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ACI STRUCTURAL JOURNAL

TECHNICAL PAPER

Title no. 94-S5

Modification of the ACI Rectangular Stress Block


for High-Strength Concrete

by Hisham H. H. Ibrahim and J. G.MacGregor


Most concrete codes do not explicitly cover concrete with strengths above
50-60 MPa (7000 to 9000 psi). Compression stress blocks from three current codes that do allow design for high-strength concrete (HSC) sections
are presented. Comparisons of test data from the literature to strengths calculated using the current ACI rectangular stress block indicate it is not
conservative for high strength concrete column sections failing in compression. New equations for the parameters that define the ACI rectangular
stress block are suggested and compared to tests.
Keywords:columns; design; flexural strength; high-strength concrete; column interaction diagrams; reinforced concrete; stress-strain relationships.

INTRODUCTION
In North America the design of reinforced concrete for
flexure is based on a rectangular compression stress block.
An analytical study by Garcia and Nilson,1 based on stressstrain curves of concentrically loaded cylinders with a peak
stress equal to 0.85 f'c suggests that the ACI rectangular
stress block is unconservative by up to 12% for the design of
high strength concrete (HSC) rectangular sections subjected
to axial loads with small eccentricities. The ACI code equations for the flexural stress block for HSC were based on
tests by Kaar, et al., 2 and Nedderman, 3 where the sections
were subjected to axial forces with small eccentricities. Leslie, et al., 4 and Garcia and Nilson have proposed non-rectangular stress blocks for design of HSC sections. Swartz, et
al.,5 and Leslie, et al., suggest that the code value of 0.003 for
the ultimate compressive strain is not conservative for design
of HSC sections.
In order to design a concrete member that is subjected to
different cases of loading, an interaction diagram is generated for the cross-section. Using different stress-strain equations for concrete in compression can lead to substantial
differences in the resulting interaction diagrams.
The current Norwegian code has a stress block specifically
derived for HSC. It is conservative compared to the ACI
code. The difference between interaction diagrams generated using these two codes for a HSC section is significant for
the part of the diagram where the axial load is high (when the
section is subjected to axial forces with small eccentricities).
ACI Structural Journal / January-February 1997

For the pure moment case the effect of using a different


stress block is negligible.
In this paper the ACI design procedures for high-strength
concrete and ultra high-strength concrete sections (HSC up
to 100 MPa, [14,500 psi]; and UHSC over 100 MPa) are reviewed and new stress block equations are suggested. The
study includes compression zones with rectangular and triangular cross-sectional areas.
RESEARCH SIGNIFICANCE
This paper compares the results from different tests conducted on concentrically and eccentrically loaded normal
strength concrete (NSC), HSC, and UHSC columns to interaction diagrams based on the ACI rectangular stress block.
New equations for the parameters that define the ACI rectangular stress block are suggested.
REVIEW OF CURRENT DESIGN CODES
ACI 318-M896 and Canadian Code
CAN3-A23.3-M847
The ACI code and the Canadian code have identical stress
block provisions. Both codes specify the concrete compression strength using 152x304 mm (6x12 in.) cylinders. In the
ACI and CSA codes, rectangular, trapezoidal, parabolic, or
other stress blocks may be assumed, provided the relationship between the concrete compressive stress distribution
and the resulting concrete strain is in agreement with test data. Figure 1(c) shows the stress block parameters obtained
from tests: k1 , k 2, and k3 . The rectangular stress block is defined by the parameters and as shown in Figure 1(d) (k1 ,
k2 , k3 , and are defined in the Notation). A distinction has
been made between the k1 , k2 , and k3 obtained from tests and
the parameters and used to define the rectangular stress
ACI Structural Journal, V. 94, No. 1, January-February 1997.
Received Feb. 8, 1995, and reviewed under Institute publication policies. Copyright
1997, American Concrete Institute. All rights reserved, including the making of
copies unless permission is obtained from the copyright proprietors. Pertinent discussion will be published in the November-December 1997 ACI Structural Journal if
received by July 1, 1997.

Hisham H. H. Ibrahim is employed by Buckland and Taylor Ltd., Consultant and


Bridge Design Engineers, in Vancouver, Canada. He received his BSc and MSc from
Cairo University and his PhD from the University of Alberta. His research interests
are reinforced and prestressed structures and the applications of high-strength concrete in concrete structures.
James G. MacGregor is an ACI Fellow as well as University Professor Emeritus at
the University of Alberta. He is a member of ACI Technical Committees 318, 441, and
445, and is a past president of the Institute.

block because the rectangular stress block uses two parameters to approximate the effects of the three measured in tests.
In the ACI and CSA codes the parameter is assumed to
have a constant value of 0.85. The parameter is equal to
0.85 for concrete strengths, f'c up to 30 MPa and is reduced
continuously at a rate of 0.08 for each 10 MPa of strength in
excess of 30 MPa. The parameter is not taken less than
0.65. The limiting compressive strain is assumed to have a
constant value of 0.003. The parameter k2 is taken equal to
0.5.
Norwegian Code NS 3473-19898
The highest grade for normal density concrete based on
tests of 100x100x100 mm (4 in.) cubes is 105 MPa (C 105)
(15,225 psi). The conversion factor to a 152/304 mm cylinder is given as 0.8 up to grade C55 and the cube strength minus 11 MPa (1595 psi) for higher grades. The Norwegian
code assumes an effective k3 value (ratio between structural
strength to cylinder strength, see Fig. 1(c)) that decreases
Table 1Stress block parameters of Norwegian
Code NS 3473-19898
Cube strength
fcube, MPa

Cylinder
strength fc,
MPa

Strength in
structure
fcn = k 3fc ,
MPa

R = k1

C = k2

25

20

16.8

0.877

0.445

35

28

22.4

0.829

0.424

45

36

28.0

0.804

0.413

55

44

33.6

0.778

0.403

65

54

39.2

0.751

0.392

75

64

44.8

0.722

0.382

85

74

50.4

0.66

0.361

95

84

56.0

105

94

61.6

Depends on modulus of elasticity measured in tests of concrete to be used.


Note: 1 MPa = 145 psi.

with increasing strength, going from 0.84 for cylinder


strength of 20 MPa (2900 psi) to 0.66 for cylinder strength of
94 MPa (13,630 psi). Figure 2(a) illustrates the recommended stress strain relationship for different concrete grades.
The strain values at the peak stress, , change from 0.00197
to 0.00215 and the strain values at ultimate strain, , change
from 0.00384 to 0.00268 with a change in the cylinder
strength from 20 to 94 MPa. Equations that define the parameters of the stress-strain relationship are given in the Norwegian code. The symbol fcn in the figure represents the
strength of the concrete in the structure (fcn/f'c is equal to k3 ).
The moment and the normal force capacity of rectangular
sections can be calculated by direct use of the magnitude of
the resultant force (R), which corresponds to k1 , the strength
of concrete in the structure, fcn, and the position of the resultant (C), which corresponds to k2 . Table 1 (from Thorenfeldt,
et al.9 ) gives values of fcn, R and C for different concrete
strengths.
Finnish Code Rak MK4 1989 10
The highest grade concrete defined using 150x150x150
mm (6 in.) cubes is 100 MPa (K100) (14,500 psi). The conversion factor to a 1 52x304 mm cylinder is taken as the cube
strength minus 8 MPa (1160 psi). The Finnish code assumes
a constant value of k3 equal to 0.70.
Figure 2(b) shows the stress-strain relationship recommended by the code. The symbol fck in the figure represents
the concrete strength in the structure.
CEB/FIP Model MC9011
The highest grade concrete defined using the uniaxial
compression strength of 150x300 mm cylinders is 80 MPa
(C80) (11,600 psi) for normal density concrete. Stress-strain
diagrams of the form shown schematically in Figure 2(c) are
presented for analytical purposes. The value of is set at
0.0022. Values of E c, Ec1, vary with changes in the concrete
grade.
For design, two stress blocks are described, the first a parabola-rectangle that consists of a second degree parabola
with apex at a stress of 0.85 f'c and a strain of 0.002, followed
by a yield plateau with a uniform stress of 0.85f' c for strains
between 0.002 and 0.0035, and the second a rectangular
stress block with a function of the concrete strength, decreasing from 0.782 for f'c = 20 MPa (2900 psi) to 0.578 for
f'c = 80 MPa (11,600 psi), and = 1.0.

Figure 1Stress Block Parameters for Rectangular Sections


2

ACI Structural Journal / January-February 1997

Figure 3
Specimens

Figure 2
pression

Stress-Strain Diagrams for Concrete in Com-

DERIVATION OF STRESS BLOCK PARAMETERS


FOR USE IN THE ACI RECTANGULAR STRESS
BLOCK
Structure to Cylinder Compression Strength
Ratio, k3
The parameter k3 is the ratio between the strength of the
concrete in columns compared with concrete of the same
mix in standard compression test cylinders (see Figure 1(c)).
This parameter can be determined from tests on concentrically loaded columns by dividing the part of the maximum
load carried by the concrete section by the gross cross-section area multiplied by the cylinder compression strength. It
can also be determined from tests on eccentrically loaded
columns, as described in Reference 2 and those reported in
two companion papers, References 12 and 13. In this case
the parameter k3 cannot be obtained from the equilibrium of
the external and internal loads since the column strength is
related to the cylinder strength by the parameters k1 k 3 as illustrated in Figure 1(c) and it is necessary to compute the
stress-strain relationship of the cross-section with certain assumptions to calculate k3 .
ACI Structural Journal / January-February 1997

Values of k 3 from Tests of Eccentrically-Loaded

The report of ACI Committee 36314 on HSC recommends


the use of a constant value of k3 equal to 0.85. This recommendation was based, in part, on the results of an experimental program on concentrically loaded plain concrete highstrength cylinders of different sizes, conducted by Martinez,
et al.15 The CEB/FIP16 state-of-the-art report on HSC included results from two test series on concentrically loaded reinforced HSC columns with strengths ranging from 75 to 100
MPa (10,900 to 14,500 psi), conducted by Hiseth and
Jensen17 and Bjerkeli, et al.18 The average value of k3 was
0.82 in the first test series and ranged between 0.94 to 0.96
in the second test series.
Figure 3 shows k3 values obtained from 49 tests of eccentrically loaded columns with concrete strengths greater than
40 MPa (5800 psi). All of the specimens were tested under a
triangular strain distribution with zero strain on one side of
the column. The test series by Kaar, et al.,2 and Swartz, et
al.,5 were on plain concrete specimens. The test series by
Schade19 and Ibrahim and MacGregor12 included both plain
and reinforced concrete specimens. For the latter two series,
the net loads and moments carried by the longitudinal reinforcement at failure were subtracted out, based on the reported stress strain curves, before computing k3 . The figure
indicates that despite the scatter in the test results, the ACI
value of 0.85 is conservative with respect to the values of k3
obtained from eccentrically loaded tests. This conclusion
does not mean that the ACI code is conservative in predicting the applied loads on eccentrically loaded sections since
the force in the cross-section is related to the cylinder
strength by the product of the parameters k1 k3 and the moment arm factor k2 , as discussed before. Although not evident in the figure, there were no significant differences
between the k3 values of the plain concrete specimens and
the reinforced concrete specimens.
Figure 4 shows the values of k3 obtained from 90 tests of
concentrically loaded columns. The columns had a wide
range of amounts of lateral reinforcement ranging from columns without any lateral reinforcement to columns that had
more reinforcement than required by the ACI code for seismic regions. The loads carried by the longitudinal reinforcement at failure were subtracted out, based on the reported
stress strain curves, before computing k3. The values of k3
obtained from the test series conducted by Sheikh and
3

Figure 4 Values of k 3 from Tests of Concentrically-Loaded


Columns

Figure 5 Normalized ACI Interaction Diagram for Rectangular Plain Concrete Sections
Uzumeri 20 were calculated using the gross cross-sectional
area and the peak load that occurred after spalling of the cover. This peak load was higher than the maximum load before
spalling because of the confinement effects. For the other
tests the k 3 value was calculated at the first peak that occurred at or before spalling of the cover.
Figure 4 shows that the ACI value of 0.85 is not conservative. All the test results of Cusson and Paultre21 were lower
than the code value. The figure also shows more scatter between the results of different HSC column test series than
different NSC column test series, and a trend for k3 to become lower as the concrete strength increases. Some test series of HSC columns showed high values of k 3, on average,
4

and others showed quite low values of k3 . High values of k3


were also reported in the FIP/CEB16 report on HSC, as discussed before. Other tests conducted at the University of
Toronto (not plotted in Figs. 3 and 4) showed values of k3 as
low as 70% of the value given by the ACI code. These tests
included eccentrically loaded columns made with 60 MPa
(8700 psi) concrete tested by Sundararaj22 and concentrically loaded columns made with 66 MPa concrete tested by Polat. 23 Tests on concentrically loaded spirally reinforced
cylinders made with 63 MPa (9100 psi) concrete conducted
by Martinez 24 (also not plotted in Fig. 4) showed an average
value of k3 equal to 0.8. The lower strength concrete specimens of the same test series showed an average value of k3
equal to 0.98.
The lower values of k 3 reported in the excluded HSC column tests were explained by the researchers in different
ways. Martinez claimed that the quality of the concrete in the
protective cover of the spiral columns was inferior to that of
the concrete inside their cores. This difference in quality is
believed to have occurred because of inadequate compaction
of the concrete in the cover caused by the low workability of
the HSC mixes. The low failure loads of University of Toronto tests were explained by the early spalling of the concrete cover, possibly caused by the formation of spliting
cracks in the plane of the longitudinal reinforcing bars. Cusson and Paultre explained the low capacity of their columns
by the existence of longitudinal planes of weakness between
the cover and the core due to the high density of steel reinforcement.
More tests on concentrically loaded HSC columns are required to provide better understanding of the behavior of
these columns. The design codes should provide a conservative value of k 3 compared with the available test data.
Parameters Defining the Rectangular Stress Block
The stress block parameters k1 k 3 and k2 obtained from previous tests and two companion papers12,13 are used in the following analysis to check the ACI design procedures. The
experimental data are given in Refs. 2, 3, 5, 12, 25, and 29.
These tests had a wide range of variables including rate of
loading, size of specimen, concrete mix design, type of aggregates, amount of reinforcement, and test procedures.
The ACI rectangular stress block parameters were used to
generate interaction diagrams for the plain concrete sections
as shown in Figure 5. The interaction diagram was normalized with respect to f'c and the cross-section dimensions. For
reinforced concrete sections, this normalized interaction diagram represents the contribution of the concrete section to
the loads and the moments carried by the section after excluding the part of the loads and the moments that were carried by the reinforcement. In the normalized interaction
diagram each test can be represented by one point Rt , as illustrated in Figure 5. This point represents the maximum capacity of the specimen obtained during the test. The
coordinates of this point, nt and mt , are a function of the reported stress block parameters k1 , k2 , k3 and the relative position of the neutral axis in the test, t where t = c/h, which
is equal to 1.0 for the strain distribution in Figure 1(b). For
each test these coordinates were determined using the following equations:
ACI Structural Journal / January-February 1997

Figure 6Tests of Eccentrically Loaded Columns Compared


with ACI 318-89
Normal force = C = k1 k 3 bcf c = k 1 k 3 bhf c

(1)

Bending moment = M = C( 0.5h k 2 c ) = Ch ( 0.5 t k 2 ) (2)

C
n t = ------------ = t k1 k3
bhf c

(3)

M
= t k1 k3 ( 0.5 t k2 )
m t = -------------2
bh fc

(4)

To generate the normalized interaction diagram corresponding to the code values of and , a series of points in
that diagram are calculated. Each point in the diagram has
the coordinates n and m defined by the following equations:
n = 1 1

(3a)

m = 0.5 1 1 ( 1 1 )

(4a)

These equations are identical to Equations (3) and (4) for


the n t and m t of the test point except that the code stress block
parameters and are used instead of the stress block parameters obtained from the test. By changing the value of ,
different points are calculated and the normalized interaction
diagram shown in Figure 5 can be generated.
Figure 5 also shows that any data point can be defined by
the radial distance from the origin (0-Rt ) and the slope . The
relative position of the neutral axis depth for the point in
the interaction diagram that has the same slope , Rc, can be
calculated from the equation of tan , as follows:
1
1
t a n = ----------------------- = ------------------------------0.5 t k2 0.5 c 1 2

(5)

From the value of the radial distance () can be calculated.


The percentage ratio , defined in Figure 5 indicates how far
the test point is from the ACI interaction diagram. A positive
value of for a particular test point means that the code is
conservative while a negative value of means that the code
ACI Structural Journal / January-February 1997

Figure 7 Mean Values of versus the Concrete Strength


for ACI 318-89
is not conservative in predicting the maximum capacity of
the tested specimen. The ratio is equivalent to (test/calculated - 1.0) expressed as a percentage.
The percentage ratio was calculated for a total of 94 tests
of eccentrically loaded columns. All of the specimens, except for those by Rsch,25 were of C-shaped (in elevation)
specimens. Figure 6 shows the percentage ratio of these
tests ploted versus the concrete strength. All the tests were on
plain concrete specimens except those by Ibrahim12 and
Schade.19 Before making the comparisons for the reinforced
specimens, the net axial load and moment carried by the reinforcement was subtracted out, based on the strains in the
various steel layers and the stress strain curves for the steel.
Figure 6 indicates that the ACI code is not conservative for
most concrete strengths, especially for HSC and UHSC sections. Most of the test points were between 20 % from the
code prediction. About 55% of the test points had lower
strengths than the code prediction. The mean value of for
all the tests was -0.1% (test/calculated capacity of concrete =
0.999) with a standard deviation of 9.91% (coefficient of
variation C.O.V of 0.0992). Figure 7 shows the mean value
of in each 10 MPa increment of concrete strength. The figure shows that the mean value of 8 decreased from about
+12% for NSC test points to about -12% for UHSC test
points. Figures 6 and 7 suggest that the ACI rectangular
stress block parameters should be modified.
Proposed Parameters for the Rectangular
Stress Block
The first step in deriving stress block parameters was to
find a more accurate equation to represent the position of the
resultant force. The position of the resultant force is represented by the parameter k2 obtained from test results, or k2 =
/2 as suggested by the ACI code. Figure 8 compares the experimental data for k2 and the current ACI equation for /2
plotted versus the compression strength. The ACI value of /
2 falls below the data showing that it is too small. If /2 is
too small, the internal lever arm is too big and the moment
5

Figure 8 Equations for Compared to Tests of Eccentrically-Loaded Columns

Figure 10 Equations for Compared to Tests of Eccentrically-Loaded Columns


f c
1 = 0.85 -------- 0.725
800
fc
1 = 0.85 -------------------- 0.725
116, 000

Figure 9 Equation for Compared to Tests of Concentrically-Loaded Columns


capacity will be overestimated. The proposed equation plotted in Figure 8 has been chosen to pass through the center of
the data and is conservative compared to the current ACI
equation for any concrete strength. The expression for is
represented by the equation:
fc
1 = 0.95 -------- 0.70
400

fc i n M P a

(6a)

fc
1 = 0.95 ----------------- 0.70
f c in psi
(6b)
58, 0 0 0
The second step of the analysis was to choose the parameter . This parameter should provide a conservative lower
bound for the experimental data of k obtained from concentrically loaded columns. It also should provide conservative
design for eccentric sections when combined with the parameter . Several trials were made to choose a suitable
equation for . For each trial, figures similar to Figures 6 and
7 were used to check the validity of this equation for design.
These trials showed that the use of a constant value for
could provide a safe design for HSC and UHSC sections but
the resulting value of a1 would be much lower than 0.85 and
would give very conservative design for NSC sections. The
parameter is best represented by an equation that decreases
with an increase in the concrete strength. The following
equation was chosen to represent the parameter
6

fc i n M P a

fc in psi

(7a)

(7b)

For concrete strength greater than 100 MPa (14,500 psi),


and are both taken constant and are equal to 0.725 and
0.70, respectively. The shape of the actual stress-strain curve
for fc greater than 100 MPa is very close to triangular. The
stress block parameters and for a triangular stress-strain
curve with the maximum stress = fc, are 0.5 and 0.33, respectively. The same stress block parameters using the proposed equations are 0.5075 and 0.35, respectively. Figure 9
compares the experimental data for k3 obtained from concentrically loaded columns and the k 3 or relationships from
different codes. The figure shows that the ACI value of 0.85
is not conservative, although the Norwegian code is very
conservative while the proposed equation provides a lower
bound for most of the data points. Figure 10 shows the experimental data, the current and proposed design parameters
plotted versus the concrete strength. The figure shows that
the proposed parameters give higher resultant forces for LSC
and HSC sections than the ACI equations while they give
lower resultant forces for UHSC sections.
Figure 11 shows the percentage ratio for the same 94
tests of eccentrically loaded columns calculated with respect
to the normalized interaction diagram based on the proposed
design parameters. Only 16% of the experimental data points
had lower capacity than the predicted capacity, four of which
were more than 5% low. Figure 12 shows that the mean value
of is greater than zero for all concrete strengths. The mean
value of for all of the 94 tests was 10.8% (test/calculated
capacity of concrete = 1.108) with a standard deviation of
9.93% (C.O.V of 0.0896).
Figures 13 and 14 show the interaction diagrams generated
using the ACI code, the Norwegian code, and the proposed
parameters for two eccentrically loaded specimens tested by
Ibrahim and MacGregor. The ACI interaction diagrams
overestimate the capacity of these specimens. The interaction diagrams of the Norwegian code provide a very conserACI Structural Journal / January-February 1997

Figure 11 Tests of Eccentrically-Loaded Columns Compared with Proposed Equations

Figure 12 Mean Values of versus the Concrete StrengthProposed Equations


vative estimate to the capacity of these specimens. The
proposed parameters provide a safe design.
Design of Triangular Compression Zones
A triangular stress block with the extreme compression fiber at the apex is a particularly severe test of the applicability
of a rectangular stress block because the tip reaches the limiting compressive strain before the bulk of the stress block
reaches an inelastic state. The ACI design parameters and the
proposed parameters were used to compute the maximum
strength of the six triangular specimens tested by Ibrahim
and MacGregor. The computed strengths were compared
with the maximum strength measured during each test. This
analysis followed the same procedures described earlier
(Eqs. 1 to 5) for rectangular specimens illustrated in Figure
5(b). Figure 15 shows the strains and stresses in a triangular
cross-section. The test specimens had b = 2h. The coordinates of each data point (nt , mt ) were calculated as follows:
2

2 2

Normal force = C = k 1 k3 bcf c 2 = k1 k 3 bhfc 2 (8)


ACI Structural Journal / January-February 1997

Figure 13

Test of Specimen f c = 129.3MPa

Figure 14

Test of Specimen f c = 72.5MPa

2
2
Bending moment = M = C ---h k c = Ch -- k2 (9)
3
3

2C = 2 k 2 k 2-- k
n t = -----------t 1 3
t 2
3
bhf c

(10)

2 M = 2 k 2 k 2-- k
m t = -------------t 1 3
t 2
2
3
bh fc

(11)

To generate the ACI interaction diagram, a series of points


in that diagram was calculated. Each point had coordinates
similar to those of Eqs. 10 and 11 based on the ACI design
parameters and instead of k1 , k2 and k 3 . The resulting
equations and the expression for tan 6 of the test point were
as follows:
2 2

n = 1 1

(10a)
7

fied by the ACI code seems appropriate as a conservative


lower bound of experimental data.

Figure 15

CONCLUSIONS AND DESIGN


RECOMMENDATIONS
The ACI design procedures for HSC and UHSC sections
were investigated. The results of tests conducted on 90 tests
of concentrically and 94 tests of eccentrically loaded columns made from NSC, HSC, and UHSC were used in this investigation. Based on the analysis presented in the paper the
following conclusions and design recommendations are
drawn:
1. More tests are required to investigate the reasons for the
early and sudden spalling of the concrete cover reported in
some of the test series for HSC and UHSC columns.
2. The current ACI rectangular stress block parameters
were found to overestimate the moment capacity of HSC and
UHSC columns failing in compression. A rectangular stress
block can be used for design, with a limiting strain value of
0.003 and modified stress block parameters and as
follows:

Strains and Stresses in a triangular Section

f c
1 = 0.85 -------- 0.725
800
fc
1 = 0.95 -------- 0.70
400

Figure 16 Values of for the Triangular Specimens of


Ibrahim and MacGregor12

fc i n M P a

fc i n M P a

(7)

(6)

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
2 2
m = 2-- 1 1 ( 1 1 )
3

1
1
t a n = ------------------------= ----------------------------------2 3 t k2 2 3 ( 1 c 1 )

(11a)

(12)

Figure 16 shows the results from the analysis of the six triangular specimens. All six specimens had lower capacity
than that predicted by the ACI code as shown by the square
points. For the triangular specimens the mean value of using the ACI design procedures was -11.8% (test/calculated
capacity of concrete = 0.882) with a standard deviation of
6.29% (C.O.V of 0.071). Only one specimen had lower capacity than that predicted by the proposed parameters as
shown by the crosses. The mean value of using the proposed equations was 2.0% (test/calculated capacity of concrete =1.02) and a standard deviation of 6.21% (C.O.V of
0.0609).
Limiting Strain
Values of the maximum strain , obtained from specimens
of Ibrahim and MacGregor (0.0033 to 0.0046 for HSC and
0.0039 to 0.0043 for UHSC rectangular columns) were considerably higher than the limiting strain value of 0.003.
These specimens showed higher strain values at the peak
stress than the maximum strain values from previous test series of HSC columns. Despite that, based on the reported values of maximum strain in previous tests of C-shaped
specimens, the value of 0.003 for the ultimate strain speci8

Funding for this research was provided by the Canadian Network of Centres of Excellence on High Performance Concrete, now known as Concrete
Canada.

NOTATION
bwidth of compression zone
cneutral axis depth
f'c cylinder compressive strength of concrete
hoverall height of the cross section
k1 ratio of the average compressive stress to the maximum compressive
stress
k2 ratio of the distance between the extreme compressive fiber and the
resultant of the compressive stress to the distance between the
extreme fiber and the neutral axis
k3 ratio of the maximum compressive stress in a stress block in a structure
to the cylinder strength
ratio of the stress in the rectangular stress block to the cylinder strength
, ratio of the depth of the rectangular stress block to c
ultimate compressive strain of concrete
ratio of neutral axis depth to the overall depth of the section

REFERENCES
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Department of Civil Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, January 1990,
206 pp.
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McHenry International Symposium on Concrete and Concrete Structures,
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3. Nedderman, H., "Flexural Stress Distribution in Very High Strength
Concrete," M.A.Sc. Thesis, Department of Civil Engineering, University of
Texas, Arlington, 1973.
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1976, pp. 517-521.
5. Swartz, S. E., Nikaeen, A., Narayan Babu, H. D., Periyakaruppan, N.,

ACI Structural Journal / January-February 1997

and Refai, T. M. E., "Structural Bending Properties of High Strength Concrete," ACI Special Publication 87-9, American Concrete Institute, Detroit,
1985, pp. 147-178.
6. ACI 318-89 "Building Code Requirements for Reinforced Concrete,"
ACI Committee 318, American Concrete Institute, Detroit, 1989, 353 pp.
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