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Application of Strut-and-Tie

Concepts to Concrete Bridge

Joints in Seismic Regions
Over the past decade, comprehensive experimental and analytical
studies on cap beam-to-column concrete bridge joints have been
conducted, with an emphasis on joint force transfer mechanisms
based on strut-and-tie concepts. Using the findings from these
studies, which focused on improving both detailing and seismic
performance, a treatment for designing and assessing bridge joints
subjected to in-plane seismic actions using force transfer models is
given in this paper. Following an introduction to joint force
conditions and potential failure modes, the force transfer method
Sri Sritharan, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
(FTM) suitable for design and assessment of bridge joints, including
Department of Civil and guidelines suitable for designers, is introduced. Strut-and-tie concepts
Construction Engineering applicable to the modeling of reinforced and prestressed concrete
Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa bridge joints subjected to seismic actions are then discussed,
followed by a presentation of key joint mechanisms developed from
these concepts. Joint force transfer models based on the proposed
mechanisms and design examples are also included to assist
structural engineers with the application of FTM.

eginning with the pioneering understand structural behavior and ap

B work of Ritter’ and Mörsch

about a century ago, numerous
researchers have examined the appli
propriately detail cap beam-to-column
bridge joints, bridge footings and
other bridge structural systems sub
cation of strut-and-tie model concepts jected to seismic loading. These stud
3 Typical
to structural design problems. ies examined both reinforced and pre
Jason M. Ingham, Ph.D. applications have been directed at the stressed concrete elements, and
Senior Lecturer detailing of deep beams, beam sup generally emphasized the benefits of
Department of Civil and ports, frame corners or knee joints, prestressing in seismic design.
Environmental Engineering corbels, and membranes with open This paper presents a methodology
University of Auckland suitable for design and assessment of
Auckland, New Zealand
ings, when subjected to static loading.
More recently, strut-and-tie model bridge joints subjected to in-plane seis
concepts have been applied in order to mic actions, which hereafter is referred

Table 1. Summary of large-scale in-plane seismic tests on bridge cap beam-to-column joints considered in the
investigation of FTM.
- Description of joint tests Test scale Number of joints tested —

As-built, retrofitted, repaired and redesianed bridge knee joint systems

33 percent 4 knee joints lngham et al.
with columns having interlocking spirals. - - - -

As-built, retrofitted, repaired and redesigned bridge knee joint systems

. 33 percent 4 knee joints lngham et al.
- having circular columns. —

— -- -

As-built tee joint system having a circular column. 75 percent I tee joint MacRae et al.’
Redesigned tee joint systems having circular columns
50 percent 3 tee joints

Sritharan et al.’
with varying amounts of cap beam prestressing.
Two multiple column bridge bents consisting of circular columns. 50 percent 2 knee joints and 2 teejoints Sritharan et al.°
Knee joint system with interlocking column spirals designed
33 percent 1 knee joint lngham et al’-
with headed reinforcement.
A three-column bent with cast-in-place steel shell circular columns. I 100 percent 2 knee joints and I tee joint Silva et al.’

Fig. 1. Bridge knee

joint and tee forces,
and moment and
shear force
diagrams at column
condition 17

to as the force transfer method (FTM). was to find sufficient and less conser for confinement requirements. Ac
The FTM evolved from experimental vative joint reinforcement details.
4 cordingly, circular columns were used
and analytical studies of knee (exte Encompassing details from as-built, in most of the test joints; five of them
rior) and tee (interior) joints in con retrofitted, and repaired joints, as well were designed with rectangular shaped
crete multiple column bridge bents. as joints designed to specific joint columns with interlocking spirals.
The bridge joint studies were moti force transfer models, the investiga All of the bridge test joints were
vated by the (a) use of inadequate joint tion included seismic testing of 20 subjected to cyclic loading with full re
details in practice and subsequent bridge joints at 33 to 100 percent scale versals to satisfactorily simulate seis
damage in earthquakes, and (b) unnec (see Table 1 )7t3
mic effects. An extensive instrumenta
essarily congested details of bridge Circular columns are generally pre tion scheme was adopted in each test.
joints resulting from the building joint ferred for bridge structures in seismic The experimental studies were com
design method. regions because they are efficient, plemented with parallel analytical
One major objective of the studies easy to construct, and cost effective studies which focused on understand-

July-August 2003 67
Seismic design of concrete bridge
(a) Tee joint structures is currently based on the ca
7 in which
pacity design philosophy,’
the locations of plastic hinges are pre
selected, most conveniently at the col
umn ends, and inelastic actions devel
oping outside these hinges are
prevented by using strength hierarchy
in the design. Joints and other struc
tural members are, therefore, designed
for actions corresponding to develop
ment of the overstrength moment ca
pacities of the column plastic hinges.
(b) Moment along

cap beam
Joint Forces
Typical forces acting in the bridge
joint regions, consisting of the joint
panel and end zones of the cap beam
and column, are shown in Figs. la to
(c) Variation of vertical ic. With plastic hinges developing at
shear force the column top adjacent to the joint in
terface, an average shear force acting
upon the joint panel in the horizontal
Average direction can be approximated assum
value ing that the column overstrength mo
ment uniformly diminishes over the
full depth of the cap beam as illus
Fig. 2. Comparison of maximum and average vertical joint shear forces.
trated in Figs. id and le:

ing the observed joint behavior using propriate improvements to be made to — —

d—O.5a,, hb
experimental data and linear and non the existing, inadequate design mod
linear finite element analyses, as well els, and the introduction of new mod where

as establishing or refining joint force els suitable for different joint condi jvJ C overstrength moment capac

transfer models. Results from various tions. After selecting a force transfer ity of the column at the joint
detailed experimental and analytical model for design in accordance with interface and is obtained
studies were used to develop the FTM FTM, a satisfactory set of design steps from a column section anal
presented here. may be established as demonstrated in ysis with due consideration
Seismic design procedures for Reference 19. to the column axial force re
bridge joints based on force transfer In the remainder of this paper, some sulting from gravity and
models have been recommended for familiarity with the basic strut-and-tie seismic actions
6 These docu
use in design practice)

4 model framework, such as the method AM = resultant moment resistance
ments provide a prescriptive set of de outlined by Schlaich et al., ° is as
2 due to beam shear at the
sign steps which are based on one of sumed. As a preamble to discussing joint interfaces [= O.5hC(V
several force transfer models pre FTM, the current bridge seismic de + Vb) (see Fig. lc)j
7 However,
sented by Priestley et al.’ sign philosophy, resulting joint force d = effective beam depth (see
the selected force transfer model for condition and joint failure modes are Fig. id)
use in design practice has been shown first discussed. An outline of the force ab = depth of the equivalent rect
to be inadequate through experimental transfer method, with guidelines for angular compression block
and analytical studies.

1118 joint design and assessment, is then in the beam
Failure to provide a complete treat presented. Application of strut-and-tie hb = beam depth
ment of the joint force transfer is the concepts in representing joint force h = column section depth (or di
cause for error in development of the transfer and key joint mechanisms, ameter for circular columns)
design steps reported in References 14 and joint force transfer models are fi in the plane of loading
to 16. Understanding of the FTM, as nally presented, along with examples The corresponding average joint
detailed below, will enable both ap in Appendix A. shear force in the vertical direction

can be approximated by:

WI h (= D)
Viv=tl/h (2)

The average joint shear forces in

Eqs. (1) and (2) are regarded as suit
able for joint design, rather than using
the maximum shear forces derived
from forces acting upon the joints (see
Figs. la to ic).’
2 The maximum joint

shear force, which is more useful for area = b*h
describing localized damage such as
the initiation of joint cracking, is com Plan view
pared in Fig. 2 with the corresponding
average joint force in the vertical di
rection for a bridge tee joint.
(b) Horizontal shear stress

Joint Stresses
Using the average joint shear force,
joint shear stress developed in the hor
Elevation view
izontal and vertical directions during
in-plane loading can be obtained from:
(a) Vertical direction axial stress
VJ = .
v, = VP (3)
= Fig. 3. Effective areas for calculating stresses in joints with circular columns.

where is the joint effective width and

is taken as the lesser of -J5.D or b (see may occur in four different modes.
6 field is subjected to large inelastic
Fig. 3) with D and b being, respec Each of these failure modes was ob strains. Since these inelastic strains are
tively, the column diameter and the served in large-scale testing of joints irreversible, a growth of the joint
beam width.
17 For joints with rectangu and is shown in Fig. 4. In each case, panel occurs under seismic loading.
lar columns, JiD is replaced with (hC despite joint failure, the test unit was Consequently, the effective concrete
+ bC), where bC is the column width. able to sustain the simulated gravity strength of the joint core is signifi
Using the column and beam axial load effects. Descriptions of the joint cantly reduced, which often results in
forces, the joint normal stresses in the failure modes are given below. crushing of the joint strut at large dis
vertical and horizontal directions may placement ductilities (Fig. 4b). Al
be estimated. A 45-degree dispersion though significant lateral strength loss
Compression Failure
of forces is assumed for calculating the is associated with such a joint failure,
vertical stressf (see Fig. 3a), while the In general, compression failure oc which may lead to structural collapse,
beam gross area is used in estimating curs in bridge joints in a brittle manner strength degradation will occur in a
as a result of crushing of concrete gradual manner.
the joint horizontal stressfh. With these
struts in the joint. This failure mode is In joints with wide cap beams, as
estimates, the joint principal compres
typical in prestressed joints (see Fig. currently adopted in practice,’
6 tension
sion and tensile stresses are:
4a), and in reinforced concrete joints failure can be triggered by crushing
detailed with sufficient shear rein and spalling of the thick lightly con
± Lfj2+ forcement such that they remain elas fined cover concrete, which partici
tic during seismic response. Compres pates in joint force transfer at initial
sion failure of joints will substantially 22 Tension failure is also ex

reduce the lateral force resistance of pected in older bridge joints detailed
Since the principal stresses have the structure, most likely leading to with little or no shear reinforcement,
better correlation to joint damage than total structural collapse with sufficient as column longitudinal reinforcement
do other parameters such as the joint duration of earthquake shaking. provides some tensile resistance to the
shear force, Pr and p, are used as initial joint at small shear strains.’
design parameters in FTM.
Tension Failure
Tension failure is typically devel Anchorage Failure
JOINT FAILURE MODES oped in reinforced concrete joints For satisfactory seismic perfor
‘When subjected to in-plane seismic when shear reinforcement responsible mance of a bridge structure, it is es
loading, the failure of bridge joints for mobilizing the joint compression sential that the column and cap beam

July-August 2003 69
(b) Tension failure

(c) Anchorage failure (d) Lap splice failure

Fig. 4. Four different joint failure modes.

longitudinal reinforcement be suffi ment ductility and/or number of load 56 although it is

with straight bar ends,
ciently anchored into the joint. Inade reversals is increased. However, there recognized that termination using a
quate anchorage will result in bond may be no apparent damage on the 90-degree hook at the bar end, as
slip of the reinforcement, introducing joint faces as shown in Fig. 4c. shown in Figs. la and ib, is typically
an additional member end rotation at The column longitudinal reinforce used in current practice.
the joint interface and thus reducing ment is typically anchored into the In seismic design, beam reinforcing
the lateral strength of the structure. joint with straight bar ends in order to bars are not spliced within tee joints as
The bond slip rotation resulting from 7 These re
improve constructibility.

16 this detail causes additional reinforce
anchorage failure can contribute in ex inforcing bars are susceptible to bond ment congestion. Consequently, bond
cess of 40 percent to the total lateral slip as they may be subjected to slip of these bars is not expected in
displacement. stresses up to 1.5 times the yield bridge tee joints unless significant in
Given that the bond slip mechanism stress. Hence, sufficient anchorage elastic stresses are developed in the
does not provide adequate force resis length must be provided for the col beam longitudinal reinforcement at the
tance, nor a profound energy dissipa umn longitudinal reinforcement based column faces.
tion system, the structure will exhibit on the maximum expected bar stress.
poor force-displacement hysteresis re Bond slip of the cap beam longitu
dinal reinforcement bars is most likely Lap Splice Failure
sponse, characterized by gradual
strength deterioration and escalation to occur in bridge knee joints when Lap splice failure is most likely to
of the ioop pinching effect as displace- they are terminated within the joint occur in bridge knee joints subjected

to closing moments. As shown in Fig.
5a, the column tension force may be
transferred to the top beam reinforce
ment by bond if adequate confinement
is provided for the lap splice. If the
;—7 NJ1\ Mb

confining pressure is not sufficient to

prevent splitting of concrete between
the reinforcement and straightening
the hook of the beam bars, a failure
may ensue as illustrated in Fig. 5b T e T,, Me
(also, see an example in Fig. 4d).
Note that a lap splice failure can (a) Force transfer by bond (b) Failure mode
also occur in well-confined joints if
the lap length between the reinforce Fig. 5. Lap splice force transfer from column bars to top beam reinforcing bar and a
ment is not sufficient to transfer the failure mode due to inadequate confinement (after Priestley et al.
column tension force to the beam rein
various tension demands consistent in the range of 1.0 to 4.0 percent and a
with the selected mechanisms. regular proportion for the column diam
FORCE TRANSFER METHOD Because the joint mechanisms ac eter and beam depth dimensions preva
Joint design has traditionally been count for all actions in the cap beam- lent in practice, the serviceability de
performed based solely on the maxi to-column joint disturbed region (D sign criterion will be readily
mum shear force estimated within the region), which includes the joint panel accomplished.
joint panel, despite potential for the and the beam and column member At higher load levels, the force
joint to experience different failure ends, this design concept permits less transfer across the joint initiates crack
modes. The joint shear is but one force conservative joint reinforcement de ing in the joint region, which activates
of the complete force transfer action tails that significantly improve con distinctive joint mechanisms and mo
that develops in the joint region, structibility. bilizes reinforcement in the joint re
which includes both the joint panel As shown subsequently, in addition gion. Therefore, using the estimated
and the member regions directly adja to transverse reinforcement within the average joint principal tensile stress to
cent to the joint. joint panel, the FTM may rely upon gauge the extent of joint cracking, a
Therefore, it is conceivable that transverse reinforcement placed in the force transfer model consisting of ap
when the joint force transfer region is cap beam region adjacent to the joint propriate joint mechanisms is selected
assumed to be limited to the joint panel, and top and/or bottom beam and the required reinforcement in the
panel and that shear, which is not di longitudinal reinforcement across the joint region is then quantified consis
rectly correlated to damage, is treated joint to support force transfer. In con tent with this design model.
as an independent force for design trast, the conventional building joint Reinforcement quantities in the joint
purposes to establish the joint rein design concept assumes that only the region will depend on the efficiency of
forcement, unnecessarily conservative shear reinforcement provided within the adopted force transfer model.
joint details are likely to result. This the joint panel is responsible for trans However, when compared with the
notion is consistent with observations fer of forces across the joint. more traditional approach based di
that bridge joint design based on the In accordance with capacity design rectly on joint shear forces, the PPM
building code approach, using the principles, the force transfer method is expected to provide joint reinforce
joint shear force as the design parame of joint design or joint assessment is ment with reduced congestion regard
ter, leads to congested, impracticable performed at the ultimate limit state less of the choice of the design model.
reinforcing details.

5 for forces corresponding to the over- This expectation for FTM is a direct
In FTM, the necessary joint rein strength capacity of column plastic consequence of considering all actions
forcement is viewed as that required to hinges. The average joint principal in the joint region for quantifying the
support sufficient anchorage of the stresses estimated at the ultimate limit reinforcement.
column longitudinal reinforcing bars state will be used as the initial design It is the authors’ opinion that the
into the joint, eliminating the joint an parameters in FTM. most efficient force transfer models
chorage failure mode and permitting At the serviceable limit state, the for seismic joint design are those pro
the plastic hinge capacity of the col joint principal_tensile stress is kept ducing satisfactory joint performance
umn to be fully developed. Conse below 0.25fjMPa) [or 3.0/f’ (psi)] while requiring the least amount of re
quently, the necessary reinforcement with no special detailing requirement, inforcement within the joint panel.
in the joint region is quantified by em where f is the specified unconfined Bearing this in mind, the remainder of
ploying key mechanisms that satisfac compressive strength of the joint con this article addresses a formulation of
torily anchor the column reinforce crete. For a typical bridge column hav the most efficient force transfer mod
ment into the joint and by estimating ing longitudinal reinforcement content els for different joint conditions.

July-August 2003 71
— by the joint force transfer model.
(c) For joint principal tensile
stresses between the above limits, sat
isfactory joint force transfer may be
‘br achieved by providing supplementary
F reinforcement to the nominal require
ments in Eqs. (6) and (7). The supple
mentary reinforcement should be de
termined using a force transfer model
to anchor the unsupported component
of the column tension force equal to
(0.88 /3)T, i.e., [1

— (0.12 + /3)TJ.
Fig. 6. Ensuring The advantage of this approach is that
straight anchorage a suitable force transfer model may be
of column bars found using a single joint mechanism.
into the joint. — A higher_limit of p, = 0.29/f’ (MPa)
[or ‘5Jf’ (psi)] was recommended in
the past as a threshold value for detail-
Guidelines for Joint Design = 0.08A (6) ing joints with nominal reinforce
The following guidelines are sug 10 The more conservative ap


gested for designing joints in new Volumetric ratio of horizontal joint proach suggested herein is due to the
bridges using FTM: hoop or spiral reinforcement: approximation made in Eq. (1) for cal
1. At the overstrength capacity of culating the joint shear force, which in
the plastic hinge, the column tension 0. 29 fluences the value of p.
(SI units) (7a)
force may be represented by: 4,17 fyh 4. For joints with Pr> 0.25 Jf’ (MPa)
ps= Jf’ (psi)1 nominal reinforce
[or 3.0
5 ° (5) (psi units) (7b) ment will be adequate if it is shown
that the column bars can be satisfacto
where and f° are, respectively, the rily anchored into the joint main strut
total area and overstrength stress in the The requirement in Eq. (6) is in without the need for any special rein
column longitudinal reinforcement. tended to assist bond transfer of top 6 This will often be satisfied
The column overstrength stress may be beam reinforcement and formation of in joints designed with a fully pre
taken as 1.3 times the measured value joint diagonal struts, while Eq. (7) is stressed cap beam. The potential for
of f or 600 MPa (87 ksi) for Grade 60 based on providing hoop reinforce satisfying this condition may be estab
reinforcing bar. Alternatively, an accu ment sufficient to support a tension lished using simple beam theory as il
rate estimate of T may be obtained force equivalent to 50 percent of the lustrated for a tee joint in Fig. 6. It will
from a section analysis of the column. principal tension strength of be necessary to show that for the over-
2. Since the joint design procedure, 0.29Jf’ (MPa) [or 3.5’f’ (psi)].’
7 strength condition, the beam neutral
which is aimed at protecting joints The nominal joint reinforcement in axis depth at the tension face of the
from any significant inelastic actions, Eqs. (6) and (7) may be viewed as column is equal to or greater than (g +
is based on the overstrength moment equivalent to supporting a column ten ‘a,eff)’ where g is the distance between
capacity of the column plastic hinge sion force of (0.12 + /3)T, where the the end of the column bars and the
and on conservative material proper first part of the expression is obtained beam top surface, and 1 aeff is the effec
ties, a strength reduction factor of r = by combining Eqs. (5) and (6). tive anchorage length as defined in Eq.
1.0 may be satisfactory. The second part of the expression is (13). The joint mechanism supporting
3. Using the principal tensile stress based on column tension force that force transfer in these joints is depicted
obtained at the ultimate limit state [from can be supported by p as in Eq. (7) in Fig. l3b and its description is given
Eq. (4)], the joint design is approached with:
under “Clamping Mechanism.”
in the following manner: /3 = 0.22/f’ (MPa) lIAf° 5. The average joint principal com
(a) If Pt 0.25If’(MPa) [or [or /3 = 2.65x10jf’ (psi)]1IAf°] pression stress should always be main
3.0.f’(psi)], only limited insignifi where ‘a is the anchorage length as de tained below 0.3f in order to prevent
cant joint cracking is expected. Appli fined in Eq. (12). compression failure as shown in Fig.
cation of FTM is not required and the (b) If Pt > O. Jf’(MPa) [or
42 4a. For largerp values, a study should
following nominal reinforcement is 5.0/f’ (psi)] joint design should be be conducted to verify that the average
provided within the joint panel for sat based on a force transfer model that stress demand does not exceed the ca
isfactory force transfer:’
7 supports the total column tension pacity for all critical joint struts.
Total area of vertical joint stirrup re force, T. The joint region is detailed 6. Column bars should be anchored
inforcement: identifying tension demands imposed into the cap beam with straight bar

ends. The force transfer method ac 3. As part of the joint retrofit, joint to 0.01 in the joint shear reinforcement
commodates the use of headed longi dimensions may be increased. This may be acceptable when determining
tudinal reinforcement in columns, pro should be considered when estimating the capacity of joint ties.
ducing acceptable joint details (see joint shear demand and principal 9. As discussed below, a realistic
“Distributed Strut Mechanism”). stresses. representation of concrete tension car
However, employing column bars 4. As with the design of new joints, rying capacity can be included in the
with hooks or tails should be avoided the principal tensile stress is used as force transfer model.
as this detail causes reinforcement an initial assessment parameter as fol
congestion in the joint. lows:
Influence of Repeated loading
7. A minimum anchorage length for (a) If Pt O.29Jf’(MPa) [or
In FTM, design is performed for the
the beam and column longitudinal rein 3.5g’ (psi)], the presence of nominal maximum possible forces that the joint
forcement into the joint should be pro reinforcement as given by Eqs. (6) and can be subjected to during a repeated
vided assuming a uniform bond stress of (7) is adequate. or seismic loading. This is implied in
1. l7Jf’ (MPa) [or l4JL’ (psi) I along (b) If p > o.42L’(MPa) [or Eqs. (1), (4) and (5), in which joint
the embedded portion of the bar.’
7 5.0,Jf’(psi)], the adequacy of the shear force, principal stresses and T
8. Column bars should be extended joint reinforcement must be estab are obtained using estimated strain
as close as practicable to the height of lished based on an efficient joint force hardening and yield overstrength of
the top beam reinforcement to maxi transfer model supporting the column the column longitudinal reinforce
mize embedment conditions for the tension force T. ment.
extreme column tension bars into the (c) For joint principal tensile The influence of seismic or cyclic
joint diagonal strut. stresses between the above limits, ade type loading is not directly taken into
9. The last two guidelines described quacy of the existing joint reinforce account in FTM. Strength deteriora
above should be used to dimension the ment may be demonstrated by using a tion of concrete struts resulting from
minimum cap beam depth. force transfer model. Accordingly, the such repeated loading is conveniently
reinforcement in excess of the nominal incorporated by defining appropriate
requirements should be sufficient to permissible stress limitations. These
Guidelines for joint Assessment anchor the column tension force of limitations were established empiri
When compared to the design of (0.88— f3)T into the joint. cally and are presented in the follow
joints in modern bridges, less conser 5. As discussed in the previous sub ing section.
vative guidelines can be adopted in section, if it is shown that the column Since no significant hardening is ex
seismic assessment of joints for bars can be anchored into the joint pected for the joint reinforcement and
retrofit purposes. This is consistent main strut without the need for any cyclic inelastic excursions will be in
with recommendations by Priestley et special reinforcement, then nominal the tension range, the stress-strain re
7 for joint assessment, who advo
al.’ joint reinforcement may be considered sponse envelope of steel under re
cate allowing limited joint damage to adequate even if p, > 0.29 fff?jQIPa) peated loading is assumed to be the
occur as long as the damage does not [or 3.5
jf’ (psi)].
1 same as that obtained for monotonic
lead to total collapse of the structure 6. The joint principal compression loading. Therefore, for an estimated
or punching of columns through the stress should always be maintained strain in the joint reinforcement, the
deck. In light of this philosophy, the below 0.3f unless it can be shown corresponding stress can be readily
following guidelines are recom that the demand on joint struts is not obtained.
mended: excessive. This requirement is critical
1. Considering the column and cap when cap beam prestressing is used to
beam retrofit measures, a plastic col improve joint and/or cap beam perfor Columns with High Longitudinal
lapse mechanism for the bridge bent mance. Steel Ratio
should first be established. Using Eq. 7. Premature termination of column The force transfer method of design
(1), estimate the joint shear demand bars is commonplace, particularly in and assessment is applicable to all
based on the expected overstrength older bridge joints in Califomia.
523 In bridge joints, regardless of the longitu
column moment at the joint interface. creasing the column reinforcement dinal reinforcement ratio of the adja
2. An estimate of the column tension embedment length will often be re cent column. As will be discussed
force, T, required to be anchored into quired as part of the retrofit procedure, later, the required reinforcement for
the joint should be based on the ex for example, by haunching the joint, joint force transfer is determined as a
pected column overstrength moment. which should be reflected in the force function of the total area of column
Eq. (5) may be used for this purpose transfer model. longitudinal reinforcement. Therefore,
when the column plastic moment ca 8. If necessary, permit limited in high longitudinal column steel ratios
pacity is expected to be fully developed elastic action to take place in the cap will result in larger reinforcement
adjacent to the joint. Assessment of the beam adjacent to the joint at larger quantities in the joint region.
joint should then follow assuming a displacement ductilities (f1 3 4). — The higher column steel ratios also
strength reduction factor of = 1.0. Also, permitting tensile strains of up mean larger demand on the struts sup-

July-August 2003 73
edged that force paths of the critical
joint struts can be satisfactorily estab
lished using results from an elastic
analysis conducted at the onset of
yielding of the column main reinforce
ment and good engineering judgment.
In this case, concrete cracking and
strain penetration along the column
bars into the joint must be accurately
The force paths identified for bridge
joints in this paper as part of FTM are
based on observed crack patterns, ex
perimental data, linear and nonlinear
(a) Arch action and curved cracks (b) Parallel strut mechanism and straight cracks finite element analyses, and the au
thors’ experience. Some issues rele
Fig. 7. Different compression force paths in knee joints subjected to opening moments. vant to establishing force paths in
bridge joints are discussed below.
Reinforcement layout and geometric
porting the joint mechanisms. Since joint is the most critical step in FTM constraints may significantly influence
the effective strength of struts is not as this procedure essentially deter the compression force path in cracked
increased proportionally, a high col mines the node locations and orienta joints. This is illustrated in Fig. 7
umn longitudinal steel ratio will result tion of struts. Elastic analysis of the where two knee joints subjected to
in high demand to capacity ratios for system using a finite element method opening moments are compared. In
the struts in the joint region. ology, observed crack patterns and the first joint, with no stub, arch action
If the demand is kept below capac past experience are generally consid is expected to develop within the joint
ity in all critical struts, forces across ered as appropriate means for identify and consequently curved cracks
the joint will be transferred satisfacto ing the force paths in structural mem should result on the joint faces.
rily. For column steel ratios in the 1 to bers subjected to static loading. In the second joint, with a stub and
4 percent range typically adopted in Further, for simplicity, identical continuous cap beam longitudinal re
practice, satisfactory force paths for models for the ultimate limit state and inforcement detail as shown in Fig.
the joint forces can be established for the cracked state of serviceability 7b, broadening of the joint diagonal
using FTM. condition have been recommended in strut is possible by anchoring a joint
the literature (see, for example, Refer strut against the left bottom corner of
ence 20). However, a similar approach the beam reinforcement. Since this ac
STRUT-AND-TIE CONCEPTS is not applicable to seismic design of tion reduces stresses in the critical
The fundamentals and application bridge joints. struts of the joint, this mechanism, in
of strut-and-tie concepts to structural Joints in a bridge bent are typically volving parallel struts, is likely to de
members subjected to static loading subjected to axial, shear and flexural velop in the joint shown in Fig. 7b in
can be found in the literature [e.g., see actions whose relative magnitudes and stead of an arch mechanism. A
References 20, 24 and 25]. Due to dif thus dominant action can be different consequence of the parallel strut
ferences in the design philosophy and at the service and ultimate limit states. mechanism would be the formation of
the repetitive nature of seismic loads, As demonstrated by Bhide and straight cracks on the joint faces.
some changes to the application pro 26 on shear panels with and
Collins This argument, which is consistent
cedure are necessary for successful without an axial force, the force path with the cracked pattern observed on
modeling of bridge joint regions using and orientation of cracks in the joint the joint faces during testing (see Fig.
struts and ties. region can be considerably different at 8), is in accordance with a suggestion
These changes, as applicable to the two limit states. Also, elastic anal made by Collins and Mitchell
25 that
bridge joints subjected to seismic ac ysis ignores the force redistribution when cracking occurs and concrete
tions, are presented below. Since the that occurs progressively with the de tension carrying capacity is lost across
application of strut-and-tie concepts is velopment of tensile cracks.’
5 the crack, the orientation of struts
here focused on bridge joints only, the Therefore, the joint reinforcement should be towards stiffer reinforce
procedure is simplified wherever pos derived using a force path established ment so that the magnitudes of forces
sible. from an elastic analysis will be often and deformations developed in the D
unnecessarily conservative; failure of region are minimized.
such joints is also possible since the When joints are subjected to in-
Compression Force Flow joint behavior at the ultimate limit plane loading, struts are developed in
Determining a suitable path for state was not modeled. Although it is three dimensions. The components of
compression force flow across the not required in FTM, it is acknowl the struts perpendicular to the loading

(a) Curved cracks (b) Straight cracks
Fig. 8. Observed joint cracks in bridge knee joints indicating different force paths under opening moments.

plane can influence the crack pattern

on the joint faces.
6 Therefore, it is
noted that the observed or expected
crack pattern alone is not always suffi / mmm
cient to establish the compression
force path in bridge joints.
Furthermore, when establishing
suitable force paths for bridge joints,
a basic rule of strut-and-tie concepts
should not be forgotten. That is, the
force transfer model resulting from
the compression force path should not
require excessive deformation in any
tttittt ftftftfttft
reinforcement ties supporting the joint (a) Prism (b) Fan (c) Bottle
mechanism(s) in order to fully de
velop the plastic state of the structure.
Fig. 9. Different stress fields identified in concrete struts (after Schlaich et al.
If this condition were not met, prema
ture tension failure of joints and poor
ductile performance for the bridge
bent would be inevitable under seis stresses are developed perpendicular to account. This is dealt with in a subse
mic actions. the force transfer direction, which re quent section.
duce the strut capacity. The tensile resistance of the rein
For simplicity, the struts in the joint forcement or concrete is represented
Struts, Ties and Nodes region can be represented with single by single or multiple one-dimensional
Compression forces in concrete straight lines or with zones bounded ties. The tensile resistance of concrete
structural members are transferred by straight lines in 2D, ignoring the can be adversely affected by microc
through three types of stress fields in-plane and out-of-plane tensile racks induced by previous loads, ther
known as the “prism,” “fan” and “bot stresses (see Figs. iDa and lOb). Fur mal stresses and shrinkage.
27 Conse
tle” as shown in Fig. 9•20 The prism is thermore, a uniform axial stress across quently, concrete tension capacity is
expected in B-regions (beam regions), the in-plane depth and in the out-of- generally ignored in structural design.
while fan and bottle-shaped stress fields plane direction at any section along Nonetheless, it has been found that
typically develop in D-regions (dis the strut is assumed. the tensile resistance of cracked con
turbed regions), with the struts in cap These assumptions, which simplify crete has a significant influence on
beam-to-column joints generally being the estimation of the demand on the joint force transfer, and that modeling
bottle-shaped. When the joint compres struts, are deemed satisfactory as long its role is essential for accurately char
sion force is transferred between two as the allowable compression stresses acterizing the seismic behavior of
nodes through a bottle-shaped stress in the struts are defined appropriately, bridge ’18
2 6
field, in-plane and out-of-plane tensile taking the transverse tension field into Several other researchers have also

July-August 2003 75
should be determined at the beam in
Critical section terface between the beam B- and D-re
gion, located at a distance of hb from
the column face. Assuming that each
stress field is bounded by straight
lines, the node and strut dimensions
can then be readily established.
The Zones ABC and DEFG in Fig.
lOb, respectively, represent CCC and
CCT nodes (identified in Figs. lOa and
lOc), while the joint strut is formed by
stress field BDGC. The nodal zones
(a) Simple truss model (b) Detailed truss model can be isolated as shown in Fig. lOc
and their stress state can be examined
if necessary. Also given consideration
in Fig. lOb is a multiple tie representa
tion for column tension force Tc 1 and
the need for sufficient anchorage of
each tie into the CCT nodal zone.
As a result of the tension force in
creasing from Section EF to Section
DG in the CCT node (Fig. lOb), the
(c) nodal forces (d) Dimensioning two joint struts
resultant compression force in the di
rection of the joint strut gradually in
Fig. 10. Dimensioning struts and nodes, and identifying strut critical sections in a creases within the nodal zone and at
bridge tee joint.
tains the maximum value at the
strut-to-node interface.
promoted the influence of concrete ties Depending on the type of forces in Once the strut boundaries are estab
in structural °293 When the

response. tersecting at nodes, they are identified lished, the critical section(s) of the
contribution of the concrete ties is ap as CCC, CCT, CTT and TTT nodes, joint strut should be identified so that
propriately accounted for in the force where C and T stand for compression stability of the strut may be examined.
transfer model, a reduced amount of and tension, respectively. In bridge For the example in Fig. lOb, the strut
joint reinforcement will be required. joint regions, CCC, CCT and CTT depth increases from DG to BC with
Clearly, a designer can still choose nodes are commonplace, but TTT no change in the magnitude of the
to conservatively neglect the contribu nodes are not expected. compression force, and thus Plane DH
tion of concrete ties. Incorporating perpendicular to the direction of the
concrete ties in the assessment of strut is a critical section.
Dimensioning Struts and Nodes Further, due to the absence of sig
joints is especially encouraged as this
can avoid unnecessary and expensive and Identifying Critical Sections nificant confining stress along the
retrofit of bridge joints. A procedure Consistent with the discussion pre sides (i.e., BD and CG in Fig. lob),
for estimating the joint concrete ten sented above, the concepts of simple the main strut in the joint typically has
sion contribution is presented under and detailed strut-and-tie joint models, a bottle-shaped stress field, with neck
“Contribution of Ties.” different node types, the dimensioning ing at both ends and the most adverse
Nodes represent the intersection of struts and nodes, and identifying effects of the in-plane and out-of-
points of three or more struts and/or the critical sections in joint struts are plane tension field being present at the
ties, where change in direction of illustrated in Fig. 10. center of the joint. Therefore, examin
forces takes place. It should be appre Suppose that the anchorage of col ing the stress state across the plane at
ciated that such changes in a rein umn tension force Tc 1 in a tee joint is the joint center is always essential.
forced concrete structure typically modeled with a simple mechanism as This is consistent with experimental
occur over a zone, except where a shown in Fig. iDa. The stress field observations that crushing of struts
strut or tie delineates a concentrated within the joint can be identified as typically develops at the joint center.
stress field. According to Schlaich et shown in Fig. lOb, with strut dimen If two struts are identified within the
° a node with gradual changes over
al., sions dictated by the effective anchor joint, the area bounded by the struts is
a zone is identified as a smeared node, age length of column reinforcement assumed to be participating in force
with its dimensions being determined [as defined in Eq. (13)] and by the transfer in proportion to the magni
by the effective widths of struts and depth of equivalent beam flexural tudes of the struts as illustrated in Fig.
ties forming the node. A node having compression stress blocks. lOd. Furthermore, the effective width
a concentrated stress field is generally Adjacent to the tension face of the of each strut at the joint center is taken
referred to as a singular node. column, the equivalent stress block as 2w
1 and 2w , respectively.

The procedure described above for
dimensioning struts and nodes and Critical section
identifying critical sections in tee
joints can also be applied to bridge
knee joints subjected to opening mo
ments. For knee joints under closing
moments, critical sections can be iden
tified as shown in Fig. 11 using a simi
lar concept.
A critical section in a reinforced
concrete knee joint, incorporating a
stub and continuous top and bottom
(a) Reinforced concrete joint (b) Prestressed joint
beam reinforcement (Fig. 1 la), is cho
sen such that the highest strut stress is
Fig. 11. Critical sections of joint main diagonal struts in bridge knee joints subjected
at the section with the minimum depth,
to closing moments.
as for the tee joint in Fig. lOb. In addi
tion, the stress state at the joint center
should also be checked. For a knee
Table 2. Permissible stresses suggested for critical bridge joint struts under
joint with a prestressed cap beam such
seismic conditions.
as in Fig. 1 ib, only one critical section
Permissible stress Strut description
at the center of the joint is selected.
Struts with only minor cracking,
From the above, it can be observed 0 68f’
such as that expected in prestressed joints.
that although the strut depth is small
Struts in reinforced concrete joints with reinforcement
close to the CCC node, with the joint 0 51f’

not subjected to significant strain hardening (e 0.01).

strut force continuously increasing to
Struts in unreinforced joints or in joints with potential for initiation of
wards this node (Fig. 1 ib), the strut
0.34f tension failure following development of high inelastic strains in the
capacity is significantly higher in this
joint reinforcement (r 0.02).
region due to the confinement pro
vided by the CCC node.
For reinforced and prestressed con
crete bridge joints, where the column tudes with those in the beam and col ommendations, which are intended for
tension force is modeled with a single umn ends adjacent to the joint re monotonic loading, appreciable dis
tie such as in Fig. 1 Oa, there is a ten vealed that the struts bounded or an crepancies exist between the permissi
dency to select the critical section at chored in the joint panel are most ble stresses suggested by different re
the center of the joint. This is satisfac critical. Therefore, limiting examina searchers for struts subjected to
tory based on the discussion presented tion of the stress state to these struts is similar conditions.
above. However, in critical cases (e.g., sufficient. From the seismic tests of bridge
assessment of joints with little or no The strength of a concrete strut de joints listed in Table 1 and subsequent
reinforcement), the designer is encour pends on its multi-axial stress state, analytical investigations, the stress
aged to perform checks at three sec confinement, damage caused by limits shown in Table 2 are recom
tions along the strut: at the center, cracking, uniformity of cracking, dis mended for seismic design and assess
midway between the joint center and turbances from reinforcement and the ment of bridge joints. These limits re
CCC node, and midway between the influence of aggregate interlocking. semble those recommended by
joint center and CCT node. As noted previously, in-plane loading Schlaich et al.
° for struts in structural
In all joints of bridge bents sub induces joint dilation in the out-of- members subjected to static loads.
jected to in-plane loading, the width of plane direction, which, in turn, can re In a recent study aimed at perform
the joint strut in the out-of-plane di duce the strut capacity significantly ing push-over analyses of bridge bents
rection is taken as b as in Eq. (3). below the unconfined concrete based on strut and tie models, defining
’ strut capacities using the permissible
Several different recommendations, stress values in Table 2 was found to
Allowable Stresses in
based either on beam/shear panel tests be satisfactory.
Concrete Struts or on engineering judgment, are found Recall that in “Design and Assess
In order to preclude compression in the literature for estimating strut ca ment Guidelines,” the average joint
failure of joints resulting from crush pacities. They range from simple for principal compression stress was lim
ing of struts, it should be ensured that mulas, in which the strut capacity is ited to O.3f. This limitation, which
strut capacities are sufficiently larger represented by the effective uncon was originally derived empirically
than the demands in the joint region. fined compressive strength, to detailed based on the performance of building
Observed failure of joint struts and equations which account for the state 17 is to keep the demand upon the
comparison of joint strut stress magni of strain in the strut. Among these rec joint struts within admissible limits.

July-August 2003 77
= average tensile stress in
Af Joint concrete in the direction of
b = effective joint width as de
rebar r fined in Eq. (3)
— 7/
= length of the joint panel

(b) Joint segment in equilibrium It is important to note that the devel

opment of Tcr requires the presence of
at least minimal reinforcement within
the joint panel to distribute cracking.’
For estimating f. the following em
pirical relationship as suggested by
25 may be used:
Collins and Mitchell
j — aaj
(a) Idealized joint panel stresses (c) Mohr’s circle for average strains - 1+J500s

Fig. 12. Estimating the tensile resistance of cracked concrete.

6 where
fcr = cracking strength of concrete
and is approximated to
When compared to the procedure reinforcement that participates in the 0.33/f’ (MPa) [or4.0Jf’ (psi)]
described above which requires an es joint force transfer; this implies that 1 = a factor accounting for bond
timation of stresses in the joint struts, developing a steel stress exceeding f characteristics and is taken as
limiting the joint principal stress to an is possible in localized regions. For 1.0 for deformed bars
allowable value is relatively simple assessment purposes, a less conserva 2 = a factor which depends on the
[see Eq. (4)] and is regarded as a tive approach can be considered by load history
more conservative approach. How approximating f to 1.05f for Grade = average joint principal tensile

ever, it should be kept in mind that 60 (414 MPa) reinforcement, which is strain
the 0.3f stress limit, which is useful obtained by allowing average steel For short-term monotonic loading
when designing or assessing pre strains of up to about 0.01. 2 = 1.0 and for sustained and/or re
stressed joints, only addresses joint As noted previously, the cracked peated loads a 2 = 0.7 have been sug
compression failure. concrete in the joint region can also gested. A less conservative estimate
Crushing of a concrete strut can have a notable contribution to tensile 1 as given by Eq. (11) is appropri
take place at a joint principal compres resistance. This tension capacity may ate for assessment purposes:
sion stress considerably less than be estimated using a blanketed ap
0.3f when tension failure develops in 618 Drawing an analogy to
a cap beam-to-column joint. As indi Vecchio and Collins’ method for esti - 1÷J200e
cated in Table 2, the capacity of a strut mating the tensile resistance of con
in a joint experiencing tension failure crete that contributes to shear resis Eq. (11) shows the original relation
may be as low as 0.34f, correspond 30 the tensile resistance provided
tance, ship established betweenJ and r using
ing to a joint principal compression by joint concrete can be found assum ° and Eq. (10) was
experimental data
stress in the range of 0.1fto 0.15f. ing a uniform joint stress and strain later recommended as appropriate for
field as illustrated in Fig. 12. design calculations. Furthermore, the
Contribution of Ties Considering the forces in a joint value of 1 in Eq. (9) can be increased
segment as shown in Fig. 12b, the by 25 and 50 percent for assessment of
Ties in joint force transfer models total tensile resistance of the joint
represent the tensile resistance of rein knee and tee joints, respectively, recog
panel in the vertical direction is: nizing that the beam regions adjacent
forcement and/or concrete. It is
straightforward to take the reinforce to the joint also participate in force
Tr = +
ment contribution, T, into account as transfer across the joint.
Af + J(cos2 O)bl (9)
described in Eq. (8): =
It should be noted that f. defined
above is slightly higher than the joint
T = AseffL (8) where cracking strength defined previously
AVL = total force resisted by the under “Design Guidelines.”_However,
where As,eff is the effective steel area reinforcement as defined 0.33/f’ (MPa) [or 4.0jf’ (psi)] is re
in the direction of the tie, and f is the in Eq. (8) tained in Eqs. (10) and (11) in order to
stress in the reinforcement. Tcr = vertical component of the remain consistent with the empirical
For design purposes, f may be ap tension force carried by the equations suggested in References 25
proximated to the yield strength f for cracked concrete and 30.

Nodal Failure
Failure of a node in the joint region
can lead to undesirable behavior of the
structure. This may develop due to ei
ther concrete crushing, or anchorage
failure of a reinforcement tie within
the nodal zone. From various tests on
bridge joint ’2

3 3 it is found
that failure of a CCC node seldom oc
curs. (a) Reinforced concrete joint (b) Fully prestressed joint
This is because struts acting upon
the node simultaneously provide reli Fig. 13. Clamping mechanism,
able confinement, enabling it to sus
tain significantly high stresses. Reduc
tion in the confinement effect is
possible when a compression force a,eff
1 = O.14db/fY/[j (mm,MPa)
ceases to exist due to premature fail Since the strut-and-tie representation
(1 3a) of structural members is based on equi
ure of the column or cap beam, which
should be dealt with prior to investi a,eff
1 = O.O12db,fY/l[,F (in.,psi) librium conditions alone, numerous al
gating the joint. ternative strut-and-tie models are pos
(1 3b)
The most common nodal failure ex sible for a given reinforced concrete
pected in bridge joints may occur member. In order to assist designers
To avoid anchorage failure, the col
when longitudinal column bars are an with developing efficient force transfer
umn reinforcement should be effec
chored with straight bar ends (e.g., models for bridge joints, several key
tively clamped at a minimum distance
CCT node in Fig. lOa). Such a nodal joint mechanisms are presented in this
&i,eff from the bar end. This con
of °‘
failure can be avoided in design and section in accordance with the general
dition will assist with locating critical
predicted in assessment by appropriate strut-and-tie concepts and related dis
nodes within the joint (e.g., the CCT
treatment of the column bar embed cussion presented above,
node in Fig. lOa).
ment length into the joint. Additionally, geometric considera
In addition to providing a minimum
As specified under “Design Guide tions, which are typically required for
required anchorage length, it must also
lines,” the required embedment length quantifying reinforcement, are pro
be ensured that the column bars are
for column bars can be obtained as vided for these mechanisms. Develop
extended into the joint as close to the
suming_a uniform bond stress of ing force transfer models using key
top beam bars as possible.
23 If this


l.17.Jf’ (MPa) [or 14..,Jf’ (psi)], which joint mechanisms is discussed in the
condition is not satisfied, adequate
would result in a minimum anchorage subsequent section.
clamping of the column bars into the
lengths of: joint strut will not occur and nodal
failure can develop despite satisfying Clamping Mechanism
la = O.3Odb,fY/J7 (mm,MPa) the minimum anchorage length re The clamping mechanism anchors
(12a) quirement of Eq. (12). the column tension force directly at a
For assessing bridge joints with col CCT node using a joint diagonal strut
la = O.O25db,fY/Jj (in.,psi) umn longitudinal bars inadequately and an external strut supported in the
(12b) embedded into the joint, as was typi beam adjacent to the column tension
cal until recently,
7 the maximum

8 side, as illustrated for tee joints in Fig.
where dbl and f are, respectively, the force that can be developed in the col 13. These two struts for a reinforced
diameter and yield strength of the col umn bars may be estimated assuming and fully prestressed concrete joint are
umn bar. a uniform bond stress of identified in both Fig. 13a and Fig.
In reality, column bar anchorage O.76jf’(MPa) [or 9.2./f’(psi)] 1 and C
13b as C .
takes place over a much shorter length along the entire embedded portion of The location of the CCT node
near the bar end due to strain penetra the reinforcement. This lower bond should be determined using the effec
tion along the reinforcement into the stress value was inferred from ACT tive anchorage length for the column
joint. 318 and has been found to give a bars and location of the resultant col
It was found from experimental data good estimate of the maximum ten umn tie. If the column bars of an ex
that an average bond__stress of sion force that can be developed in isting joint have insufficient anchor
2.5Jf’ (MPa) [or 3OJf’ (psi)] is typi the column reinforcement.
23 age length, this deficiency should be
cally developed in well-designed If column bar anchorage is ad reflected in the model by appropri
7 Using this bond stress, the


joints. dressed as detailed above, it is sug ately defining 1 aeff and determining
effective anchorage length for the col gested that no further check on nodal the node location and magnitude of
umn reinforcement is thus defined as: failure is required. the column tension force anchored at

July-August 2003 79
‘ 1Th Topbeam /

J’ ,‘ V i Top beam
z ‘
bar bar

Concrete / f1 “ Concrete
tension tie/ - Bottom / / Bottom
1 rzzz]
‘ijL / beam bar - / 4beam bar stirrup

Stirrup Stirrup

Fig. 14. Splice (a) Conventional mechanism (b) Single strut mechanism (c) Out-of-plane mechanism
transfer mechanism.

tion in joint force transfer diminishing

as the magnitude of cap beam pre
stressing increases.
To quantify the appropriate rein
forcement for this mechanism, a sim
pler model representing all possible
mechanisms may be considered. Ex
ample 1 of Appendix A presents the
simplified model and quantifies the
corresponding tension demands.
beam Direct Transfer Mechanism
In contrast to the splice transfer
mechanism, the column longitudinal
reinforcement is anchored directly in a
(a) Example I (b) Example 2
CTT node involving the beam longitu
dinal reinforcement. To develop a sta
Fig. 1 5. Direct transfer mechanism.
ble CTT node, the column bars should
be extended above the beam top longi
tudinal reinforcement and provided
that node as previously discussed. forcement is generally not possible as with a mechanical anchorage such that
With sufficient development length the column bars are usually terminated the tensile strength of the bars can be
for the column longitudinal reinforce below the beam bars. Utilizing joint developed over a very short distance.
ment into the joint, the clamping vertical stirrups and/or concrete ties, Two possible details are shown in Fig.
mechanism can be used to transmit up the splice mechanism effectively 15.
to 50 percent of T in reinforced con transfers the anchorage location of the In the first example, headed longitu
crete joints and 100 percent of T in column tension force to the top beam dinal column bars are mechanically in
fully prestressed joints, as indicated in bars. This enables anchorage of the terlocked with the beam longitudinal
Fig. 13.6,10 column tension force at a CTT node reinforcement. In the next example,
In reinforced concrete joints, a 45- using the beam top reinforcement and threaded column bars are mechani
degree incline is suggested for the ex a diagonal joint strut. Three possible cally anchored to the top of the cap
, which may support a
ternal strut, C
2 splice transfer mechanisms are illus beam using steel plates.
maximum column tension force of trated in Fig. 14 \using struts and ties The second detail will also be ap
18 The orientation of the beam
0. 15T. in two dimensions, (2-D). propriate for seismic design of integral
direct strut in prestressed joints will Comparable mechanisms in three bridge systems with ductile concrete
depend on the amount of beam pre dimensions (3-D) are also possible, columns and steel box-shaped cap
stressing, and should be determined and can be adequately represented beams, as used in a recent research
from equilibrium conditions. using 2-D models. More details of this 36 Since this mechanism is an
mechanism and 3-D representation of alternative to the splice transfer mech
the models may be found in Reference anism, the direct transfer mechanism
Splice Transfer Mechanism 18. The splice transfer mechanism is recommended for anchoring up to
Forming a CTT node between the may be relied upon for supporting up 50 percent of T. This implies that the
beam and column longitudinal rein- to 50 percent of T, with its participa mechanical anchorage detail is re

quired only for the column reinforcing
bars anchored into the CTT node, but p
reversal of the loading direction must ‘t’\ crr
not be forgotten when identifying ‘ .‘ %

these bars. \‘
\ ,
Due to direct anchorage of the col
umn tension force, the joint reinforce
ment required for this mechanism will
be less than that required for an equiv
alent splice transfer mechanism, and
will be determined based upon the
confinement requirements to prevent
failure ofjoint struts.
(a) Under closing moments (b) Under opening moments
Haunched-Joint Mechanism
Haunching of joints, which is an ef Fig. 16. Haunched-joint mechanism.
fective means of retrofitting existing
joints with poor column reinforcement
anchorage and/or insufficient joint
shear reinforcement, increases the
joint size.
7 The joint mechanisms re
sponsible for force transfer in the ex
panded joint can mobilize relatively
more reinforcement. Also, when
retrofitting joints using an external re
inforced concrete jacket, additional
shear reinforcement can be added
without causing steel congestion in the
joint region.
The haunched-joint mechanism,
(a) Under closing moments (b) Under opening moments
which anchors the column tension
force at a CTT node under closing mo
ments or CCT node under opening Fig. 17. Distributed strut mechanism.
moments, is illustrated for a bridge
knee joint in Fig. 16. A special feature
of the haunched-joint mechanism is the amount of joint reinforcement. For stub in Fig. 17. A main advantage of
that it benefits from broadening of the typical bridge joints designed in the this mechanism is broadening or fan
joint main strut. This reduces the de post-1971 era with premature termina ning of the joint strut, thereby increas
mand in the strut, increases the strut tion of column bars into the joint, the ing the joint strut capacity.’
capacity, and alleviates possible com haunched joint mechanism may be re This mechanism is feasible because
pression failure, particularly under lied upon for supporting 0.5TC pro the bar strength can be developed ad
closing moments. vided the joint dimensions are en jacent to the reinforcement head,
When subjected to opening mo larged by 30 percent or greater. A which typically has a cross-sectional
ments, the expanded joint dimensions larger contribution from this mecha area ten times that of the bar, enabling
improve anchorage of the column bars nism, providing anchorage for up to development of struts directly against
into the joint by effectively lowering 1.0T, is possible if supported by an the reinforcement heads. An example
the position of the CCT node at which appropriate model based on the joint of strut formation against distributed
the column tension force is supported condition. beam headed reinforcement is shown
(see Fig. 16b). A mechanism similar in Fig. 18, which was observed in a
to that shown in Fig. 1 6b can also be test on a bridge knee joint.’
applied to a haunched bridge tee joint. Distributed Strut Mechanism
Use of headed bars will result in al
The contribution of this mechanism Using multiple layers of headed re most zero effective anchorage length
for anchoring the column tension force inforcement in the cap beam and for the column main reinforcement in
will depend on several factors, includ strategically positioning the headed this mechanism, as well as in the di
ing the embedment length of the col ends of the reinforcement in the joint rect transfer mechanism (see Fig. 15),
umn bars into the joint, anchorage de region, the distributed strut mecha enabling possible reduction of the cap
tail of the cap beam top reinforcement, nism can be developed as illustrated beam depth. To achieve this anchor
dimensions of the expanded joint, and for a bridge knee joint with a short age condition, the column bars should

July-August 2003 81
:. •Y 7’
(a) Beam bars terminated in the stub are visible (b) Close-up view

Fig. 18. Formation of strut against the ends of headed reinforcing bars.

to the beam top reinforcement as pos

sible, the column tension force can
c’NN also be supported by the joint diagonal
—. I I strut and another external strut an
.. /
I chored in the top corner of the stub as
shown in Fig. 19b. Since the horizon

tal component of this external strut is
typically large, which will be deter
mined by the yield strength of the
beam top longitudinal reinforcement,
this mechanism can anchor an addi
tional column tension force at this
CCT node without significantly in
(a) Mechanism I (b) Mechanism 2
creasing demand on the joint shear re
Fig. 19. Short-stub mechanisms for knee joints subjected to closing moments. Based on test data, it is estimated
that the total column tension force can
be extended above the beam top bars nism is relied upon for joint force be supported using the short-stub
asshowninFig. 17. transfer, which is supported by U- 6 The joint force transfer
Further, when employing the dis shaped reinforcing bars in the short mechanism described in Fig. 19a will
tributed strut mechanism, it should be stub. support a smaller proportion of T than
remembered that the beam longitudi A detailing requirement of this the mechanism depicted in Fig. l9b.
nal reinforcement quantity, the joint mechanism is that the U-bars be part The exact contribution of each
strut depth and demand on the struts of the beam main reinforcement, en mechanism can be determined from
depend on the number of beam rein suring continuity between the top and equilibrium conditions assuming the
forcement layers. To employ this bottom longitudinal bars. To improve maximum out-of-balance force, T,
mechanism effectively in joint design, constructibility of this detail, it is rec that can be supported at Node C. The
the top and bottom beam longitudinal ommended that short U-bars be em value of T should be determined
beam bars should be placed in three or ployed in the joint region and that based on the reinforcement provided
more layers as illustrated in Fig. 17. continuity of the beam reinforcement to support the joint force transfer
be established using either mechanical under opening moments as illustrated
connectors or competent splices out in the second example in Appendix A.
Short-Stub Mechanism side of the joint. The vertical tails of Therefore, it is suggested that when
The short-stub mechanism can as the U-bars should be positioned from the short-stub mechanism is employed
sist with anchoring of the column ten the outer face of the column at a dis for closing knee joints, the required
sion force into a knee joint subjected tance of about O.3D and O.3h for cir quantity of joint reinforcement will
to closing moments. As shown in Fig. cular and rectangular columns, respec generally be governed by the mecha
1 9a, an external strut similar to that 22

tively. nism responsible for force transfer
described under the clamping mecha With column bars extended as close under opening moments.

Long-Stub Mechanism
Gravity load
The long-stub mechanism, which is
conceptually similar to the short-stub
mechanism, can be applied to the de
sign of knee joints subjected to closing
moments. As shown in Fig. 20, an
chorage of the external strut in the
stub is achieved using transverse ties
and a strut anchored against the grav
ity load transferred through the long
5 With comparison to the clamp
ing mechanism, a column tension
force of up to 0.15T may be anchored
into the joint using the long-stub Fig. 20. Long-stub
mechanism when adequate gravity mechanism for
loads and transfer ties are present in knee joints
the stub. subjected to
closing moments.
Joint force transfer models suitable not required and the tee joint can be The modified external strut force
for design or assessment can be for detailed using the clamping mecha transfer model can also be applied to
mulated using a single mechanism or a nism shown in Fig. 13b. The possibil bridge knee joints subjected to open
combination of two or more of the key ity of designing the joint utilizing only ing moments. However, an alternative
mechanisms described above. Limit the clamping mechanism may be ex mechanism (e.g., the short-stub mech
ing the number of mechanisms to two amined by estimating the main joint anism) is required for force transfer
is recommended to maintain simplic strut depth at the colunm tension face when the joint is subjected to closing
ity. Some examples of design models and comparing with the effective an moments. The required joint rein
are presented below to demonstrate chorage length of the column longitu forcement should be established fol
the application of the force transfer dinal bars as illustrated in Fig. 6. In lowing consideration of the reinforce
method. joints with zero prestressing, the ment details necessary to support the
splice transfer mechanism may be re force transfer across the joint for the
placed with other mechanisms such as two types of moment.
Modified External Strut Force the direct transfer mechanism. As described above for tee joints,
Transfer Model If the cap beam is partially pre partially prestressed knee joints can
The external strut force transfer stressed, the combination of clamping also be detailed using a combination
model, which was originally proposed and splice mechanisms can still be of clamping and splice mechanisms.
by 17
”° and later modified by
Priestley employed, with the former supporting The column tension force supported
18 relies upon supporting T

Sritharan, more than 0.5T based on the level of by the two mechanisms, in this situa
equally by the clamping and splice prestressing. This will result in less tion, should be proportioned based on
transfer mechanisms. Since this model joint reinforcement than would be re the beam positive moment resisted by
makes the maximum use of the beam quired in an equivalent joint with zero prestressing at the column tension
stirrups in the joint force transfer, the prestressing. The amount of column face.
model is regarded as very efficient for tension force that can be supported by
seismic detailing of bridge joints. Fig. the clamping mechanism may be ob
21 illustrates the application of the tained based on the percentage of Haunched-Joint Force
modified external strut force transfer beam negative moment at the column Transfer Model
model to a bridge tee joint. face that is being resisted by the beam This force transfer model combines
The appropriate reinforcement re prestressing. the haunched-joint mechanism with
quired to develop the two mechanisms Consequently, when the negative the splice transfer mechanism, unless
can be determined independently in moment resisted by the beam pre the cap beam is fully prestressed. The
terms of T. With an estimate for T, stressing is zero or 100 percent, the percentage of the column tension
the total reinforcement required for column tension force supported by the force supported by the haunched-joint
satisfactory joint force transfer can be clamping mechanism is taken as 0.5T mechanism should be established
then qualified (see Example 1 in Ap or 1 .0T, respectively, with the amount based on the embedment length of the
pendix A and a prescriptive set of de of column tension force supported by column bars into the joint and the
sign steps in Reference 18). any other level of beam prestressing amount of horizontal and/or vertical
If a fully prestressed cap beam is being linearly interpolated between shear reinforcement present in the
used, the splice transfer mechanism is 0.5T and 1.0T. joint. As noted previously, a larger

July-August 2003 83
Experimental validation of the exter
Requirement for nal strut force transfer model to bridge
additional top beam joints subjected to out-of-plane load
ing may be found in Reference 28.
For bi-directional loading, joint de
tails may be established by employing
FTM in the transverse and longitudi
nal directions independently. When
similar joint mechanisms are used in
the transverse and longitudinal direc
tions, there will be regions that require
reinforcement for each of the two
loading cases.
Fig. 21. The It has been suggested that the rein
modified forcetnent placed in overlapping areas
external strut
may be counted as effective for the two
force transfer
7 This suggestion appears to
be reasonable since, for example, the
plastic moment capacity of a circular
percentage of T may be supported Fig. 19. If necessary, the design model column remains the same for any load
through the haunched-joint mecha can be supplemented with the splice ing direction. Such simplification of
nism if proven using an appropriate mechanism, as in the modified exter the joint details must be exercised with
strut-and-tie model. nal strut model. sound engineering judgment.
The reinforcement required for The behavior of bridge joints under
transferring the joint forces under bi-directional loading has been experi
Distr,buted Strut Force
opening moments may be derived 38 However, the
mentally studied.

Transfer Model
from the modified external strut model number of tests is limited for the pur
Relying solely on the distributed illustrated in Fig. 21 for a bridge tee pose of systematically extending the
strut mechanism, the distributed strut joint. force transfer method to bridge joint
force transfer model can be used for design under bi-directional seismic ac
supporting the column tension force 7.. tion. More effort is required to com
The necessary joint reinforcement can DESIGN PROCEDURE plete this task, including an experi
be quantified using strut-and-tie mod Following selection of a force trans mental investigation of bridge joints
els delineating the respective mecha fer model, the design procedure suit designed based on carefully selected
nisms shown in Fig. 17. Although able for a given joint type may be de joint mechanisms.
headed short bars may be used for re veloped using the guidelines and
sisting the tension force within the strut-and-tie concepts previously dis
joint in the vertical direction, use of cussed. Full development of these de CONCLUDING REMARKS
spiral or hoop reinforcement is recom sign procedures is constrained within A rational force transfer method for
mended as joint ties in the horizontal the scope of this paper, but is pre seismic design and assessment of con
direction, which will also effectively sented elsewhere for the modified ex crete bridge joints subjected to in-
enhance the strength of the joint stnits. ternal strut force transfer model.’
9 plane loading is presented in this
The distributed strut force transfer However, quantification of tension de paper. This method determines the
model can also be developed by com mands in the joint region following suitable amount of joint reinforcement
bining the distributed strut and direct selection of a force transfer model is using simple analytical models based
transfer mechanisms. The amount of illustrated in Appendix A using exam on strut-and-tie concepts, with consid
reinforcement required within the ple problems. eration to the repetitive nature of seis
joint of this model will typically be mic loading. In order to assist with the
less than that required for the model practical application of this approach,
based solely on the distributed strut OUT-OF-PLANE AND several guidelines, efficient joint
mechanism. 81-DIRECTIONAL LOADING mechanisms and design/assessment
This paper has focused on applica models are also presented.
Short-Stub Joint Force tion of the force transfer method to Unlike the conventional joint design
Transfer Model bridge joints subjected to in-plane approach, in which the joint shear is
The design of a force transfer model loading. The force transfer method can assumed to be an independent force,
suitable for a knee joint with a short equally be applied to bridge joints the force transfer method treats joint
stub subjected to closing moments can subjected to out-of-plane (i.e., the di shear as part of the complete force
be formulated by combining the two rection parallel to the bridge longitudi transfer across the joint. As a result,
short-stub mechanisms depicted in nal axis) and bi-directional loading. the force transfer method will provide

reduced and less conservative rein • In the maximum credible earth ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
forcement, thus improving the con quake, inelastic strains of up to 0.02
structibility of bridge joints. can be developed in the joint rein The authors are indebted to Emeri
forcement, with average joint shear tus Professor M. J. Nigel Priestley,
strains of up to 0.005. These limita University of California at San Diego
Expected Joint Performance tions will satisfactorily control the (UCSD), for his initiative towards de
Based on the observed performance contribution of joint deformations to veloping the force transfer method
of several joints designed using differ the overall lateral displacement of the concept for detailing of bridge joints,
ent force transfer models, the follow bent, ensuring inelastic actions within serving as the doctoral adviser for
ing seismic performance is postulated the preselected plastic hinge zones in both authors in this area of research,
for bridge joints designed with FTM: the columns. The joint damage result and inspiring them to write this techni
In small to moderate earthquakes, ing from such an event will be re cal article.
which are expected frequently within pairable. The large-scale experiments on
the projected lifetime of the structure, • When a joint is designed using a bridge joints listed in Table I of this
joints will respond elastically with conservative force transfer model, the paper were conducted at the Charles
joint reinforcement stresses signifi joint reinforcement will not be opti Lee Powell Structural Laboratory at
cantly below the yield strength. Inspec mized. In such cases, the average joint UCSD with financial support from the
tion or repair of joints will not be nec shear strains of up to 0.01 may be de California Department of Transporta
essary following such an event. Minor veloped, with satisfactory overall joint tion, Alaska Department of Trans
joint cracking is, however, expected. behavior. portation and Headed Reinforcement
In moderate to large earthquakes, The joints in Table I were subjected Corporation of California.
the joint reinforcement may be sub to quasi-static loading, and thus confir The authors are grateful to all the
jected to inelastic strains moderately mation of the expected joint perfor sponsors of this research program for
exceeding the yield strain. No struc mance needs to be validated using dy their support.
tural repair of the joint will be neces namic load tests on laboratory bridge The opinions or recommendations
sary, although durability concerns may joints or by instrumenting bridge joints expressed in this paper are those of the
warrant measures such as injection of in field structures. Nonetheless, the au authors alone and do not necessarily re
grouting. Joint deformation should not thors believe that the above informa flect the views of the financial sponsors.
significantly increase the lateral dis tion is valuable to the earthquake engi The authors want to express their
placement of the bridge bent. It is ex neering community in their current gratitude to all the PCi JOURNAL re
pected that the average joint shear efforts to establish performance-based viewers for providing constructive
strain will not exceed 0.0025. seismic design procedures. comments on the original manuscript.

I. Ritter, W., “Die Bauweise Hennebique,” Schweizerische 8. Ingham, J. M., Priestley, M. J. N., and Seible, F., “Cyclic Re
Bauzeitung Bd, XXXIII, No. 7, January 1899. sponse of Bridge Knee Joints with Circular Columns,” Journal
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5. Ingham, J. M., “Seismic Performance of Bridge Knee Joints,” gust 1999, pp. 74-91.
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versity of California at San Diego, CA, 1995, 511 pp. sign and Experimental Verification of Concrete Multiple Col
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Seismic Actions,” Doctoral Dissertation, Division of Structural May-June 2001, pp. 335-346.
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407 pp. Performance of a Bridge Knee Joint Reinforced with Headed
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sponse of Bridge Knee Joints Having Columns with Interlock No. SSRP 96/06, University of California at San Diego, CA,
ing Spirals,” Bulletin of the New Zealand National Society for September 1996, 104 pp.
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July-August 2003 85
“Seismic Design and Proof Test of a Bridge Bent Having 27. Bergmeister, K., Breen, J. E., Jirsa, J. 0., and Kreger, M. E.,
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Bridges: Provisional Recommendations,” ATC-32, Applied Precast Spliced-Girder Bridges Under Longitudinal Seismic
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Redwood City, CA, 2001. September-October 1991, pp. 5 92-602.
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Department of Transportation, Sacramento, CA, July 2001. Field Theory for Reinforced Concrete Elements Subjected to
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and Retrofit of Bridges, John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY, 1986, pp. 219-23 1.
1996, 686 pp. 31. Hsu, T. T. C., Unified Theory of Reinforced Concrete, CRC
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in the ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering. linear Analysis of Reinforced Concrete Knee Joints Using
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Concrete Bridge Joints,” Submitted for publication in the ciety for Earthquake Engineering, Wellington, New Zealand,
ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering. V. 34, No. 3, September 2001, pp. 169-190.
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sistent Design of Structural Concrete,” PCI JOURNAL, V. 32, rigger Knee Joint Systems,” Earthquake Spectra, V. 11, No. 3,
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sponse of ColumnlCap Beam Tee Connections with Cap Beam Beam-Column T-Joints in Older Reinforced Concrete Bridge
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96/09, University of California at San Diego, CA, December 1999, pp. 5 19-532.
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sign and Performance of Concrete Multi-Column Bents for 99),” American Concrete Institute, Farmington Hills, MI,
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“Bond Slip of Bridge Column Reinforcement Anchored in Cap ceedings of the Third National Seismic Conference & Work
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— shop on Bridges and Highways, Portland, OR, April 2002, pp.
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September-October 1989, pp. 570-581. 2001, pp. 259-369.

Two design examples illustrating the application of the and a width of 1500 mm (59.1 in). Consequently, the col
force transfer method are given in this Appendix. In these umn bars are anchored into the joint with 1 a = 1100 mm
examples, the tension demands in the joint region are deter (43.3 in.) and there is a gap of about 57 mm (2.24 in.) be
mined following selection of a suitable force transfer model. tween top of the column bars and the underside of the beam
From these tension demands, the necessary reinforcement longitudinal bars.
can be readily obtained.
Unless otherwise noted, the reinforcement distribution Example 1. Bridge Tee Joint
should be such that the orientation and magnitude of the re
sultant forces within the distributed reinforcement should co The modified external strut force transfer model (Fig. 21),
incide, respectively, with the direction and demand on the utilizing the clamping mechanism and the splice transfer
ties established for supporting the selected joint mechanisms. mechanism is selected for the joint design. Each mechanism
For simplicity, the following assumptions are made in is assumed to support a column tension force of O.5TC as
each of the examples. The column that frames into the joint previously discussed. Estimation of tension demands in the
is 1.2 m (47.24 in.) in diameter and consists of 20 No. 14 joint region are determined in terms of T, which is esti
mated to be 11035 kN (2481 kips) from an analysis of the
(dbl = 43 mm or 1.69 in.) longitudinal bars, corresponding to
about 2.5 percent longitudinal reinforcement. With adequate column section.
confinement, as suggested in current design practice,
7 the

14 The tension demands resulting from the clamping mecha
moment capacity of the column is expected to fully develop nism are shown in Fig. Al. Accordingly, the formation of an
in the plastic hinge region adjacent to the joint. external joint strut with an incline of 45 degrees imposes
An unconfined concrete strength of 30 MPa (4.35 ksi) and tension demands in the beam region adjacent to the column
a reinforcement yield strength of 455 MPa (66 ksi) are as tension face. Using the maximum value of 0. 1 STC for Tes, Tbb
sumed. The column is subjected to an axial force of 1700 kN is estimated to be 0.15T. In addition, a tension demand of T
(382 kips) due to gravity loads, which represents a column develops within the joint in the horizontal direction, where:
axial load ratio of 5 percent (i.e., PCJAgfC’ = 0.05, where P’
T = (0.5 0.l5)Ttan48 0.15T (Al)
Ag, andf are, respectively, the column axial load, gross sec — —

tion area, and concrete strength). =0.25TC

While this axial load may be assumed to be unaltered in
columns of tee joints, the axial loads in columns framing Quantification of joint spiral (or circular hoop) reinforce
into knee joints will be modified due to seismic actions. For ment needed to support the tension demand estimated in Eq.
the design examples, the combined axial load ratio due to (Al) is not straightforward. This is because the resultant
gravity and seismic actions is taken as 10 and 0 percent, force contribution by spirals varies up the joint height due to
when the joint is subjected to closing and opening moments, the location of T and inclination of joint cracks. With ap
respectively. propriate assumptions, Priestley
4 quantified the volumetric
The joint principal tensile stress is assumed to exceed reinforcement ratio of spirals appropriate to support horizon
tal tension demands develop in bridge joints. Accordingly,
O.42Jf’ (MPa) [or 5.04f’ (psi)] in both examples, requir
ing joint design based on a force transfer model that sup the spiral reinforcement necessary to support 0.25T may be
ports the total column tension force, T. This assumption is obtained from Eq. (A2).
appropriate for the selected joint dimensions and column
longitudinal reinforcement ratio.
For example, with an axial load ratio of 5 percent, the col
umn framing into the tee joint is expected to develop an over-
strength moment of 9090 kN-m (80460 kip-in.). Ignoring the
axial load in the cap beam, Eq. (4) estimates p 16f and p
0.73,Jf’ (MPa) [or 8.8qf’ (psi)1 for the tee joint.
From Eqs. (12) and (13), it is determined that the mini
mum required la = 1072 mm (42.2 in.) and t aeff = 500 miii
(19.7 in.).
The value of TC and locations of ties and struts in the col
umn are established from analyses of the column section
with the appropriate axial loads. Inclinations of various
struts are determined using the dimensions specified in fig
ures representing the various key mechanisms.
Assuming single layers of top and bottom beam reinforce 1200
ment with a bar diameter of 43 mm (1.69 in.) and a cover
concrete of 50 mm (1.97 in.) to all longitudinal bars, the cap Fig. Al. Tension demands due to the clamping mechanism.
beam is dimensioned with a depth of 1250 mm (49.2 in.) (Dimensions are in mm.)

July-August 2003 87
Fig. A2. Tension
demands due to the
splice mechanism.
(Dimensions are (a) Transfer of colunm tension force (b) Anchorage of column tension force
in mm.)

0.36T. Derivation of this tension force assumes that 50 per

— 2.4(0.257) — 0.67 cent of T, estimated from the clamping mechanism partici
Ps (A2)
ç 2

pates in supporting the column force here. Consequently:

wherefYh is the yield strength of joint spiral and la is the em Tbt = (0.5T 0.5T,tan40)tan3 1
— + 0.5T, (A4)
bedment length of column bars into the joint. It is suggested T, 0.25T, thus, Tbt = 0.36T
that the spiral reinforcement ratio be maintained over the
embedment length of the column bars starting above the The reason for using only 0.5T, in the above calculation is
bottom beam bars. Also, the minimum spiral reinforcement that the horizontal joint shear reinforcement is partly relied
requirement of Eq. (7) must be satisfied. upon for transfer of the column tension force to Node D as
Given the complexity, the splice mechanism shown in detailed in Fig. 14.
Fig. 14 is represented using simplified models in Fig. A2. The splice transfer mechanism imposes an additional ten
Fig. A2a illustrates in a simplified manner the estimation of sion demand in the vertical direction in the beam region ad
tension demands resulting from transfer of the column ten jacent to the column compression face. Although this de
sion force to Node D, positioned above the column bars at mand could be quantified using the strut and tie forces in
the location of the beam top longitudinal bars. In this figure, Fig. A2b, an approximation for this demand may be taken as
it is assumed that two vertical tie forces of 0.25T in magni 9 Hence, the value of Tç’, is approximated to 0.25T.
tude, positioned on each side of the joint and representing With this estimate for T,, the beam regions adjacent to the
vertical stirrups and concrete tensile resistance within the joint should be designed with adequate reinforcement to
joint and in the beam directly adjacent to the joint, will col support a force of T, plus the calculated beam shear.
lectively introduce a tension force of 0.5T with a centroid Some of the assumptions made above are based on exper
acting at Node D. This force will be anchored primarily with imental observations and the authors’ experience with the
diagonal struts and beam top reinforcement as shown in Fig. subject matter, which was primarily aimed at minimizing
A2b. shear reinforcement within the joint panel and improving
The demands induced by the splice mechanism may be constructibility. Strictly following the mechanisms for deter
estimated as follows: mining tension demands will also lead to satisfactory joint
• Assuming 50 percent contribution from the two ties lo performance, but will result in somewhat larger reinforce
cated at the joint-to-beam interfaces in Fig. A2a, a tension ment quantities. In this case, the determination of T based
demand of 0.25T may be estimated within the joint panel in on Eq. (5) may be more appropriate as this gives a value of
the vertical direction. The tension carrying capacity of the about 25 percent less than that reported above based on the
cracked joint concrete may be assumed to support 25 per section analysis.
cent of 0.25T as discussed elsewhere.’
9 The estimates presented above are for one direction of
• In addition to the demand of 0. 15T previously calcu loading, and the final estimates of the tension demands in
lated for the clamping mechanism, the bottom beam bars the joint region should consider the loading in two direc
will be subjected to a demand of: tions. As a result, the following tension demands should be
used to quantify the reinforcement in the joint region:
0.75 x 0.25Ttan38 (A3) • 0. l9T to quantify the vertical joint shear reinforcement;
Tb,, = 0.l5T
• 0.25T to quantify the spirals within the joint panel;
Hence, the total value of Tb,, is 0.30T. • 0.25T to quantify the stirrups in the beam region adja
• Top beam bars will be subjected to a tension demand of cent to the joint over a distance of hb;

• O.3OT to quantify additional bottom beam reinforce
ment across the joint; and
• 0.36T to quantify additional top beam reinforcement
across the joint.

Example 2. Bridge Knee Joint

The design of the knee joint should consider forces ex
pected when the joint is subjected to both opening and clos
ing moments. The modified external strut force transfer
model may be employed for transfer of joint forces under
opening moments and the corresponding tension demands
may be obtained in a manner similar to that illustrated above
for the tee joint in the first example. For joint opening mo
ments, the value of T is found to be 12014 kN (2701 kips).
For joint closing moments, the short-stub mechanism is
relied upon to support the entire column tension force as
shown in Fig. A3, which combines Mechanisms 1 and 2 de
picted previously in Fig. 19. With a column axial load ratio
of 10 percent estimated due to gravity and seismic actions
combined, the column tension force T is estimated to be Fig. A3. Tension demands due to the short-stub mechanism.
10555 kN (2373 kips). (Dimensions are in mm.)
Assuming that the joint spiral reinforcement provided for
force transfer under opening moments can support an out-of-
balance force T = 0.25T at Node C, the tension demands in Tb = cos26.7
C 0.45T (A9)
the joint region can be quantified. The vertical components
of Struts C
2 and C 3 are equal, and represent the tension force Tb = C
3 in26.7 — 0.25T (AlO)
in the vertical tails of the top and bottom longitudinal rein
forcement, Tb (see Fig. A3). Hence: The incline of the struts in the short stub, especially C
will be significantly influenced by the number of layers of
Tb = sin5O
C = C
3 in26.7 (A5) beam longitudinal reinforcement. In this example, one layer
of reinforcement was assumed. When reinforcement is
From equilibrium of forces in the vertical direction placed in multiple layers, the top beam tension chord should
at Node C: be located where the resultant tension force is expected,
which will reduce the inclination of C 3 and increase the
1 os4l.5 = T (A6) value of Tb.
Extending the beam top and bottom longitudinal reinforc
From equilibrium of forces in the horizontal direction at ing bars through the joint and making them continuous in
Node C: the stub will be sufficient to support the tension demands es
timated in Eqs. (A8), (A9) and (AlO). This can be ensured
T = 0.25T = C
1 in4l.5 — cosSO
C — cos26.7
C (A7) following the design of the beam longitudinal reinforcement.
Although the vertical portion of the beam reinforcement in
From Eqs. (AS to A7), magnitudes of Struts C , C
1 2 and C
3 the stub will adequately support the tension force T,,, nomi
are found to be 1.34T, 0.29T and 0.50T, respectively. nal beam transverse reinforcement is recommended in the
Using these estimates, tension demands Tb,,, Tb(, and Tb can stub to adequately confine concrete in this region.
be determined as follows: More examples illustrating the application of FTM spe
cific to different joint conditions may be found in Refer
Tbb = cos5O
C 0.20T (A8) ences7,8, 12, 17 and 19.

July-August 2003 89
a = depth of equivalent stress block in beam on left Pt = average joint principal tensile stress
side ofjoint b1 cap beam axial force on left side ofjoint
abr depth of equivalent stress block in beam on right ‘br cap beam axial force on right side of joint
side of joint = column axial load
a = depth of equivalent stress block in column = magnitude of strut
Ag = gross section area T tension force
= area of joint vertical stirrup Tb = tension force in beam reinforcement
5 = total area of column longitudinal reinforcement
A Tb,, additional tension demand in bottom beam longi
Ateff= steel area in direction of tie tudinal reinforcement
A,, = area of vertical joint reinforcement tension in beam reinforcement on left side of joint
b = column width Tbr tension in beam reinforcement on right side of
= joint effective width joint
cap beam width = additional tension demand in top beam longitudi
C compression force nal reinforcement
Cb = resultant beam compression force due to flexure TC = total column tension force estimated at over-
Chi = resultant beam compression force due to flexure strength moment capacity
on left side of joint TCT = vertical component of tension force carried by
Cbr = resultant beam compression force due to flexure cracked concrete
on right side of joint 5
T = additional demand in external stirrups adjacent to
C, = resultant column compression force due to flexure column compression face
d = effective beam depth Tes additional demand in external stirrups adjacent to
= diameter of longitudinal reinforcing bar column tension face
1 = effective beam depth on left side of joint
d Tr = total tensile resistance in vertical direction
dr = effective beam depth on right side of joint = tie force contributed by reinforcement
D = column diameter 5
T = out-of-balance tension force at joint node
f, = unconfined concrete compressive strength Vj = average joint shear stress
fcr = cracking strength of concrete vj = average joint shear stress
fh = average joint normal stress in horizontal direction Vj = average joint shear stress in horizontal direction
f,. = stress in steel reinforcement vi,, = average joint shear stress in vertical direction
f = average tensile stress in concrete between cracks Vbl = cap beam shear adjacent to left side of joint
in principal tension direction Vbr = cap beam shear adjacent to right side ofjoint
average joint normal stress in vertical direction VC = column shear force
f = yield strength of steel reinforcement Vh = average joint shear force in horizontal direction
f = yield strength of column longitudinal bars V
1 , = average joint shear force in vertical direction
fyh = yield strength of hoop reinforcement V° = column shear at overstrength condition
= overstrength stress in column longitudinal rein w = one half of effective width of strut
forcement 1
w = effective column depth for computingf
F = prestressing force 1
a = factor representing bond characteristics
g = distance from top of column bars to beam top sur 2
a = factor representing type of load history
face /3 = constant that defines a portion of TC
hb = cap beam depth = moment resistance due to beam shear
= column depth = strain in steel reinforcement
= length of joint panel in loading direction = average principal tensile strain
= anchorage length = average principal compression strain
‘a,eff = effective anchorage length = average strain in x direction
Mb = cap beam moment = average strain in y direction
Mbl = cap beam moment on left side of joint I’ = average joint shear strain
Mbr = cap beam moment on right side of joint = displacement ductility
M° = column overstrength moment o = angle of principal strain
PC = average joint principal compression stress = volumetric ratio of horizontal hoop reinforcement