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Journal of Structural Engineering

Vol. 46, No. 1, April - May 2019  pp. 29-38 No. 46-04

Performance of beams reinforced with pswc-bars and other rebars

Anil K. Kar*,, Urmil V. Dave** and Nirpex A. Patel***
 Email:

*Engineering Services International, BC 96 Salt Lake City, Calcutta - 700 064, India.
**Department of Civil Engineering, Nirma University, Ahmedabad - 392 481, India.
***Department of Civil Engineering, C.S. Patel Institute of Technology, Charusat, Gujarat - 388 421, India.

Received: 24 April 2018; Accepted: 11 June 2018

Compared to concrete constructions of earlier periods, constructions of recent decades have suffered early decay
and distress. In most cases, this early decay and distress in concrete structures is due to higher rates of corrosion in
today’s reinforcing bars of high strength steel. This higher and accelerated rate of corrosion can be attributed to the
provision and presence of ribs on the surface of rebars. In the absence of ribs or any other surface feature, PSWC-bars,
characterized by their plain surface and gentle wave-type configurations, will be naturally much less susceptible to
corrosion than ribbed bars are. Consequently, the use of PSWC-bars will remove the principal causes of early distress
in today’s reinforced concrete constructions, ushering in therewith many attendant benefits. Twenty four beams with
eight different rebar varieties were tested for their load-carrying capacities. The tests confirmed earlier findings by
others that, as in the case of compression elements, the use of well-proportioned PSWC-bars, among different types of
rebars, would lead to the highest load-carrying capacities of concrete flexural elements.

Keywords: Beam; corrosion; deformed bar; durability; rebar; reinforced concrete; reinforcement; reinforcing bar.

Compared to concrete structures of earlier periods, concrete structures of earlier periods which had proved
concrete structures, built during the last fifty years or to be durable.
so, have suffered early decay and distress. This will It would appear from the observations of Papadakis,
be evident from the observations of Papadakis, et al.1, et al.1 and those of Swamy2 that the problem of early
Swamy2 and many others. decay and distress in concrete structures started coming
While Papadakis, et al.1 wrote in their paper, “The into the limelight since the 1970s. Historically this
last two decades have seen a disconcerting increase followed the start of use of high strength rebars (of
in examples of unsatisfactory durability of concrete steel) with surface deformations in the form of ribs in
structures, specially reinforced concrete ones”. Swamy2 the decades of the 1960s and 1970s in many countries.
observed that “the most direct and unquestionable Though it is true that over the years gradually, but in
evidence of the last two/three decades on the service significant ways, the properties of cement and concrete
life performance of our constructions and the resulting have changed, it cannot be overlooked that (a) the newly
challenge that confronts us is the alarming and observed problem of early distress in most cases is due
unacceptable rate at which our infrastructure systems to high rates of corrosion in rebars, (b) the problem
all over the world are suffering from deterioration when started showing up more frequently following the start
exposed to real environments”. of use of High Yield Strength Deformed (HYSD) and
This concern with the health of concrete structures Cold Twisted Deformed (CTD) bars, and (c) since it is
was in sharp contrast to the satisfactory performance of the corrosion in ribbed rebars, a part of the cause of the
problem of corrosion must be inherent in ribbed bars.

Journal of Structural Engineering 29

Vol. 46, No. 1, April - may 2019
Engineers tended to overlook the inherent reason that
made ribbed bars of high strength steel so susceptible
to early corrosion.
Instead, in attempts to solve the problem of corrosion
Fig. 1 PSWC-bars with plain surface and gentle wave type
in ribbed rebars, engineers have used (a) epoxy coated configuration
rebars, (b) rebars with other coatings, (c) rebars with
zinc coating topped with epoxy coating, (d) stainless
Given its plain surface, a PSWC-bar would be only
steel, etc. Also, admixtures are occasionally used with
as little susceptible to corrosion as a plain bar of the
concrete to inhibit corrosion in rebars.
same composition, same stress level and exposed to a
Besides additional costs, treatments to rebars may similar environment, would be.
invite other problems.
The gentle wave-type configuration is provided to
As a requirement for durability, the Bureau of compensate for the absence of ribs which were earlier
Indian Standards has made different recommendations. devised to improve bond or engagement with concrete
The provision of surface protection systems on the when rebars of high strength (yield strength greater
surface of concrete structures is codified in Sec. 8.2 than 250 MPa) steel was introduced.
of IS 456:2000, which is the basic code/standard for
the design and construction of concrete structures in Expected Benefits and the Need for
India. Tests
Today, concrete bridges in India are being
The use of PSWC-bars, characterized by their plain
increasingly given surface protection as an economic
surface, could be expected to help stave off early
means to lengthen the life span of such structures.
corrosion in rebars, except in highly corrosive
The practice of providing epoxy coatings to concrete
environments, thereby leading to much longer life
bridges has recently started in the USA too.
spans for concrete structures, reinforced with such
All of the protection systems, whether on the bars, as was generally the case with reinforced concrete
surface of ribbed rebars or on the surface of concrete structures, which were built with plain round bars
structures, involve additional efforts and expenses. before the advent of HYSD or CTD bars.
In addition, the provision of protection systems has
How much longer can be the life span of concrete
its own uncertainty, whether in the nature of system,
structures, which may be reinforced with PSWC-bars?
material or workmanship.
The observation of Alekseev3 is worth recalling in this
Root Cause of the Problem and a
Alekseev3 had observed that the durability of
concrete structures, reinforced with ribbed bars, would
Recognizing that (a) the problem of early distress in be one order of magnitude less, i.e., one-tenth of that of
concrete structures followed the start of use of ribbed concrete structures, reinforced with plain bars. In other
rebars, (b) the rate of corrosion in steel rebars was a words, the life span of concrete structures, reinforced
function of the stress level, which in turn could be partly with plain bars, as PSWC-bars are, are likely to have
or greatly dependent on the surface contour/condition about ten times the life span of concrete structures,
of rebars3-8, and also recognizing that (c) the provision which might be reinforced with today’s ribbed bars.
and presence of ribs on the surface of today’s ribbed A conservative suggestion would be that the life span
rebars of high strength steel make such bars highly of concrete structures, reinforced with PSWC-bars,
stressed and thus highly susceptible to corrosion, Kar7 characterized by their plain surface, would be at least
suggested the use of PSWC-bars (initially named as twice as much as the life span of concrete structures
C-bars), which are characterized by their plain surface which might be built with today’s HYSD bars of the
and a gentle wave-type configuration along the length same steel but having ribs on the surface.
(Fig. 1). With so much going in favor of PSWC-bars, it
remained to be affirmed that the use of PSWC-bars, with

30 Journal of Structural Engineering

Vol. 46, No. 1, April - may 2019
their characteristic wave-pattern and a plain surface, these represent the highest load-carrying capacities for
would not have any adverse effect on the performance each type of beams.
of flexural and compression elements, e.g., beams and Because of limitations of the particular test facilities,
columns under load. the interesting and important post-yield behavior of the
Tests by Varu9 have shown that columns have beams, with many different types of rebars, could not
greater load-carrying capacities, when such columns be studied. Thus, the strikingly superior post-yield
are reinforced with PSWC-bars (of the same strength) performance of beams with PSWC-bars could not be
rather than with conventional rebars, whether plain reported.
round of earlier periods or deformed bars of these
days. PSWC-bar
Comparisons of performance of beams, reinforced Typical PSWC-bars are shown in Fig. 1. The particular
with different types of rebars, as presented here, will bars in Fig. 1 are of 6mm diameter with a pitch length
show that beams, reinforced with PSWC-bars, can of 30d, i.e. 180mm. The maximum excursion of the
outperform concrete beams which may be reinforced axes of the bars from their original straight line position
with other types of rebars. is 4.5 mm.
Preliminary tests at several universities had A schematic configuration of a 12mm dia PSWC-
shown that, in addition to increased load-carrying bar, with 30d pitch length and different offsets, as used
capacities even at yield, ductility of concrete beams, in the tests of beams, which are reported in this article,
when reinforced with well-proportioned PSWC-bars, is depicted in Fig. 2. It is noted that the dimension
increased several fold over the performance of beams, 8-12mm represents the sum total of two excursions of
which might be reinforced with conventional plain 4-6mm each in two opposite directions of the straight
round bars of the same material. Furthermore, with line configuration of conventional rebars.
increasing load-carrying capacities beyond yield, the
360 mm pitch length
energy absorbing capacities increased by even greater
8-12 mm
Encouraged by the findings from the preliminary
tests that PSWC-bars, with proper configurations, Fig. 2 Partial lengths of PSWC-bars used in the tests (not to
may have no detrimental effects on the load carrying
capacities of flexural elements, more detailed work
(both experimental and analytical) on beams was Though hot forming will be the preferred way to go
carried out. for commercial production of PSWC-bars, the bars for
the tests were cold formed.
This paper presents results of tests on beams,
reinforced with plain round bars, PSWC-bars with The PSWC-bars were made through manual cold
three different amplitudes of deformation of the axis, working on plain bars from the same source as that
and HYSD bars of different grades of steel, viz., Fe of the plain round rebars which were used in the tests.
415, Fe 500, Fe 500D and Fe 550D, in which grade Though PSWC-bars, cold-formed elsewhere, were
Fe 550D indicates yield strength of 550 MPa and the expectedly found to have slightly greater strength
material is of the ductile variety, as indicated by the properties than the conventional plain bars had, the
suffix D. All bars had a diameter of 12 mm. PSWC-bars, used in the present tests, were apparently
affected during cold forming. As a result, the ultimate
Though in this group of tests three beams with stress, nominal breaking stress and the actual breaking
each of eight different types of rebars, i.e. a total of stress for the PSWC-bars in the test specimens were
twenty four beams were tested, the highest of the three a bit lower than the corresponding stresses for plain
experimental ultimate loads, Wul, of the beams in each round bars without any re-working effort as shown in
of the eight different categories are presented together Table 1. The values are mean values of three tests.
with the standard deviation, S.D. The highest loads for
In spite of the manufacturing defects and
each of the eight categories of rebars are selected as
shortcomings in strength, it will be seen in Table 2 that

Journal of Structural Engineering 31

Vol. 46, No. 1, April - may 2019
Table 1
Tensitle Test Results of all Categories of Steel Specimens (all bars 12mm diameter)
Plain round bar
Particulars Fe 415 (MPa) Fe 500 (MPa) Fe 500D (MPa) Fe 550D (MPa) PSWC-bar (MPa)
Yield stress 433.92 520.70 529.37 576.79 325.44 325.44
Ultimate stress 542.40 650.88 642.19 715.96 503.34 477.31
% elongation 23 21.66 23.33 23.33 22.66 23.91

the beams with PSWC-bars performed much better than percent strain that ACI 318 would have required or
the beams with plain round bars in all respects, and the @0.2 percent proof stress as in conventionally used.
beams with PSWC-bars performed relatively better This was done keeping in mind that the objective of the
than beams with HYSD bars when the yield strength work was not design but tests which would be directly
of all bars were normalized for the yield strength of Fe related to the actual strength properties.
550D HYSD bars. Earlier tests by others, where beams
could be tested to failure, had shown that there would
be much greater load-carrying capacities at failure
when beams would be reinforced with PSWC-bars.

(a) (b) (c) (d)
As a solution to the problem of excessive corrosion
Fig. 3 Tension test set up and failure pattern : HYSD bars (a) and
in today’s ribbed rebars, Kar7 had proposed the use (b); PSWC bars (c) and (d)
of PSWC-bars, characterized by their plain surface
and a gentle wave type configuration. Results of tests
Strain was measured at every increment of 2.45 kN
on concrete beams, reinforced with different types of
tensile force, i.e. at stress intervals of 21.68 MPa for
rebars, show that the use of PSWC-bars can greatly
the 12mm diameter bars. Average (of three specimens
enhance the load-carrying capacity, ductility and energy
of each type) stress vs. strain graphs for all categories
absorbing capacity. This adds to the confidence level
of steel rebars are plotted in Fig. 4.
in the use of PSWC-bars, which, in the absence of ribs,
can enhance the life span of concrete structures several 800 Fe 550D
fold, together with many attendant benefits, all at no 700 Fe 500D
added cost or effort.
Stress (N/mm2)

Fe 500
Tests on rebar 500 Fe 415
UTM (Universal Testing Machine) was used for the
tension test of steel rebars. Tension tests were carried Plain round PSWC-6 mm offset
out on HYSD bars (Fe 415, Fe 500, Fe 500D and Fe 200
550D), plain round bars and PSWC-bars (with 4mm, 100
5mm and 6mm maximum excursion of the axis from 0
0.00 0.02 0.04 0.06
the initial straight line configuration). Strain
Test parameters for all rebar specimens were kept Fig. 4 Stress vs. strain for different categories of steel up to strain
constant with length of 60cm, gauge length of 60mm of 0.06
and diameter of 12mm. An extensometer was set for
gauge length 60mm and it was fitted on the specimen Material and Mix Design of Concrete
as shown in Fig. 3.
Self-compacting concrete mix was prepared based
The yield strength values for Fe 415, Fe 500, Fe
on trial and error method. Three concrete mixes were
500D and Fe 550D are actual from tests and not at 0.35

32 Journal of Structural Engineering

Vol. 46, No. 1, April - may 2019
prepared based on weight batch to gain target mean bars (pitch 30d, 4mm offset) in the tension region
strength of 31.6 MPa after 28 days of curing. Tests 7. PSWC-5mm: Under reinforced beam with PSWC-
for fresh concrete like Flow test and V-funnel test bars (pitch 30d, 5mm offset) in the tension region
were adopted to check flowability of self-compacting 8. PSWC-6mm: Under reinforced beam with PSWC-
concrete and to verify the test results with EFNARC bars (pitch 30d, 6mm offset) in the tension region
guidelines. where d is the diameter of the rebar; the diameter
The concrete, that was achieved, had a 7 day strength was 12 mm in all cases.
of 24 MPa and a 28 day strength of 32.45 MPa for 150
mm × 150 mm × 150 mm cubes.


The objective of the innovation behind PSWC-bars was

to develop a rebar whose susceptibility to corrosion
would be significantly less than the susceptibility of
today’s ribbed bars to corrosion, and yet there would Hydraulic jack
not be any substantial negative impact or consequences Spacer
in the performance of beam and column elements, when I-Section
reinforced with PSWC-bars of high strength steel. With
that objective in mind, tests were conducted on beams
with a special focus on finding out if the wave-type Support Dreflection
configuration and the absence of ribs on the surface of meter
PSWC-bars could lead to
a. Spalling of concrete in the tension face
b. Decline in load-carrying capacity Fig. 5 Test setup for reinforced concrete beams
c. Unacceptable crack widths at service load
Rectangular beams of size 160mm (W) X 200mm
Beam Specimens (D) and 1500mm length were provided with 2 nos. - 12
mm diameter bars, spaced 110mm apart in the tension
A total of twenty four beams, with eight different
zone with an effective cover of 25mm at bottom and at
categories of reinforcing bars, were tested under
sides. Because of the undulating pattern of the PSWC-
transverse load, as shown in Fig. 5, for their flexural
bars, the effective cover as well as effective depth of
responses. Three beams in each category with identical
reinforcing bars varied in the case of the beams with
reinforcement were tested.
PSWC-bars. But if the maximum excursion of the
Notations for test beams axis of a PSWC-bar from its original straight line
configuration would be 5mm, that would translate into
1. Fe 415: Under reinforced beam with rebars of Fe
a maximum decrease of 5mm in the effective depth and
415 grade steel in the tension region
5mm in the cover thickness.
2. Fe 500: Under reinforced beam with rebars of Fe
The effective depth in the case of beams with PSWC-
500 grade steel in the tension region
bars would keep changing along the length, as shown
3. Fe 500D: Under reinforced beam with rebars of
in Fig. 6. The PSWC-bars were placed at heights such
Fe 500D grade steel in the tension region
that the average effective depth would be the same as in
4. Fe 550D: Under reinforced beam with rebars of the cases of beams with conventional rebars.
Fe 550D grade steel in the tension region
Though the effective depth in beams with PSWC-
5. PR: Under reinforced beam with plain round mild
bars kept varying, for the purpose of analytical design
steel rebars in the tension region
the effective depth was considered to be invariant and
6. PSWC-4mm: Under reinforced beam with PSWC- the central axes of the bars were assumed to be located

Journal of Structural Engineering 33

Vol. 46, No. 1, April - may 2019
at heights assuming that the bars had no undulations beams, reinforced with well-proportioned PSWC-bars,
along the length. as shown in Fig. 8.
2 nos 8mmφ
1500 160

2 nos 12mmφ PSWC-bar 2 legged 8mmφ stirrup@ 150mm c/c

(a) Common test setup

(a) (b) Failure pattern of beam with Fe 415 (c) Failure pattern of beam with Fe 500
150 2 nos 8mmφ
25 160

1500 (d) Failure pattern of beam with Fe 500D (e) Failure pattern of beam with Fe 550D
2 nos 12mmφ 2 legged 8mmφ stirrup@ 150mm c/c

(f) Failure pattern of beam with PR (i) Failure pattern of beam with PSWC-4mm

Fig. 6 Detailing of beam with (a) PSWC-bar and (b) HYSD bars (h) Failure pattern of beam with PSWC-5mm (i) Failure pattern of beam with PSWC-6mm

Fig. 7 General test set up and failure pattern of all eight types of
Stirrups with 2-legged 8 mm diameter HYSD bars beam specimens10
of Fe 415 grade steel were provided at 150 mm c/c, as
Load carrying capacity
In evaluating the comparative response under load, the
Figure 7 shows a common test set up and failure patterns self weight of the beams were not accounted for.
for beams with different types of rebars. A hydraulic Tests elsewhere had shown that though beams with
jack of 250 kN capacity was used for loading. By means plain round bars failed after reaching an initial peak,
of a steel I-section, load was distributed to two solid beams with PSWC-bars continued carrying substantially
cylinders resting on the beam, to be tested, at a specified higher loads after reaching an initial peak10 (Fig. 8). In
distance of 200 mm for all the beam specimens. The other words, though beams with plain round bars were
load was applied in increments of 10 kN until yield of brittle in nature, beams with PSWC-bars exhibited
the beam specimens. Experimental mean (of 3 beams ductile response.
in the same group) load and corresponding deflection
Though in the cases of beams with PSWC-bars there
at bottom mid span at every load interval for each
would have been considerable capacity for carrying
category of reinforced concrete beams were recorded.
additional load after the response pattern would have
Because of the limitations of the hydraulic jack, reached the first-peak, the load at first peak was treated
loading could not be continued once the rebars reached as the ultimate load for purposes of comparison in this
their yield state. As a consequence thereof, the post- article.
yield response of the beams could not be studied,
The best of the ultimate loads of the three beam
particularly when earlier tests at other universities had
specimens in each category of beams were considered
shown dramatic increases in load-carrying capacities,
as ultimate load for the respective beam categories.
ductility and energy absorbing capacity in the case of
The standard deviations of ultimate loads for different

34 Journal of Structural Engineering

Vol. 46, No. 1, April - may 2019
60.0 60.0
54.0 54.0
48.0 48.0
42.0 42.0
36.0 36.0
Load (kN)

Load (kN)
30.0 30.0
24.0 24.0
18.0 18.0
12.0 12.0
6.0 6.0
0.0 0.0
0.0 1.1 3.3 5.5 7.7 9.9 11.0 0.0 7.10 14.20 21.30 28.40 35.50
Displacement (mm) Displacement (mm)
(a) Load displacement curve conventional plain round bar (b) Load displacement curve PSWC-bar of steel same
as in conventional plain round bar
Note: Plots drawn to different scales
Load at failure (56.2 kN)
Rectangular beam
42.0 reinforced with
Load at yield of PSWC beam and
Load (kN)

36.0 failure of conventional beam (43.7 kN)

Load (kN)


30.0 a – deflection at yield of reinforcement

Rectangular beam Additional energy
24.0 reinforced with Absorbing capacity b – deflection at failure of beam with
plain round bars conventional plain bar
18.0 c – deflection at failure of beam with
12.0 PSWC bar
Ductility ratio
6.0 a Deflection Conventional bar = b/a
0.0 PSWC-bar = c/a
0.0 7.10 14.20 21.30 28.40 35.50 c
Displacement (mm)
(c) Load displacement curves plotted to same (d) Very significant improvement in ductility and energy absorbing
scale showing improvement in load-carrying capacity of flexural members when PSWC-bars are used
Fig. 8  Superior response of beam with PSWC-bars under load

categories of beams varied between 1.89 kN to 6.53 kN where, 576.79 MPa is the yield stress of the Fe 550D
(Table 2). bars
As explained, the real ultimate load in the cases of Waul is the achievable ultimate load (kN)
beams, reinforced with PSWC-bars, is generally much Wul is the best of the experimental ultimate load
greater than the yield load, shown in Table 2. (kN) of the three beams
In the tests, as could be expected, beams, reinforced fy is the yield strength of rebar (MPa)
with Fe 550D bars, with the highest yield strength of It is recognized that the Waul, calculated as above, is
576.79 MPa, had the highest mean ultimate load of very conservative (underestimate) in the case of beams
241.0 kN (Table 2). with PSWC-bars, as tests elsewhere had shown that the
The achievable ultimate load in kN (Table 2) was peak or ultimate load (i.e. load at failure) in the case of
calculated from the Eq. (1) beams with PSWC-bars, was much higher than the load
  Waul= Wul × (576.79 MPa ÷ f y) (1) at yield or first peak.

Journal of Structural Engineering 35

Vol. 46, No. 1, April - may 2019
Table 2
Test Results for all Categories of Beam Specimens
Achievablea Maximum
Ratio of best Allowable
Yield Best of three ultimate deflection at Experimental
experimental load Waul mid span at crack
Type of strength of Analytical experimental crack width
S.D ultimate load width
and grade of reinforcing ultimate ultimate for the yield best
as per
at service
steel bar load kN Loads kN to stress of load (0.6 f y)
reinforcement ultimate ACI-318
fy MPa Wul kN analytical 576.79 MPa load, Wul mm
ultimate load mm
kN mm
325.44 52.36 104.0 4.08 2.18 202.05 2.99 0.35
Plain rebar 109.0
325.44 51.93 154.0 2.45 2.97 272.94 5.56 0.35
PSWC-4mm 151.0
325.44 51.93 155.0 2.87 3.04 280.03 5.25 0.35
PSWC-5mm 158.0
325.44 52.14 160.0 6.53 3.07 283.57 5.46 0.35
PSWC-6mm 152.0 Less than
144.0 0.2 mm
for all
433.91 67.10 169.0 4.55 2.58 229.97 6.42 0.46 categories
Ribbed bar
Fe 415
520.70 79.42 204.0 4.19 2.69 237.05 6.95 0.56
Ribbed bar
Fe 500
529.38 80.72 222.0 1.89 2.75 241.88 7.23 0.57
Ribbed bar
Fe 500 D
576.79 86.46 238.0 2.05 2.78 241.0 7.50 0.62
Ribbed basr
Fe 550 D
A check was made on the relative performance of the beams with different types of rebars. This was done by (hypothetically raising the
yield strength of all bars to 576.79 MPa, and multiplying the experimental ultimate load for beams with different types of rebars by the ratio
of 576.79 MPa and the actual yield strength of rebars in each of the eight types of beams.)

Even then, it is seen in Table 2 that the highest Waul Higher load-carrying capacity (Table 2) is observed
of 283.57 kN is reached in the case of beams with for all beams with PSWC-bars as compared to that of
PSWC- 6 mm rebars. Even for the other two cases beams with plain round bars. This has occurred even
of beams with PSWC-bars, viz., PSWC-bars with 4 when the yield strength of PSWC-bars was lower than
mm and 5mm excursions of the axis in their deformed the yield strength of plain round bars. This confirms
configurations, the achievable ultimate load Waul, as the superiority of PSWC-bars over plain round bars,
shown in Table 2, is at least 12.8 percent higher than the use of which as rebars had given durable concrete
the achievable ultimate loads of beams with all other structures.
types of conventional rebars.

36 Journal of Structural Engineering

Vol. 46, No. 1, April - may 2019
This is so even under the very conservative carry much greater load beyond yield, the real
assumption that the failure load in the case of a beam experimental failure load would have been much
with PSWC-bars will be reached when stresses in higher than the experimental ultimate load in
PSWC-bars would reach the yield stress level whereas the cases of beams with PSWC-bars, shown in
tests elsewhere (Fig. 8) have conclusively shown that Table 2.
the failure or ultimate capacity of beams with well - (c ) the information of Table 2 clearly shows that
proportioned PSWC-bars can be much greater than the beams with ribbed bars perform better than beams
load when PSWC-bars reach yield state. with plain bars for the same strength of rebars,
The information of Table 2 shows that, even without and beams with PSWC-bars perform better than
taking into account the benefit of additional load- beams with ribbed bars of the same strength.
carrying capacity beyond yield, beams with PSWC-
bars have greater reserve strength than beams with any Strain and Crack Width
other conventional rebar, plain or HYSD.
Strain was measured at six locations on front side as
In the cases of beams with PSWC-4mm, PSWC- well as at six locations on the back side of all beam
5mm and PSWC-6 mm bars, the percentage increases specimens at same loading intervals. Propagation of
over the case with plain round bars are 35.1, 38.6 and cracks and their lengths as well as widths were recorded
40.4. These increases still do not take into consideration for all beam specimens on front as well as at back side
further increases in the load-carrying capacities, beyond at all loading intervals of 10 kN up to the ultimate load,
yield, in the cases of beams which may be reinforced which, as defined earlier, was the load at yield of the
with PSWC-bars. reinforcement.
Even though, as seen in Table 2, beams with The widths of cracks at the tension face showed no
PSWC-bars can outperform beams with ribbed bars, discernible pattern that could be thought of having been
any comparison between load-carrying capacities of influenced by the type of reinforcement.
concrete elements, reinforced with PSWC-bars and the Finally, crack width at service load was reviewed
load-carrying capacities of concrete elements, reinforced in the light of the crack width criterion of ACI-318. In
with today’s ribbed bars, is in a way unnecessary or none of the cases of beams the crack widths exceeded
merely academic, as excessive corrosion in ribbed bars the limit.
has practically rendered such bars subject to scrutiny for
use as rebars when durability of concrete construction As beams with PSWC-bars can have a large ductile
is going to be an important consideration. It is because response under enhanced loads and consequent large
of this recognition that the use of ribbed bars may not (greater) deflection and cracks exceeding the limits for
give durable concrete constructions, much effort is crack width, set in ACI-318 or in other standards, it
made and expenses incurred in using stainless steel, need not be a matter of concern as such greater widths
and different coated rebars. And that too sometimes of cracks represent a state at failure load, which is
with undesirable results. considerably higher than the load at yield in the case
of beams with PSWC-bars, as shown in Fig. 8. The
It is worth noting in Table 2 that basic load-deflection curves in Fig. 8 are obtained from
(a) hypothetically assuming that all eight types of tests which were conducted at the Indian Institute of
rebars had the same yield stress of 576.79 MPa, Technology Kharagpur, India.
the beams, reinforced with PSWC-bars, with 6 Trends, similar to those in Fig. 8, were also observed
mm offset, would lead to the maximum achievable by Aarathi10 who found the ultimate load capacity (i.e.
ultimate load waul of 283.57 kN. the load at failure) to be 39% higher when PSWC-
(b) the ratio of experimental ultimate load (at yield) bars were used, and the mid-span deflection at failure
to the analytical ultimate load is the highest (3.07) increased from 5.39mm in the case of beams with
in the case of beams with PSWC-bars; it need be conventional plain round bars to 17.23mm in the case
recognized again that because of the capacity to of the beam with PSWC-bars of the same steel.

Journal of Structural Engineering 37

Vol. 46, No. 1, April - may 2019
Based on the present work and on the findings on 1. Papadakis, V.G., Vayensa, C.G. and Fardis,
beams, tested earlier, the following conclusions can be M.N., “Physical and Chemical Characteristics
arrived at : Affecting the Durability of Concrete”, ACI Mat.
• Steel reinforcing bars, christened as PSWC-bar, Jl., American Concrete Institute, Vol. 88, No. 2,
and characterized by their plain surface and a gentle 1991, pp 186–196.
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(Discussion on this article must reach the editor before
October 31, 2019)

38 Journal of Structural Engineering

Vol. 46, No. 1, April - may 2019