Figure 2.4: Significant factors in calculating crack width.
11.3.6.2Calculation of crack width for reinforced concrete
elements in direct tension
Direct tension as a predominant force is unlikely to occur in normal
building structures, but direct tension forces in combination with bending
moments may occur. In this case the neutral axis will be calculated taking
into account the tension, following which the calculations for flexural crack
width will be as before.
The limit of flexure being predominant is where the neutral axis is at the
top face of the member shown in Figure 2.4, viz. when x=0. The equation
for the crack width now becomes
1
]
1

¸

+
·
h
c a
a
w
cr
m cr
cr
min
2 1
3 ε
20
And, the tension stiffening effect
d A E
h b
s s
t
3
2
·
When the whole section is in tension it is suggested that the modification
given in 3.8.3(b), viz. the parameter (h – x) = 2h for axial tension is used.
The equation for the crack width then becomes;
m cr cr
a w ε 3 ·
(for c
min
=
cr
a
) and
s s
t
m
A E
h b
3
2
1
− · ε ε
; for (d-x) ≈ (h-x) and (
'
a -x) = (h-x).
where; A
s
is the total area of steel in
the section, equally divided
between the two faces.
The most obvious case of axial tension is the hoop tension in a circular
tank containing water. In the Code for liquid-retaining structure the
maximum crack width is 0.2mm. Designers of these structures are
interested primarily in serviceability limit state of cracking. A calculation is
required at ultimate limit state, but if the walls are cracked and water is
leaking out, the tank is unserviceable and a factor of safety at ultimate is
irrelevant.
A designer can select an arrangement of bars to suit a particular wall
thickness, tensile force, cover and crack width requirement.
11.3.7 Examples of Crack Width Calculation
11.3.7.1 Crack width calculation for a rectangular beam
Calculate design crack widths at critical positions for the internal support
section of the following two-span continuous beam for which 15%
redistribution has been allowed at the ultimate limit state.
21
Figure 2.5:
Assuming a concrete cover of 45 mm and Φ=40 mm, from the diagram it
can be seen that the distance between the bars is 130mm, which is less
than the value given in Table 3.30 (BS8110 Part 1). The formula below the
table gives the upper limit to be 138.6mm. The distance to the corner of
the beam is 68.5 mm, which is also within the limit (0.5
b
a
).
(1) Calculate internal support moment due to service load.
kNm
X
M
s
463
8
10 ) 15 22 (
2
·
+
·
(2) Calculate properties of equivalent transformed section with
2
c
e
E
E ·
2
28
mm
kN
E
c
·
from Table 7.2 in Part 2 so
2
14
mm
kN
E
e
·
14
14
200
· · ·
c
s
e
E
E
α
17 . 0
690 300
2510 14
· ·
X
X
so
e
ρ α
( ) [ ] 427 . 0 2 · + + − · ρ α ρ α ρ α
e e e
d
x
mm z and mm x so 8 . 591 6 . 294 · ·
(3) Calculate average surface strain at top of beam
( )
2 2
6
368 8 . 0 7 . 311
8 . 591 2510
10 463
mm
N
f
mm
N
X
X
z A
M
f
y
s
s
s
· < · · ·
22
Figure 2.6:
001558 . 0
10 200
7 . 311
3
· · ·
X E
f
s
s
s
ε
ε
1
=
00179 . 0 001558 . 0
4 . 395
4 . 455
· ·


· X
x d
x h
s h
ε ε
00169 . 0
000104 . 0 00179 . 0
4 . 395 2510 10 200 3
) 4 . 455 ( 300
00179 . 0
) ( 3
) (
3
2
2
·
− ·
− ·


− ·
X X X X
x d A E
x h b
s s
t
h mh
ε ε
(4) Calculate crack widths at critical position
(a) Top of beam
Maximum crack width occurs midway between bars, where
( ) mm a
m
84 20 85 60
2 2
· − + ·
) ( 40
min
face top mm c ·
) 3 . 0 ( 36 . 0
4 . 455
40 84
2 1
10 7 . 1 84 3
2 1
3
3
min
mm mm
X X X
x h
c a
a
w
cr
m cr
cr
> ·
1
]
1

¸

+
·
1
]
1

¸



+
·

ε
(b) At corner of beam
mm a
c
5 . 68 ·
) 3 . 0 ( 31 . 0
4 . 455
40 5 . 68
2 1
10 7 . 1 5 . 68 3
2 1
3
3
min
mm mm
X X X
x h
c a
a
w
cr
m cr
cr
> ·
1
]
1

¸

+
·
1
]
1

¸



+
·

ε
(c) On side of beam
Critical position approximately (d-x)/3 from reinforcement, which is 263
mm from neutral axis
23
mm a 2 . 558 6 . 263 6 . 294
'
· + ·
00098 . 0 0017 . 0
4 . 455
6 . 263
'
· ·


· X
x h
x a
mh m
ε ε
( ) mm a d a
cr
5 . 124 20 ) 129 65 ( 20 ) ( 65
2 2 2 ' 2
· − + · − − + ·
) ( 45
min
face side mm c ·
) 3 . 0 ( 27 . 0
4 . 455
45 5 . 124
2 1
10 8 . 9 5 . 124 3
2 1
3
4
min
mm mm
X X X
x h
c a
a
w
cr
m cr
cr
< ·
1
]
1

¸

+
·
1
]
1

¸



+
·

ε
From these calculations it can be seen that although the spacing of the
bars comply with the bar spacing rules, the calculated crack widths in 4(a)
and (b) exceed 0.3mm. This is one of the cases where the calculation does
improve on the rules, and in deep beams this does appear to be the case.
A better condition would be achieved by using 3/32 bars
11.3.7.7 Crack width calculation for a T-beam
The section and reinforcement at mid-span of a simply supported T-beam
are shown in Figure 2.7. The total moment at the section due to service
loads is 111.6 kNm. The materials are Grade 30 concrete and Grade 460
reinforcement. Determine the crack width (a) at the corner A, (b) at the
center of the tension face B and (c) the side face C, midway between the
neutral axis and the surface of the tension reinforcement.
The properties of the transformed section are computed first. The values
for the moduli of elasticity are as follows:
Reinforcement
2
200
mm
kN
E
s
·
Concrete
2
13 26
2
1
mm
kN
X E
e
· ·
Modular ratio
4 . 15
13
200
· · ·
C
S
c
E
E
α
The transformed section is shown in Figure 1.7(b). The neutral axis is
located first, taking moment of area about n.a.
) 300 ( 22669 ) 45 ( 6191 725
2
x x x − · − +
Solve to give x = 80.9mm
24
Figure 2.7: (a) Section: (b) transformed section (c) crack locations and
dimensions (d) stress diagram
The moment of inertia about the neutral axis is
4 8
2 2
3
10 22 . 13
1 . 219 22669 9 . 35 6191
3
9 . 80
1450
mm X
X X X I
xx
·
+ + ·
The stress in the tension steel is:
2
8
6
8 . 284
10 22 . 13
4 . 15 1 . 219 10 6 . 111
mm
N
X
X X X
f
t
·
·
The strain in the tension steel is:
3
3
10 424 . 1
10 200
8 . 284

·
·
X
X
s
ε
Neglect the stiffening effect of the concrete in tension in the flange of the
T-beam.
25
(a) Crack width at A
The strain in the concrete at A is:
3
3
1
10 749 . 1
9 . 80 300
) 9 . 80 350 ( 10 424 . 1


·


·
X
X X
ε
The strain reduction due to the stiffening effect of the concrete in the
tension zone, where mm h a 350
'
· · is:
5
3
2
10 35 . 9
) 300 ( 1472 10 200 3
) 9 . 80 350 ( 250

·


X
x X X X
The average strain at the crack location is therefore:
3 3
10 635 . 1 10 ) 094 . 0 749 . 1 (
− −
· − · X X
m
ε
The design surface crack width at A where
mm c and mm a
cr
5 . 37 2 . 58
min
· ·

is
mm
X X X
x h
c a
a
w
cr
m cr
cr
25 . 0
9 . 80 350
5 . 37 2 . 58
2 1
10 655 . 1 2 . 58 3
2 1
3
3
min
·
1
]
1

¸



+
·
1
]
1

¸



+
·

ε
(b) Crack width at B (Figure 1.5(c))
The dimension
mm a
cr
50 ·
and the average strain
3
10 655 . 1

· X
m
ε
Therefore crack width = 0.23mm
(c) Crack width at C
C is midway between the neutral axis and the surface of the
reinforcement (Figure 1.7(c)). The location of C is found by successive
trail. If C is 108.7mm from the neutral axis, it is also 108.7mm from the
surface of the bar and a

= 189.6mm.
The strain in the concrete at C is:
3
3
1
10 706 . 0
9 . 80 300
7 . 108 10 424 . 1


·

·
X
X X
ε
The strain reduction due to the stiffening effect of the concrete is:
26
5
3
10 78 . 3
) 9 . 80 300 ( 1472 10 200 3
) 9 . 80 6 . 189 ( ) 9 . 80 350 ( 250

·

− −
X
X X X
The average strain at the crack location is:
3 3
10 668 . 0 10 ) 038 . 0 706 . 0 (
− −
· − · X X
m
ε
The design surface crack width at C where a
cr
= 108.7mm is:
mm
X X X
x h
c a
a
w
cr
m cr
cr
14 . 0
9 . 80 350
5 . 37 7 . 108
2 1
10 668 . 0 7 . 108 3
2 1
3
3
min
·
1
]
1

¸



+
·
1
]
1

¸



+
·

ε
All crack width are less than 0.3mm and are thus satisfactory
11.3.7.3 Crack width calculation for an element in direct tension
The hoop tension force in the wall of a tank is 570kN/m. The wall is 200
thick, cover to reinforcement is 40mm, and the limiting crack width is
0.2mm. Check that T16 at 150 centres each face is satisfactory.
m
mm
A Total
s
2
2680 ·
00106 . 0
10 200 2680
10 570
3
3
1
· ·
X X
X
ε
00025 . 0
2680 10 200 3
200 1000 2
3
· ·
X X X
X X
g stiffennin Tensioning
00081 . 0 00025 . 0 00106 . 0 · − ·
m
ε
81 8 75 48
2 2
· − + ·
cr
a
mm X X w
cr
197 . 0 00081 . 0 81 3 · ·
27