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Concrete is a conglomerate artificial stone. It is made by mixing a paste of cement and water
with sand and crushed rock, gravel, or other inert material. The chemically active substance in the
mixture is the cement that unites physically and chemically with the water and, upon hardening,
binds the aggregates together to form a solid mass resembling stone. Sometimes one or more
admixtures are added to change certain characteristics of the concrete such as its workability,
durability and time of hardening.

Reinforced Concrete is a concrete in which reinforcement, other than provided for shrinkage or
temperature changes, is imbedded in such a manner that the two materials act together to resist
forces. Normally, the reinforcement provide the tensile strength that is lacking in the concrete.

Advantages of reinforced concrete as structural material

considerable compressive strength as compared to most other material

great resistance to the actions of fire and water
very rigid
low-maintenance material
has a very long service life (due to solidification of the cement paste)

Disadvantages of reinforced concrete as structural material

very low tensile strength, requires the use of tensile reinforcement

needs forms, falsework or shoring to hold concrete in place until it hardens sufficiently
low strength per unit of weight of concrete leads to heavy members ( very important
matter for long span members where dead weight has great effect on bending
low strength per unit of volume of concrete means members will be relatively large
(important consideration for tall buildings and long span members
properties vary wildly due to variations in its proportioning or mixing
placing and curing is not as carefully controlled as is the production of other material.


1) Cement. Of all the cements, normal Portland cement is by far the most extensively used in
building construction. It is made by mixing and the burning to incipient fusion two materials, on
composed principally of lime, other being clayey or argillaceous materials containing silica,
alumina and iron. After burning, the clinker is finely pulverized. As compared with natural
cement, Portland cement sets slower but is much stronger and more uniform in quality. In
specifying, it is customary to require that cement conforms to the Specifications for Portland
Cement ( ASTM C 150 )

Five types of cement fall into these categories:

a. Type I general purposes cement used when the concrete mixture is not subjected to
specific conditions.
b. Type II used when precautions against moderate sulfate attack are important and heat
of hydration maximums are specified.
c. Type III used where high strengths at an early period are required.
d. Type IV used when the rate and amount of heat generated must be minimized.
e. Type V used when the complete structure is exposed to serve sulfate action.

2) Aggregates. Aggregates must consist of clean, hard, strong, durable particles free from loam,
alkali, organic matter or other deleterious substances. These aggregates are the inert materials
like natural sand, crushed stone, pebbles, cinders, slags, etc

3) Water. Water used for mixing concrete must be clean and free from injurious amounts of oil, acid,
alkali, organic matter, or other deleterious substances. Water containing 5% or more common
salt should be avoided for use in concrete; sea water should never be used. Since only a certain
amount of water can combine with the cement, an excess quantity of water dilutes the paste and
produces a concrete of reduced strength, waterlightness and durability. Thus, it is measured
either in liters per bag of cement or per cubic meter of concrete added in the minimum quantity to
attain workability.

4) Admixtures. Admixtures include all materials other than the principal ingredients which are
added to concrete, grout or mortar immediate before or during mixing. They must be used when
a general purpose cement is specified and when the concrete mixture is going to be subjected to
specific conditions such as freeze-thaw action, surface scaling, bleeding, setting time variations
due to abnormally high or low outside temperatures, excessive heat of hydration, and poor
workability due to certain aggregate characteristics and lack of watertightness due to normal dry
shrinkage cracks that might develop.

5) Reinforcement. Steel bars for reinforcement in concrete are made from billet steel and rail
steel. The three grades of billet steel are structural, intermediate and hard. Structural grade steel
has allowable tensile unit stress of 124.11 MPa, while intermediate and hard grades may be
stressed to 137.9 MPa or 165.48 MPa. Although rail steel is somewhat similar in physical
qualities to hard steel, it is more brittle and more difficult to bend. The intermediate grade of billet
steel is the most commonly used steel for reinforcement.
One of the fundamental assumptions on which the design of reinforced concrete is based
is that the concrete and reinforcement act together as a unit. If plain bars are used, the
transmission of stresses depends on the adhesion between the steel and concrete. To provide for
a greater bond, reinforcing bars are made with lugs or corrugations and are known as deformed
Another type of reinforcement is wire mesh and expanded metals . It is used principally in
slabs. The use of wire mesh or expanded metal permits a uniform distribution of steel, whereas
individual bars require more care in placing and may require metal supports with spacing rods to
maintain a proper distribution.


Concrete Requirement. Since concrete is a mixture in which a paste made of Portland

cement and water binds together fine and coarse particles of inert materials, known as aggregates, it
is readily seen that by varying proportions of the ingredients innumerable combinations are possible.
These various combinations result in concrete of different qualities. When the cement has hydrated,
the plastic mass changes to a material resembling stone. The period of hardening is called curing, in
which three things are required: time, favorable temperatures, and the continued presence of water.
To fulfill requirements, it is essential that the hardened concrete have, above all else, strength
and durability. In order that the concrete in its plastic form may be readily placed in the forms,
another essential quality is workability. When watertightness is required, concrete must be dense
and uniform in quality. Hence it is seen that in determining the various proportions of the mixture the
designer must have in mind the purpose for which the concrete is to be used and the exposure for
which it will be subjected. When these requirements have been filled, the following factors regulate
the quality of the concrete: suitable materials, correct proportions, proper methods of mixing and
placing, and adequate protection during curing.

a. Proportioning
The first step in determining the proportions of the various ingredients in concrete is to
establish the water-cement ratio. This depends primarily on the exposure to which the concrete will be
subjected and the strength desired. The next step is to decide on the most economical combination of
fine and coarse aggregates that will result in a concrete having a plasticity that is workable.
The general theory in establishing the proportions of the fine and coarse aggregates is that
the voids in the coarse aggregates should be filled with the cement paste and fine aggregate. The
voids in coarse aggregate depend on the kind of material and its size. In general, the voids average
slightly less than one half the volume, and it is customary to use about one half as much as the
volume of crushed stone. We express the proportions in the sequence: cement, sand and coarse
aggregate; for instance, the mix may be 1: 2: 4; 1: 2 : 5; 1: 3: 6.
Very often the fine and coarse aggregates are given as one figure, and a mix of 1: 2: 4 may
be expressed as 1: 6. The reason for this is that the sand should not always be one half the volume of
the crushed stone. The sum of fine and coarse aggregates in proportion to cement paste depends on
the consistency required. In general, stiffer mixes are more economical with respect to the cost of
materials, but if the mix is usually dry the cost of placing it in the forms is increased and care must be
taken to avoid honeycombing. When the proportion of fine aggregate is increased, a smoother
working concrete result, but this generally requires more cement paste and may not be economical.
When the concrete structure is of sufficient magnitude to warrant the expense involved,
another method of determining proportions may be used. These will involve class of work, required
strength, maximum water-cement ration, maximum sizes of aggregates, and slump range.

b. Water-Cement Ratio
It should be remembered that the plastic concrete should always be workable. It should be
neither too dry nor too wet. If it is too dry, it is difficult to place in the forms, it resists packing around
the reinforcement and the result is honeycombing. If the concrete is too wet, segregation of the
ingredients may result. To produce a workable concrete, more water must be used than is required to
combine chemically with the cement. Hence a certain amount of water is distributed with the paste,
which, upon evaporation, leaves minute voids. Thus it is seen that the water-cement ratio determines

the density of the cement paste, which, in turn, determine the strength, durability, and watertightness
of the hardened concrete.
c. Mixing
To produce a first quality concrete, the use of a mixing machine is essential. Thorough mixing
not only tends to produce a concrete of uniform quality, but longer periods of mixing also increase the
strength of the concrete, and a greater degree of workability is effected.
The strength and quality of the concrete depend principally on the length of time the concrete
remains in the mixer rather than on the speed of rotation. Concrete should never be mixed less than 1
minute, and a longer period is desirable when conditions permit. When concrete of superior quality is
desired for extreme exposure conditions or for watertightness, longer periods of mixing will be

Central-mixed or ready-mixed concrete is used whenever it is available.

d. Segregation
It is well to remember that concrete in its plastic condition is in reality a paste in which the
aggregates are mixed. Care should be exercised to prevent the particles of sand and stone from
being separated from the paste, for such separation produces an inferior concrete. Factors that must
be considered in preventing segregation of aggregates are transporting the concrete from the mixing
machine to the forms, dropping the concrete from too great a height, and tamping or spading.
Dropping the concrete more than 1 meter into the forms tends to permit the larger aggregate
to work its way to a lower level, thus preventing a uniform quality. When concrete is placed in the
forms by means of chutes, it is important that long flows be avoided, since there is a possibility that
the large aggregate will separate from the other materials in the mix.

e. Curing
Regardless of the care taken in proportioning, mixing, and placing, first-quality concrete can
be obtained only when due consideration and provision are made for curing. The hardening of
concrete is due to the chemical reaction between the water and cement. This hardening continues
indefinitely as long as moisture is present and the temperatures are favorable. The initial set does not
begin until two or three hours after the concrete has been mixed. During this interval moisture
evaporates, particularly on the exposed surfaces, unless provision is made to prevent the loss of
moisture the concrete will craze.
To prevent the loss of moisture during curing, several methods may be employed. These are
covering the concrete slab with burlap that is kept continuously wet, a 25mm layer of wet sand or
sawdust, a 150mm layer wet straw or hay and continuous sprinkling of exposed surfaces with water.
Also, forms should be allowed to remain for a long period as is practicable.

f. Tests
Concrete made of various proportions should be tested several weeks before the actual
construction of the building. The usual procedure is to test several combinations by using at least four
different water-cement ratios
The two most common tests of concrete are the slump test for determining the degree of
plasticity and the compression tests on cylinders of cured concrete to establish its strength.


(Types of Analysis and Design)
Before 1963 the working stress design (WSD) method was the principal one used where a
structural element of reinforced concrete was designed such that the resulting stresses from the
action of service loads (also called working loads) do not exceed certain specified allowable values.
Due to the effects of shrinkage, creep, tensile cracking and other factors it is rather difficult to perform
an accurate estimate of the stresses in reinforced concrete members under service load conditions.
The 1963 ACI Code gave equal coverage to the working stress design and strength design
methods. However, the 1971 Code was devoted almost exclusively to the strength design method.
The WSD method was now called the alternative design method. In fact, in the 1971 Code the WSD
method was transferred to the appendix. However, as late as 1980, the WSD method was still being
used in reinforced concrete design in the Philippines.

1) Working Stress Design

In the working stress design method, the actual working loads, called service loads, were
utilized and a member was designed based on an allowable compressive bending stress
generally equal to 0.45 f c and a compressive stress pattern that was assumed to vary linearly
from zero at the neutral axis to a maximum at the extreme fiber of the compression concrete. This
is stated as the stress is proportional to the strain. This is generally valid only up to a point called
the proportional limit.
The sections of the members of the structure are designed assuming straight line stress-
strain relationships ensuring that at service loads the stresses in the steel and the concrete do not
exceed the allowable working stresses. The allowable stresses are taken as fixed proportions of
the ultimate or yield strength of materials. The bending moments and forces that act on statically
indeterminate structures are calculated assuming linear-elastic behavior.

Reasons for the trend towards working stress design:

a. apparent simplicity of a linear stress-strain ( - ) diagram
b. linear analysis procedure
c. approximate allowable stresses
d. display satisfactory behavior at the service loads
e. adequate margin of safety against collapse

2) Ultimate Strength Design

In the strength design method, the service loads are multiplied by a certain factors to
determine the load at which failure of the structural part is considered to be imminent. This load
near, or at, failure is called ultimate load, factored load or factored service load. The strength
provided by this method should not be less than the strength required to carry factored loads. The
strength of a specific reinforced concrete member is not necessarily the true ultimate strength
of the member, but is a value provided by the ACI Code. The general term strength design
applies whether beam strength, column strength, or other strength are under consideration. The
stress pattern assumed for strength design is such that predicted strengths are in substantial
agreement with test results.
The sections of the members of the structures are designed taking inelastic strains into
account to reach ultimate (maximum) strength when an ultimate load (sum of each service load

multiplied by its respective load factor) is applied to the structure. The bending moment and
forces are calculated taking some account of the redistribution of actions that may occur because
of the non-linear relationships that exist between the actions and deformations in the members at
high loads.

Reasons for the trend towards ultimate strength design:

a. Sections behave inelastically at high loads; hence elastic theory cannot give a reliable
prediction of the ultimate strength of the members because inelastic strains are taken into
account. Also, under elastic theory, the exact load factor (ultimate load / service load) is
unknown and varies from structure to structure.
F .S .
b. Allows more rational selection of the load factors.
c. The stress-strain ( - ) curve for concrete is nonlinear and is time dependent.
d. Utilizes reserves of strength resulting from a more efficient distribution of stresses by
inelastic strains.
e. Makes more efficient use of high strength reinforcement, and smaller beam depths can
be used without compression steel.
f. Allows the designer to assess the ductility of the structure in the post-elastic range.

3) Basic Assumptions for Flexural Strength

Four basic assumptions are made when deriving a general theory for flexural strength of
reinforced concrete sections:
a. Plane sections before bending remains plane after bending.
b. The stress-strain ( - ) curve for the steel is known.
c. The tensile strength of the concrete may be neglected.
d. The stress-strain ( - ) curve for the concrete, defining the magnitude and distribution
of compression stress, is known.

4) Assumptions Working Stress Design Method

In applying the WSD method, the basic assumptions are the following:
a. Plane sections before bending remain plane after bending. Strains vary linearly from the
neutral axis.
b. Hookes law applies to both the steel and concrete, that is, within the elastic limit, stress
is directly proportional to the strain.
c. The tensile strength of concrete is negligible, and only the steel carries tension.
d. The concrete and steel are bonded perfectly and no slip occurs between them.

5) Assumptions in Strength Design Method

The assumptions made for the determination of the strength of sections with flexure and axial
load may be summarized as follows:
a. Plane sections before bending remain plane after bending.
b. The distribution of concrete stress may be taken to be a rectangle with mean stress of
0.85 f c' and a depth from the compressed edge of 1 c , where c is the neutral axis
c. Tensile strength of concrete may be neglected.

d. The concrete strain at the extreme compression fiber at the flexural strength of the
member may be taken as 0.003.
e. The stress in the steel at less than the yield strength may be taken as the steel strain
multiplied by the modulus of elasticity of 200,000 MPa. For strains higher than that at the
yield strength, the steel stress may be considered to remain at the yield strength.
The above concrete compressive strain and stress distribution may be used for beams and
nonrectangular compressed areas;


1.4.1. Properties of Concrete Uniaxial Stress Behavior

Under practical conditions concrete is seldom stressed in one direction only (uniaxial
stress), since in most structural situations the concrete is stressed simultaneously in a number
of directions. Nevertheless, an assumed uniaxial stress condition can be justified in many
1) Compressive Strength
The compressive strength of concrete (fc) is determined by testing to failure 28-
day-old 6-in. by 12-in. concrete cylinders at a specified rate of loading. For the 28-day
period the cylinders are usually kept under water or in a room with a constant
temperature and 100% humidity.
It will be noted that field conditions are not the same as those in the curing room,
and the 28-day strengths describe cannot be achieved in the field unless almost perfect
proportioning, mixture, vibration, and moisture conditions are present. The result is that
the same strength probably will not be obtained in the field with the same mixes. As a
result, Section 5.3 of the ACI Code requires that the compressive strengths used as a
basis for selecting the concrete proportions must exceed the specified 28-day strengths
by anywhere up to as much as 9.653 MPa (1400 psi), the actual amount depending on
the quality control records of the concrete plant.
The stress-strain curves in the figure represent the results obtained from
compression test of 28-day standard cylinders of varying strengths

Figure: Stress-strain curves for concrete cylinders loaded in uniaxial compression

Significant points on these curves:

the curves are almost linear up to about one-half of the compressive strength
peak of the curve is relatively sharp for higher-strength of concrete and flat
top for low-strength concrete
the strain at the maximum stress is approximately 0.002
after the maximum stress, concrete still carry stress
the slope of the linear curve is modulus of elasticity, E C

for concrete weighing from wc = 1500 kg / m3 to wc = 2500 kg / m3
EC wC (0.043) f c' (MPa)
for normal weight of concrete ( wc = 2400 kg/m3)
E C 4700 f c' (MPa)
where: Ec = modulus of elasticity of concrete in compression (MPa)
wc = unit weight of concrete (kg/m3)
fc = 28 day compressive strength on concrete (MPa)

2) Tensile Strength
The tensile strength of concrete is generally less than 20% of the compressive
strength. Although it is normally neglected in design calculations, it is important property

that affects the sizes and extent of the cracks that occur
that has a reduction effect on members deflection

Indirect test developed to measure concretes tensile strength are:

a. Flexural Tensile Strength (Modulus of Rupture, f r )

usually measured by loading a 6 x 6 x 30 plain rectangular beam to failure

with equal concentrated loads at its one-third points
load is increased until failure occurs by cracking on the tensile face of the
beam. The modulus of rupture f r is then determined from the flexure

Mc 6 M
fr 2
I bh
The ACI Code (318M-01) provision for modulus of rupture for lightweight concrete

f r 0.7 f c' (MPa)

b. Split Cylinder Test

Figure: Split-cylinder test for tensile strength

In the preceding figure,

a cylinder is placed on its side in a tasting machine and a compressive load
is applied uniformly along the length of the cylinder with support supplied
along the bottom for the cylinders full length.
the cylinder will split in half from end to end when its tensile strength is
the method of test and the stresses induced along the loaded diameter is
based from the theory of elasticity.
the tensile stress across the diameter at splitting is found from the
P = maximum compressive force
h = length of the cylinder
d = diameter of the cylinder

3) Poissons Ratio
usually range from 0.15 to 0.20. Combined Stress Behavior

In many structural situations concrete is subjected to direct and shear stresses acting in
a number of directions. Considering the equilibrium of the forces, any combined stress situation
can be reduced to three normal stresses acting on three mutually perpendicular planes. These
three normal stresses are the principal stresses, and the shear stresses acting on these planes
are zero.

1) Biaxial Stress Condition

A biaxial stress condition occurs if the principal stresses act only in two
directions: that is, the stresses act in one plane and the third principal stress is zero.

2) Triaxial Compressive Stress Behavior

The strength and ductility of concrete are greatly increased under the conditions
of triaxial compression. The following relationship is for the strength of concrete cylinders
loaded axially to failure when subjected to confining fluid pressure.

f cc' f c' 4.1 fl

where: f cc = axial compressive strength of confined specimen
f c' = uniaxial compressive strength of unconfined specimen
f l = lateral confining pressure Creep of Concrete

The creep deformation of concrete under constant axial compressive stress is illustrated
in the following figure. As the figure reveals, the creep proceeds at a decreasing rate with time.
If the load is removed, the elastic strain is immediately recovered. However, this recovered
elastic strain is less than the initial elastic strain because the elastic modulus increases with
age. The elastic recovery is followed by a creep recovery, which is a small proportion of the
total creep strain.

Figure: Typical creep curve for concrete with constant axial compressive stress

According to ACI Committee, for normal weight, sand lightweight and all lightweight
concrete, the creep coefficient C t (defined as the ratio of creep strain to initial elastic strain) at
any time may be written as

C t C u K t K a K h K th K s K f K e

C u ultimate creep coefficient

K t time under load coefficient
K a age when loaded coefficient


K h relative humidity coefficient

K th minimum thickness of the member coefficient
K s slump of concrete coefficient
K f fines coefficient
K e air content coefficient Shrinkage of Concrete

When concrete loses moisture by evaporation, it shrinks. Shrinkage strains are
independent of the stress conditions in the concrete. If restrained, shrinkage strains can cause
cracking of concrete and will generally cause the deflection of structural members to increase
with time.
A curve showing the increase in shrinkage strain with time appears in the following figure.
The shrinkage occurs at a decreasing rate with time. The final shrinkage strains vary greatly,
being generally in the range 0.0002 to 0.0006 but sometimes as much as 0.0010.

Figure: Typical shrinkage curve of concrete

According to ACI Committee, for normal weight, sand lightweight and all lightweight
concrete, the unrestrained shrinkage strain at any time t is given by

sh shu S t S h S th S s S f S e S e

shu ultimate shrinkage strain

S t time of shrinkage coefficient
S h relative humidity coefficient
S th minimum thickness of member coefficient
S s slump of concrete coefficient
S f fines coefficient
S e air content coefficient
S c cement factor


1.4.2 Properties of Steel Reinforcement Monolithic Stress Behavior

The figure shown is a typical stress-strain curves for steel bars used in reinforced
concrete construction which was obtained from steel bars loaded monotonically in tension. The
curves exhibit an initial linear elastic portion, a yield plateau, a strain-hardening range in which
stress again increases with strain and finally a range in which the stress drops off until fracture

Figure: Typical stress-strain curve for steel reinforcement

The modulus of elasticity of the steel E s is given by the slope of the linear elastic
portion of the curve. Moreso, the stress at yield point (yield strength) is very important property
of steel reinforcement.
Sometimes yielding is accompanied by an abrupt decrease in stress, and the stress-
strain diagram has the shape appearing in the following figure.

Figure: Stress-strain curve illustrating upper and lower yield points

In such a case the stresses at A and B are referred to as the upper and lower yield
strength respectively. The position of the upper yield point depends on the speed of testing, the
shape of the section and the form of specimen. The lower yield strength is usually considered
to be the true characteristic of the material.
For steels lacking a well-defined yield plateau, the yield strength taken as the stress
corresponding to a particular strain, as illustrated in the next figure. The length of the yield
plateau is generally a function of the strength of the steel. High-strength high-carbon steel
generally has a much shorter yield plateau than the lower-strength low-carbon steel.

Figure: Yield point on steel without well defined yield plateau

The stress-strain curves for steel in tension and compression are assumed to be
identical. In design it is necessary to idealize the shape of stress-strain curve.
Generally, the curve is simplified by idealizing it as two straight lines as in the figure (a)
below ignoring the upper yield strength and the increase in stress due to strain hardening. This
is the stress-strain curve for steel assumed by ACI code. If the plastic strain, which occurs at
near-constant stress after yielding, is much greater than the elastic extension at yield, this
assumed curve gives a very good accuracy. This simplification is particularly accurate for steel
having low yield strength.
More accurate idealizations usable for the stress-strain curve are given in figure (b) and
figure (c). Values for the stresses and strains at the onset of yield, strain hardening, and tensile
strength are necessary for the use of such idealizations.

Figure: Idealization for the stress-strain curve for steel in tension or compression.
(a)Elastic perfectly plastic approximation, (b) Trilinear approximate,(c) Complete curve

13 Repeated Stress Behavior
In the Figure of the typical stress-strain curve for steel reinforcement, the steel specimen
is loaded either in axial tension or in compression to failure in a single load run. If the load is
released before failure, the specimen will recover along s tress-strain path that is parallel to the
original elastic portion of the curve. If loaded again, the specimen will follow the same path up
to the original curve as in the following Figure below, with perhaps a small hysteresis and/or
strain-hardening effect. The virgin curve is then closely followed, as if unloading had not
occurred. Hence the monolithic stress-strain curve gives a good idealization for the envelope
curve for repeated loading of the same sign.

Figure. Stress-strain curve for steel under repeated loading Reversed Stress Behavior

If reversed (tension-compression) axial loading is applied to a steel specimen in the yield
range, a stress-strain curve of the type is presented in the Figure below. The figure shows the
Bauschinger effect, in which under reversed loading the stress-strain curve becomes nonlinear
at a stress much lower than the initial yield strength. This steel behavior is strongly influenced
by previous strain history; time and temperature also have an effect. The unloading path follows
the initial elastic slope. The often-used elastic perfectly plastic idealization fro reversed loading
[Figure (b)] is only an approximation. Reversed loading curves are important when considering
the effects of high-intensity seismic loading on members.

Figure. (a) Bauschinger effect for steel under reversed loading. (b) Elastic perfectly
plastic idealization for steel under reversed loading