Interrelation of Splitting and Flexural Cracks in R.C. Beams

by Ezio Giuriani, Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Brescia, via Branze 38, 25123 Brescia, Italy,
Giovanni A. Plizari, (M.ASCE), Asst. Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Brescia, via Branze 38, 25123 Brescia, Italy,


Serial Information: Issue 9, Pg. 1032-1040


Document Type: Journal Paper

Abstract: The durability of reinforced concrete (RC) structures depends mainly on concrete permeability that allows the aggressive agents to reach the reinforcement and to start corrosion. In addition to the permeability connected to porosity and microcracking, another important and well-known cause of degradation is concrete cracking that directly exposes the reinforcement to aggressive agents. Besides flexural cracks, other kinds of cracks can occur in RC beams, of which splitting cracks have particular relevance. They develop longitudinally along the anchored bar and expose a large area of the bar to the environment so that the corrosion resistance to splitting cracks should be lower than the resistance to flexural cracks. To study the structure durability related to splitting cracks, two aspects should be considered: (1) the resistance to corrosion for a given splitting crack opening; and (2) the evaluation of the splitting crack width. To shed some new light on the second aspect, this paper proposes a relationship between the maximum splitting crack opening and the flexural crack opening and is contrasted with experimental results. Furthermore, an approximated relationship, for practical use, is determined.

Subject Headings: Cracking | Reinforced concrete | Flexural strength | Beams | Structure reinforcement | Load and resistance factor design | Corrosion | Permeability (material) | Concrete structures |

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