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Title no. 79-45

Shear Strength of Pipe, Box Sections, and Other One-Way

Flexural Members

by Frank J. Heger and Timothy J. McGrath

New semiempirical equations for determining the shear strength of members and of soil-structure interaction now permit
one-way flexural members are presented, together with comparisons accurate analysis of the in-ground behavior of buried
nith test results and with equations in various codes. The shear
pipe and box sections, allowing the direct design of
strength equations presented in this paper include the steel reinforce-
ment ratio e and the ratio of shear span to depth of member M/Yd such structures. This provides substantial economies in
as major variables. They also include consideration of effects of cur- pipe materials for properly controlled buried conduit
vature, and they provide a much more accurare determination of the installations. In developing this direct design approach,
shear strength of buried pipe, buried box sections, or pipe under existing methods for determining the shear strength of
three-edge bearing test load than other methods. such as equations
flexural members without shear reinforcement, such as
in the ACI Building Code or the AASHTO Bridge Specification.
They show that shear strength of buried pipe and box sections is the strength equations given in Chapter 11 of ACI 318'
about 50 percent higher than strengths obtained by the current Code and in paragraph 1.5.35 of the AASHTO Bridge Spec-
equations, while shear strength in a three-edge bearing test is about ification,' were found inadequate for predicting the
75 to o'er 100 percent of the strength given by the Code equations. shear strength of deeply buried pipe and box sections.
The proposed equations also give more accurate shear strengths for
other one-way flexural members such as footings and heavily loaded
The revisions in the shear provisions of ACI 318 pro-
slabs. posed in 1977 by the joint ACI-ASCE Committee 426
on shear and torsion'' were also found inadequate for
Kc~"ords: concrete pipes: culverts: diagonal tension: flexural strength; precast
concrete; reinforced concrete; sewers; shear strength: standards; structural de- design of these buried structures.

Over the past decade, the American Concrete Pipe Research significance
Association (ACP A) has sponsored research to develop The need for a more accurate determination of the
a rational direct design method for buried precast rein- shear strength of buried pipe and box sections led to
forced concrete pipe that accounts for the expected be- the extensive evaluation of previous test data and the
havior of the pipe-soil system. The objective of one development of new test data, and to the use of this
phase of this research effort has been to develop meth- information to develop a new method for determining
ods for predicting the strength of reinforced concrete the shear strength of one-way flexural members (pipe,
pipe under various distributions of applied loads. The box sections, one-way slabs, joists, or beams) without
recent introduction of ASTM standards for the man- shear reinforcement. Design equations for shear
ufacture of precast concrete box sections' has added strength of the above types of one-way flexural mem-
this type of buried structure to the research program. bers are presented in this paper. Further discussion of
Typically, concrete pipe and box sections are buried the significance of the new method is given below in
with earth covers ranging from zero to 40 ft (12 m) or "Discussion" and "Cone! usions."
more. Occasionally, such components are installed
with very deep earth covers, up to 300 ft (90 m). Tra- PREVIOUS TEST RESULTS FOR SHEAR
ditionally, the concrete pipe industry has used the STRENGTH
three-edge bearing test strength of pipe as a measure The results of a number of test programs relative to
of the adequacy of various pipe designs for buried in- the shear strength of pipe in three-edge bearing tests,
stallations. This approach was developed in the 1920s simply supported slabs and beams, box sections, and
and 30s, based on research at Iowa State University,
Received February 17, 1982, and reviewed under Institute publication poli-
and has provided an enviable record of successful de- cies. Copyright rc; 1982, American Concrete Institute. All rights reserved, in-
sign over the years. However, advances in our under- cluding the making of copies unless permission is obtained from the copyrigllt
proprietors. Pertinent discussion will be published in the September-October
standing of the behavior of reinforced concrete flexural 1983 ACI JouRNAL is received by June I, 1983.002-8061/82/06 0470-14 $2.50.

470 ACI JOURNAL I November-December 1982

lished in Reference 20. See Reference 6 for tables giv-
f'rank J. Heger, FACI, is a senior principal ac Simpson Gumpercz & Heger
Inc., Consulting Engineers in Cambridge, Mass. and San Francisco, Calif. He ing summaries of relevant test data from each of the
is Chairman of A Cl Commiccee 344, Circular Prescressed Concrece Scruccures, above sources, except Reference 20.
a member of ACI-ASCE Commiccee 445, Shear and Torsion, and Vice Chair-
man of Subcommircee C 13.07 of ASTM Committee C 13 on Precasc Concrece
Pipe. Dr. Heger's research has resulced in new design methods for buried con- TEST PROGRAM FOR SHEAR STRENGTH
erece pipe and box seccions and buried plascic ranks as well as praccical mer h- Our analysis of previous tests showed that the re-
ods for determining che stabilicy of concrece dome shells and the seismic re-
sislance of prestressed concrete tanks.
inforcement ratio Q = A/bd and the ratio of moment
to shear times depth M/Vd both have a significant in-
Timothy J. McGrath is a senior scaff engineer ac Simpson Gumperrz & Heger fluence on shear strength that is not adequately rec-
Inc., Consulcing Engineers in Cambridge, Mass., where he has been conducc-
ing applied research on che struccural behavior of reinforced concrece pipe,
ognized in existing design standards. This analysis also
box seccions, and plastic pipe. He received a BS from Norcheascern University showed that the increase in shear strength provided by
in 1973 and a SM in civil engineering from M.l. T. in 1975. He has authored compressive thrust forces is not adequately recognized
several papers on scrucrural design of reinforced concrece pipe and plascic pipe.
in existing design standards. To obtain further test data
relative to these important variables, 48 simply sup-
frames simulating box sections are available in the lit-
ported slabs were tested to failure in shear, or in flex-
erature. Data from 364 individual tests of the above
ure under high shear, to investigate the following var-
types of flexural components that failed in shear were
analyzed to determine significant variables that affect
thrust to shear ratio: N/V = 0 to 2.4
shear strength. The results of this analysis were used,
moment to shear ratio: M/Vd:::: 2.1 and 3.1. For
either for the development of semiempirical constants
tests with concentrated loads, the M/Vd ratio at the
in proposed shear strength equations, or for evaluating
centerline of load application is defined in this paper
the validity of the proposed equations. The following
as the governing ratio
test results were evaluated:
reinforcement ratio: Q = 0.006, 0.009, 0.012
Pipe three-edge bearing and curved beam tests. A to-
All of the slabs were designed to have the same di-
tal of 195 such tests from References 7-11 were ana-
mensions and concrete strengths. Straight members
lyzed. The range of variables included:
were selected instead of curved members to avoid the
diameter: 48 to 114 in. (1219 to 2895 mm)
simultaneous application of radial shear and tension
reinforcing type: welded smooth and deformed wire
stresses. These slab tests were designed to be used in
fabric, hot rolled deformed bars, and cold drawn wire
conjunction with the extensive available results for
M/Vd ratio at point of load application ::::: 3.5
three-edge bearing test strength of pipe and four-edge
steel reinforcement ratio: Q = 0.003 to 0.021 bearing test strength of box sections cited above. A de-
concrete strength: (' = 2200 to 8100 psi (15.2 to 55.8
scription of the test specimens and test procedure is
given in Reference 6, together with a table of test re-
Box section four-edge bearing tests. A total of 8 pre-
sults. The slab widths were 36 in. (914 mm) so that
cast box section tests from Reference 12 were analyzed.
they would be considered "wide beams" as defined in
The range of variables included:
Reference 4.
box dimensions (span x height): 48 x 48 in., 72 x 48
in., and 96 x 48 in. (1219 x 1219, 1829 x 1219, and
M/Vd at point of load application :::: 3.0 STRENGTH OF PIPE, BOX SECTIONS, SLABS,
steel reinforcement ratio: Q = 0.003 to 0.007 AND JOISTS WITHOUT SHEAR REINFORCE-
concrete strength: (' = 4800 to 7700 psi (33 .1 to 53.1 MENT
MPa) Based on our extensive analysis of both the above
Beams and frames. A total of 161 test results on described existing tests and our new test results, the
beams that failed in shear, published in References 13- following design procedure was developed for predict-
17, were analyzed. The range of variables included: ing the ultimate shear strength of flexural members
structural types: beams and frames without shear reinforcing. The types of analyses used
loading types: uniformly distributed and concen- to evaluate the form of the proposed equations are de-
trated transverse loads, without axial load, and com- scribed in Reference 6 and summarized below. Strength
bined with compressive and tensile axial loads predictions using the proposed method are later com-
M/Vd at point of load application ::::: 1.0 to 7.9 pared with the above described test results.
steel reinforcement ratio: Q = 0.003 to 0.04
concrete strength: (' = 1500 to 8000 psi (10.3 to 55.2 Shear strength design procedure - 1. Basic
MPa) shear strength
Test results on beams and frames with uniformly
distributed loads were used to evaluate the proposed
design equations; they were not used to obtain the (1.1 + 60Q) vr:..;; 2.3 VT.'* (1)

semiempirical constants in these equations. Also, the

proposed design method was further evaluated by ana-
max (' = 7000 psi (48. MPa) (2)
lyzing 100 additional beams without web reinforcement
*If Sl units are used, multiply vi'i by 0.083 in all equations that contain
that failed in shear under concentrated load, as pub- VlZ. See Notation for definition of symbols.

ACl JOU ANAL I November-December 1982 471

v,. is the nominal basic shear strength at sections Once determined, F0 , may be applied to other pipe
where MIV~d ~ 3.0. This is the lowest shear strength built by the same process and with the same materials.
at any location in a member with a constant Q and bd. Fp, = 1.0 gives predicted three-edge bearing test
v,. is related to the maximum shear force that can be strengths in reasonably good agreement with pipe in-
applied at sections where M/V~d ~ 3.0 by dustry experience, as reflected in the pipe designs for
Class 4 strengths given in ASTM C 76, "Specification
for Reinforced Concrete Culvert, Storm Drain, and
Sewer Pipe." Thus, it is appropriate to use Fp, = 1.0
for pipe manufactured by most combinations of pro-
where capacity reduction factor for shear as cess and local materials. Available three-edge bearing
defined in ACI 318, or other design test data show minimum values for F,,. of about 0. 9,
standard for poor quality materials and/or processes, as well as
possible increases up to about 1.1, or more, with some
FN is a thrust factor. When N, is compressive (i.e.,+) combinations of high quality materials and manufac-
turing process.

N, 2. Compare basic shear strength with factored

F:., = 1.0- 0.12 ~ 0.75 (4) shear force
No further consideration of shear strength is re-
When N, is tensile (i.e., -), use the following equa- quired if
tion up to N/ V, = -1.0 ~V,. ~max V, (10)

N, However, if ~ V,. is less than the maximum V,, the

FN = 1.0 - 0.24 (5)
V,, following additional investigation may indicate that the
shear strength of the member still is adequate to resist
F, is a curvature and crack depth factor for pipe and V,. In many members subject to distributed loads, the
= 1.0 for straight members critical shear section is not at the section where V, is
maximum, but at the section where MIV~d = 3.0. In
when moment pro- such members, max V, near supports can be substan-
tially greater than ~ V,.. If additional investigation is re-
F: (1 +d- ) -I- duces
of a pipe
on the
(6) quired, proceed as per Steps 3 and 4 below.
2r,, F"F",
tension curvature)
3. Locate sections where M/V~d = 3.0 and de-
when moment pro- termine applied shear force v. at such sections
duces tension on the For members that carry distributed loadings, the
F: (I - d) -I- outside of a pipe (ra- (7) governing section for shear strength usually occurs at
2r,, F,,F,,. dial compression cur- sections where M/V~ d = 3 .0. For many structures this
vature) is not at the section where the maximum shear force
occurs. This is true for buried pipe, buried box sections
with corner haunches (ASTM C 789 geometry), simply
F" is a crack depth factor that is described below supported slabs, joists, and beams with uniformly dis-
tributed load, and for some restrained slabs, joists, and
beams with uniformly distributed load, especially if
F" = ( 0.8 + 1.6)d ,; ; 1.25 (8) end moments are small, or if members with high end
moment have haunches (increased depth or width), or
The term Fp, is a factor used to reflect the variations
shear reinforcement over a short end zone where both
that local materials and manufacturing processes can
shear and moment are high.
have on the tensile strength of concrete. Experience in
The section where M/V~d = 3.0 may be located by
the precast concrete pipe industry has shown that such
investigating the shear and moment diagram for a
variations are significant. F0 , may be determined with
member. For straight members with uniformly distrib-
Eq. (9) (below) when a manufacturer has a sufficient
uted load, either with or without end moments, the
amount of test data on pipe that fail in diagonal ten-
section where M/V~d = 3.0 in the positive moment re-
sion to determine a statistically valid test strength
gion is located at a distance x,, from the centerline of
DL,d,, using the criteria in ASTM C 655, "Specifica-
the span between inflection points e, (i.e., locations of
tions for Reinforced Concrete D-Load Culvert, Storm
zero moment), where x,/e, is calculated as follows
Drain, and Sewer Pipe."

(I + d/2rm) (DL,d, + II Wp/ S)S (II)

293Fd (1.1 + 60Q)d V7:
472 ACI JOURNAL I November-December 1982
2M Moment Coeffu.:ient (c
) strength when MIVtd < 3.0 is termed the general shear
c m"Wfc
0.083 0.10 0.12 0.17 0.25 (simple span)
strength v. and is given in the next step.

4. Determine general shear strength for sections

with M/Vtd < 3.0

(MIVtd + 1)
If MIVtd ~ 3.0, use MIVtd = 3.0 in Eq.(IS). V,
shall be determined based on MIVtd at the face of
supports in restrained end flexural members and at the
edges of concentrated loads.
5. Additional considerations
Distributed loads within a distance d from supports
may be disregarded in determining V" at a support
V, may not exceed the ultimate shear produced at
critical shear sections by the factored load which de-
0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 velops the maximum flexural strength at any section.
x de
Furthermore, flexural strength should not be based on
f, > 65,000 psi (448 MPa). Thus
Fig. 1 - Location of critical shear section for straight
members with uniformly distributed load (16)

6. Variation of shear strength and applied shear

This location sometimes may be more readily cal- force in members with uniformly distributed
culated as a nondimensional ratio of the total span load
Eq. (IS) shows that the shear strength of a member
length x",le from the point of maximum positive mo-
ment, with the following equation varies along its length wherever MIVtd.;;; 3.0, since the
quantity MIVtd varies along member length. For
members with distributed loads, the applied ultimate
shear force also varies along member length. Fig. 2 and
3 show the variation of both shear strength (Eq. 15)
and applied shear force for two test beams with uni-
formly distributed load. These are described in greater
detail later. For simply supported members under uni-
2M, form load, the critical se~tion that governs member
c, = (13)
we shear strength is always the section where MIVtd =
3.0. This is usually also true for many other members
Fig. 1 is a plot of the variation of x"Je with Utd for subject to distributed loads, whenever MIVtd ratios at
typical values of c, and symmetrical conditions of end restrained ends are not too high.
The applied shear force V" at the point x,~.Je (also x"J DEVELOPMENT OF SHEAR STRENGTH
Except for the curvature factor F... and the crack
depth and process factors Fd and f;, that have been pro-
posed above for curved members, the variables in Eq.
1, 3, and 15 have been suggested as significant param-
For beams with end moment, MIVtd should also be eters affecting the shear strength of flexural members
determined at a critical shear section at the face of the by many previous researchers, as well as in ACI Code
support. If MIVt d ~ 3 .0, use Eq. ( 1) to determine equations and various proposed code equations. In the
shear strength at this location. If MIVtd < 3.0, the present investigation, however, analyses of extensive
shear strength at this location will be increased as given data on the shear strength of pipe, box sections, and
in the next step. slabs under combined axial and flexural loading have
For members with concentrated loads, shear strength shed new light on the interrelationship of these vari-
will be greater than Vb when MIVtd < 3.0 at critical ables. The variables M/Vd, Q, and N/V all are shown
sections either at the edge of the load application to have a much stronger influence on shear strength
point, or at the face of supports. The increased shear than given by current code equations.'' The approach
ACI JOURNAL I November-December 1982 473


General Concrete Shear Strength

t 3,860 psi (26.6 MPo)
1 88 in. (2,235 mm)
Test Ultimate Shear 9.94 in. (252 mm)
6.0 in. ( 152 mm)

Predicted Ultimate Shear


~Xd/1 0.24
VTESTI-{fj 1.96
I -....::: vPREDi-{f;; 1.71
I --~ vn:sT/vPRED 1.15
I ""
0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5


Fig. 2 - Variation in shear strength and shear force in a simply supported beam
under unilormly distributed load


Inflection Point

Max _c_ = 4.5/FN
0 pas = 0.0101
-Jic' 0 neg = 0.0067
f' 3,990 psi (27.5 MPo)
Test Ultimate Shear c
1 82 in. (2,083 mm)
r General Concrete Shear
10.0 in. (254 mm)
1 Strength. Vc 6.0 in. (152 mm)
Predicted Ultimate Shear


@ 'd/1 0.32
Centerline of
Support VTESTI-.[1;- 2.85
d From Face of I ' , '-..._ vPREDi-{f;; 2.24
Face of of Support 1 , "'-.. vTEST/vPREO 1 27
Support I '
0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 o.s

Fig. 3 - Variation in shear strength and shear force in a frame under uniformly
distributed load

used to develop the relationship of variables given by was evaluated by comparing the test ratios FN, with the
Eq. (I), (3), and (IS) is described in detail in Reference theoretical value of FN given by Eq. ( 17) for the slab
6 and summarized below. tests described in Reference 6. FN, is the ratio of the
test shear strength of flexural members without axial
Thrust factor load to the test shear strength of companion members
The effect of axial load was investigated by deter- with various levels of axial load.
mining a thrust factor FN that relates the shear strength Fig. 4 is a plot of the thrust modified test shear
of a reinforced concrete flexural member also subject strength v"' FNVl: as ordinate versus the test shear
to axial load to the shear strength of the same member strength of similar companion specimens without
without axial load. A trial expression for FN first sug- thrust vjVl7 as abscissa. The test results should lie
gested by Parmelee'" on a 45 deg line when FN, = FN, and the clustering of
the test results along this line in the figure shows that
F:v = 0.5 +jo.25 + U"v)' - :V (17)
the proposed Eq. (17) adequately accounts for the ef-
fects of the thrust-to-shear ratios in these tests. Thus,
474 ACI JOURNAL I November-December 1982
Thrust (psO
Regression line Y/ / 1.2

El /
285 / ~-Simplified Thrust Foetor
Tests with
v~t F


~0.25 WJ -(6~)
2 Simplified Expression for FN
FN = 0.5 + +

Note: 1000 psi = 6.89 M Po FN 1.0 - 0.14~ -2.0 < ~ ~ 0


1-lote: "egotive N/V 1.0 -o.12~ ~ u.7s o.o<~

Tests without thrust vet Katio indicates
axial tension
Fig. 4 - Evaluation of thrust factor F, for slab tests

Eq. (17) can be used to account for the effect of axial

-2 -1
thrust on shear strength. However, Eq. (4) and (5),
Thrust to Shear Ratio (N/V)
given earlier for thrust factor, were developed as sim-
plifications for use in design. This is illustrated in Fig. Fig. 5 - Variation of thrust factor with N/V ratio
5. Values of thrust factor above the solid curved line
are conservative approximations of Fw Once the thrust Crack depth factor
factor was established, the test shear strengths of all
The crack depth factor F,, was developed based on
specimens with axial load' were modified by the thrust
an analysis of ultimate strength test data for a large
factor FN to obtain modified test strengths for analysis
number of three-edge bearing test pipe specimens with
of the other major variables that affect shear strength.
various effective depths to the tensile reinforcement d
This is described later.
that failed in shear. Also, the much larger general ex-
perience of the pipe industry, accumulated from many
Curvature factor years of testing, is that small diameter pipe, having
The curvature factors F. given by Eq. 6 and 7 were wall thicknesses that are decreased in proportion to di-
developed to account for the increase, or decrease, in ameter, have significantly greater nominal shear
shear stress that occurs in a curved flexural member strength v = V Ibid than larger pipe. This increase in
because thrust, as well as moment, changes along the shear strength with decrease in member depth probably
length of the member. This produces increases, or de- occurs because in members with flexural cracks, shear
creases, in the theoretical maximum shear stress in a between tensile reinforcement and surrounding con-
curved, cracked, reinforced concrete flexural member, crete produces secondary flexural tension stresses in
compared to the shear stress in a straight cracked flex- segments of concrete between flexural cracks. In effect,
ural member, as given by the conventional shear stress the uncracked block between flexural cracks acts as a
equation "tooth," cantilevering from the neutral axis and
v loaded by the "horizontal" shear force between the
v= (18)
bd flexural cracks.' This shear force equals the difference
in reinforcement tension at two adjacent cracks as mo-
The curvature effect on shear strength was investi- ment and thrust vary along the member axis. When
gated by the senior author in an earlier study and re- crack depth is reduced relative to crack spacing in thin
ported in Reference 19. See Reference 6 for the deri- wall members, secondary flexural tension caused by
vation of Eq. (6) and (7). bending of the "teeth" is reduced at the root of the
The curvature factor also includes a crack depth fac- flexural cracks compared to thicker members.
tor Fd that is explained below, and a plant process and An effective depth d = 8 in. (203 mm) is arbitrarily
local materials factor Fp, that can account for varia- selected to give Fd = 1.0 in Eq. 8. This depth is used
tions in the ratio of diagonal tensile strength to VT' because most of the pipe test specimens had d in the
of concrete due to pipe manufacturing process and lo- range of 5 to 10 in. (127 to 254 mm). When dis greater
cal materials characteristics. If no value is established than 10 to 12 in. (254 to 305 mm), only a slight further
for f;,., the minimum value of Fp, = 0.9 may be used decrease in Fd results. The analysis that led to the sug-
for design. gestion of Eq. (8) for Fd is summarized in Fig. 6.
ACI JOURNAL I November-December 1982 475


1.6 X
X " X

1.2 X "x
" ~
1.0 ~ xX
'kl<Xjf X
" X
" ""
" )C

v ctr[tc ( Vd I) 1
Fd (1.1 + 60 p) --4-- = 0.8 + ~

Noh>: I in. = 25.4 '11m

d- (ln.)

Fig. 6 - Analysis of size effect on diagonal tension strength of pipe

The nominal shear stress at failure was also found The investigations of variables also confirmed that
to reduce with increasing depth of section in the ex- the type of variable for reinforcement ratio (A + BQ)
tensive investigation of the shear strength of beams re- recommended by the joint ACI-ASCE Committee 426
ported in Reference 20. In view of this additional data, report is valid, although different values were ob-
the factor F,, can probably be applied to the shear tained for the coefficients A and B, since the Com-
strength of straight members as well as to pipe. mittee 426 proposal did not include any correction for
M/Vd. The equation proposed in Reference 4 signifi-
Reinforcement and M/Vd ratios cantly overestimates the effect of Q on shear strength
The variables (A+ BQ) and M/Vd were investigated in the range from Q = 0.005 to 0.015. Values of Q in
by systematically plotting the nondimensionalized test this range are common in pipe, box sections, joists,
shear strength vjVf7, modified by some form of and one-way slabs.
M/Vd, versus the steel reinforcement ratio Q for var- The predicted shear strength of various test speci-
ious groups of tests. The following multipliers of mens obtained using the proposed design method is
vjVf7 were considered: compared with test shear strengths in the next section.
1. M/Vd not considered as a variable Plots for some of the other relationships of variables
2. M/Vd investigated in the preliminary analysis are given in
3. M/Vd raised to various fractional or integral Reference 6.
In addition, data were evaluated based on Q" instead of RESULTS
Q. In Fig. 7 to 11, test shear strengths for members with
The best correlation was obtained using (M/Vd + 1) concentrated loads - slabs (with and without axial
as a multiplier of vjvr:' to obtain Eq. (15), the pro- force), pipe and various beams and frames - are com-
posed general design equation for shear. However, a pared with shear strengths predicted using Eq. (15) and
study of the test results for members with M/Vd ratios the measured dimensions and concrete strengths. The
above about 3 shows no significant influence of M/Vd plots of test strengths are based on the value of M/Vd
in this high range, leading to the suggested maximum at the section located at the concentrated load, or at
M/Vd ratio of 3.0 in Eq. (15). Eq. (I) for basic shear the face of the support, whichever location has the
strength is then obtained by substituting M/Vd = 3.0 larger shear force and/or M/Vd ratio. The test shear
in Eq. (15). The basic shear strength is a lower limit strength v,, is the nominal shear stress given by Eq. 18
of shear strength in flexurally cracked reinforced con- when V = V,,, where V,, is the test shear force at the
crete members whose shear strength is governed by critical section when the first diagonal crack is ob-
combined flexure and shear. served in the concrete. For some test specimens, higher

476 ACI JOURNAL I November-December 1982

loads were supported prior to total collapse. However, governed by shear have steel ratios well below 0.02,
the strength of a member without shear reinforcement indicating the need to account for steel ratio when de-
after a diagonal crack has appeared is too variable to termining shear strength. Also, the need for stirrup re-
consider for design, and the occurrence of diagonal inforcement in these types of members sometimes can
cracking is considered as shear failure in this investi- be avoided by increasing the amount of flexural rein-
gation. forcement to obtain an increased shear strength.
The term v,,FNFJMIVd + l)/4v'(' is plotted versus The extensive series of beam tests reported in Ref-
the steel reinforcement ratio Q in Fig. 7 to 10 to show erence 20 is plotted separately from other tests, in Fig.
the importance of steel ratio as a variable for members 10, because these tests represent an integrated program
with Q ~ 0.02. The great majority of pipe, box sec- designed to systematically evaluate the variables (', Q,
tions, one-way slabs, and joists whose strength may be and M/Vd. The same tests are plotted again in Fig. II


o slob M/Vd "' 2.0

*C box
slob M/Vd 3.0 <::
culvert, M/Vd "' 3.0

11.-'Z p = 0.02

Proposed Design Equation v ct = ( 1.1 + 60 p) ~c

( -i !)+

0.005 0.010 0.015 0.020 0.025 0.030 0.035


Fig. 7 - Comparison of test data for slabs and box culverts under concentrated
loads with proposed design equatiod"


IZI d < 4.5

*x;; 4.5 < d < 5.5
5.5 < d < 6.5
+ 6.5 < d < 1.5
0 7.5 < d < 8.5
5 8.5 3 d

"' I
:s \_ Best Fit Equation:

vet= (1.3 + .Jfc

60 p) FNFC (4)
Proposed Design Equation:

F pv = 0.9
vet = (1.1 + ..Ire N
60 p) F::l":'C (4)
w I

0.005 0.010 0.015 0.020 0.025 0.030 0.035


Fig. 8 - Comparison of' test data for pipe in three-edge bearing tests with pro-
posed design equation"

ACI JOURNAL I November-December 1982 477

T ~d ( 1.0

;><. 1.0~~ (2.0

0 2.0 ~~ ( 3.0
-:- 3.0.:;_~

I? ....

.. li<
(j * (
.. X
' . X
X i. .~ X
X y l J"J
x-: 'I )<

\_* P:o~ed Design Equation vct=(l.l +60

r (~
4 )

0.005 0.010 0.015 0.020 0.025 0.030 O.Q35


Fig. 9 - Comparison of test data for beams and frames under concentrated loads
with proposed design equation''"

Concrete Beam
Strength lfC:,. psi) Depth (h, in.)
6.0 2500 0 6
+ 3800 0 12
X 5000 c. 24
0 48
-<> 6 (T Beams)


lo- ~
3.0 ~ rL p = 0.02 ~'
ojoe I ~&
(' I '

' --~"-.,.$,_-----
{--------- I
,,--"- Pm~r
Proposed Design Equation
vet = ( 1.1 + 60p) T:-
~ 4
1 N M/Vd +I

Note: 1000 psi = 6.89 M Po, I in. = 25.4 mm

0.005 0.010 0.015 0.020 O.D25 0.030 0.035

Fig. 10- Comparison of Kani test data for beams under concentrated loads with
proposed design equation"'

with M/Vd instead of Q as abscissa and V.,! Vh as or- by the depth factor Fd proposed for pipe [Eq. (8)], but
dinate. This plot shows the increase in shear strength no depth factor has been included in the data analysis
that occurs when M/Vd < 3.0. None of the data shown shown in Fig. 10 and 11.
in Fig. 10 and II were used in developing the proposed After Eq. (I) and (IS) were tentatively developed,
shear strength equations since the authors only recently based on the tests of flexural members under concen-
obtained the data. The test series reported in Reference trated loads producing various M/Vd ratios, they were
20 also contains tests where depth of section was sys- used to compare shear strength predictions with test
tematically varied. Results tend to confirm the reduc- results for the extensive tests of beams and frames with
tion in shear strength with increasing depth, as given simulated uniformly distributed loads described in Ref-

478 ACI JOURNAL I November-December 1982

6.0 Key:
I Beam
Strength (f ~ psi) Depth (h, in.)
2500 0 6
5.0 0 12
+ 3800
X 5000 "0 48
-<> 6 (T Beams)

vut \
Vb 3.0

2.0 i:"t


Note: I000 psi = 6.894 M Po, I in. = 25.4 mm

1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 s.o 6.0 7.0 8.0


Fig. 11 - Comparison of shear strength and M/Vd ratio for beams under con-
centrated load'"


)(. - beams
:!1 - frames



vc 1<FtJ ~~+I) B
8 8 X
..jf.c 4

Proposed Design Equation

v cl = (1.1
+ 60 p) ~
w I

0.005 0.010 0.015 0.020 0.025 0.030 0.035


Fig. 12 - Comparison of test data for beams and frames under uniformly dis-
tributed load with proposed design equation"

erence 15. This comparison is given in Fig. 2 for a typ- at the support face or the upper limit of shear
ical test of a simply supported beam and in Fig. 3 for strength v, = 4.5 VT.'I FN at that point governs the shear
a typical test of a frame. Similar plots were made for strength.
all simply supported uniformly loaded test beams and A summary plot of shear strength test results versus
all uniformly loaded test frames reported in Reference reinforcement ratio Q, similar to the plots previously
15. These additional plots are provided in Reference 6. described for the concentrated load tests, is given in
A study of these plots confirms that the critical section Fig. 12 for the test beams and frames with uniformly
for shear strength is the section in the positive moment distrubuted load. A plot of the proposed general shear
region where M/Vd = 3.0. The only exceptions are strength v,. = VJ bd, where V, is given by Eq. (15), is
those test frames where either the negative M/Vd ratios also shown in the figure. The test shear strength v,, in

ACI JOURNAL I November-December 1982 479

Eq. (19) is also plotted in Fig. 13.
As described earlier in this paper, when locations of
Max. SGH - - - - - - - - - - , maximum shear and moment coincide, as at the ends
,.::q. 15 (SGH), M/Vd = 1.5 of restrained members with distributed loads and at
ol9:l F:q. 19 (SL.H)

Eq. ?.6, M/Vd : 1.0 ,\ 3.0

concentrated loads, a direct comparison between the
4.0 proposed Eq. ( 15) and other methods based on shear
strength at the point of maximum shear is valid. When
M/V~d ~ 3.0 at the section of maximum shear, Eq.
3.0 (1), which is plotted in Fig. 13, represents the proposed
shear strength at the section of maximum shear. When
M/V~d < 3.0 at this section, the more general Eq. (15)
should be used. A plot of the proposed shear strength
for a section of maximum shear where MIV~d = 1.5
is also given in Fig. 13. The effect of axial force or
M/Vd = 3.0
curvature is not included in any of the above plots of
[q. ?.2 (Comm. 426)
shear strength.
The following existing Code shear strength equations
.. 111n11nu-n p
and other proposed equations are also plotted in Fig .
0.002 0.005 0.0 I0 0.015 O.o20 0.021
1. Equations in References 2 and 3 for general rein-
forced concrete design

Fig. 13 - Comparison of shear strength equations at d from sup- ( 0)

this figure is the shear force at the critical section di- 2500 e
vided by bd. The critical section is either the section v, = 1.9 V7:' + ~----- M/Vd ~ 1.0 (21)
where M/Vd = 3.0 in the positive moment region, or
the section at the support face. In the latter case, the
The latter equation is plotted for M/Vd = 1.0 and 3.0
uniformly distributed load over the distance d out from
and Vf.' = 5000 psi (34.5 MPa).
the support is disregarded in determining the applied 2. Equation proposed in 1977 by the joint ASCE-
shear force V, at the critical section at the support face. ACI Committee 426


(0.8 + 120 e) VT' ~ 2.3 V77
at d from support (22)
The basic shear strength vh is plotted in Fig. I3 along
with other currently used or proposed equations for
Although not included in the Committee's proposed
shear strength that are described later. The basic shear
ACI Code revisions, the following equation for the
strength v" represents the strength at a critical section shear strength of simply supported beams under uni-
where M/V~d ~ 3.0, and is the lowest shear strength
formly distributed load was suggested as a lower bound
of a reinforced concrete flexural member without shear of the shear strength of such beams'
reinforcement. In many flexural members with distrib-
uted loads, MIV~d = 3.0 does not occur at the section
of maximum applied shear force. For example, a typ- v, = (2.2 + 700 e : ) V7:' at d from support (23)
ical ASTM C 789 box section may have a ratio e/~d
= 9 and a critical section for shear located at 0.2I times
the inside span from the centerline of the span. where die is the ratio of effective depth to span length.
To obtain a valid comparison of shear strength given If e/d= 12, a typical value for a box section,' the shear
by various equations, the strengths given at the same strength becomes
section should be compared. With present Code meth-
ods, this section is usually taken by d from the support v, = (2.2 + 58e) VT: at d from support (24)
face. Thus, in the case of the above box section, the
strength given by Eq. (I) at the critical section should Eq. (24) is also plotted in Fig. 13.
be multiplied by the ratio of the applied shear at d 3. New (1981) equations in Reference 3 for buried
from the haunch tip to the applied maximum shear at box sections
the critical section, or about I .6. Thus, the strength at
a section a distance d from the tip of the haunch of 3.0 V7:' at d from support (25)
the above box section predicted by the method pro- or
posed in this paper is 4600 e
v, = 2.14 Vf7 + M/Vd ~ 3.5 Vf7

v, = 1.7 vh = (1.76 + 96 e) VT' (19) M/Vd ~ 1.0 (26)

480 ACI JOURNAL 1 November-December 1982
The latter equation is plotted for M/Vd = 1.0 and ture is only 70 to 90 percent of the strength given by
3 .0. No restrictions are placed on the magnitude of ACI 318.
corner moments, or on whether corner haunches are The existing ACI 318 shear strength equations [Eq.
required, when using Eq. (25). (20) and (21)] greatly underestimate the shear strength
4. CEB Equation' of buried pipe and box sections, because in these mem-
bers the critical section for shear strength occurs where
v, = (1.0 + 50 e) VT.: at d from support (27) M/V~d = 3.0, and this section is not the section of
maximum ultimate applied shear force. The actual
shear strength of these structures is usually about 130
Again, remember that direct comparisons of shear
to 200 percent of the strength given by Eq. (20). Also,
strengths between the different methods cannot be
Eq. (20) overestimates the shear strength of pipe in
made, since for the equations that contain M/Vd as a
three-edge bearing by 10 to 40 percent, because most
variable, the critical shear section may not be the sec-
pipes have reinforcement ratios ewell below 0.015. Eq.
tion with the maximum shear force. The simplified
(I), proposed by the writers, and Eq. (22), proposed
shear strengths given by Eq. (20), (22-25) and (27) are
by Reference 4, both show that the present ACI Eq.
always to be compared with the shear stress at the sec-
(20) or (21) are unconservative for flexural members
tion of maximum shear. In the above methods, this
with M/V~d ~ 3.0 at the section of maximum shear
section is taken at a distance d from support faces. In
(i.e., usually members with concentrated load) when e
the SGH-ACPA method described in this paper, the
section at the distance d from the end of a member
< 0.01.
Eq. (19), (24), and (26) (with M/Vd = 1.0) all give
will be the critical shear section only if the combination
about the same shear strength for a typical buried sin-
of moment and shear at that section produces the low-
gle cell box section with e = 0.01 to 0.015. This shear
est ratio of ~ V/ V".
strength is 140 to 160 percent of the shear strength
Lack of space precludes a comparative analysis of
given by ACI 318. The greatly increased shear strength
the thrust factor F.~ with the thrust modifiers of shear
indicated by these three methods for an earth-loaded
stress equations given in References 2, 3, and 4. The
box section confirms the above finding that major re-
proposed thrust factor is based on the ratio of thrust
visions are needed to the shear strength design proce-
to shear N/V, rather than the average compressive
dure given in ACI 318 to achieve accurate and eco-
stress, or the ratio of thrust to axial compressive
nomical design of the full range of structures encoun-
strength, that are used in those references. This makes
tered in design practice. The proposed shear equations
the magnitude of the thrust factor more directly related
provide the needed flexibility to cover a wide range of
to the change in principal tension stress associated with
structures where shear reinforcement is impractical and
the combined action of thrust and shear. Thus, the
shear strength without such reinforcement is likely to
proposed method is a more rational adjustment for
be a governing design parameter.
thrust. Furthermore, the same basic approach is ap-
When the shear strength of T -beams or joists is gov-
plicable for low levels of tensile thrusts. The correla-
erned by sections at monolithic supports where nega-
tion of the proposed equations for F" with the slab test
tive moment produces tension in the top flange, the
results given in Reference 6 that is shown in Fig. 5, as
additional stiffness and tensile strength of the flange
well as a similar correlation with Mattock's tests," both
concrete between flexural cracks probably acts like ad-
are very good.
ditional reinforcement, and probably increases the
basic shear strength above the strength given by Eq.
(I). Tests of two-span continuous T -beams without
The direct design of pipe and box sections requires web reinforcement, subject to a uniformly distributed
load and proportioned to achieve M/Vd ~ 3.0 at the
an accurate evaluation of the shear strength of mem-
bers with distributed earth pressure loads. These loads faces of the center support, should be conducted to de-
often produce maximum shear and maximum moment velop a modification of Eq. (I) that reflects the poten-
at different sections. Furthermore, most precast box tially higher strength of T -beams with flanges in ten-
sections have haunches at corners, reducing the shear sion. In the absence of such tests, the lower limit shear
stress at sections of maximum negative moment. The strength of v, = 2.2 VT.:, as given in the present ACI
shear strength of this type of structure is governed by Code for joists, could be continued in use when the
a critical section near the quarter point of the span and critical shear section has a T -beam flange on the ten-
is one and one half to two times the strength given by sion side.
ACI 318, and sometimes an even higher multiple of the
strength proposed by ACI-ASCE Committee 426. On CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
the other hand, the indirect design of pipe to meet The equations for shear strength of flexural mem-
three-edge bearing test strengths, a widely used ap- bers without shear reinforcement that have been de-
proach in current practice, requires an accurate eval- veloped in Reference 6 for design of pipe and box sec-
uation of shear strength of members with concentrated tions also have general applicability to a wide range of
loads that produce maximum shear and moment at the reinforced concrete flexural members. Analyses of tests
same location. The shear strength of this type of struc- for a variety of member and loading types show that
ACI JOURNAL I November-December 1982 481
the proposed equations provide a more accurate as- viewed the research work and the design method, and made valuable
sessment of shear strength than obtained with any of suggestions for its implementation.

the methods of current use'' as well as the methods

proposed by ASCE-ACI Committee 426.' The most NOTATION
significant difference between the shear strength deter-
A constant
mination given in this paper and the other methods is
A, tension reinforcement area on width b, in. 2
the concept that the critical section for shear strength b width of section which resists M, N, V
is located at a section that is also subject to substantial 8 constant
moment, and often is not the section with maximum coefficient for bending moment 7 W S/2
shear stress. For members such as pipe, box sections, distance from compression face to centroid of tension re-
inforcement, in.
and some joists that are designed for distributed loads,
DL,., D-load ultimate strength of test pipe that fail in diagonal
the critical section for shear is the section where tension where D-load is total test load of pipe divided by
MIV~d = 3.0. At this section, the applied shear stress pipe inside diameter, lb/ft/ft
may be only 50 to 70 percent of the shear stress at the factor for effect of curvature and crack depth on diagonal
maximum shear design section used in existing and tension (shear) strength in curved components
factor for crack depth effect resulting in increase in di-
proposed code shear provisions.
agonal tension (shear) strength with decreasing d.
Although the procedure suggested herein is some- coefficient for effect of thrust on shear strength
what more complex to apply than the simplified meth- factor for process and local materials characteristics that
ods currently in the design codes, the additional com- affect shear strength of pipe
plexities are not great, and they are needed to obtain f.' design compressive strength of concrete, lb/in. 2
f, specified yield strength of reinforcement, lb/in. 2
practical designs over the range of loading and shear
h overall thickness of member (wall thickness), in.
strength conditions that occur in general design prac- I span length of member with uniformly distributed load,
tice. Pipe may have to be designed for either concen- in.
trated test loads, where current design methods'' would span length between inflection points in member with uni-
overestimate their shear strength, or for deeply buried formly distributed load, in.
1\1 moment acting on cross section of width b service load
conditions where just the opposite is true. If equations conditions, in.-lb (taken as absolute in design equations,
in References 2, 3, or 4 were applied to deeply buried always +)
pipe, stirrup reinforcement would have to be added to moment at center of span between inflection points (max-
designs that have been successfully used for many years imum positive moment) acting on cross section of width
b, in.-lb
with no shear reinforcement and few problems. Also,
A1a ultimate moment acting on cross section of width b, in.-
when stirrup designs are based on current methods, the lb
stirrups may not be continued to locations of critical N axial thrust acting on cross section of width b, service load
shear strength. condition (+ when compressive, - when tensile), lb
The shear strength equations recently incorporated N, ultimate axial thrust acting on cross section of width b, lb
radius to centerline of pipe wall, in.
in Reference 3 for design of box sections provide sim-
s inside span (diameter) of pipe, in.
ple criteria that are reasonably accurate for determin- clear cover distance from tension face of concrete to edge
ing the shear strength of single cell box sections with of tension reinforcement, in.
haunches at corners. However, they are unsafe for use v shear force acting on cross section of width b, service load
with multiple cell box sections, they do not provide condition, lb (taken as absolute value in design equations,
useful criteria for determining the strength of either basic shear strength of section, lb
buried or test pipe, and they do not indicate the severe ultimate shear force acting on cross section of width b,
limitations under which they should be used. which produces diagonal tension failure without stirrup re-
In view of the above, the shear strength equations inforcement, lb
presented in this paper for flexural members without ultimate shear force acting on cross section of width b, lb
ultimate shear force at flexure failure, on width b, lb
shear reinforcement, and the accompanying provisions test ultimate shear force on width b, lb
for locating the critical section that governs shear basic shear strength of concrete, lb/in. 2
strength, should be used for designing reinforced con- general shear strength of concrete, lb/in. 2
crete pipe and box sections. They also should be con- test shear strength of concrete, lb/in. 2
sidered for general, use in designing one-way footings the total uniformly distributed load on width b, lb
weight of pipe per unit length, lb/ft
and other one-way flexural members not required to total factored uniformly distributed load on full span
have minimum web reinforcement. acting on width b, lb
total factored uniformly distributed load on beam length
between inflection points e,.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS distance from centerline of span between inflection points
As part of their long-range research program, the American Con- (points of zero moment) to point where M,/ V,d = 3.0 in
crete Pipe Association provided financial support to Simpson Gum- members with uniformly distributed load
pertz & Heger lnc. for the tests and investigations that led to the ratio of reinforcement area
proposed design method for shear. The continued support and sug- capacity reduction factor for variability in manufacture
gestions provided by the ACPA Technical Committee are acknowl-
edged and appreciated. Main Committee Chairman Lee Stockton,
Sub-committee Chairman Harry Peck, members Joseph Zicaro and REFERENCES
Robert Spiekerman, and ACPA Chief Engineer Mike Bealey, re- l. "Standard Specification for Precast Reinforced Concrete Box

482 ACI JOURNAL I November-December 1982

-------------- - - - - - - ------
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ACI JOURNAL I November-December 1982 483