Chapter One Introduction


The subject of this thesis is the end anchorage of the main bars of reinforced concrete beams and slabs. The main emphasis is on anchorages at simple supports but part of the work is relevant to anchorages in uncracked regions around sections of contraflexure. End anchorages can be critical in design, particularly where the presence of shear cracks produces the need for significant bar forces to be developed in short lengths. The use of truss or strut and tie modelling helps in the evaluation of the forces to be anchored, but the assessment of resistance remains a problem and the objective of the work reported here was to improve the means of calculating resistances. The research treats the commonest types of anchorages at simple supports, i.e. straight bars and bars with 90  and 180

bends in vertical planes. It does not treat anchorages

with welded cross bars, horizontal loops, forged heads or welded bearing plates. It treats only deformed reinforcement and all test data used are bottom-cast bars. The approach developed in the subsequent chapters is essentially empirical. The BS8110(1) treatment of bond and end anchorage ignores many factors known to influence resistance. The Eurocode EC2-2004(2) takes account of more parameters, but there appears to be no publication in which its expressions have been verified by comparisons with test results and its approach to end anchorages using hooks or bends seems confused and not really usable for standard hooks and bends with test results. Thus the two sets of design rules likely to be of interest in the UK leave much to be desired, and most theoretical work on bond does not deal with end anchorage. The present research is therefore aimed at the development of an approach with a rational basis, accounting for the major influential factors and yet simple enough for practical use.


Chapter two is a literature review. Following an introduction, section 2.2 considers and compares code of practice recommendations relevant to end anchorage. This is followed by four sections on research publications. Section 2.3 on straight anchorages without transverse pressure is a relatively brief review of works on bond in general including some papers giving expressions which could be used to predict bond strengths of anchorages without transverse pressure, e.g. anchorages in regions of contraflexure. Section 2.4 is a more comprehensive review of research on bond with transverse pressure. One reason for its length is that it tries to show what data are available from tests of specimens representing beam ends and other situations. It also presents the upper bound plastic theory approach to end anchorage. Section 2.5 is commentary on the state of knowledge on bond/anchorage of straight bars with and without transverse pressure. The final section of chapter 2 reviews work on anchorage by bends and hooks. As only one publication has been found dealing directly with the strength of bent anchorages at simple supports this section also considers wider research on bent anchorages. These include anchorages of the top bars of beams in external columns, anchorages a concrete webs and blocks etc Chapter 3 uses test results from the literature to make comparisons between experimental and calculated bond strengths of straight anchorages without and with transverse pressure. BS8110 and EC2 are included in both comparisons along with two relevant research-based approaches in each case. Considering both the mean ratios of experimental to calculated strengths and the coefficients of variation, it is concluded that an equation by Darwin et al. is a promising basis for treating anchorages without transverse pressure although it requires improvements. The picture for anchorages with transverse pressure is less clear. Nielsen’s plastic theory is fairly reliable, if a little on the unsafe side, but it is complicated to use. EC2 is also quite successful.


No parallel comparisons were made for anchorages with bends or hooks due to the almost complete lack of relevant test data. Chapter 4 describes the experimental work undertaken in this research. Tests were made on sixty five simply supported rectangular beams subjected to central concentrated loads. The main bars were exposed in one of he shear spans so that the forces acting at the support could be easily determined. The anchorages in thirty seven of the beams were straight bars and the main variables were the covers, the anchorage lengths and the ratios between the transverse pressure and the bond stress. In most cases the transverse pressures were relatively low as this condition is not well represented in the published data. Of the remaining tests, fifteen were of anchorages with 90  bends and thirteen were of anchorages with 180  hooks. The main variables here were the diameters of the bends and the side covers. In some tests the bars were debonded up to the centre lines of the supports, where the bends started. Most of the tests resulted in anchorage failures characterized by splitting of the concrete along the bars or by bursting/splitting within bends. Chapter 5 is devoted to the analysis of the results of the present tests together with those from the literature and the development of equations for predicting anchorage capacities. The first step is a modification of Darwin’s expression for the bond strength of straight bars without transverse pressure to obtain more rational treatments of the influence of the ratios of the bond length to the bar size and of the effect of covers and bar spacings. This is followed by a numerical investigation of the strengths of straight anchorages with transverse pressure resulting in a bi-linear relationship between the ultimate bond stress and the transverse pressure. With the pressure equal to zero this gives a bond strength equal to the modified Darwin value. The gradient of bond stress/transverse


pressure reduces at high pressures. The relationship is extended to include the effect of stirrups within the anchorage length. The data basis for straight anchorages are relatively large and satisfactory natures of the predictions is thus quite well substantiated. An additional comparison is made using the results of a series of tests by Magnusson , for which it is difficult to evaluate the end anchored forces alone. This comparison is therefore made in terms of the bar forces at the section of maximum moment for which the end forces are calculated as above and the additional forces developed in the shear span are calculated by strut and tie modelling. The comparison is again a satisfactory. The final analyses are for anchorages including bends or hooks. The experimental strengths, which are predominantly those from the present investigation at first compared with values calculated according to BS8110, BD44/95 and EC2. The correlations with British recommendations are poor. That with EC2 is better but still not very satisfactory. A method of treating anchorages with bends is then developed which follows accepted practice by making the total anchorage resistance the sum of components calculated separately for the bonded lead length over the support and the bend+tail part. The bonded lead length is treated by the expression already developed for straight anchorages with transverse pressure and the bond resistance of the bend+tail is calculated by the expression for straight anchorages without transverse pressure. The bearing resistance of the concrete inside the bend is found using the expression of BD44/95. The method developed avoids the use of arbitrary effective lengths as are employed in both BS8110 and BD44/95. It also avoids the rules by which all three current approaches allow limitations of the bend+tail resistance arising from bearing stresses to be ignored in some cases. The correlation with test results is satisfactory, and better than those for the existing methods , but it has to be noted that the data base is small and does not cover full ranges of possible variables.


The final chapter summarises the main conclusions from the work and makes proposals for future research.