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ACI JOURNAL TECHNICAL PAPER

Title no. 80-48

Simplified Cracked Section Analysis

by Kenneth W. Shushkewich

A simplified procedure for determining working stresses in I. reinforced concrete beams (singly reinforced, dou-
cracked reinforced concrete and partially prestressed concrete sec- bly reinforced, or T-beams)
tions is presented. Designers will find this method useful because one
2. reinforced concrete columns under eccentric load
simple set of equations can be applied to a wide range of practical
problems. These include reinforced concrete beams (singly rein- (rectangular or !-shaped columns)
forced, doubly reinforced, or T-beams), reinforced concrete columns 3. partially prestressed concrete beams (slabs or 1-
under eccentric load (rectangular or !-shaped columns), and pre- beams)
stressed concrete beams (slabs or T-beams). Three numerical exam- The method results in a cubic equation that can be
ples illustrate the versatility of the procedure. A flow chart is in-
easily solved with a few cycles of Newton-Raphson it-
cluded for implementing the method on a programmable calculator
or microcomputer. eration. An advantage of the method is that the form
of the cubic equation always remains the same. For the
Keywords: axial loads; bending moments; columns (supports); cracking (frac- special case of no axial force or prestressing (i.e., rein-
turing; partial prestressing; prestressed concrete; reinforced concrete; service-
ability; stress analysis; structural analysis. forced concrete beams), a simple expression replaces
the cubic equation. Another of the method's advan-
Although ultimate limit states are the most impor- tages is that the stresses can be determined directly
tant considerations in the design of a reinforced or pre- without the intermediate calculation of the section
stressed concrete member, serviceability limit states are properties. Although the method is intended for analy-
also necessary for the following reasons: sis, it can be used for design by trying different areas
I. Fatigue-Maximum stress range in the reinforcing of steel and checking stresses. Still another advantage
and prestressing due to the application of live load must of the method is that a number of different values of
be less than a specified value to guarantee the required axial force and bending moment can be considered
fatigue life. without reformulating the problem. The method can be
2. Crack widths-Maximum crack width under full used with either the U.S. Customary or SI system of
service load must be limited to a specified value to pre- units; in fact, it can be used with any consistent set of
vent corrosion of the reinforcement and insure water- units.
tightness of bridge decks and reservoirs. The versatility of the method is illustrated by three
3. Deformations-Short- and long-term deforma- numerical examples taken from standard textbooks.
tions under service load must be within specified limits. Stresses are determined in an eccentrically loaded rect-
Traditional methods of analysis under service load angular column and a partially prestressed T -beam
treat reinforced concrete members separately from pre- while cracked moments of inertia are found for a con-
stressed concrete members and reinforced concrete tinuous reinforced concrete beam. The method can
beams differently than reinforced concrete columns. In easily be coded for a programmable calculator or mi-
fact, different formulas are given in texts depending on crocomputer, and a flow chart is included as a guide.
whether a section is singly reinforced, doubly rein-
forced, or a T-beam. This requires that the design en- ANALYSIS PROCEDURE
gineer have a large number of programs for his calcu- General case
lator to handle all these cases. The most general case (Fig. I) is of a flanged section
For this reason, a simplified procedure for determin- having both compressive and tensile conventional rein-
ing stresses in cracked reinforced concrete and partially forcing in addition to prestressing. The section is sub-
prestressed concrete sections has been developed. The
Received Nov. II, 1982, and reviewed under Institute publication policies.
method is completely general, and one simple set of Copyright © 1983, American Concrete Institute. All rights reserved, includin!l
equations can be used to handle the following wide the making of copies unless permission is obtained from the copynght propri-
etors. Pertinent discussion will be published in the September-October 1984 ACI
range of problems: JouRNAL if received by June l, 1984.

526 ACI JOURNAL I November-December 1983


ACI member Kenneth W. Shushkewich is a structural consulting engineer in Sy
Edmonton, Alberta. He received his BSc from the University of Manitoba in
1974 and MS from the University of California at Berkeley in 1975. He has been
involved in the analysis, design, and construction of several segmental bridges -.l n~A~jdj
in Canada and has been a sessional lecturer at both the University of Manitoba y
and University of Alberta.
ds dp cracked
jected to both a normal force N' and a bending mo-
ment M' at the centroid of the uncracked section.
W neutral al(iS

Let b be the stem width, b' the flange width, and d'
the flange thickness. Furthermore, let A,', A., and AP npAp
be the areas of the compressive reinforcing, tensile F
reinforcing, and prestressing, respectively, having ns As
modular ratios n,', n., and np and distances from the
top of the section of d,', d" and dp. Fig. ]-General cracked transformed section
It is convenient to relate all forces and dimensions to
the top of the section. Consequently, the resultant
forces N and M at the top of the section are given by The steel stresses in the compressive reinforcement,
the equations tensile reinforcement, and prestressing are respectively
found by proportion.
N = N' + F (l)
d's - y
= M' - N' y, - F dp
J: = n; y
fc (6)
M (2)

where y, is the distance from the centroid of the un- d,- y


fs n, fc (7)
cracked section to the top of the section and F is a fic- y
titious external force of prestressing (as outlined by
Nilson 1). de-y
The location of the neutral axis y of the cracked fp np fc (8)
y
transformed section is given by the following cubic
equation
The sign convention is such that compression in the
concrete is positive while tension in the steel is positive.
~ b N y 3 + Yz b M y 2 + ((3N + aM) y
A second advantage of the method is that the stresses
('yN + (3M) = 0 (3)
can be determined directly without the intermediate
calculation of the section properties. Should the section
where
properties be required (i.e., for the calculation of de-
flections), they can be found with the following equa-
a (b' - b) d' + (n,' I) A,'
tions.
+ n,A, + nPAP (4a)
(3 Yz (b' - b) d' 2 + (n,' I) A,' d;
+ n,A,d, + nPAPdP (4b) Acr by+ a ( 9)
'Y liJ (b' - b)d' 3 + (n,' - I) A,' d,' 2
+ n,A,d/ + nPAPd) (4c) Qcr Vzbyl + (3 (10)

One advantage of the method is that the form of the (; VJbY+'Y (II)
cubic equation always remains the same. By including
various terms in the factors a, (3, and "f, a wide range Ycr Qc/Acr (12)
of problems may be solved. For instance, only the third
term would be required for a singly reinforced beam (, (; - Acr Yc} (13)
while the second and third term would be included for
a doubly reinforced beam. A T-beam would have the Here Ycr is the distance from the centroid of the cracked
first and third terms. The fourth term would be in- transformed section to the top of the section while Am
cluded for prestressing steel and so on. Qcr> and (, are the area, first moment of area, and sec-
The Newton-Raphson method (with a starting value ond moment of area (moment of inertia) of the cracked
of y = 0) is suggested for solving the cubic equation. It transformed section, respectively.
has been found by experience that 3 to 4 iterations are
usually sufficient to achieve an accuracy of 0.1 percent. Special case
Once the neutral axis has been found the concrete For the special case of no axial force or prestressing,
stress can be determined with the equation the cubic equation reduces to a quadratic, and the neu-
tral axis is given by the following equation.
My
(5)
'Y - (3y - ~b y3 y = [(a 2 + 2b(3)Y' - a]! b (14)

ACI JOURNAL I November-December 1983 527


. . +
YJ (b' - b) d'J + (n; -
ns As d/ + np Ap d/
0 + 14 X 5.08 X 2.63 2 + 7.5 X 5.08
I) A; d;'

1
'Y
•• •• X 21.37 2 + 0 = 17890
14 a-•1o
• • '/, bN y 3 + Y2 bM y 2
2.63~ 1.1.
11 11

18.7411 .1 .. 1.2.63 + ({3N + aM) y - ("'N + {3M) =0


24

(c) cracked cross


'/, X 14 X 70 X y 3 + 1;1 X 14 X 1204 X y 2
(a) uncracked cross
section section + (1001 X 70 + 109.2 X 1204) y
- (17890 X 70 + 1001 X 1204) = 0
29.2
11
70k
I t~
~· ns
c:t:327.2"
163.3 y 3 + 8428 y + 201600 y - 2458000 = 0
t
~
I::::J
fc=l325 psi
y = 8.592 in. (Four cycles of Newton-Raphson
(d) concrete stresses
iteration yield a value of y accu-
(b) elevation
rate to 0.1 percent.)
Fig. 2-Eccentrica//y loaded rectangular column
Determine stresses

Once the neutral axis has been determined the stresses My


can be calculated by using Eq. (5) to (8). 'Y - {3y - '/,b yl
The section properties can be calculated by Eq. (9) to
(13), or alternatively, one can take advantage of the 1204 X 8.592 X 1000
fact that the neutral axis and centroid of the cracked
17890 - 1001 X 8.592 - '/, X 14 X 8.592 3
transformed section coincide and find the cracked mo-
1325 psi (C)
ment of inertia with the following equation.
2.63 - 8.592
Icr = 'Y - {3y - '/,b y 3 (15) t: n; d sI
-
y
fc = 15.0 X X 1325
y 8.592
Note that the factors a, {3, and 'Yare given by Eq. (4a) - 13790 psi (C)
to (4c) as before.
ds- Y 21.37 - 8.592
ns --Jc = 7.5 X X 1325
NUMERICAL EXAMPLE NO.1 y 8.592
An eccentrically loaded rectangular column (Fig. 2) 14780 psi (T)
is subjected to a service load of 70 kips with a moment
of 170 ft-k about the strong axis. Working stresses are
Note that the section properties could be determined by
to be determined noting that the modular ratio for using Eq. (9) to ( 13).
compressive reinforcement is 2n = 15. (This is example It should also be noted that the factors a, {3, and 'Y
13.22.1 of Wang and Salmon. 2) could very easily be expanded to include several layers
of reinforcing. This would facilitate the analysis of col-
umns having reinforcing distributed around the perim-
N =70 k
70 X 17.2 = 1204 in.-k eter. Since the location of the neutral axis is unknown,
M
14 in. b' 0 in. d' 0 in. one would have to estimate which bars are in tension
b
5.08 in. 2 d's 2.63 in. and which are in compression and verify the assump-
n's 15.0 A;
7.5 5.08 in. 2 ds 21.37 in. tion. Hence, a few iterations may be required before an
ns As
0 0 in. 2 dp 0 in. acceptable answer is reached.
np Ap

Determine neutral axis of cracked section NUMERICAL EXAMPLE NO.2


A partially prestressed T -beam (Fig. 3) is subjected to
a = (b'- b)d' + (n;- I)A; + nsAs + nPAP a service moment of 312 ft-k and has an effective pre-
a - 0 + 14 X 5.08 + 7.5 X 5.08 + 0 = 109.2 stressing force of 123 kips. The stresses in the concrete,
reinforcing, and prestressing are to be determined.
{3 Y2 (b' - b) d' 2 + (n; - I) A; d; (This example is given on pp. 100-103 of Nilson.')
+ ns As ds + np Ap dp The fictitious external force of prestressing is first
{3 0 + 14 X 5.08 X 2.63 + 7.5 X 5.08 calculated to be 133 kips using the procedure outlined
X 21.37 + 0 = 1001 by Nilson.
528 ACI JOURNAL I November-December 1983
F 133 k
N' Ok
M' 312ft-k
b 4 in. b' 16 in. d' 5 in. 11
13.1
n; 0 A; 0 in. 2 d; 0 in.
8.03 1.57 in. 2 27 in. uncracked
ns As ds 11 ---concrete centroid
np 7.48 Ap 0.863 in. 2 dp 25 in. 30
16.9"
Determine resultant forces ~~-~Ap =0.863in~
As=l.57in~
N N' + F = 0 + 133 = 133 k
M M' - N' y, - F dp = 312 X 12 - 0 - 133
x 25 = 419 in.-k {a)uncracked cross section
11
16
Determine neutral axis of cracked section j• .....j411 ~ .. I fc=2185psi.

a
a
(b' -b) d'
12 X 5 + 0
+ (n; - 1)A; + nsAs + nPAP
+ 12.61 + 6.46 = 79.06 .-2-7---,
11 ,--2~ - -- ------
cracked neutral axis
{3 Y2 (b' - b) d' 2 + (n; - 1) A; d;
+ nsAsds + npApdp
{3 Y2 X 12 X 52 + 0 + 12.61 X 27 + 6.46
X 25 = 651.8
"-----"'L fs
ns
'Y Y3 (b'- b)d' 3 + (n;- I)A; d; 2
(b) cracked transformed (c) concrete stresses
+ ns As d/ + np Ap d/ cross section
'Y YJ X 12 X 53 + 0 - 12.61 X 27 2
+ 6.46 X 25 2 = 13730 Fig. 3-Partial/y prestressed T-beam

'!t,bNy3 + V2bMy 2 + ({3N + aM) y - ("'N + {3M) = 0


of primary concern in this example, the section prop-
'it, X 4 X 133 X yl + Y2 X 419 X y erties are also included for completeness.)
+ (651.8 X 133 + 79.06 X 419) y
- (13730 X 133 + 651.8 X 419) = 0 Acr bY + a = 4 X 14.07 + 79.06 = 135.3 in. 2
Qcr \12 b Y2 + {3 = \12 X 4 X 14.07 2 + 651.8
88.67y3 + 838.0y2 + 119800y - 2099000 = 0 1048 in. 3
fer' YJ b y 3 + 'Y = YJ X 4 X 14.07 3 + 13730
y 14.07 in. (Four cycles of Newton-Raphson 17440 in. 4
iteration yield a value of y accu- Ycr QjAcr = 1048/135.3 = 7.741 in.
rate to 0.1 percent. fer ( ; - Acr Yc/ = 17440- 135.3 X 7.74J2
9328 in. 4
Determine stresses
NUMERICAL EXAMPLE NO.3
My The cracked moments of inertia for a continuous
fc = 'Y - {3y - 'l.byl reinforced concrete beam (Fig. 4) are to be found for
the purpose of investigating the instantaneous deflec-
tions. (This is example 14.5.2 of Wang and Salmon. 2)
419 X 14.07 X 1000
Note that for the special case of no axial force or
13730 - 651.8 X 14.07 - '/. X 4 X 14.07 3 prestressing, the cracked moment of inertia is indepen-
2185 psi dent of the bending moment. (In the general case, the
cracked moment of inertia is dependent on both the
d - v 27 - 14.07 axial force and bending moment.)
ns _s_ _. fc = 8.03 X X 2185
y 14.07
16120 psi Section at left support
N 0
dp - y 25 - 14.07 M 0
nP fc = 7.48 X X 2185
0 in. d' 0 in.
y 14.07 b 18 in. b'
12700 psi n's 9.0 A's 5.08 in. 2 d's 2.60 in.
ns 9.0 As 4.54 in. 2 ds 36.65 in.
Determine section properties. (Although the stresses are np 0 Ap 0 in 2 dp 0 in.
ACI JOURNAL I November-December 1983 529
90
11
"( I!J (b' -b) d' 3 + (n; -I) A; d; 2

r~1·====================~-~~
1 4.5"
~------------'-~ 'Y
+ ns As d/ + np Ap d/
0 + 8 X 5.08 X 2.602 + 9 X 4.54 X 36.65 2
+0 = 55160

11 Determine neutral axis of cracked section. (Because


36 N = 0, use simplified formulas rather than solving cu-
bic.)

y [(a 2 + 2b{3)"' - a]/ b


y [(81.502 + 2 X 18 X 1603)"' - 81.50]/18
9.566 in.
(a) cross section
Determine cracked moment of inertia

/,., 'Y - {3y - ~ b y3


(, 55160 - 1603 X 9.566 - ~ X 18 X 9.5663
37200 in.•

Section at midspan
N 0
M 0
b 18 in. b' 90 in. d' 4.5 in.
n; 0 A; 0 in. 2 d; 0 in.
(b) elevation ns 9.0 As 9.62 in. 2 ds 36.80 in.
np 0 Ap 0 in. 2 dp 0 in.

Determine factors

a (b' -b) d' + (n; - 1)A; + nsAs + nPAP


a = 72 X 4.5 + 0 + 9 X 9.62 + 0 = 410.6
11
=14.61
y=9.566" {3 1/z (b' - b) d' 2 + (n; - 1) A; d.'
+ ns As d. + np Ap d p
{3 V2 X 72 X 4.5 2 + 0 + 9 X 9.62 X 36.80
+0 = 3915
(c) left support {e) right support
'Y 1!J (b' -b) d' 3 + (n; - 1)A; d: 2

+ n. A. d/ + n" A" d/
'Y I!J72 X 4.5 3 + 0 + 9
X X 9.62 X 36.802
+0 = 119400
11
36.8 Determine neutral axis of cracked section. (Because
N = 0, use simplified formulas rather than solving cu-
bic.)
J. 18 , .I LnAs=9(9.62l y [(a 2+ 2 b(3)'~' - a]lb
y [(410.6 2 + 2 X 18 X 3915)"' - 410.6]/18
(d) midspan 8.098 in.
Fig. 4-Continuous reinforced concrete beam
Determine cracked moment of inertia
Determine factors
'Y- {3y- ~by3
119400-3915 X 8.098- ~X 18 X 8.098 3
a= (b'- b)d' + (n; -I)A; + nsAs+ nPAP 86140 in.•
a = 0 + 8 X 5.08 + 9 X 4.54 + 0 = 81.50
Section at right support
{3 Vz (b' - b) d' 2 + (n; - I) A; d; Calculation is similar to that for left support.
+ ns As ds + np Apd p Note that if a non-zero value of bending moment M
{3 0 + 8 X 5.08 X 2.60 + 9 X 4.54 X 36.65 is used in these calculations, the stresses can be found
+0 = 1603 with Eq. (5) to (8).
530 ACI JOURNAL I November-December 1983
NOTES ON COMPUTATION I START I
The flow chart shown in Fig. 5 illustrates the relative
ease with which the procedure can be coded on a small (Road problem title J

programmable calculator or microcomputer. t


( Read b. b', d' J
Recall that one of the advantages of the method is t
that a number of different values of axial force and r: Read ds'. ds, dp J
bending moment can be considered without reformu- t
( Head ns', ns. np I
lating the problem. Once the factors a, {3, and 'Y have
been determined for a particular section, they can be ( Read As'. As, Ap J
used for any number of sets of resultant forces. This
represents a significant reduction in computational ef-
fort over conventional methods.
I '
Form 1(, B. l1
eons t4a) to (4c)
I
Although the method is intended for analysis, it can ( Read F, N', M' I
be used for design by trying different areas of steel and
checking stresses. By entering the areas of steel last, af-
ter all the other section information has been input,
I '
Find resultant forces J
eqns (I) 8 t2)

_!_ yes
< N•O?
their effect on the stresses can be rapidly evaluated
without redescribing the problem.
If the resultant axial force N is zero (i.e., no axial
L
F1nd neutral axis
eqn (3) J I Find neutral
oan (14)
ox11
I
_! yes
force or prestressing), the neutral axis can be found di- <; M•O?
Tno
rectly with Eq. (14) rather than with cubic Eq. (3).
Similarly, the moment of inertia can be found with Eq. I Find atresses
eqns (5) to (8) I
(15) instead of using Eq. (10) to (13). If the resultant _I_ yes
bending moment M is zero, the section cannot crack < N•O?

regardless of the axial compression N, and the stress


I Find section properties
eqns (9) to (13)
j
I Find section
"''_ns (9)
properties
8 (1!1)
J
calculations given by Eq. (5) to (8) are unnecessary.
It should be noted that this procedure assumes that yes f
'-'----< Different loadino ?:>
the section has cracked. Because it gives erroneous re- yno

sults for an uncracked section, this should be verified yes Different steel areas?>
yno
before proceeding with the method. yes
Different problem ? :>

CONCLUSIONS Fig. 5-Fiow chart


A simplified procedure for determining stresses in
cracked reinforced concrete and partially prestressed
2. Wang, Chu-Kai, and Salmon, Charles G., Reinforced Concrete
concrete sections has been presented. Three numerical
Design, 2nd Edition, Intext Educational Publishers, New York, 1973,
examples were used to show the versatility of the 934 pp.
method, while a flow chart suitable for programming
has been included. APPENDIX- DERIVATION OF THE METHOD
Derivation of the method is quite simple. By summing forces in the
Y direction and taking moments about the top of the section, two
INCH-POUND- Sl CONVERSION FACTORS equations with two unknowns (y and f.) are obtained. If the factors
a, {3, and r are introduced and f. is eliminated from the equations,
To convert from to multiply by the cubic equation given in Eq. (3) is obtained. Concrete stress is de-
in. mm 25.40 termined by substituting back into the second equation. Since the
kip kN 4.448 stress distribution is linear, the steel stresses can be found by propor-
in.-k N-m 113.0 tion once the concrete stress has been found. The section properties
ksi MPa 6.895 are found by the conventional procedure, and the factors a, {3, and r
are introduced.
For the special case of no axial force or prestressing, the terms in-
volving N are dropped from the cubic equation to yield a quadratic
REFERENCES equation which, when solved, gives Eq. ( 14). The expression for the
I. Nilson, Arthur H., Design of Prestressed Concrete, John Wiley cracked moment of inertia in Eq. (15) comes from Eq. (5), which has
and Sons, New York, 1978, pp. 96-103. the form f. = My!/" when the neutral axis and centroid coincide.

ACI JOURNAL I November-December 1983 531