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3.2.

TENSILE STRENGTH OF
CONCRETE

3.2.1 Failure in tension


The breaking of the concrete subjected to tension is a
complex phenomenon proceeded by the occurrence of
micro-cracks in the weak areas of the concrete structure.
As it was shown before, the concrete has a lot defects in
its structure; under the action of loads stress
concentration appear around these defects which
produce micro-cracks when the concrete capacity of
taking tensile stresses is exceeded Fig. 1.8.
At the same time with the increasing of the load over the
micro-cracking limit, self-acceleration of the cracking
process takes place. This is caused by the change of the
gaps form that increases the concentration level, the
failure process suddenly taking place, self-accelerated.
The breaking appears like a failure crack perpendicular
to the load direction.

Fig. 3.8. The concentration of unit stresses


around the structure defect

3.2.2. Axial tensile strength


The unit limit stresses resulting from the axial traction
test is called tensile strength (noted RBt Baccording to
STAS 10107/0-90 or ft according to EUROCODE 2 ) and
is the smallest of the concrete strengths, representing
only 1/101/20 of the compressive strength.
The direct determination of the tensile strength is very
rarely done because of the difficulties of the test (the test
samples are complicated, it is difficult to fix the sample
on the test machine, also it is difficult to maintain an axial
position of the load) Fig. 1.9.[9]

The value of tensile strength is determined


with the following relation:
Pr
Rt = ft= A
N/mm2
Where: Pr is the force at failure [N]
Ar - is the failure concrete area
The mean tensile strength fctm is the mean
of tensile strength in uniaxial tension.
The mean tensile strength fctm can be
determined using the relation:
fctm=0,3f ck2 / 3
r

Fig. 3.9. Types of test samples used


for the determination
of the tensile strength; 1 adhesive material;
2 metallic part

3.2.3. Splitting tension test


The determination of this strength ( noted Rtd according to STAS
10107/0-90 and fct,sp according to [2] ) is based on the application
of Hertzs elasticity problem: if a cylinder is compressed along two
diametrically opposed generatrix, uniformly distributed tensile
stresses occur along the diameter, Fig.1.10.

2 Pr
Rtd = fct,sp=
d.l

(3.12)

where: Pr is the failure force

d is the diameter of the cylinder

l is the length of the generatrix


Immediately under the load, a high compressive stress would be
induced and in practice, narrow strips of a packing material, such as
plywood are interposed between the cylinder and the platens.

Fig. 3.10. Split cylinder test

The determination of the split tensile strength


has advantage of simplicity of the test and the
fact that the scale and form do not influence the
results. Also, the value of results are not
depending on the shape and sizes of samples.
Because of that, for testing other types of
sample can be used, Fig.3.11.
Fig. 3.11. Split test on cubes (a) and
prism fragments (b)

For cylinder samples the failure area is A=dl,


and for cube and prism parts A=aa, where is the
size of the cube and the length and width of
prism part.

The mean strength to axial compression


(fctm) can be computed function the split tensile
strength with the relation [2]:
fctm =0.9 fct,sp

3.2.4. Strength of the concrete subjected


to bending tension
This resistance is determined using prismatic test
samples (100x100x550mm) Fig. 3.12. The test is called
three point test.

Fig. 3.12. The determination of the strength for the concrete


subjected to bending tension

Considering a linear distribution of the unit stresses on


the tensioned area the conventional bending resistance
of the concrete subjected to bending tension can be
determinate using Naviers relation:

6M r
M

Rti =fct,fl =
Wel bh 2
According to Romanian Standard the bending resistance is determined
with the following relation, admitting the hypothesis of entire
plasticizing of the tension concrete zone:

R ti f ct ,fl

where

24 M
M

3,43 2
2
7 bh
bh
P1
M
4

The tensile strength of beams for bending


(fct,fl) can be determined function the tensile
strength to axial tension (fctm) with the relation
[2]:
0.7
f ct ,fl

hb
1 fl
h0

f ctm
0.7
h
fl b
h0

where: hb is the beam depth, mm;


h0 =100 mm;
fl= 1.5, coefficient that depends on the
characteristic size.

1.3. BEHAVIOR OF CONCRETE UNDER


MULTIAXIAL STRESS
The strength of materials subjected to
multiaxial stress is usually presented as a
failure surface, Fig. 1.13, [2]. In the threedimensional diagram there are important:
deviation plans and compression and
tension meridians and the interaction
curve for biaxial stress.

Fig. 1.13. Failure surface for triaxial stress


and interaction curve for biaxial stress

Under triaxial compression, when the lateral stresses are


high, failure takes place by crushing, so it is a ductile
failure. An increase in lateral compression increases the
axial load that can be sustained [1].

When in the concrete subjected to multiaxial stress


the minimum principal stresses 2 and 3 are equal, it
can be considered that the strength on the direction of
maximum principal stress 1 has the value:

1 f c 4 2
where: fc is the compressive strength on cylinder.

f ck ,c f ck 1,0 5,0 2 / f ck

for

2 0,05 f ck

f ck ,c f ck 1,125 2,5 2 / f ck

for

2 0,05 f ck

3.6. Relation

between compressive strength and


tensile strength of concrete
Compressive strength is the most important
property, it defines the grade and it is used in
designing. In some situations, the tensile strength
is important,ex.: designing of highways, hydraulic
constructions, etc.
The relations are type:

ft k fc

Where k and n are coefficients; for n are


recommended the values between and .

f t 0,3 f c

2/3
Is the most used relation

where: ft is split tensile strength,and fc compressive strength


on cylinder, both in MPa. Relaion was given by Raphael.
Oluokun has modified the relation:

f t 0,2 f c

0, 7

In British Code of Practice BS 8007 :1987 is giben the


relation :

f t 0,12 f c

0, 7

Where : fc is determined on cubes,


and ft is tensile strength.

3.8. Characteristic and design strengths


of concrete
According to SREN1992-2006 compressive strength
is defined by the strength class which represents the
characteristic strength, (with
risck
of 5%) on cylinder (
(
)
fck ) or on cube fck, cube, determinated at 28 days

The characteristics are given in tabel 1.


Between characteristic strengths in compression
on cylinder
ck and medium strength in compression
f cm on cylinder and medium strength in tension

f ctm

there are the following relations:

f ck

-characteristic strength in
compression on cylinder

f cm f ck 8
f ctm 0,30 f

2/3
ck

f ctk , 0, 05 0,7 f ctm


f ctk , 0,95 1,3 f ctm

f ct 0,9 f ct , sp

Tensile strength can be


computed with relation:
Design strength:

cc f ck

f cd
f ctd
Where:

ct f ctk , 0, 05

cc

c
and

ct

are coefficieni which consider the effects of long term


and unfavourable effects from loading

parial coefficientde of security for concrete

c 1,5
c 1,2
Coefficient

For designing situations permanent and


transitory,
For accidental situations

cc

varies between 0,8 and 1,0.

Tabel 1 Strength Characteristics of


concrete (MPa)
Clasa de

C12/15

C16/20

C20/25

C25/30

C30/37

C35/45

C40/50

f ck

12

16

20

25

30

35

40

f ck ,cub

15

20

25

30

37

45

50

f cm

20

24

28

33

38

43

48

f ctm

1,6

1,9

2,2

2,6

2.9

3,2

3,5

f ctk , 0, 05

1,1

1,3

1,5

1,8

2,0

2,2

2,5

f ctk , 0,95

2,0

2,5

2,9

3,3

3,8

4,2

4,6

beton