Arching action and the ultimate capacity of reinforced concrete beams

  • Mark Ruddle

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


A combined experimental and analytical investigation into the effects of arching action on the ultimate capacity of reinforced concrete be is presented. In particular, the enhancement in the shear strength of which are longitudinally restrained is studied in detail.

Initially, a new rationally based design method is developed for the prediction of the shear strength of conventional simply supported rectangular and Tee beams. This method can also be applied to continuous beams. The assumptions upon which the procedure is based are validated by the good correlation obtained from a comparison of the predicted failure loads with approximately 450 experimental test results from various sources.

By combining the design method for simply sup-ported beams with a theory for arching action, an integrated analytical procedure is proposed for the prediction of the enhanced shear and flexural capacities of longitudinally restrained rectangular beams and Tee beams. In order to assess the suitability of this approach, a complementary experimental programme of tests on scaled beam specimens with different boundary conditions was carried out and the results thoroughly analysed.

The new integrated approach has been shown to be more accurate and consistent than the current British and American code procedures, which at present do not allow for the ultimate strength enhancement due to arching action in continuous reinforced concrete construction. In addition, the method correlates more satisfactorily with experimental results than alternative procedures which have developed in recent years.
Date of AwardJul 1989
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SupervisorA Long (Supervisor)

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