You are on page 1of 26

Ultimate Moment Capacity of RC

Analysis of flexural behaviour

When load is initially applied to a beam all sections are uncracked unless
there has been a history of restrained shrinkage. When the load reaches its
serviceability limit state and the peak moment regions are cracked, there
are still extensive regions where the moment is not large enough for the
cracks to form.


Moment at midspan

Bending Mu
Moment Mcr


Bending Deformation at mid-span

Moment Mcr
Uncracked region cracked region Uncracked region

RMIT University
Last week we looked at analysis of RC beams for Flexure in service limit state
Uncracked elastic section analysis of RC beams

o o
st st
Ast Stress Internal
Beam Cross Strain Stress
in concrete in steel Forces
Cracked elastic section analysis of RC beams

Using the Transformed section method of analysis

RMIT University
Post-cracking, service load behaviour
Cracked elastic section analysis of RC beams
o o
dn M
d z
st st Ts

Ast Cross
Beam Strain Stress Internal

Tension stiffening between cracks

RMIT University
Analysis of flexural behaviour
When load reaches its ultimate limit state and the peak moment
regions are cracked and overloaded, the reinforcing steel has yielded,
and the ultimate moment capacity of the beam at the section of
maximum moment is reached.


Bending Moment at midspan

Moment Mcr
My Mu
Uncracked region cracked region Uncracked region My


Deformation at mid-span

cracked region Mu

RMIT University
Non-Linear Overload Behaviour
As the moment increases further above the working load level the
concrete and steel start to yield and stresses become non-linear. This is
known as overload behaviour up to the point where the beam develops its
ultimate moment capacity, Mu.
The concrete stress increases less than proportionally with strain, so that
the stress block above the crack becomes progressively more curvilinear.

o = fc

Changes in concrete stress block with increasing moment


Typical Stress-strain curve of Concrete
RMIT University
Beyond peak load : concrete crushing after steel yielding

RMIT University
Condition at Ultimate Moment, Mu
At Ultimate Moment, M u, the stress and strain profile at the cross section is
represented as:

Note: dn= ku.d
kud C dc
d zu
st>sy fst=fsy T

Strain Stress Forces

In design we normally assume that the cross-section is under-reinforced, ie

the steel reinforcement will exceed its yield strength before the concrete in the
extreme compressive fibre crushes. (and we limit the ultimate compressive
strain u = 0.003)
fsy failure
Idealised Stress-
strain curve of steel Yield Plateau


RMIT University
Condition at Ultimate Moment, Mu

The steel reinforcement has yielded ie it carries a stress equal to the yield
strength of the steel, Therefore the internal tensile force is now a constant
value (T = Ast .fsy) which will remain unchanged with increase in external load
The concrete compressive region above neutral axis depth is highly stressed
and at point of crushing
The compressive C force and the tensile T force are equal in magnitude and
for a resisting couple moment with a lever arm z= d-dc
For equilibrium we have T= C and Mu = Tz = Cz

RMIT University
Rectangular Stress Block AS3600-2009
As shown previously the concrete compressive stress profile is non-linear at ultimate
AS3600 allows for the non-linear concrete stress profile to be simplified with the
rectangular stress block given in Clause 8.1.3 and u = 0.003
2fc dc
kud kud kud C Neutral axis
d z
st>sy s=fsy s=fsy T Note: dn= ku.d
Strain Actual stress profile Rectangular Stress Block

The parameter is used to define both the magnitude and location of C.

Values for given in AS3600 for normal strength concrete is:

= 1.05-0.007f
1.05-0.007fc ( 0.67 0.85 )

2 is used to determine the magnitude of the uniform compressive stress ie. rectangular
stress block assumptions given in AS3600-2009 Clause 8.1.3

2 = 0.85 for fc 50MPa

RMIT University
Rectangular Stress Block AS3600
2fc dc
kud kud kud C Neutral axis
d z
st>sy s= fsy s=fsy Note: dn= ku.d
Strain Actual stress profile Rectangular Stress Block

The resultant compressive force, C = stress x area = 0.85fcbdn

(Remember 2 = 0.85 for fc 50MPa )
and acts at depth dc = 0.5dn
The resultant tensile force, T = Astfsy
Equating C = T gives neutral axis depth dn, with dn we can determine the location of the
compressive force dc this in turns allows the internal lever arm z=d-dc and the moment
capacity Mu to be calculated

RMIT University
Neutral Axis parameter ku
To calculate the ultimate moment capacity Mu, it is often convenient to use
the dimensionless neutral axis depth parameter ku = dn/d
This term can be used in lieu of dn to specify the neutral axis depth and is
also an indicator of ductility
To derive equations for Mu we equate T = C
The resultant compressive force
C = 0.85fckudb
and acts at depth
dc = 0.5dn
The resultant tensile force
T = Astfsy

RMIT University
Moment Capacity of a singly reinforced Section

Equating C = T gives
1 f sy Ast
ku =
0.85 f 'c bd

The lever arm z = d-dc = d(1-0.5ku)

Which gives Mu= Tz = fsyAstd(1-0.5ku)
Substituting for ku :
Ast f sy
M u = f sy Ast d 1 0.6
bdf 'c

And substituting for = Ast/bd :

f sy 2
M u = f sy 1 0.6 bd
f 'c

RMIT University
Moment Capacity of a singly reinforced Section
The moment capacity of the section shown below is to be calculated using the
limiting strain criterion u = 0.003 and the AS3600 rectangular stress block. The
concrete strength fc is 40MPa so that = 1.05-0.007(40) = 0.77


D=600mm d

Ast = 3N28
Clear cover to main bars = 30mm

RMIT University
Failure mechanism of R/C beam

There are three possible failure mechanisms which determine the ultimate
moment capacity. They are:
Failure through steel reinforcement. That is, reinforcing bars reaching their
yield capacity well before concrete starts to crush
Failure through concrete reaching its compressive strength prior to steel
reinforcement yielding
Both materials reaching their capacities simultaneously (less probable in
The mode of flexural failure of a reinforced concrete beam is dependent upon
the quantity of the steel reinforcement present. It is for this reason that the
code AS3600 specifies limits on both the minimum and maximum allowable
reinforcement ratios.

RMIT University
Beyond peak load : concrete crushing after steel yielding

RMIT University
A region of a beam is ductile if it undergoes large plastic deformations
prior to failure.
Ductility is characterised by an extended flat plateau in the moment
curvature relation.
Good ductility achieved if the quantity of reinforcement is kept small.
M / f'cbd2
= 0.0375

= 0.030

= 0.0225

= 0.015


= 0.0075

5 10

RMIT University
Ductility and ku (neutral axis parameter)

u<0.003 u=0.003 u=0.003

kud A
N A kud

st>sy st=0.0025 st<sy

Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3

Concrete strain at failure, u, namely the strain at which concrete crushes,

is considered as 0.003 (0.3%) and also independent of the concrete
strength. Steel reinforcement strain at yield, st is considered as 0.0025
(0.25%) for N500 or L500 steel

RMIT University
Under-reinforced, over-reinforced and balanced sections

We know that the failure through steel (ie yielding) is ductile in nature and
therefore desirable. This means condition given in figure (1) should be
encouraged where st>sy = 0.0025. Such as beam is called under-
Condition shown in figure (2), where steel and concrete both reach their
limiting values at the same time is called the balanced failure
failure and regarded
as the point where beam changes from being ductile to being brittle
We also know that failure through crushing concrete is sudden and brittle in
nature and therefore undesirable and should be avoided as the steel strain is
less than st<sy=0.0025. The beam is then called over reinforced
Although balanced failure is also not desirable as it is close to being brittle,
however in theory, this will allow us to demonstrate the margin which we can
base our design recommendations
The neutral axis parameter kub (under balanced failure) is therefore a good
parameter to use as a guide.

RMIT University
How do we find the kub value?
u=0.003 From Similar triangles we get

kub d
kubd =
N A 0.003 0.0025+0.003
kub = = 0.55
st+u = 0.0025+0.003

When kub = 0.55 - balanced
ku 0.55 - under reinforced
ku 0.55 over reinforced

RMIT University
Minimum ductility requirements in AS3600-2009

1. Clause 8.1.5 states that the neutral axis depth parameter ku must not be
greater than 0.36 to ensure ductility

(When ku is very close to, yet less than 0.55, still there will be very little
warning of failure. In other words member is not as ductile as we would
like it to be. Leaving a safety margin, the design code AS3600 prescribes
to limit ku 0.36 to regard the beam as ductile).
Hence the designer must also calculate ku and satisfy the ductility

RMIT University
Minimum strength requirements in AS3600-2009
Clause 8.1.6 places a lower limit on the steel content. The intention is to avoid
steel fracture and hence sudden collapse and cracking.

Minimum required strength in bending is given by

M u ,min = 1.2 M cr = 1.2. f 'ct . f .Z
Where fct.f = 0.6fc
Z is the elastic section modulus and for a rectangular section is
Minimum required tensile reinforcement is given by
Ast D f 'c t . f
bw d d f sy
Where b = 0.2 for rectangular sections

RMIT University
Moment Capacity of a Doubly Reinforced Section
Note: dn= ku.d
b u dsc
dsc 0.85fc Cs
kud dc
kud sc Cc C Mu
dst zc zs zu
st>sy fst=fsy
T = Ast.fsy T

Strain Stress Internal Forces

Cc= Ts Cs
Tentatively assuming both steels have yielded
dn = ( f sy Ast f sy Asc )
0 . 85 f 'c b
With this value of dn and u=0.003, the strain distribution in the section is fixed
and the strains in the compressive and tensile steels can be determined
d st d n
d d sc s = u
sc = u n dn
If the steel strains are in fact at yield then all internal forces are known and M u
is calculated as
M u = Ts d st Cc d c C s d sc
If the compressive steel is not at yield a trial value for d n is chosen until Cc=Ts-
RMIT University
Example Moment Capacity of a Doubly Reinforced Section
Determine the moment capacity Mu of the section shown below. The section
contains both tensile and compressive reinforcement.
Concrete strength fc=30MPa, = 0.836

350 Asc = 2N28 = 1232mm2



Ast = 8N28 = 4926mm2

RMIT University
Design Consideration for Ultimate Moment Capacity of Beam Section

In designing the beam for strength in flexure, AS3600 clause 8.5.1 requires
that M* Mu and ku 0.36 to ensure ductile failure ( assumes under
reinforced section)
= 0.8 for bending
In actual fact the beam section details such as reinforcement are not known
at this stage of the design but what is known is the design moment M M** which
is obtained from an analysis of the structure for various load combinations
The beam section then needs to be proportioned ie. determine the amount of
reinforcement needed to ensure the ultimate moment capacity is not
Design tables for proportioning steel have been set-up for example by C&CA
and in house spreadsheets.

RMIT University
To proportion beam section
M * < M u

* Ast f sy 2

M < f sy d 1 0.6
bd f 'c
M Ast Ast f sy
< f sy

1 0 . 6
bd bd bd f 'c
The steel proportion p can be used as a useful non-dimensional measure of the
amount of tensile steel reinforcement in the section
p=Ast/bd , submit this into the above equation to give

M f sy
< f p
1 0 . 6 p
bd f 'c

M M u
bd bd 2
RMIT University