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behavior of external column - wide beam joint with different bar

arrangement and existence of joint shear link under gravity

Article  in  Journal of Applied Sciences Research · December 2012


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Universiti Putra Malaysia Monash University (Malaysia)


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Caspian Journal of Applied Sciences Research, 2(2), pp. 120-130, 2013
Available online at
ISSN: 2251-9114, ©2012 CJASR

Full Length Research Paper

Behavior of external column- wide beam joint with different bar arrangement
and existence of joint shear link under gravity
Amir Fateh 1*, Farzad Hejazi2, Alireza Zabihi1 Arash Behnia 3,
Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University Putra Malaysia
(UPM), 43400 Serdang, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia
Geospatial Science Research center, Faculty of Engineering, University Putra Malaysia
(UPM), 43400 Serdang, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

*Corresponding author:

Received 30 December 2012; Accepted 15 January 2013

An experimental investigation done on the RC exterior wide beam-column joint when subjected to the gravity
load up to failure is reported in this paper. This study was conducted by applying the concentrated gravity load
on full scaled wide beam-column joints with same area of longitudinal reinforcement to resist for negative
moment due to concentrated gravity load. The joints behavior was considered by effect of different layout of
beam longitudinal bars, existence of the shear link in connection zone, spandrel bar and width of the beam in
terms of failure capacity, crack patterns, deflection and rotation. The results shown that the failure capacity of
joints with concentrated longitudinal bars of beam that two-third of bars anchored in the column zone was 24 %
higher than even bar distribution. And also the existence of the shear links in connection area and spandrel bar
to anchor the longitudinal beam reinforcements that were outside the connection area is higher than the other
specimens without them. Moreover, the width of beam played important role to enhance the failure capacity.

Key word: Gravity loading test, Shear link, Spandrel bar, Reinforcement layout, Wide beam- column connection

1. INTRODUCTION building. All of these would finally cause a

faster construction and decrease the cost.
Wide beams are often used in the medium or Gravity load-resisting frames in none seismic
high-rise building as structural members who prone normally used reinforcement concrete
support the slab and transfer the load to the wide beam frame buildings and composite
columns or walls. In the usual reinforced structural systems of wide beam framing with
concrete connections, the width of the beam other members due to these advantages.
does not go beyond the width of the column. Presently, these benefits brought about
However, in many cases, beam‟s width (bb ) is augmented of wide beam systems even in
larger than column width( bc ) which is named seismically active areas (Benavent-Climent,
wide beam or shallow beam column joint The Cahis et al. 2009). Behavior of the wide beam
main advantages of using the wide beams exterior connection under horizontal loading is
as a gravity load resisting system are influenced by numerous factors such as the
increasing the width of the beam causes ratio of the beam to column width (Leon 1984;
the reduction in both flexural reinforcement Cheung, Paulay et al.
and shear links. Furthermore, this kind of 1991; Popov, Cohen et al. 1992), the
beam has practical advantages such as amount of beam‟s longitudinal steel bar
simplifying the formwork requirement, reduce anchored in column zone, existence of
the reinforcement detailing and also transverse beam and, etc.(French and Moehle
increasing in the net height floor and 1991; Gentry and Wight 1994;LaFave and
result in reduction of the total height of Wight 1999; LaFave et al. 2004). On the other

Behavior of external column- wide beam joint with different bar arrangement and existence of joint shear link
under gravity load

hand, numerous studies were done to find that (1997) as can be seen in figure3.All of five
effect of various factors on failure capacity of specimens were cast with a beam‟s length of
the normal beam-column joints under gravity 1000 mm and the column‟s height of
loading , such as shape of anchorage for 2000mm The columns had a same cross
longitudinal reinforcements of beam in section with 250mm width and 300mm
column (Alsiwat and Saatcioglu 1992; Scott depth in all specimens. The beams were
1992), axial compression load on the column located at the mid-height of columns with 200
.In addition to, the connection failure mode mm depth. As shown in Fig.1&2.All beams
influenced by the quantity of beam were cast in the same size with a dimension of
reinforcements that are carry tensile force 600 mm width and200 mm height, with ratio
(Scott 1992),concrete strength in the joint of
zone (Marzouk, Emam et al. 1996). bw /hc equal to 3, except sample C3 that
In the codes, width of the beam ratio and was cast with 400 mm width and 200 mm
continuation of the horizontal links in height. bw and hc are beam width and beam
connection area (ACI 352R 2002; Murty 2005) height respectively
were mentioned for ductile design of RC The differences in specimens are shown in
structure when subjected to lateral load. In the Table1. Bar arrangement was even
several reinforced concrete structures design distributed in samples C1 and C4 whereas
codes have not provided any design guides for in other specimens , the arrangements of
wide beam column connection with bars are concentrated in connection zone.
consideration of bar layout and existence of All of specimens included the shear link in the
shear links in joint zone.(ACI 359 1991; joint zone except C4 and also the spandrel bars
AS3660 1994; ACI 318 1995; NZ3101 1995; were existed in all samples except C5.
BS 1997; ACI 318 1999; ACI 352R 2002; ACI The dimension of wide beam-column
318 2002).Therefore, the effect of beam connection was designed, based on the code
longitudinal bars that are anchored in the recommendation with the maximum beam
connection zone, existence of spandrel bar width (b b) is lesser of bc + 1.5hc and 3bc (bc =
and joint shear link on connection behavior in column width; hc = column depth), for
terms of failure capacity, crack patterns, ductility satisfaction at least one-third of the
deflection and, etc, are investigated in this wide beam flexural steel should be anchored
study through the column core (ACI 352R 2002).So
For specimens C2, C3 66.6 % and C1,C4,C5
2 MATERIAL AND METHODS 33.33% of top longitudinal bars area anchored
in Column core with the length of at least 40
2.1 Sample detail times of bar diameter that is sufficient
anchorage length based on BS code.
Figure 1&2 illustrate the detail of five exterior
wide beam column connection samples, were 2.2 Design detail and material properties
labeled as C1, C2, C3, C4 and C5.this
specimens symbolized part of RC building Longitudinal bars in beams and columns
frame connection and achieved by deleting of consisted of high yielded bars with yielded
the beam and column at their mid point. The strength of 460Mpa denoted by „T‟ and mild
points correspond with bending moment steel bars denoted by „R‟ were used as a
inflection due to vertical loading happened. shear links in beams and columns with
Figure 1&2 is shown the beam longitudinal yielded strength of 250Mpa and 6 mm
bars and shears links in columns and beams in diameter. Bars are shown as R6, T16, etc. in
the test specimens. longitudinal reinforcements which T and R denotes deformed and plain
in the beam were designed for negative bars. All steel reinforcements were free from
moment were bent into the joint core with rust, oil, or other coating that may destroy or
sufficient anchorage length based on BS code reduce bond.

Caspian Journal of Applied Sciences Research, 2(2), pp. 120-130, 2013

Table 1: Mix proportions (per cubic meter)

Grade C40
fcu 40
Water ,kg 190
Cement ,kg 425
Fine aggregate ,kg 660
Coarse aggregate, kg 1135

During design of samples, the concrete (4T16) and 6mm diameter of mild steel
compressive strength for all specimens was links, that were spaced 80mm(R6-80mm).the
targeted40N/mm2.the mix design is designed maximum allowable distance for links in
based on BS 5323 and it presented in column bars based on BS code (1997) is 12
table1.Before casting the main samples, times diameter of main bar (192 mm).and also
several trail mixes based on BS mix design at this space was reduced to 50 mm at the both
recommendation, were done to ensure the outer ends of column to prevent concrete
sufficient strength and proper workability for crushing due to horizontal loads that were
placing. Also during the placing of concrete in produced indirectly from the vertical load on
formwork, every layer of concrete was the beam .
vibrated by using a vibrator with a head of The arrangement of wide beam
25mm diameter. All of specimens were cured reinforcement in the specimen C1 was an
for the period of seven days in the formworks. equal distribution across width of the wide
After seven days the formworks were removed beam, with existence of a shear link in
and store in the laboratory until they were connection zone and also with one extra
tested, 16 cubic samples with a dimension of spandrel bar to anchor longitudinal
150 x150 x 150 mm were taken, and the reinforcements where were located out of the
average of concrete strength was 42.1 N/mm2 connection zone. Specimen C2 was also cast
at the day of test. with same size as a specimen C1 with same
Figure1&2 Show the top bars in the beam concrete compression strength, but the main
include six 16mm diameter high yield difference was concentrated bar distributions
reinforcement (6T16). Concrete with common in the connection zone. The sample C3 was
Malaysia aggregate‟s material with maximum similar as other samples but the beam
size of 10 mm and Portland cement type2 were dimension was 400X200 mm, 200 mm less
used for casting the samples, with 30 mm than other samples. Two third of bars were
concrete cover. The distance between two bars concentrated in the connection zone such as
in severe condition(concentrated bar sample C2. In this sample shear links and
arrangement into the joint zone) was around spandrel bar were existed. Specimen C4was
53 mm that is greater than the minimum also cast with same size as the specimen
distance between bars based on standard C1,the longitudinal bar distribution in wide
(BS 8110-1:1997).Shear links were 6 mm beam and concrete compression strength were
diameter mild steel spaced at 80 mm as same as the specimen C1, but the shear
centers(R6-80).At the free end of beam, the links in the connection zone were deleted.
shear links space were reduced to 40mm to And the specimen C5 was cast as same as
avoid the possibility of concrete crushing the specimen C2, but in the specimen C5 the
under concentrated load. The top bars that spandrel bar was eliminated. The specimen‟s
were passed in joint area anchored at least 40 detail is shown in Table.2.
times of bar diameter that is sufficient
anchorage length. The column bar consisted of 2.3 Test arrangement
4 high yield bars with 16 mm diameter

Behavior of external column- wide beam joint with different bar arrangement and existence of joint shear link
under gravity load

The location of hydraulic jacks and incline apparatus, including steel portal frame (label
meters is illustrated in schematic test setup in 3) was braced to the laboratory floor with aid
Figure3. As shown in figure4, the loading of bolt and nut system. .

Table 2: Specimens Configuration


Spandrel bar

Shear link
bw h bw/h

mm mm
beam 250X300mm

C1 600 200 3 6T16 4T16 E* Yes Yes

C2 600 200 3 6T16 4T16 C* Yes Yes

C3 400 200 2 6T16 4T16 C* Yes Yes

C4 600 200 3 6T16 4T16 E* Yes No

C5 600 200 3 6T16 4T16 C* No Yes

E*: even bars distribution in wide beam
C*: concentrated bars distribution in wide beam

Fig. 1: Details of Sample C1, C2, C3, C5

Caspian Journal of Applied Sciences Research, 2(2), pp. 120-130, 2013

Fig.2: Detail of Sample C4

First the column was installed in middle frame V , c = Vc +0.6(N.V.h c / AC . M) (Scott1992)

and kept it from laterally movement at both
ends. Lower part of column was installed in So the shear force can be obtained by
the steel box with size of 300X300X300
with25 mm thickness that was bolted to the ,
V= v c . bc .dc
floor. Two incline meters were installed in the
middle of column and beam to measure the Where:
rotation between the column and beam. The
vc = shear stress
hydraulic jack with load cell was placed on top
of the column to imposed permanent 130KN v,c = Design shear stress
downward to the column to simulate the real
position of samples in real RC frame (label 1), bc = Breadth of column cross section
the specimen is labeled as 2, indeed another
dc =Effective depth of column
hydraulic jack with load cell was applying a
load gradually with rate of 5 KN downward at N =Column axial load
distance of 850mm from the column‟s face
(label4) until failure of the beam occurred. V =Design shear force due to ultimate load
Three LVDT were placed n the middle and hc =depth of column cross section
side of the beam to measure the deflection.
AC = Cross section area of column
2.4 Nominal design capacities
M =Design ultimate moment
The theoretical for ultimate load capacity The maximum failure load was calculated 99.98
value based on the previous studies and code KN and this value was same for all cases and
(Scott 1992; 1997) cannot be considered variable factors such as bar
V , c = Vc +0.6(N.V.h c / AC . M) (1997) arrangement variation and other factors.

Behavior of external column- wide beam joint with different bar arrangement and existence of joint shear link
under gravity load

Fig. 3: Schematic Configuration

Fig. 4.Test Set Up

3 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION pattern, at45KN another crack occurred

parallel to the first crack at the distance one-
3.1 Samples behavior under gravity load third of span from the column face on the
beam surface and extend to both sides of the
Due to the different longitudinal bar‟s beam. At 60 KN, another crack appeared at
arrangement in wide beam, that were anchored two third from column face parallel to another
in the joint zone, existence of shear link in cracks. When the applied load reached at
connection area, different width of wide beam 90%of failure load, the cracks happened in
and also existence of the spandrel bar for connection area and on the top surface of the
anchoring the longitudinal bar of wide beams wide beam near connection zone with
that were located outside of wide beam- maximum crack width about 2 mm. The
column joint, different behaviors were sample failed at 102.5KN due to excessive
expected in experimental test in terms of crack in top surface of wide beam near the
failure loading capacity, deflection and column. It was passed the theoretical capacity.
rotation of wide beam and joint stiffness. The maximum rotation between wide beam
In the specimen C1 flexural cracking and column was 3.27 degree, and the
appeared at 30KN (about 35%of ultimate load) maximum deflection at failure point was
in the beam surface. When the load reached to 51.58mm.the crack pattern of sample C1
35KN, the crack developed in the same shows in figure5.

Caspian Journal of Applied Sciences Research, 2(2), pp. 120-130, 2013

In the specimen C2, a cracking pattern maximum crack width about 2 mm occurred in
analogous to the specimen is showed connection area in the top surface of the wide
early flexural cracks. The first crack occurred beam. The sample was failed when the
at 30KN (about24%of ultimate load) at the top maximum applied load reached at 114 KN, the
surface of the beam. When load reached to maximum deflection at the failure point was
40KN, the crack developed in the same 76.4 mm, and rotation was about 3.16 degree.
pattern. While at 45KN another crack occurred In the sample C4,the crack‟s patterns were
parallel to the first crack at the distance of one- look like the other specimens were parallel to
third of span from the column face on the the wide beam width and extend vertically to
beam surface and extend to both sides at both sides of the wide beam, when the load
55KN. At point75KN, another crack occurred reached at 45KN, two cracks were investigated
at two third from column face parallel to the at distance around one –third and two -third of
previous cracks. When the applied load wide beam span at surface of beam from the
reached around 80%of failure load, the cracks column face. When the applied load reached
happened in connection area and on the top of about 84% failure, the cracks were occurred at
the surface of the wide beam near connection column in connection zone area. The failure
zone with maximum crack width about 1.5 load in this sample was 98 KN and maximum
mm. The sample failed at 127.6KN due to deflection was recorded 48 mm, and maximum
excessive crack in the wide beam near the rotation was 2.17 degree. The crack pattern is
column face. The maximum rotation between depicted in figure8. As can be found in figure
the wide beam and column was2.2degree, and 9,The first crack of specimen C5, occurred at
the maximum deflection at failure point was 40KN (about37%of ultimate load) in the
76.58mm.The top view of cracking patterns is column face, parallel to width of the beam and
illustrated in figure 6. top of the beam surface at the distance roughly
In the figure 7, as can be obtained the crack one third from the column face. When load
patterns of the specimen C3 that were similar reached at 65KN, other cracks were observed
to the other samples, first crack was developed in the same pattern that parallel to first crack at
at face of the column-beam intersection at distance of two third from column sides, in the
35KN, about32%of failure load at beam beam surface and extended to both sides at 90
surface. Then next crack happened at around KN. When the applied load reached at 84%of
one-third of beam face and extend to both side failure load, the cracks happened in connection
of the beam at45KN. Another crack occurred area and on the upper surface of the wide
at two-third from the column face parallel to beam near connection zone with maximum
another cracks. When the applied load reached crack width about 2 mm. The sample failed
about 45%of failure load, some cracks also at107KN due to excessive crack in the wide
extended in both sides of the beam, when the beam near the column.
load reached about 90%of failure load. The The maximum rotation between the wide

Fig. 5: Crack Patterns of Specimen C 1 Fig. 6: Crack Patterns of Specimen C 2

Behavior of external column- wide beam joint with different bar arrangement and existence of joint shear link
under gravity load

Fig. 7: Crack Patterns of Specimen C3 Fig.8: Crack Patterns of Specimen C 4

Fig. 9: Crack Patterns of Specimen C 5

beam and the column was 1.9degree and the the joint about 24%.Perivous tests that were
maximum deflection at the failure point was done on normal RC beam-column connection
38.89 mm. As it can be observed in all had also revealed the same trends(Park and
specimens, the crack pattern‟s propagations Paulay 1979)
were evaluated as flexural-shear crack. Where 2. Diagonal cracking of concrete in
both the moment and shear forces were connection area can be controlled by two
relatively large, flexural cracks, which are means. Firstly, provide large column sizes.
vertical at the extreme fibers become inclined Secondly, provide closely space close- loop
as they extend deeper into the beam owing to steel ties around the column bar in the
the presence of shear stresses in the beam. connection area. These ties hold the concrete
in the connection together and also resist shear
4 CONCLUSION force, therefore reduce the cracking in the
zone. Based on code‟s recommendation (ACI
1. The effect of wide beam bar 352R 2002) the continuous transverse loops
arrangement in the connection zone on the around the column bar through the
ultimate capacity of joints can be seen from connection zone. Specimens C1 and C4 had
the results of specimenC1 and C2 in the table same concrete strength and dimension, but in
2, and figure 9&10.Specimen C2 was the specimen C4, the shear links in joint zone
concentrated longitudinal wide beam bar were eliminated. As can be understood from
arrangement in the connection zone resisted an the ultimate load in Table 2 and figure 9, the
ultimate load of 127.6KN compared to102.5 additional shear links in connection area
KN for specimen C1which had even increase the ultimate shear capacity around
distribution bar arrangement. This result shows 6%. Specimen C1 which had shear links
the concentrated reinforcement arrangement in achieved 102.5KN whereas in the specimen
connection area improves the shear capacity of C4, the ultimate load is 98.8 KN.

Caspian Journal of Applied Sciences Research, 2(2), pp. 120-130, 2013

Table 2: Failure‟s Load Capacity &Deflection of Specimens

Max Max
Specimen name Load(KN)
deflection(mm) rotation(degree)
C1 102.5 51.58 1.59
C2 127.6 76.4 1.43
C3 114.3 53.15 1.84
C4 98.8 48.47 3.44
C5 107.4 38.89 1.57

Fig. 10: Load –Relative Rotation Curve

Fig. 11: Load-Deflection Curve

Behavior of external column- wide beam joint with different bar arrangement and existence of joint shear link
under gravity load

In addition to, as can be found from figure 8, ACI Committee 352 (1991).
the maximum rotation is belonged to sample Recommendations for design of beam–
C4. Existence of shear links in the joint zone column joints in monolithic reinforced
reduce the rotation around 42% concrete structures. Farmington Hills
3. The effect of the spandrel bar in the (MI): American Concrete Institute.
joint area, on the ultimate load strength was
investigated from the results of specimens C2 ACI Committee 318 (1995). Building code
and C5. As can be seen in Table 2, in requirements for structural concrete
specimens C2 with the spandrel bar in joint (ACI318-95) and commentary
that all beam longitudinal bars outside the (ACI318R-95)”. Farmington Hills
joint area, anchored to it, illustrated more (MI): American Concrete Institute.
ultimate capacity 127.6 than the specimen
ACI Committee 318 (1999). Building code
C5 without spandrel bar. It means that, a
requirements for structural concrete
presence of the spandrel bar in connection
(ACI318-99) and commentary
zone enhance ultimate joint capacity around
(ACI318R-99). Farmington Hills (MI):
18%. A lot of research had been done to find
American Concrete Institute.
out the behavior of joint with existence of
spandrel beam (Di Franco, Mitchell et al. ACI Committee 318(2005). Building code
1995).This study showed that the existence of requirements for structural concrete
slab bars increased the negative moment (ACI318-05) and commentary
capacity of beam (ACI318R-05)”. Farmington Hills
4. Specimens C2 and C3 had same (MI): American Concrete Institute.
concrete strength but different beam
dimension. In the sample C2 the width of Alsiwat J M , M Saatcioglu (1992).
wide beam was 600 mm where as in the Reinforcement anchorages slip under
specimen C3 was 400 mm. As can be monotonic loading. Journal of
understood from Table 2, the specimens C2 Structural Engineering 118(9): 2421-
resisted ultimate load 127.6KN while in the 2438.
sample C3,the ultimate load
reveals that the width of the wide beam AS3600 (1994). Concrete structure. Sydney,
increase the failure capacity of the connection Australia: Standard Association of
about 10%. Australia.
BenaventCliment A, X Cahis et al.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT (2009).Exterior wide beam-column
connections in existing RC frames
This experimental part of study conducted in subjected to lateral earthquake loads.
structural engineering laboratory of universiti Engineering Structures 31(7): 1414-
teknologi Malaysia (UTM).The author 1424.
expresses his sincere appreciation to Associate
Professor Dr. Ramli Abdullah for his valuable British Standard institution (1997). Structural
guidance and help use of concrete. London 8110

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