An experimental investigation was conducted to study the ductility of shear formation behavior of shear critical reinforced concrete mem-
critical reinforced concrete beams of normal as well as high-strength con- bers. Knowledge of the post-peak deformation characteris-
crete. A total of 15 shear critical reinforced concrete beams without and
with shear (web) reitiforcement were tested in a stiff testing facility, and com-
tics of shear critical reinforced concrete members is essential
plete load-midspan deflection curves, including the post-peak portion, were to better understanding the contribution of the shear (web)
obtained. The experimental variables were the concrete compressive reinforcement and failure mechanisms in such situations as
strength, shear span-to-depth ratio, and the amount of shear reinforcement. seismic conditions, where higher ductility demands are placed
Concrete strength (fc') was varied between 5760 and 15, 760 psi (40 and 109 on reinforced concrete members.
MPa). The shear span-to-depth ratio aid was varied between I and 4, and
the shear reinforcement ratio Yw was varied between 0 and 0. 784 percent.
It is well recognized that the diagonal tension (shear)
For the range of variables tested, the results indicate that shear (web) re- failure of concrete is sudden and brittle in nature. For ex-
inforcement improves the shear ductility index of reinforced concrete beams ample, the diagonal tension (shear) failure of shear critical
of normal as well as high-strength concrete. High-strength reinforced con- concrete beams reinforced only with tensile reinforcement is
crete beams with a/d of 3 exhibit a plastic post-peak response, when shear brittle and with little or no warning. It has been pointed out
reinforcement provided is about twice the minimum recommended by the
AC1 Building Code. Furthermore, for beams with shear reinforcement, the
by a number of investigators13-16 that testing methodology in-
shear ductility index for beams with aid of 1 decreases with an increase in fluences the mode of failure of concrete. For example, the
concrete strength, whereas for beams ~ith aid of 2 and 3 there is an in- failure mode of concrete under compressive stresses changes
significant change in the shear ductility index due to an increase in the con- from an uncontrolled brittle-type failure when tested under in-
crete strength. creasing load conditions to a controlled-type failure when
tested under deformation control conditions.
Keywords: beams (supports); ductility; high-strength concretes; reinforced con- An energy-absorbing stiff testing facility was developed to
crete; shear strength; span-depth ratio; web reinforcement. investigate the shear ductility of reinforced concrete beams,
and the details of the facility are described elsewhere.* In this
The deformability of reinforced concrete flexural members paper, the results of an experimental investigation of shear
depends on a number of factors, including the tensile rein- critical reinforced concrete beams using the stiff testing fa-
forcement ratio (p/pb), the amount of longitudinal compres- cility are described. The results indicate that shear critical
sive reinforcement, the amount of lateral tie steel, and the beams, when tested in an energy-absorbing stiff testing fa-
strength of concrete. 1-2 Information regarding the deflection cility, exhibit a stable and reproducible post-peak portion of
ductility of high-strength flexural members has been devel- the load-midspan deflection curve. The post-peak deforma-
oped in a number of studies.3-7 Although adequate flexural tion characteristics can be quantified by the shear ductility
ductility is essential for structures in high-seismicity regions, index, which is defined later in the paper. For the range of
many serious problems relating to the behavior of reinforced variables tested, the results indicate that shear (~eb) rein-
concrete structures under severe seismic action can be traced forcement improves the shear ductility of shear critical rein-
to the poor characteristics of reinforced concrete when sub-
jected to shear. *Ahmad, S. H., Hino, S.; Chung, W.; and Xie, Y.; and Ahmad, S. H., "Testing Fa-
cility for Controlled Diagonal Failure of Shear Critical Reinforced Concrete Beams,"
A number of studies8· 12 have generated very useful infor- to be published in Materials and Structures, Research and Testing.
mation on the strength and deformation characteristics of
shear critical reinforced concrete members of normal as well ACI Structural Journal, V. 91, No.2, March-Aprill994.
Received Mar. 15, 1993, and reviewed under Institute publication policies. Copyright
as high-strength concrete. However, these studies are limited © 1994, American Concrete Institute. All rights reserved, including the making of copies
to the diagonal cracking and the maximum load stage, and unless permission is obtained from the copyright proprietors. Pertinent discussion will
be published in the January-February 1995 ACI Structura/.Journal if received by Sept.
there is no information available regarding the post-peak de- I, 1994.
Table 1 -Test program for reinforced normal and high-strength concrete beams with and without shear
reinforcement
Width Effective Age at Tensile steel Compression steel Spacing of Web reinforcement
Beam of beams, depth, f,~ testing, A,, p, A,, p', #2 stirrups, ratio '(w,
no. in. in. ala ksi days in. percent p/pb in. percent p'/p in. percent
*NNN-1 5 8.5 1 6.81 60 0.88 (2#6) 2.07 0.48 0 0 0 0
NNN-2 5 8.5 2 6.00 61 0.88 (2#6) 2.07 0.55 0 0 0 0
NNN-3 5 8.5 3 5.76 72 0.88 (2#6) 2.07 0.57 0 0 0 0
NNW-1 5 8.0 I 6.15 53 1.28 (2#6+2#4) 3.20 0.83 0.40 (2#4) 1.00 0.31 4.0 0.49
NNW-2 5 8.0 2 6.30 59 1.28 (2#6+2#4) 3.20 0.81 0.40 (2#4) 1.00 0.31 4.0 0.49
NNW-3 5 8.0 3 6.22 64 1.28 (2#6+ 2#4) 3.20 0.82 0.40 (2#4) 1.00 0.31 4.0 0.49
NHN-1 5 8.5 1 15.05 70 0.88 (2#6) 2.07 0.25 0 0 0 0
NHN-2 5 8.5 2 14.99 76 0.88 (2#6) 2.07 0.25 0 0 0 0
NHN-3 5 8.5 3 15.11 85 0.88 (2#6) 2.07 0.25 0 0 0 0
NHW-1 5 7.8 1 14.17 66 1.76 (4#6) 4.54 0.59 0.40 (2#4) 1.03 0.23 3.9 0.51
tNHW-2 5 7.8 2 14.46 76 1.76 (4#6) 4.54 0.58 0.40 (2#4) 1.03 0.23 3.9 0.51
NHW-3 5 7.8 3 15.00 75 1.76 (4#6) - 4.54 0.56 0.40 (2#4) 1.03 0.23 3.9 0.51
NHW-3a 5 7.8 3 13.74 86 1.76 (4#6) 4.54 0.61 0.40 (2#4) 1.03 0.23 3.0 0.65
NHW-3b 5 7.8 3 15.76 78 1.76 (4#6) 4.54 0.53 0.40 (2#4) 1.03 0.23 2.5 0.78
NHW-4 5 7.8 4 15.09 82 1.76 (4#6) 4.54 0.55 0.40 (2#4) 1.03 0.23 3.9 0.51
*NNN-1: N =normal weight concrete; N =normal strength; N =no web reinforcement; I= shear span-to-depth (aft!) ratio.
tNHW-2: N =normal weight concrete; H =high strength; W =with web reinforcement; 2 =shear span-to-depth (altf) ratio.
-An, 1+1:&;•I ~
Type I cement 26.39 lb/ft3
I· ·I· a
Sand 38.96 lb/fP
(a) Without web reinforcement 1-1 Coarse aggregate (crushed limestone) 63.61lb/ft3
AEA* 7.39 mllft3
Retarder 15.65 ml/ft3
Water 11.89 lb/ft3
Air-entraining agent.
(b) With web reinforcement Table 2(b)- Mixture proportion for high-strength
concrete
Fig. 1 -Reinforcement details for normal and high-strength Material Quantity
concrete beams
Type I cement 28.14lb/ft3
mounting, the strain gages were covered with a protective Sand 49.13 lb/ft3
coating to prevent damage during and after casting.
Coarse aggregate (crushed limestone) 63.97 lb/ft3
I• /eb
:>1
~00 120
300 00
j .
~
~
~ 200 60
1i
1 .!l
100 30
(a) Reaction jack are activated at the start of the test (b) Reaction jack are activated near the maximum load
capacity of the specimen
Fig. 3 - Schematic load-deflection curves for test specimen and steel cross beam
tion of the total load from the start of the test. Therefore, the ported by the rigid supports. Hydraulic jacks were also used
reinforced concrete beams were loaded up to about 60 to 70 in the post-peak region of the load-midspan deflection curve
percent of the anticipated maximum load, before the hydraulic to reduce the net deflection on the steel cross beam to ac-
reaction jacks were used to initiate the contact of the rigid commodate the deflection increment in subsequent increment
supports with the cross steel beam. Once this was done, then of the total load Pr.
further increase in the total load Pr from the loading jack was Three load cells were used for monitoring the load on the
shared by the test specimen and the cross steel beam sup- reinforced concrete test beam and the load. experienced by
ACI Structural Journal I March-April 1994 143
Table 3 - Diagonal cracking and ultimate loads for reinforced normal and
high-strength concrete beams
Diagonal
Beam f/*
c' f/,t cracking load Ultimate load
no. aid ksi ksi Pcr,:f:, kips Pu, kips Failure type
NNN-1 I 6.81 6.47 36.12 70.03 Diagonal compression
NNN-2 2 6.00 5.70 15.82 25.47 Shear-compression
NNN-3 3 5.76 5.47 13.04 16.49 Diagonal tension
NNW-I I 6.15 5.84 35.88 107.47 Diagonal compression
NNW-2 2 6.30 5.98 18.23 55.31 Shear-compression
NNW-3 3 6.22 5.91 16.30 39.13 Shear-compression
NHN-1 I 15.05 14.30 41.61 108.59 Diagonal compression
NHN-2 2 14.99 14.24 21.06 45.68 Shear-compression
NHN-3 3 15.11 14.35 18.16 20.56 Diagonal tension
NHW-1 I 14.17 13.46 46.33 145.37 Diagonal compression
NHW-2 2 14.46 13.74 28.49 80.10 Shear-compression
NHW-3 3 15.00 14.25 20.72 46.03 Shear-compression
NHW-3a 3 13.74 13.05 23.10 48.66 Shear-compression
NHW-3b 3 15.76 14.97 29.16 55.10 Shear-compression
NHW-4 4 15.09 14.34 18.69 42.14 Shear compression
*From 4 x 8-in. cylinder.
tUsing equivalent 6 x 12-in. cylinder strength assumed to be 95 percent of 4 x 8-in. cylinder strength ..
!Load at which diagonal tension crack crosses midheight of beam.
the hydraulic reaction jacks supported on the rigid supports. of shear reinforcement (Yw = 0.49 percent). A similar trend is
Linear voltage differential transducer (LVDT) and strain also observed for beams with high-strength concrete (Fig. 5).
gages were used to monitor the vertical deflection at midspan Beams NHW-1, NHW-2, and NHW-3 had the same amount
and the strains in the stirrups. The outputs from the load cells, of shear reinforcement (Yw =0.51 percent).
LVDT, and the strain gages were continuously recorded by The effect of increasing the amount of shear reinforcement
use of a PC computer and data acquisition system. During the ratio Yw on the load-midspan deflection response of shear crit-
tests, the cracking pattern was also monitored. The results of ical reinforced high-strength concrete beams is shown in Fig.
the cracking pattern and the stirrup strains are described else- 5(c). Beams NHW-3, NHW-3a, and NHW-3b had shear re-
where.* The results indicate that for normal as well as high- inforcement ratios of 0.51, 0.65, and 0.78 percent, respec-
strength concrete beams with 1 ~ aid~ 4 and 0.49 percent tively. It can be seen that increasing the shear reinforcement
~ Yw ~ 0.78 percent, the stirrups yield at the maximum load ratio increases the load capacity and decreases the slope of
stage of the beams. the load-midspan deflection curves in the post-peak region.
This figure also shows that, even for a beam with concrete
RESULTS OF EXPERIMENTAL INVESTIGATION strength of 13,740 psi (95 MPa), i.e., Beam NHW-3a, it is
The test results are presented in Tables 3 through 5. The possible to achieve essentially a plastic post-peak behavior if
results in Table 3 include the observed values for diagonal an adequate amount of shear reinforcement is provided. For
cracking load, the ultimate load, and the type of failure ob- Beam NHW-3a, the shear reinforcement ratio provided was
served. Information on the shear ductility and effectiveness 0.65 percent, which is about twice the minimum shear rein-
of shear (web) reinforcement is presented in Tables 4 and 5. forcement requirement per Section 11.1.2.1 of ACI318-89 ,17
The experimental results are presented in two categories: the The effect of the concrete strength on load-midspan de-
load-deflection behavior and shear ductility. flection for reinforced concrete beams without web rein-
forcement is shown in Fig. 6. From this figure, it can be seen
that the slopes of the descending portion of load-deflection
Load-deflection behavior
curves for high-strength concrete beams are steeper than those
The load-midspan deflection curves for all 15 test beams
for normal strength concrete beams.
of normal as well as high-strength concrete with different
The effect of shear span-to-depth aid ratio on load-midspan
shear span-to-depth ratio aid and different shear reinforce-
deflection for reinforced normal and high-strength concrete
ment ratio Yw are shown in Fig. 4 through 8.
beams with and without web reinforcement is shown in Fig.
The effect of presence of shear (web) reinforcement on
7 and 8. It can be seen that, for all the beams, the slope of the
load-midspan deflection for reinforced normal strength con-
prepeak region as well as the post-peak region is steeper for
crete beams with shear span-to-depth ratio aid varying from
aid of 1 compared to beams with aid of 2, 3, and 4.
1 to 3 is shown in Fig. 4. From this figure, it can be seen that
for normal strength concrete beams, as the shear span-to-
Shear ductility
depth ratio aid increases, the effectiveness of the shear rein-
Member ductility can be broadly defined as the ability of
forcement in improving the ultimate load capacity and the
the member to withstand load while incurring additional de-
post-peak deformation characteristics increases. Note that
formation beyond the maximum load stage. This definition
Beams NNW-1, NNW-2, and NNW-3 had the same amount
is qualitative, and, to quantify the deflection ductility of shear
critical reinforced concrete members, two different defini-
*Xie, Y., and Ahmad, S. H., "Effectiveness of Shear Reinforcement for Normal and
High-Strength Beams," to be published in Magazine of Concrete Research. tions were used. In the first definition,· shear ductility index
144 ACI Structural Journal I March-April 1994
0.1
o~--4---~---4--~
'·'
(a) a/d=l (b) a/d=2 (c) a/<1=3
A /II
\f4- N N-1
:/\--1:\ i I 1\-- NHN-2
i £ NHN-3
NNN-3
.! il J .!
lO 15
2 2 r/tr\. ~
~ f- NNN I ao
NNN-2
10
"-.
(( ~--
---
\.._
~ ~ 1-:--..
I r--
0
0.1 0.5 0.0 o.i:
~fleation (ln.)
Fig. 6- Effect of concrete strength on load-midspan deflection for beams without web re-
inforcement
~
\ NNW-I ~ \ - :;:'!;:
/
(old• I)
~ ........______ ·-,
)
. A
:to 'I \ ............ NHN-2
.
(lt/doo3)
.....l -·-···
0.0
4etl.e.,tioll (ill.)
Fig. 7- Effect of shear span-to-depth ratio aldfor normal Fig. 8 - Effect of shear span-to-depth ratio aid for high-
strength concrete beams strength concrete beams
Jli was defined as the ratio of the area of the load-deflection It should be pointed out that the choice of 3&, is arbitrary and
response up to 0.75Pmax in the descending portion to the area was motivated by the maximum load Pmax for each individual
up to Pmax [Fig. 9(a)]. In the second definition, the shear duc- beam. Based on these two definitions, the shear ductility in-
tility index 1-12 was defined as the ratio of the area of the load- dexes were computed from the test results of the 15 test
deflection response up to 3& to the area up to & [Fig. 9(b)]. beams, and the results are presented in Table 4. Also shown
ACI Structural Journal I March-April 1994 145
- Table 4 - Shear ductility of reinforced normal and high-strength concrete beams
NNW-I 1 6.15 3.20 0.83 0.31 0.49 107.47 0.0703 2.34 3.99
NNW-2 2 6.30 3.20 0.81 0.31 0.49 55.31 0.190 1.57 2.90
NNW-3 3 6.22 3.20 0.82 0.31 0.49 39.13 0.280 1.68 2.98
NHW-1 1 14.17 4.54 0.59 0.23 0.51 145.37 0.0674 2.13 3.00
NHW-2 2 14.46 4.54 0.58 0.23 0.51 80.10 0.167 1.27 2.77
NHW-3 3 15.00 4.54 0.56 0.23 0.51 46.03 0.2135 1.56 2.95
NHW-3a 3 13.74 4.54 0.61 0.23 0.65 48.66 0.252 4.12 4.27
NHW-3b 3 15.76 4.54 0.53 0.23 0.78 55.10 0.244 3.65 4.00
NHW-4 4 15.09 4.54 0.55 0.23 0.51 42.14 0.368 2.86 3.62
*1-1, =ratio of area of load-deflection response up to 0.75P- in descendmg portion to area up toP-.
tl-12 = ratio of area of load-deflection response up to 3&, to area up to t.o. Deflection of corresponding to P- is t.o.
p p
pmax Pmax
0.75Pmax
Fig. 9(a) - Schematic diagram for definition of deflection Fig. 9(b) - Schematic diagram for definition of deflection
ductility ratio )11 ductility ratio )12
in Table 4 are the maximum loads Pmax and the corre- in Fig. IO(a) and IO(b). Fig. IO(a) shows that for beams
sponding deflections ~ recorded during the tests. without shear reinforcement and aid of 1 and 2, the shear duc-
Table 4 indicates that for the same aid ratios of 1 and 3, the tility index decreases with increase in the concrete strength,
shear ductility index fli for beams without shear reinforce- whereas for beams with aid of 3, there is an insignificant
ment (Beams NNN-1 and NNN-3) is higher than for beams change with an increase in the concrete strength. Fig. 1O(b)
with shear reinforcement (Beams NNW-I and NNW-3). This shows that for beams with shear reinforcement and aid of 1,
is contrary to the expected results and the results obtained by the shear ductility index decreases with an increase in the con-
using the second definition of shear ductility index, which crete strength, whereas for beams with aid of 2 and 3, there
shows that the shear ductility index flz is smaller for beams is an insignificant change with an increase in the concrete
without shear reinforcement compared to beams with shear strength.
reinforcement. From this result, it appears that the definition Influence of shear span-to-depth ratio-The influence of
of shear ductility index on the basis of the fraction of peak shear span-to-depth ratio on the shear ductility index is shown
load in the descending portion may not be well suited to quan- in Table 4 and Fig. IO(a) and lO(b).lt can be seen that for all
tify the shear ductility index of reinforced concrete beams. the test beams, the shear ductility index flz for beams with aid
Influence of compressive strength-The influence of the of 2 is lower than for beams with aid of 1 and 3. The differ-
compressive strength of concrete on the shear ductility index ence is less for the beams with stirrups than for the beams
flz of beams without and with shear reinforcement are shown without web reinforcement. This can be attributed to the dif-
146 ACI Structural Journal I March-April 1994
Table 5 - Effectiveness of shear reinforcement for reinforced normal and
high-strength concrete beams
*Energy
Beam f/, p, 'Yw, absorption ratio
no. aid ksi percent pip& p'lp percent
NNW-1 1 6.15 3.20 0.96 0.31 0.490 1.58
*Energy absorption ratio is area of load-deflection up to 3t.o for beams with web reinforcement to area of load-deflection up to
3t.0 for beams without web reinforcement with the same shear span-to-depth ratio. t.o is deflection corresponding toP~ for the
individual beam.
5 5
.. -~----_ /a/d=l
4
l / a/d= 3 ""'-----
~
a 3 a
.,
.
;.:::;
3
•·········· ,_........................ .....::.:::.::..::.--
~
.," .....................................;;....................... .g"
' a/d=2
2 2
!;; a/d= 2 !;;
~ ~
1 1
0 0
0 8 12 16 0 8 12 16
Fig. 10(a)- Effect of concrete strength on shear ductility of Fig. JO(b)- Effect of concrete strength on shear ductility of
beams without web reinforcement beams with web reinforcement
ferent failure mechanisms for beams with aid of 1 and 3. The tility index, since the post-peak portion for a beam with 0.65
cracking pattern showed that for beams with aid of 1, parallel percent shear reinforcement is essentially plastic.
diagonal cracks developed prior to the maximum load, which Although the shear ductility index indicates an improve-
widened during the post peak region of the load-deflection ment in the post-peak behavior of the shear critical reinforced
curve. For beams with aid of 3, at the maximum load stage concrete beams due to the presence of the shear (web) rein-
the top of the critical inclined crack(s) almost reached the forcement, it does not demonstrate the effectiveness of the
compression face of the beam, and the crack(s) widened with shear stirrup reinforcement in increasing the ultimate load ca-
load decreasing slowly in the post-peak region of the load- pacity and the post-peak deformability of the shear critical
deflection curve. For beams with aid of 2, after the maximum beams. The effectiveness of the shear reinforcement in im-
load stage, the critical inclined crack(s) extended further to- proving the ultimate load capacity and the post-peak de-
ward the compression zone along with the widening of the formability can be more clearly demonstrated by computing
crack(s) that occurred with load decreasing rapidly during the the energy absorption ratio for each of the beams with shear
post-peak region of the load-deflection curve. reinforcement. The energy absorption ratio is defined as the
Influence of shear reinforcement ratio-The influence of ratio of the energy absorbed by the beam with shear (web) re-
shear reinforcement ratio on the shear ductility index !lz is inforcement to the energy absorbed by a similar beam without
shown in Fig. 11. From this figure, it can be seen that in- shear (web) reinforcement. The computed energy absorption
creasing the shear reinforcement ratio yw up to 0.51 percent ratios for all the beams with shear reinforcement are presented
has an insignificant effect on shear ductility of beams with aid in Table 5. The energy-absorption ratio for each beam with
of 1 and 3; however, for beams with aid of 2, the shear duc- shear reinforcement was computed by computing the total
tility index increases. For beams with aid of 3, increasing the area under the load-midspan deflection up to 3Ao and dividing
shear reinforcement ratio from 0.51 to 0.65 percent increases this by the area under the load-deflection curve up to 3Ao for
the shear ductility index by 43 percent. Further, increase in a similar beam without shear reinforcement. Note that Ao is
the shear reinforcement ratio does not increase the shear due- the deflection corresponding to the maximum load for each
ACI Structural Journal I March-April 1994 147
ijQ;;;
5~-------,--------.--------,--------,
;--
4+-------+---+-~~~--~~~--~~ j aid=3
1..- ~fJ'!i~
'n£orcement· / · r- a/d=3
aid·
!I
/a/d=l
web
3~~~~~==~=9F===~-+------~
aid• I ~
vv ----aid 2
-aid-
2~------_,----+---;-------_,--------~ '
D.DDD '
D.DDD
(a) normal strength concrete beams (b) high strength concrete beams
1+--------1----+---1--------1--------1
Fig. 12 - Effect of shear reinforcement on energy-absorp-
o+-------~----~--;-------~--------; tion capacity for reinforced concrete beams
0.000 0.002 0.004 0.006 0.008