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Engineering Structures 132 (2017) 540–550

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Strengthening of RC slabs with reinforced concrete overlay on the tensile

Hugo Fernandes a,⇑, Válter Lúcio b, António Ramos b
FCT – Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Portugal
CERIS - ICIST, FCT – Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Portugal

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: Strengthening of concrete structures with a new concrete layer has been commonly used for columns,
Received 21 October 2015 beams and slabs. This technique is economic and efficient for structural strengthening since it uses the
Revised 19 August 2016 same base materials, steel and concrete. It is usually applied on the compressed face of the concrete ele-
Accepted 10 October 2016
ment due to concrete’s recognized behaviour under compression, posing several challenges to control
cracking and resistance when applied on the tensile face.
For assessing the performance of the strengthening method, twelve slab specimens were designed and
tested monotonically. The main parameters to assess in this work were the debonding behaviour and
Slab strengthening
Concrete layer
load, and the relationship between the latter and the relative displacements at the interface of the two
Reinforced concrete concrete layers. The performance of the strengthened structures strongly relies on the interaction of
Steel connectors the two concrete layers, with this being the main subject of the research about overlaid concrete. The load
Interfacial bond transfer capacity of the interface depends on the interface shear strength, which in turn is highly depend-
able on substrate roughness, cleanliness and curing conditions of the newly added layer. Interface perfor-
mance may be improved by using steel connectors crossing the interface, properly anchored on both
layers. The importance for these elements grows as the existing concrete is more deteriorated, since
adhesion strength will decrease with lower quality concrete.
This paper presents the experimental research for the application of bonded concrete overlays on the
tensile face of reinforced concrete slabs, mainly aimed at office buildings and parking facilities, where
spatial clearances or inaccessibility to the lower side of the slabs are recurrent. A ductile behaviour upon
debonding was achieved for the specimens with reinforcement crossing the interface, and a debonding
load up to three times that of the reference specimens without reinforcement crossing the interface.
Ó 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction When applied on the tensile face of concrete elements, bonding

between two concrete layers is affected by the normal stresses that
Strengthening of concrete structures by adding a new concrete appear due to the difference in stiffness of the concrete layers. This
layer is well known when applied to the compressed face of con- technique relies on the quality of bond between the two concrete
crete elements. Examples of that are beams and columns strength- layers, therefore varying with surface preparation, and if steel con-
ened with concrete jacketing. Depending on the intended reason nectors are installed crossing the interface. If no connectors are
for strengthening/retrofitting the existing structure should be used, adhesion is the only component of the resisting mechanism
relieved of existing loads until strengthening is applied. This is acting on the interface, and brittle failure shall occur. This relies
more important with damaged or deteriorated structures since strongly on roughness, which allows for interlocking of the two
loading will further aggravate the existing structural condition. layers and consequently bonding stresses to develop along the
Bonded concrete overlay becomes a relevant strengthening and interface. With steel connectors crossing the interface between
repairing technique since the base material has to be replaced with the two concrete layers, three components of the resisting mecha-
new concrete. nism illustrated in Fig. 1 shall develop [1]:

1. Adhesion, due to chemical bond between the two layers, and

mechanical interlocking, if macroscopic surface roughness is
⇑ Corresponding author. present, shall be considered for slips up to 0.5 mm [2].
E-mail address: (H. Fernandes).
0141-0296/Ó 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
H. Fernandes et al. / Engineering Structures 132 (2017) 540–550 541

Adhesion/Interlocking + Friction Dowel Action

Fig. 1. Resisting mechanism for concrete-to-concrete interfaces with steel connectors adapted from [4].

2. Friction is a direct consequence of external loads perpendicular Stress transfer between the two concrete layers is based on the
to the interface, or due to steel connectors crossing the interface shear friction theory [8–12]. The behaviour models developed using
that are mobilized in tension for higher relative displacements, the basis of this theory account for relative slip and interface crack
usually larger than 0.5 mm [2], with equilibrium guaranteed by opening or dilation, which are increased in an unconfined state.
compressive forces at the interface. Normal and tangential relative displacements are of the utmost
3. Larger relative slips mobilize dowel action inducing bending, importance when tensile stresses govern the interface stress field.
shear and tension in the steel connectors crossing the interface. Models for relative displacement analysis and some models for
The dowel action maximum value depends on the resistance of stress analysis do not specifically account for steel connectors
the steel connector (bending + tension and shear) and the crossing the interface. This is a behaviour changing aspect for
crushing of the surrounding concrete [2,3]. detailing the interface since it limits interface crack opening, pro-
viding for greater stresses to develop and reaching of larger slips.
Bond performance of the interface will depend on the appropri- Shear connectors crossing the interface, properly anchored to both
ate conditions for these resisting mechanisms. Some authors pro- layers to improve strength, can reduce uncertainty about interface
vide recommendations for surface preparation and curing performance, and should be accounted for in the design of these
conditions of the added concrete layer. Contamination of the con- interfaces [13]. Due to the orthogonal directions of interface defor-
crete surface before casting the new layer, methods used for sur- mations, behaviour of reinforcement crossing the interface will be
face preparation, and surface microcracking, are according to [2] ruled by pullout of the embedded length and dowel action of the
the main quality parameters for the application of this technique. steel bar. The relationship between the two phenomena has been
A special attention to edge zones is also referred to in the docu- identified and studied, since pullout can be affected by transverse
ment since the discontinuity of the cross section allows for the shear, and dowel action in turn is affected by the pullout of the
development of significant tensile and shear stresses. steel bar [14]. Another ruling aspect for these mechanisms to
Interface bond performance varies from null to full transfer of develop is aggregate interlock, which causes the interface crack
horizontal stresses between the two layers, allowing monolithic to open as the two layers slip relatively to another [4,15]. The latter
behaviour to be achieved, according to Fig. 2. mechanism is highly dependable on the quality of the surface
Usually interaction between layers in the cross section is preparation chosen for the existing structure substratum.
characterized as partial, and relative displacement between the Surface preparation also plays a major role on interface
two layers is accounted for. Several behaviour models have been behaviour due to the interlocking mechanism, which causes the
developed over the years [5–7], where relative displacement, both interface crack to open when relative slip occurs [16]. There are
horizontal and vertical, is comprised. several methods for surface preparation, as jackhammering,

Fig. 2. Interface performance regarding shear stress transfer between layers.

542 H. Fernandes et al. / Engineering Structures 132 (2017) 540–550

recognized as being one of the most aggressive surface preparation 2. Experimental programme
methods, and hydro-demolition, one of the least aggressive meth-
ods, allowing also for selective concrete removal [17–20]. These 2.1. Definition of the strengthened specimens
methods are more or less intrusive in terms of microcracking of
the existing concrete layer and can cause premature debonding For characterizing the behavioural aspects of concrete layers in
of concrete chunks and reduced interface performance, reaching a strengthening situation, three different detailings of the interface
a depth of 3 mm [21] to 10 mm [22] on the existing concrete layer. and one for reference, were tested. The reference specimens were
Since a new concrete layer is to be cast against the existing one, a tested with only surface roughening and no rebar crossing the
greater roughness is required, with exposed aggregate particles for interface. Relevant data regarding specimens geometry is provided
improved interlocking. This is quantified in terms of an average in Table 1, where As,o and As,s are the longitudinal reinforcement
roughness parameter, which can be assessed through several tech- area for the overlay and substratum, respectively, and As,i the area
niques. This value defines the interface in terms of roughness, of the reinforcement crossing the interface. The experimental tests
according to [23], from smooth to very rough, with a specific pro- were comprised by the following specimens:
file geometry. For improved performance of the interface, a very
rough profile is recommended, with an average roughness param-  Surface roughening only (S-REF).
eter equal or greater than 3.0 mm, since it directly improves all  Steel connectors distributed along the interface, with 50 mm of
other components of the resisting mechanism. anchorage length (S-STC, 1–3), and 70 mm of anchorage length
Chipping with an electric or pneumatic hammer and steel moil (S-STC-4).
point, despite the disadvantages of microcracking, and hydro  Anchoring of the longitudinal reinforcement bars of the new
demolition with high-pressure water jet, are the most common layer at the ends, since the deformation of the specimens in
surface preparation methods. The latter technique is the most bending suggests the lifting of the overlaid concrete in this zone
efficient in terms of roughening and reduced microcracking of the [25], with 50 mm of anchorage length (S-ANC, 1–3) and 70 mm
surface, but also characterized by difficult logistics and higher costs. of anchorage length (S-ANC-4).
For this reason, chipping with an electric hammer and steel moil  All of the aforementioned techniques combined for improving
point is the easiest and least specialized method for surface bond at the interface (S-STANC).
roughening in a strengthening/retrofitting situation. Alongside the
surface preparation techniques, it is also referred to in [24] the Also in the MC 2010 [23] the lifting phenomenon at the overlaid
importance of moisture on the existing surface. An optimum com- concrete edge is considered relevant since deformation due to
bination of factors is presented for saturated substrate and appar- shrinkage is greatest in this zone and debonding shall occur.
ently dry surface, for better bonding of the overlaid concrete. Roughening of the substrate surface was accomplished for all spec-
Values for adhesive tensile stress are provided in [18] for the steel imens with an electric hammer and steel moil point.
moil point and the high-pressure water jet of 1.10 MPa and The slenderness of the slabs was always a limiting factor for the
1.46 MPa, respectively. intended stress at the interface. Therefore, the solution that guar-
Besides geometrical characteristics of the interface, perfor- anteed structural integrity until debonding consisted on bundled
mance of the strengthened structure also depends on materials longitudinal reinforcement and reduced contact area between the
of both substrate and the new layer to be overlaid. They directly two layers. The slab substrates were then reinforced with 10 mm
influence both local and global behaviour, through adhesive capac- bundled longitudinal bars and reinforcement for the overlaid con-
ity and crushing resistance of concrete, and through bending and crete layer consisted of six double 12 mm bars (Fig. 3).
shear resistance of the composite layers. According to [25], the The contact area between the two layers was reduced transver-
newly added layer should be of greater resistance than the sub- sally to increase bond stress. This layer also did not reach the sup-
strate and low shrinkage, and should be fluid enough to penetrate ports for all specimens, since confinement of the rebar does not
the grooves on the existing surface. necessarily happen in a real strengthening situation. Surface

Table 1
Relevant specimen geometrical parameters.


Thickness [m] 0.07
Length [m] 1.00
Width [m] 0.60
As,o [–] 2Ø12//0.10 m (22.62 cm2/m)
Interface As,i [mm2] – 336 678 1014
As,s [–] 2Ø10//0.10 m (15.7 cm /m)
Width [m] 1.00
Substrate Length [m] 2.30
Thickness [m] 0.12

Fig. 3. Rebar detailing and strain gauge placing for reference specimens (S-REF).
H. Fernandes et al. / Engineering Structures 132 (2017) 540–550 543

preparation for casting the new layer was performed with an elec- parameter was considered, allowing for a surface characterization
tric chipping hammer and steel moil point eighteen days after cast- of ‘‘very rough” according to [27] and the classification provided on
ing of the substrate concrete. The final surface can be observed in the MC 2010 [23].
Fig. 4. Despite the disadvantages concerning microcracking of the The overlaid concrete was cast seventy-five days after casting
existing surface, this method was chosen due to its practical and the substrate concrete, with the rebars instrumented with strain
economical characteristics. Surface roughness was evaluated for gages, as well as the substrate rebars, at midspan and 0.25 m from
each specimen, with concern that the moil tip should not go deeper this point. Interface detailing, with longitudinal rebars crossing the
than 10 mm. This protects the longitudinal rebar and the minimum interface or steel connectors with anchorage lengths of 50 mm and
concrete cover. 70 mm, can be observed in Figs. 5–7.
Several methods for surface roughness assessment can be used Shear connectors particularly, which consisted on right angle
[17], with the sand patch method (SPM) being the most widely rebars, were tied to the longitudinal reinforcement to prevent slip-
referred in the literature and recommended in the MC 2010 [23]. ping of the reinforcement at the overlay anchorage portion. Bond-
Due to the availability of other methods, and with knowledge from ing of the anchorages in the substrate layer was performed with
[26] that this method is limited for very rough surfaces, another SikaÒ Grout, rather than an epoxy solution, due to the economy
method by point measurement was used to evaluate the roughness and ease of application in a practical situation.
profile, shown in Fig. 4. Since the SPM can only determine the aver-
age ‘‘peak-to-mean” roughness Rp [23], this parameter was calcu- 2.2. Materials characterization
lated according to Eq. (1), where n is the number of peak pi to
mean z profile measurements [17]. Material characterization was performed for the different con-
crete layers, rebar sizes, and grout used for anchoring the rebar
1X n crossing the interface. The mechanical properties for the grout
Rp ¼ jp  zj ð1Þ were tested for the compressive and tensile strength, and with
n i¼1 i
pullout tests for assessing bond strength. The parameters for this
The resulting parameters for each of the specimens are pre- material were a flexural tensile strength of 9.7 MPa, a compressive
sented in Table 2, where six assessment lengths (n = 6) were con- strength of 78.8 MPa, and an average bond strength of 16.2 MPa.
sidered. Characterization of the surface roughness was performed Pullout testing of unconfined rebar embedded in concrete holes
according to [27], where a lower limit roughness is set at 3.0 mm with a diameter at least double that of the rebar allowed for deter-
for using the SPM (Rt,SPM), or 2.2 mm when considering the Rp mining the latter strength. Anchorage failure resulted in the pull
parameter. Since the actual SPM was not performed the latter out of the rebar sliding through the steel-grout interface. The test

Fig. 4. Substrate surface roughness assessment setup and detail.

Table 2
Average peak-to-mean roughness parameter.

Rp [mm] Reference Steel connectors Anchorage Steel connectors +

(REF) (STC) (ANC) Anchorage (STANC)
S-1 2.2 2.2 2.2
S-2 2.2 2.2 2.9
S-3 2.2 2.3 2.3
S-4 – 2.6 2.9

Fig. 5. Rebar detailing and strain gauge placing for S-ANC specimens.
544 H. Fernandes et al. / Engineering Structures 132 (2017) 540–550

Fig. 6. Rebar detailing and strain gauge placing for S-STC specimens.

Fig. 7. Rebar detailing and strain gauge placing for S-STANC specimens.

results for the other materials can be observed below in Tables 3 Table 4
and 4. Strength characteristics for the steel bars used.

Diameter Ø6 Ø 10 Ø 12

2.3. Test setup fy [MPa] 541.0 530.6 532.1

fu [MPa] 692.7 627.5 627.4

The specimens were subjected to monotonic loading in a three fy – mean yield stress of steel.
point bending test, as shown in Fig. 8. Loading was imposed at fu – mean tensile strength of steel.
midspan with hydraulic jacks, and reactions at two symmetrical
supports, according to the figures below. Forces at the supports
the interface level for the reference specimens started from the
were measured with four TMLÒ CNC-200KNA load cells and the
ends of the overlaid concrete layer and evolved along the interface
deformation at the coordinates identified in the left picture below,
to midspan, according to Fig. 10. The phenomenon occurs when the
with TMLÒ CDP-100 displacement transducers. These tests were
tensile strength of the interface is reached, and subsequent failure
performed with prestressing strands at the supports.
of the substrate layer (Fig. 10, right, flexural failure).
For assessing relative displacements between the two layers,
For specimens with longitudinal rebar anchored on the sub-
TMLÒ CDP-50 displacement transducers were fixed on the sub-
strate layer, beginning of interface cracking was similar to the ref-
strate layer, as shown in Fig. 9.
erence specimens, occurring again at the overlaid concrete ends.
For data acquisition, four HBMÒ Spider8 datalogger units were
The debonding load was very close to the failure load on these
used along with one HBMÒ UPM100 datalogger unit, all monitored
specimens. One specimen failed in shear (S-ANC-1), as shown in
by HBMÒ Catman V6.0 software. Loading was controlled by force
Fig. 11, with the other two specimens resulting in flexural failure
with a WALTER+BAIÒ PKNS19D electronically controlled hydraulic
of the substrate layer rebar.
pump, at a speed of 0.10 kN/s for all tests.
Some specimens with smaller anchorage length (50 mm), had
failure controlled by pullout of the rebars anchored in the sub-
3. Experimental results strate, as shown in Fig. 12.
For specimens with steel connectors distributed along the inter-
3.1. Failure modes face, cracking was similar to anchored rebar ones, with two speci-
mens failing in shear (see Fig. 13). There was also no visible full
Behaviour was consistent for all specimens in terms of cracking, debonding of the overlaid concrete, with failure occurring for the
debonding of the overlaid concrete, and failure load. Cracking at two layers resisting the load.

Table 3
Concrete strength characteristics for all specimens.

Reference Steel connectors Anchorage Steel connectors Anchorage Steel connectors + Anchorage
(S-REF, 1–3) (S-STC, 1–3) (S-ANC, 1–3) (S-STC, 4) (S-ANC, 4) (S-STANC)
fc,cube [MPa] Substrate 45.3 40.6 37.4 55.5 54.8 56.4
Overlay 47.8 47.8 47.8 41.1 39.4 41.5
fct [MPa] Substrate 2.8 2.5 2.3 3.9 3.9 4.0
Overlay 2.9 2.9 2.9 3.1 3.0 3.1

fc,cube – mean value for the compressive strength of concrete in cubic specimens.
fct – mean value for the tensile splitting strength of concrete.
H. Fernandes et al. / Engineering Structures 132 (2017) 540–550 545

Fig. 8. General test setup.

Fig. 9. Relative displacement measurement setup.

Fig. 10. Interface failure for reference specimens (S-REF-1). Fig. 11. Shear failure for S-ANC-1 specimen.

Anchorage failure occurred for some specimens with pullout at load and deflection at midspan, comparing specimens with rein-
the steel-grout interface visible through the interface crack right forcement crossing the interface and reference ones. The marker
after testing. Through a longitudinal sectioning of the specimens, on the load-deflection curves illustrates the moment when the
the evolution of the shear crack for the specimen that failed in highest strain was registered for the overlaid concrete rebars.
bending can be observed. The insufficient anchorage length caused The load-deflection curves above show an approximately linear
the shear crack to fail intercepting the steel connectors (see Fig. 14). behaviour for all tests up to a load of 40 kN at midspan, followed by
All three specimens with a larger anchorage length of rebars a reduction in stiffness. This was consistent with the cracking load
crossing the interface (70 mm) failed in shear, as visible in for the geometry of the cross section. For the reference specimens,
Fig. 15. This attests the increase in performance when reinforce- debonding of the overlaid concrete occurred for a load of 80 kN at
ment crosses the interface, properly anchored, achieving an almost midspan. Stiffness was reduced to approximately zero, observed
monolithic behaviour until failure. graphically by an horizontal plateau. This was followed by reload-
ing of the substrate layer, until flexural failure occurs for a load of
3.2. Debonding and failure loads 160 kN at midspan.
For the specimens with longitudinal rebar anchored 50 mm in
The relationship between load and deflection at midspan was the substrate (Fig. 16, left), the failure load was about the same
analysed to characterize the behaviour of the strengthened speci- as for the reference specimens. The debonding load of 142 kN rep-
mens. Figs. 16 and 17 present the relationship between vertical resents an increase of 79% when compared to reference specimens.
546 H. Fernandes et al. / Engineering Structures 132 (2017) 540–550

Fig. 12. Failure for specimens with small anchorage length of the longitudinal rebars.

ends. The limitation on the evolution of both interface crack open-

ing and relative slip results in smaller relative displacements that
reach the steel connectors, thus reducing its contribution to the
resisting strength of the interface. However, these are activated
later in the loading history, with smaller stresses.
Table 5 lists the failure loads for all strengthened specimens,
and the load for which maximum strain was reached in the over-
laid concrete rebars, which is also the load for maximum stress
at the interface. Failure modes are identified as shear of the sub-
strate layer (Ss) or flexural failure of the substrate rebar (Fs).
The vertical and horizontal relative displacements at the over-
lay end are summarized in Table 6 for each detailing of the inter-
face. Regarding the specimens where the overlaid concrete fully
debonded, the displacement values were considered for maximum
steel strain at the overlay rebars. For the specimens without strain
Fig. 13. Shear failure for specimens with steel connectors (S-STC-1). gauge information, this value was estimated based on the irrespec-
tive load-deflection curve, comparing with instrumented speci-
mens with the same detailing of the interface. Highlighted values
For specimens with steel connectors anchored 50 mm in the sub- refer to the highest values of relative displacement registered for
strate (Fig. 16, right), debonding load increased about the same specimens where failure occurred by shear of the substrate layer.
as the latter (76%), with the resulting failure load 10% higher than The results also show higher crack dilation and interface slip for
the reference tests. Debonding phenomenon was not visible during the higher failure loads of specimens S-STC-4, S-ANC-4, and
testing, and only identified through the strain measurement at the S-STANC, denoting the mobilization of the dowel action of the
longitudinal rebars. reinforcement crossing the interface with proper anchoring in
The three specimens with 70 mm anchorage length differed the substrate (see Table 6).
from the first set of tests mainly due to greater debonding and ulti-
mate loads. The relationships between vertical load and deflection
at midspan for these specimens are presented in Fig. 17. 4. Discussion
From the load-deflection curves, one can observe that the
increase in anchorage length also increased debonding and failure The provisions on concrete-to-concrete interface resistance pre-
loads. The latter showed an increase of 39% for the anchored longi- sented in the Model Code 2010 [23] were considered for behaviour
tudinal rebar specimens, 27% for the slabs with steel connectors, characterization and quantification of the components of the
and 43% for all techniques combined. Also noticeable is the small resisting mechanism, aggregate interlock, friction, and dowel
increase for the failure load of the specimen that combined all action.
techniques (S-STANC), when compared to anchored longitudinal Shear stresses at the interface are a consequence of the varia-
rebar tests (S-ANC). This attests the impact of the latter in the over- tion of force DFso along the longitudinal rebar of the overlaid con-
all behaviour of the interface, due to longitudinal rebars with crete, that are transferred to the substrate layer. These stresses are
higher diameter and anchorage positioning at the overlaid concrete responsible for the integrity of the composite section, since failure

Fig. 14. Steel connectors anchorage detail and section for the S-STC specimens.
H. Fernandes et al. / Engineering Structures 132 (2017) 540–550 547

Fig. 15. Shear failure for specimens with larger anchorage length of rebars crossing the interface (left, S-ANC-4; centre, S-STC-4; right, S-STANC).

Deflection at midspan [mm] Deflection at midspan [mm]

Fig. 16. Load-deflection curves for specimens w/reinforcement crossing the interface anchored 50 mm. highest strain registered for the overlay concrete rebars.

forces leads to an average shear stress mi at the interface level. This

is proportional to the variation of forces in length of the overlaid
concrete rebars, according to Eq. (2), where b is the width of the

DF so
vi ¼ ð2Þ
Dl  b
The strain gages installed in the longitudinal rebars provided a
linear distribution of steel strains, which is consistent with a uni-
form distribution of shear stresses across the interface. The values
for the steel strains at midspan (es) and corresponding values for
shear stress at the interface (mi) can be observed in Table 7. These
values are the maximum strains registered for the longitudinal
rebars at the overlaid concrete. Only two specimens of each detail-
ing were instrumented with strain gages at the rebars.
Evaluation of the shear resistance at the interface was carried
out according to Randl [2] and the MC 2010 [23]. The resisting
Fig. 17. Load-deflection curves for specimens w/reinforcement crossing the inter-
face anchored 70 mm. highest strain registered for the overlay concrete rebars. mechanisms at the interface are divided in three main compo-
nents: aggregate interlock, friction, and dowel action of the rein-
forcement crossing the interface.
of the interface can cause failure of the strengthened element. The low stiffness of slabs results in large vertical deflections and
Shear stress can be evaluated in terms of the force transferred large horizontal displacements. In [2] a distinction is made
between the two concrete layers over its interface. In a concrete between stiff and more brittle behaviour of the interface in terms
element of length Dl between cracked sections, equilibrium of of the relative slip s. This limit is set at 0.05 mm, governed by

Table 5
Maximum strain at the overlaid concrete rebars and failure load at midspan.


1 2 3 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
Values for maximum strain Midspan load [kN] 82.4 – 80.1 140.3 – 144.3 200.3 – 150.0 140.0 190.3 214.7
at the overlay rebars Overlay rebars Fso [kN] 138.9 – 141.3 218.7 – 226.5 375.9 – 305.5 273.6 408.2 483.4
Substrate rebars Fs [kN] 90.8 – 88.6 179.7 – 175.9 408.1 – 153.6 137.3 272.7 235.2
Failure load at midspan [kN] 163.1 155.3 160.8 177.2 171.2 180.1 201.8 151.1 153.6 157.3 221.2 227.7
Failure mode Fs Fs Fs Ss Fs Ss Ss Ss Fs Fs Ss Ss
548 H. Fernandes et al. / Engineering Structures 132 (2017) 540–550

Table 6
Relative displacements at the interface end.


1 2 3 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
Load at midspan [kN] 82.4 79.6 80.1 177.2 148.1 180.1 201.8 151.1 150.0 140.0 221.2 227.7
Crack dilation [mm] 1.52 0.87 1.42 4.11 2.89 4.33 4.98 2.33 2.06 2.51 5.46 4.18
Interface slip [mm] 0.58 0.39 0.57 1.45 1.02 1.43 2.38 0.35 0.51 0.49 2.49 2.21

Table 7
Overlay steel strains and shear stress at the interface.


1 3 1 3 4 2 3 4 –
es [106] 511.7 520.6 805.7 834.5 1384.9 1125.5 1008.0 1503.9 1780.9
mi [MPa] 0.46 0.47 0.73 0.76 1.25 1.02 0.91 1.36 1.61

aggregate interlock and friction from external forces. For slips over
this limit, the behaviour is considered more ductile, with adhesion
replaced by friction/interlocking and dowel action. The following
equations taken from [2] quantify both these scenarios, without
accounting for external actions that are favourable to the resisting

s 6 0:05 mm; v R;ad ¼ ca f ctd 6 0:5 m f cd ð3Þ

Fig. 18. Vertical tensile stresses at the end of the interface.

s P 0:05 mm; v R;ilþfrþdow ¼ cr f 1=3

ck þ l qi k1 f yd
preparation and the tensile stresses that result from equilibrium
þ k2 qi f yd f cd 6 bc m f cd ð4Þ at the end of the interface (Fig. 18) can justify this behaviour,
debonding prematurely for a brittle resisting mechanism.
where The coefficient of friction l was calculated as proposed in [23]
vR,ad is the design value for the adhesive shear stress for the and also in [28] for very rough interfaces. Considering the rough-
interface; ness classification presented in Section 2.1, the friction coefficient
ca ; cr are the coefficients for surface condition; takes the value of 1.4. For the coefficient k1 a new method is pro-
f ctd is the design value for concrete tensile strength; posed, that contemplates the amount of horizontal force at the
m is the reduction coefficient for compressive forces interface not resisted by dowel action of the rebar. This shear force
(m ¼ 0:55  ð30=f ck Þ 6 0.55);
1=3 at the interface (kFDFso) is accounted for in the quantification of
f cd is the design value for concrete compressive strength; the steel stresses for the rebars crossing the interface, by means
vR,il+fr+dow is the design value for shear stress of the interface for of a coefficient ‘kF’ as follows:
interlocking, friction, and dowel action;
F s;c ðkF  DF so Þ tan h kF  ti  tan h
f ck is the characteristic compressive strength for concrete; rsi ¼ ¼ ¼ ð5Þ
Asi Asi qsi
l is a friction coefficient;
qi is the ratio of reinforcement crossing the interface where Fs,c is the tensile force in the steel connectors or longitudinal
(qi ¼ As;i =Ai ); rebar anchorage and qsi is the reinforcement ratio crossing the
k1 is the latter reinforcement performance reduction factor interface (Asi/Ai). h is the angle between the interface plane and
(k1 ¼ rs;i =f y 6 1.0) where rs,i is the actual tensile stress in the the concrete strut that results from nodal equilibrium, as illustrated
steel crossing the concrete interface; in Fig. 19.
f yd is the design value for steel yielding stress; The values for the coefficient kF were determined according to
k2 is the interaction coefficient for flexural resistance of the the amount of stresses resisted by dowel action of the rebar
rebar (61.6 for circular cross-sections and C20/25 - C50/60); crossing the interface. Around 70% of the total horizontal load at
bc is the coefficient that accounts for the strut inclination of the interface for the steel connectors was determined for the
concrete in compression. aggregate interlock and friction resisting mechanisms (kF = 0.7).
The remaining stresses were then resisted by dowel action of
An adjustment is proposed for some coefficients in an analysis the rebars. For the specimens with longitudinal rebar anchored,
situation that fits better with test results. Coefficient cr is proposed the value kF was reduced in half (kF = 0.35) empirically in
as 0.2 for the very rough surfaces of the present test specimens good approximation to the test results, since the edge lifting
which is lower than recommended in [2,23] when considering phenomenon is present, thus resulting in tension of the anchored
mean values. One should notice that for the present case the inter- rebars. An angle h of 21.8° was considered, with good correlation
face comprises perpendicular tensile stresses, whereas the cr val- to test results, which is also the lower bound for the angle of con-
ues according to [2,23] refer to non-tensioned interfaces only. crete struts according to [29]. The considered values for these
The related shear strength due to aggregate interlock for the refer- parameters are a tentative approach accounting for the rather
ence specimens thus resulted in 0.66 MPa, calculated considering complex situation at the considered overlay edges subject to strong
the lower concrete compressive strength of the two concretes. This delamination and shall be confirmed with further test results.
value overestimates the test results of about 0.19 MPa for the two Dowel action resistance alone can be calculated according to [2]
reference slabs in Table 7. The microcracking due to the surface with Eq. (6), where maximum allowable dowel action of the
H. Fernandes et al. / Engineering Structures 132 (2017) 540–550 549

Fig. 19. Resisting mechanism of the overlay rebars anchorage (left) and shear connectors (right).

Table 8
Dowel action resistance.


1 3 4 2 3 4 (Ø6) (Ø12)
Asi [mm2] 336 678 336 678
s [mm] 0.48 0.53 2.38 0.51 0.49 1.32 1.69
k1 [–] 0.34 0.35 0.59 0.24 0.21 0.32 0.25
VF [kN] 62.5 62.2 60.6 91.1 91.7 140.1 72.7 146.7
mF [MPa] 0.21 0.21 0.20 0.30 0.31 0.47 0.73
mF/mi [–] 0.29 0.27 0.16 0.30 0.34 0.34 0.45

Table 9
Shear stress for friction and interlocking of protruding aggregates.


1 3 4 2 3 4
mil [MPa] 0.64 0.64 0.62 0.63 0.64
mfr [MPa] 0.29 0.30 0.49 0.20 0.18 0.27 0.31
mfr+il/mi [–] 1.27 1.24 0.90 0.81 0.88 0.66 0.59
mfr+il+F [MPa] 1.13 1.14 1.33 1.12 1.11 1.37 1.69
mfr+il+F/mi [–] 1.55 1.51 1.06 1.10 1.21 1.00 1.05

2 The coefficient k2 is taken as 1.5, fitting within the values pre-

Shear stress at the interface [MPa]

scribed in [2], without safety factor. The value for the resisting
1.6 stress that results from dowel action, considering smax = 0.10Ø,
are presented in Table 8.
1.2 Contribution of the rebar crossing the interface is significant,
accounting in the S-STANC solution for almost one-half of the hor-
0.8 izontal load at the interface by dowel action of the rebar. For most
of the other specimens, this mechanism accounted for around one
0.4 third of the horizontal load at the interface.
The remaining resisting mechanisms at the interface can then
0 be estimated according to [2] with Eq. (7), and are presented in
Table 9. along with the total value for the resisting strength of
Dowel action Friction Interlocking Experimental
the interface.
Fig. 20. Estimated shear stresses in the interface and experimental shear stresses. v ilþfr ¼ cr  f 1=3
cm þ l  k1  qi  f y ð7Þ

An overestimation for the shear stress at the interface seems

reinforcement is scaled down due to the interaction between bend-
qffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi characteristic for the specimens with smaller anchoring of the rein-
ing and tensile stresses in the rebars ( 1  k1 ), and due to the rel- forcement crossing the interface (S-STC-1, S-STC-3, S-ANC-2 and
ative slip of the interface crack ( s=smax 6 1:0). This phenomenon SANC-3, see Fig. 20). A good correlation with the model is found
is particularly important for surfaces with a higher roughness, for the specimens with proper anchoring of the reinforcement
where horizontal relative displacement leads to vertical displace- crossing the interface (S-STC-4, S-ANC-4, and S-STANC, see
ment, causing the interface crack to open. Fig. 20). The anchorage length of the reinforcement crossing the
interface shall be determined considering the resistance of the
pffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi qffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi2ffi Asi  f y grout used in the hole, the total roughness of the surface, and the
V F ðsÞ ¼ V F;max  s=smax  1  k1 6 pffiffiffi ð6Þ failure mechanisms of grouted anchors under shear and tension,
according to [30].
qffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi 5. Conclusions
V F;max ¼ k2  Asi  f c;cube  f y is the maximum allowable force for
dowel action; Twelve flexural tests were performed on slab specimens
Asi is the area of the reinforcement crossing the interface; strengthened with a new concrete overlay. Failure mode for each
f c;cube is the concrete compressive strength in cubic specimens; detailing of the interface was identified, along with several con-
f y is the steel yield stress; straints to the application of this strengthening technique. Full
s is the relative slip of the layers at the interface; brittle debonding of the new layer occurred for the reference spec-
smax is the relative slip for V F;max , limited to 0.10Ø–0.20Ø. imens, attesting the importance of reinforcement crossing the
550 H. Fernandes et al. / Engineering Structures 132 (2017) 540–550

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