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Engineering Structures 22 (2000) 11451158

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Effect of the concrete compressive strength and tensile


reinforcement ratio on the flexural behavior of fibrous concrete
beams
Samir A. Ashour *, Faisal F. Wafa, Mohmd I. Kamal
Civil Engineering Department King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Received 18 January 1999; received in revised form 22 April 1999; accepted 4 June 1999

Abstract
Twenty seven reinforced concrete beams were tested to study the effects of steel fibers, longitudinal tensile reinforcement ratio
and concrete compressive strength on the flexural behavior of reinforced concrete beams.
Concrete compressive strengths of 49, 79 and 102 MPa and tensile reinforcement ratios of 1.18, 1.77 and 2.37% were used. The
fiber contents were 0.0, 0.5 and 1.0% by volume. The results show that the additional moment strength provided by fibers was not
affected by the amount of tensile reinforcement ratio. However, the concrete compressive strength influenced the fiber contribution
significantly. The flexural rigidity increases as the concrete compressive strength and steel fiber content increases. The transition
of effective moment of inertia from uncracked to fully cracked sections depends strongly on the considered variables. A previously
proposed formula in the literature for the estimation of the effective moment of inertia is modified to consider the effect of reinforcement ratio and concrete compressive strength as well as fiber content. 2000 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Beams (supports); Compressive strength; Cracking; Deflection; Flexural strength; Flexural rigidity; High-strength concrete; Moment of
inertia; Reinforced concrete; Steel fibers; Tensile reinforcement ratio

1. Introduction
The maximum potentiality of high-strength concrete
(HSC) cannot be realized fully in structures due to the
brittleness of the material and the serviceability problems associated with the resulting reduced cross-sectional dimension. Addition of fibers to high-strength concrete converts its brittleness into a more ductile behavior.
When concrete cracks, the randomly oriented fibers
arrest both microcracking and its propagation, thus
improving strength and ductility. Addition of fibers only
slightly influences the ascending portion of the stressstrain curve but leads to a noticeable increase in the peak
strain (strain at peak stress) and a significant increase in
ductility [1,2].
Researches conducted on the flexural behavior of fiber
reinforced concrete (FRC) beams have been concen-

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +966-2-695-2488; fax: +966-2-6952179.


E-mail address: sashour@kaau.edu.sa (S.A. Ashour).

trated on the prediction of the ultimate flexural strength


and the load deformation behavior in terms of various
material parameters [315]. Less attention was given to
the flexural rigidity of FRC beams in the service load
range. Several methods have been proposed for calculating the deflections of reinforced concrete flexural members subjected to short and long-term loadings [1620],
however, those methods deal mainly with nonfibrous
concrete, and differences may exist for FRC beams.
The determination of short-term deflection requires
the estimation of the moment of inertia, I, of the beam
which depends on the degree of cracking that has taken
place in the member. For loads below the cracking load,
computation of deflection may be based on the gross
concrete section, Ig. However, as the load increases
above the cracking load, the member will crack at discrete intervals because the tensile strength of the concrete has been exceeded, and all tensile stress is carried
by the steel reinforcement. The neutral axis will fluctuate
between cracks causing variation of the curvatures along
the member length and reducing the flexural rigidity of
the section. The value of I changes along the beam span

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PII: S 0 1 4 1 - 0 2 9 6 ( 9 9 ) 0 0 0 5 2 - 8

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S.A. Ashour et al. / Engineering Structures 22 (2000) 11451158

Nomenclature
a
Shear span
Area of longitudinal tension reinforcement
As
b
Width of beam section
c
Neutral axis depth from the top surface of the beam
d
Effective depth
h
Thickness of beam section
Ec
Modulus of elasticity of concrete
Modulus of elasticity of concrete (with steel fibers)
Ecf
Modulus of elasticity of steel reinforcement
Es
(Ec.Icr)exp Experimental flexural rigidity of the cracked section
Compressive strength of concrete (at 28 days)
fc
Modulus of ruputre of concrete
fr
fsp
Splitting tensile strength of concrete
Icr(exp) Experimental moment of inertia of cracked transformed section
Effective moment of inertia
Ie
Iexp
Experimental moment of inertia
Moment of inertia of gross concrete section ignoring reinforcement
Ig
Iut
Moment of inertia of untracked transformed section
l
Clear span of beam
m
Power in Bransons equation
Ma
Maximum bending moment in the span
Mcr(exp) Experimental cracking moment
My(exp) Experimental yield moment
Mu(exp) Experimental ultimate moment carried by the section
Steel fiber content
Vf
Distance from tensile fibers to neutral axis
yt
r
Tension reinforcement ratio=As/bd

Deflection at mid span

from a maximum value of Ig for the untracked (gross)


section to a minimum value of Icr for the fully cracked
(transformed) section. This variation of I along the span
length makes the deflection calculation lengthy and tedious and makes the accurate determination of deformation from the moment-curvaturerelationships in the
elastic range difficult. Hence, in a cracked member, it is
desirable to consider an effective moment of inertia, Ie,
that will have a value between those derived by cracked
and untracked sections.
To provide a smooth transition between the moments
of inertia Ig and Icr, the ACI Building Code [21] has
adopted since 1971, the expression developed by Branson [18] for the computation of the effective moment of
inertia Ie over the entire length of a simply supported
beam. ACI 318-95 [22] recommends the use of the following expression for the effective moment of inertia
Ie


Mcr 3
Mcr
Ig 1
Ma
Ma

Icr

(1)

where Ma=maximum moment in member at stage


deflection is computed, kN.m; Mcr=cracking moment of
beam=frIg/yt, kN.m; fr=modulus of rupture; yt=neutral

axis depth from the bottom tension side of the beam.


The effective moment of inertia Ie is estimated using Eq.
(1) when MaMcr; otherwise Ie=Ig.
The effect of concrete compressive strength, fc, and
tensile reinforcement ratio, r on the flexural behaviour
of reinforced concrete beams has been investigated by
Ashour [23]. It has been found that flexural rigidity
increases as fc increase. The exponent in Bransons equation Eq. (1) also increases as fc increases. This yields
a faster decay rate of the effective moment of inertia, Ie,
from the untracked transformed moment of inertia, Iut,
to the fully cracked section, Icr, as Ma/Mcr increases
above one.
The inclusion of steel fibers in high-strength concrete
beams enhances the arresting mechanism of crack propagation and consequently enhances the effective moment
of inertia to be used in the deflection calculation. The
effect of steel fibers on the serviceability and ultimate
strength of reinforced high-strength concrete beam has
been reported by Ashour et al. [24]. The exponent in
Bransons equation was related to the amount of fiber
content, and the exponent decreases as Vf increases.
The objective of this research is to investigate the

S.A. Ashour et al. / Engineering Structures 22 (2000) 11451158

Fig. 1.

Details of test beams and testing arrangement.

1135

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S.A. Ashour et al. / Engineering Structures 22 (2000) 11451158

Table 1
Concrete mix proportioning
Mix
Mix
Designation Proportion
C:FA:CA
(1)
(2)

W/C
Ratio

N
M
H

1:1:2
1:1.2:1.8
1:1:2

Silica
Fume
(%)
(5)

fc
(MPa)

(3)

Superplasticizer
(%)
(4)

0.37
0.24
0.23

2
6
6

0
0
20

49
79
102

(6)

Table 2
Experimental modulus of elasticity, Ec (MPa)
Vf(%)

Fig. 3.

Mix Designation (1)

0.0
(2)

0.5
(3)

1.0
(4)

N
M
H

24612
35443
38423

26823
37169
40241

30131
38247
41889

Experimental secant modulus of concrete.

2. Experimental program

effect of concrete compressive strength, tensile


reinforcement ratio and steel fiber content on the deflection and strength of reinforced concrete beams. Modifications to a previously proposed formula for the effective moment of inertia are presented.

Fig. 2.

2.1. Test specimen


Twenty seven fiber reinforced concrete beams were
tested in this investigation. All beams were singly
reinforced and provided with shear reinforcement except
at the constant moment zone. The variables were the
concrete compressive strength, fc, the steel fiber content,
Vf, and the longitudinal tensile reinforcement ratio, r.
The compressive strengths used were 49, 79 and 102
MPa, the fiber contents were 0.0, 0.5 and 1.0% by vol-

Compressive stress-strain diagram of concrete cylinders.

S.A. Ashour et al. / Engineering Structures 22 (2000) 11451158

1137

Table 3
Mechanical properties of test beams
Beam (1)

As (2)

r (%) (3)

Vf (%) (4)

fc (MPa) (5)

fr (MPa) (6)

fsp (MPa) (7)

B-0.0-N2
B-0.5-N2
B-1.0-N2
B-0.0-N3
B-0.5-N3
B-1.0-N3
B-0.0-N4
B-0.5-N4
B-1.0-N4
B-0.0-M2
B-0.5-M2
B-1.0-M2
B-0.0-M3
B-0.5-M3
B-1.0-M3
B-0.0-M4
B-0.5-M4
B-1.0-M4
B-0.0-H2
B-0.5-H2
B-1.0-H2
B-0.0-H3
B-0.5-H3
B-1.0-H3
B-0.0-H4
B-0.5-H4
B-1.0-H4

218
218
218
318
318
318
418
418
418
218
218
218
318
318
318
418
418
418
218
218
218
318
318
318
418
418
418

1.18
1.18
1.18
1.77
1.77
1.77
2.37
2.37
2.37
1.18
1.18
1.18
1.77
1.77
1.77
2.37
2.37
2.37
1.18
1.18
1.18
1.77
1.77
1.77
2.37
2.37
2.37

0.0
0.5
1.0
0.0
0.5
1.0
0.0
0.5
1.0
0.0
0.5
1.0
0.0
0.5
1.0
0.0
0.5
1.0
0.0
0.5
1.0
0.0
0.5
1.0
0.0
0.5
1.0

48.61
55.82
65.16
48.61
55.82
65.16
48.61
55.82
65.16
78.50
81.99
87.37
78.50
81.99
87.37
78.50
81.99
87.37
102.40
106.93
111.44
102.40
106.91
111.44
102.40
106.93
111.44

5.64
5.88
7.95
5.64
5.88
7.95
5.64
5.88
7.95
7.04
7.24
9.75
7.04
7.24
9.75
7.04
7.24
9.75
9.36
10.13
11.23
9.36
10.13
11.23
9.36
10.13
11.23

3.69
4.67
6.72
3.69
4.67
6.72
3.69
4.67
6.72
5.05
6.01
7.69
5.05
6.01
7.69
5.05
6.01
7.69
5.59
6.53
8.13
5.59
6.53
8.13
5.59
6.53
8.13

ume, and the longitudinal tensile reinforcement ratios


used were 1.18, 1.77 and 2.37%.
Fig. 1 presents the detailed testing program. Each
beam is designated to indicate the fiber content, compressive strength level and amount of longitudinal
reinforcement. Thus, Beam B-1, 0-M3 represents a beam
with 1.0% fiber content, medium compressive strength
of approximately 79 MPa, and three 18 mm diameter
steel bars that provide a reinforcement ratio of 1.77%.
2.2. Materials
Deformed steel bars having yield strength of 530 MPa
(76 800 psi) were used as flexural reinforcements. Three
concrete mix proportions were used to provide the
required compressive strengths as presented in Table 1
Ordinary Portland cement (Type-I), desert sand with
a fineness modules of 3.1, and coarse aggregate (crushed
basalt) of 10 mm (3/8 in.) maximum size were used.
Light gray densified microsilica (20% by weight of
cement) with a specific gravity of 2.2, a bulk density of
6.0 kN/m3 (37.4 lb/ft3) and a specific surface of 2.3 m2/g
was used for the high-strength concrete mix (H).
Hooked-ends mild carbon steel fibers with average
length of 60 mm (2.36 in.), nominal diameter of 0.8 mm
(0.03 in.), aspect ratio of 75 and yield strength of 1100
MPa (159 500 psi) were used. A superplasticizer was

used, and enough mixing time was allowed to produce


uniform mixing of concrete without any segregation.
Six 150300 mm (612 in.) cylinders were cast to
determine the concrete compressive and splitting tensile
strengths. Additionally, three 150150530 mm
(6621 in.) prisms were cast to determine the modulus
of rupture of the concrete used. The concrete was placed
in three layers and was vibrated internally and externally
immediately afterward. All beams and control specimens
were cast and cured under similar conditions. The beams
and specimens were kept covered with polyethylene
sheets for 28 days until 24 hours before testing.
2.3. Test procedure
The test beams were simply supported and were subjected to two-point loads as shown in Fig. 1. The distance between the two loading points was kept constant
at 500 mm (20 in.). The beam midspan deflection and the
end rotation were measured with the help of transducers.
Strains in the tensile steel were measured by electrical
foil-type strain gages. Compressive strains at the center
of the top surface of the concrete at three locations were
measured with electrical resistance wire-type strain
gages. These gages were located in the constant moment
zone at midspan. The load was applied in 25 to 35
increments up to failure by means of a 400 kN (90 kips)

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S.A. Ashour et al. / Engineering Structures 22 (2000) 11451158

hydraulic testing machine. At the end of each load


increment, observations and measurements were
recorded for the midspan deflection, end rotation, strain
gage readings, and crack development and propagation
on the beam surfaces.

3. Experimental results
3.1. Compressive stress-strain diagram
Fig. 2 shows the stress-strain diagram of 150300
concrete cylinder tested in compression. The effect of
steel fibers is obvious on the stress-strain diagram
especially for the lower strength concrete (fc=49 MPa).
As the fiber content increases the maximum compressive
strength increases slightly, and the slope of the ascending portion increases accordingly. The ascending part of
the high-strength concrete (fc=102 MPa) is almost a
straight line up to the maximum compressive strength.
The concrete secant modulus, Ec, was evaluated at a
stress level of 0.5 fc and is given in Table 2 and Fig.
3. The secant modulus of concrete, Ec, is increased as
Vf and fc increase. The increase of the fiber contents
from 0.0 to 1.0% increases Ec by 22.4, 7.9 and 9.0% for
concrete with fc of 49, 79 and 102 MPa, respectively.
Table 3 and Fig. 4 present the mechanical properties
of the FRC used in the test beams. The increase of the
fiber contents from 0.0 to 1.0% increases the compressive strength by 34.0, 11.3 and 8.8%, increases the modulus of rupture by 41.0, 38.5 and 20.0%, and increases
the splitting tensile strength by 82.1, 52.3 and 45.4% for
concrete with 49, 79 and 102 MPa compressive
strengths, respectively.
3.2. Flexural behavior

Fig. 4. Mechanical properties of test beams (a) Concrete compressive


strength, fc; (b) Modulus of rupture, fr; (c) Splitting tensile strength,
fsp.

The test beams were designed to fail in flexure. All


beams exhibited vertical flexural cracks in the constantmoment region before final failure of the beams due to
crushing of concrete. The presence of fibers reduced the
crack width, increased the number of cracks, increased
the ductility, and delayed the final crushing of concrete.
The effectiveness of steel fibers in arresting cracks is
related to the average spacing of fibers inside the matrix.
The spatial distribution and orientation of fibers in FRC
beams are random, however, boundary conditions such
as edges constrain the fiber orientation in a uni-directional alignment.
Fig. 5 shows the load versus deflection relationships
for all test beams. The test results clearly show the fibers
contribution on the stiffnesses and strengths of all
beams. The fibers have a clear enhancement of the post
cracking stiffness and ductility (area under P- curve)
for all beams.
Table 4 presents the experimental cracking moment,
Mcr(exp), the moment at first yielding of the flexural
reinforcement, My(exp), and the ultimate moment, Mu(exp),
of the test beams. Test results show that the increase of
Vf increase Mcr(exp), My(exp), and Mu(exp), for all test beams
irrespective to the fc and r values. However, the
increase due to the presence of fibers is reduced as r
increases.

S.A. Ashour et al. / Engineering Structures 22 (2000) 11451158

Fig. 5.

Load deflection curves for beams.

The additional moment enhancement at ultimate stage


due to the presence of steel fiber, Mf, can be estimated
as the difference between the ultimate moments of
beams with Vf of 0.0 and 1.0%, and are shown in Table
5 and Fig. 6. The figure shows that the increase of fc
increases Mf, however, a lower rate of increase is noticed
when fc increases from 79 to 102 MPa. Fig. 6 also
shows that the value of r has no effect on Mf. The
enhancement of the flexural capacities varies between
7.52 and 26.43%.
3.3. Cracking moment
The analytical evaluation of deflection depends greatly on the cracking moment of the beam. The theoretical
cracking moment Mcr(th) is estimated as:
frIg
Mcr(th)
yt

1139

(2)

The use of the untracked transformed moment of inertia, Iut, instead of Ig in Eq. (2) will give a better prediction of Mcr(th), Fig. 7 shows the variation of Mcr(exp)/Mcr(th)
ratio as a function of fiber content and concrete com-

pressive strength for the different reinforcement ratios.


The figure shows that the experimental cracking
moments are about 55 to 85% of the theoretical cracking
moments calculated using the modulus of rupture values.
Thus, the use of fr, to calculate the cracking moment Eq.
(2) overestimated the experimental cracking moments,
and this overestimation increases as the concrete compressive strength increases. This is attributed to the size
effect phenomena. For normal and medium concrete
strengths, the value of Mcr(exp)/Mcr(th) ratio increases as
Vf increases from 0.0 to 0.5%, and thereafter decreases
as Vf increases to 1.0%.
3.4. Neutral axis depth
The experimental neutral axis depth, c, of the test
beams is obtained from the experimentally measured
strain values in the concrete and the tensile reinforcement. The variation of the ratio of c to the effective depth
of the section, d, in the constant moment zone is shown
in Fig. 8. For loading levels below the cracking load,
Ma/Mcr=1, the c/d ratio is about 0.6. When cracks
occurred, the neutral axis shifted upward and the c/d
value drops to a value of about 0.4 and remains constant

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S.A. Ashour et al. / Engineering Structures 22 (2000) 11451158

Table 4
Experimental and theoretical results of test beams
Beam (1)

Mcr(exp) (kN- My(exp) (kN- Mu(exp) (kN- Icr(exp)


m) (2)
m) (3)
m) (4)
(mm4103)
(5)

B-0.0-N2
B-0.5-N2
B-1.0-N2
B-0.0-N3
B-0.5-N3
B-1.0-N3
B-0.0-N4
B-0.5-N4
B-1.0-N4
B-0.0-M2
B-0.5-M2
B-1.0-M2
B-0.0-M3
B-0.5-M3
B-1.0-M3
B-0.0-M4
B-0.5-M4
B-1.0-M4
B-0.0-H2
B-0.5-H2
B-1.0-H2
B-0.0-H3
B-0.5-H3
B-1.0-H3
B-0.0-H4
B-0.5-H4
B-1.0-H4

8.02
9.39
9.61
8.64
9.92
11.51
9.82
11.29
11.51
8.97
9.82
11.51
9.81
10.97
11.82
10.56
12.56
13.67
9.18
10.77
11.82
10.35
11.54
13.20
11.82
12.77
14.78

50.29
54.47
60.27
74.40
74.85
86.35
94.06
101.22
105.04
49.51
56.58
65.13
75.16
80.97
86.77
97.44
109.36
113.48
48.56
58.27
68.93
77.48
84.35
91.31
100.91
107.78
113.38

58.17
60.17
64.50
77.08
83.8
87.72
98.37
103.98
105.77
55.27
63.34
69.88
80.86
89.62
92.05
103.77
113.59
115.70
55.89
62.60
69.25
82.76
89.84
95.64
108.10
114.96
120.61

103.14
94.84
98.22
126.78
117.67
119.38
153.08
135.30
96.48
77.09
76.38
78.90
86.91
98.85
105.22
108.81
114.80
104.79
75.21
70.75
73.49
82.71
91.00
85.67
100.31
108.84
107.81

Icr(th)
(mm4103)
(6)

(Ec.Icr)exp
(109Nmm2) (7)

m (8)

c/d(th) (9)

c/d(exp) (10)

110.81
104.14
95.34
147.51
139.07
128.25
178.28
168.67
135.16
84.23
81.09
79.40
114.15
110.30
108.73
138.94
135.54
132.74
82.48
77.08
73.96
109.12
104.01
100.96
132.31
128.07
124.48

2.54
2.54
2.96
3.12
3.16
3.60
3.77
3.63
2.91
2.73
2.84
3.02
3.08
3.67
4.02
3.86
4.27
4.01
2.89
2.85
3.08
3.18
3.66
3.59
3.85
4.38
4.52

1.96
1.97
1.49
1.55
1.56
1.10
1.19
1.34
0.88
2.36
2.37
1.61
2.14
2.03
1.34
1.72
1.52
1.19
3.23
2.5
1.96
2.13
2.43
1.84
1.85
1.52
1.91

0.355
0.343
0.328
0.415
0.402
0.385
0.460
0.447
0.428
0.307
0.301
0.298
0.361
0.355
0.351
0.403
0.396
0.392
0.297
0.292
0.287
0.350
0.344
0.338
0.391
0.385
0.379

0.290
0.331
0.326
0.359
0.392
0.390
0.384
0.423
0.441
0.246
0.247
0.355
0.312
0.348
0.380
0.362
0.385
0.402
0.226
0.259
0.292
0.308
0.348
0.333
0.344
0.356
0.338

Table 5
Moment enhancement due to fibers addition (%)
Concrete compression strength
r (%)
1.18
1.77
2.37

N
10.88
13.8
7.52

26.43
13.84
11.50

23.90
15.56
11.57

upto the yielding of the reinforcement. Some fluctuations


of the c/d values took place at low level of loading due
to the sensitivity of the strain gage readings specially
before cracking. It is noticed that the value of c does
not vary between the cracking and yielding levels. For
a specific level of loading, Ma/Mcr, the neutral axis depth
is larger for the lower compressive strength, irrespective
of the amount of flexural reinforcement. The c value
increases as Vf increases, and this is attributed to the
decrease in curvature of the beam, and also due to that
the fibers bridge the cracks and reduce crack width
which in turn reduce the strain in the tension zone. The
theoretical depth of the neutral axis can be obtained from
the statistical moment given by:

Fig. 6.

Fiber contribution in moment enhancement.

bc2
nAs(dc)20
2

(3)

Table 4 gives the theoretical and experimental c/d values


for the tested beams. The theoretical values generally
underestimated the experimental values, however, for
beams with 1.0% fiber content the theoretical c/d values
overestimate slightly the experimental values.

S.A. Ashour et al. / Engineering Structures 22 (2000) 11451158

1141

as a function of load level, therefore it is more appropriate to consider the effect of the fc, r and Vf on the flexural rigidity, (Ec.I)exp, of the beam rather than considering the experimental moment of inertia, Iexp, alone. Fig.
9 shows the variation of (Ec.I)exp obtained using Eq. (4)
as a function of level of loading, Ma/Mcr. In general, the
flexural rigidity increases with the increase of the fiber
content.
The effect of concrete strength on the experimental
flexural rigidity is shown in Fig. 10. For beams with no
fibers, fc has very little effect on (Ec.I)exp, however, for
beams with fibers, fc has a significant influence
especially for beams with high r, The test results show
that the higher the flexural reinforcement ratio, the
higher the flexural rigidity and the lesser the rate of transition of the flexural rigidity from the uncracked to fully
cracked section values. This suggests that the exponent
in Bransons equation Eq. (1) is inversely proportional
to r, which supports the conclusion by Al-Sheikh et al.
[26] that the exponent of 3 in Bransons equation should
be reduced as r increases.
3.6. Cracked moment of inertia
The value of Iexp is assumed to approach Icr(exp) when
the applied moment approaches My, which is a realistic
assumption [25]. At that level of loading, the Mcr/Ma
ratio is quite small and the contribution of Ig in Eq. (1)
is negligible. The calculation of deflection during the
service stage of a structure depends mainly on the
cracked moment of inertia, Icr. The experimental cracked
moment of inertia is obtained by considering:
Pya(3l24a2)
Icr(exp)
48Ecexp

(5)

where Py=the load that causes yielding in the steel


reinforcement.
The values of Icr(exp) and (EcIcr)exp, are calculated using
Eq. (5) and are presented in Table 4. The value of Icr(exp)
decreases as Vf increases, however, the value of (EcIcr)exp
increases as Vf increases.

Fig. 7. Ratio of experimental to theoretical cracking moment.

3.7. Modification of Bransons equation


3.5. Experimental moment of inertia
Based on the elastic deformation theory, the experimental moment of inertia of a simply supported beam
subjected to a two-points load is obtained as:
Iexp

Pa(3l24a2)
48Ecexp

(4)

where; P=applied load; a=shear arm; l=clear span of the


beam; exp=experimental midspan deflection; Ec=experimental secant modulus of elasticity of concrete.
However, as shown in Fig. 2 the value of Ec varies

In the evaluation of the deflection of the test beams,


the determination of Mcr, Ec, and Icr, are the required
parameters in calculating Eq. (1). These parameters control the serviceability and deflection calculation.
Al-Sheikh et al. [26] proposed the following formula
to include the effect of reinforcement ratio in Bransons
equation [18]:

Ie

Mcr m
Mcr
I 1
Ma g
Ma

where m=30.8r.

Icr

(6)

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S.A. Ashour et al. / Engineering Structures 22 (2000) 11451158

Fig. 8.

Behavior of neutral axis depth.

Eq. (6) was based on beams with 33 MPa concrete


compressive strength. Ashour [23] showed that the transition rate of Ie from Ig to Icr drops quicker as fc
increases, and proposed a modification on Bransons
equation to consider the effect of fc as:

m30.8r

33

(7)

where fc33 MPa.


The experimental variation of the exponent m in Eq.
(6) as a function of the level of loading, Ma/Mcr, can be
evaluated by replacing Ie and Ig by the values of Iexp and
Iut respectively:

IexpIcr(exp)
log
IutIcr(exp)
m
Mcr(exp)
log
Ma

(8)

The variation of m obtained from Eq. (8) as a function


of Ma/Mcr, is shown in Fig. 11 for all test beams. In
general, the value of m increases as fc increases and Vf
and r decrease.

Fig. 11 shows that the value of m for each test beam


has an almost constant value for level of loadings Ma/Mcr
between 1.5 to 6.0. The experimental average value of
m obtained for each beam within this range of level of
loading is given in Table 4.
Based on the test results, a regression analysis is performed and an empirical formula that incorporates the
considered variables (r, fc and Vf) in the expression of
m is proposed as:
30.8r
m

33
c

1+0.4Vf

(9)

For beams with no fibers and with 33 MPa compressive strength, Eq. (9) is reduced to Eq. (6).
The deflection calculation requires the determination
of other factrors such as Mcr, Ec and Icr. The variations
of the secant modulus of concrete in terms of fc and Vf
are given in Fig. 12. Based on regression analysis, the
secant modulus of FRC, Ecf, in terms of the that of plain
concrete, Eco is given as:
Vf
EcfEco(1600( )2)
(10)
fc

S.A. Ashour et al. / Engineering Structures 22 (2000) 11451158

Fig. 9.

Experimental flexural rigidity as a function of Vf.

where Eco for high-strength concrete is given as [27]:

Eco3200 fc6900

(11)

Eqs. (10) and (11) are presented in Fig. 12. The equations give good estimation of the experimental values,
however, the equations overestimate the value for normal strenth concrete. As discussed earlier and shown in
Fig. 7, the ratio of Mcr(exp)/Mcr(th) are about 55 to 85%.
Thus the use of fr to calculate the cracking moment Eq.
(2) overestimated the experimental values. Thus a
reduced value of fr should be used to predict with reasonable accuracy the beam deflection:
0.6frIg
Mcr(th)
Yt

(12)

Ashour [23] proposed an equation to predict the theoretical cracked moment of inertia and is given as:
Icr(th)Icr[1.1290.0011fc0.0133r]

(13)

where Icr is the cracked moment of inertia and is


given by:
bc3
Icr nAs(dc)2
3

1143

(14)

where n=Es/Ecf and c is the neutral axis depth.


The predicted deflections of the test beams are evaluated in terms of m (Eq. (9)), Mcr (Eq. (12)) and Icr (Eq.
(13)), and the values are presented in Fig. 13. The figure
shows that the predicted deflections give good estimation
of the experimental values.
4. Conclusions
Based on the test results of twenty seven reinforced
concrete beams tested in flexure, the following conclusions are drawn:
1. The presence of steel fibers reduces the crack propagation in the tested beams.
2. The flexural rigidity increases as fc and Vf increases.
3. The increase of the fiber content increase the cracking, the yielding and the ultimate moments.
4. The predicted cracking moments estimated in terms
of the modulus of rupture overestimated the experimental values.
5. Additional moment strength due to the presence of
fibers is almost independent of the amount of
reinforcement, r. However, this additional moment is
proportional to concrete compressive strength, fc.

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S.A. Ashour et al. / Engineering Structures 22 (2000) 11451158

Fig. 10.

Experimental flexural rigidity as a function of fc.

Fig. 12.

Theoretical secant modulus of concrete.

6. The rate of decay of the beam effective moment of


inertia from the untracked transformed to a fully
cracked section is lower for beams with fibers than
that of beams with no fibers.

7. The exponent, m, in Bransons equation decreases as


Vf increases, however, it increases as fc increases.

S.A. Ashour et al. / Engineering Structures 22 (2000) 11451158

Fig. 11. Variation of exponent, m, in Eq. (7).

Fig. 13.

Prediction of deflection for some test beams.

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S.A. Ashour et al. / Engineering Structures 22 (2000) 11451158

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