• Structural Testing;
  • Concrete Structures;
  • Concrete Testing;
  • Codes of Practice and Standards;
  • Beams and Girders;
  • Slabs and Plates


  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Basic Concrete and Steel Equations
  5. Codes of Practice
  6. Experimental Programme
  7. Analysis of Experimental Results
  8. Conclusions
  9. References

The main purpose of this article is to study compressed reinforced concrete membranes under perpendicular tensile stress. The state-of-the-art is presented and it shows that not much research has been done on this topic, probably because it needed very expensive laboratory equipment. In the current investigation, the authors have tried a new type of equipment, less expensive than that of previous investigations, and it proved to be adequate for the type of tests needed for studying this topic. The authors tested six reinforced concrete panels under pure shear up to failure. A parameter that was studied in these tests was the thickness of the membranes. This is of particular importance in webs or walls of beams under shear or torsion forces. From the experimental measurements, the authors have computed the principal directions and the values of the stresses and strains for the tested beams. In this article, these values are presented and the principal strains and stresses are compared with those at 45° and the two fairly agree with each other, particularly for the case of the stresses.


  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Basic Concrete and Steel Equations
  5. Codes of Practice
  6. Experimental Programme
  7. Analysis of Experimental Results
  8. Conclusions
  9. References

It is well known that when reinforced concrete is under shear, the behaviour of concrete in the struts is significantly affected by transverse tensile stresses. For example, recent studies of the behaviour of beams under torsion indicate the importance of including this effect in mathematical models used to predict the ultimate limit state.[1-5] This is particularly important in the case of box girders where the walls act as membranes that are under shear stress (Fig. 1(a)); compression in one direction and tension in the perpendicular direction. Figure 1(b) shows the negative influence of the transverse tensile stresses in the stress–strain relationship of the compressive concrete in the struts. Such studies also show that wall thickness can affect the behaviour of pre-stressed concrete in the struts differently to predictions made by theoretical models. It is therefore important to study this phenomenon, particularly with regard to changes caused by wall thickness.


Figure 1. Beam under torsion: shear in the (a) wall and (b) stress–strain relationships for concrete.

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In general, studies developed with the aim of modelling the behaviour of reinforced concrete plates subject to stresses along the plane, treat cracked reinforced concrete as a new material with its own stress versus strain properties and take into consideration the different behaviours of the concrete and the rebars. These approaches make use of average stresses and strains, both in the concrete and the rebars (stresses and strains are measured along a length of material sufficiently long to contain several cracks). Following these approaches, these average values are then used to determine both the equilibrium conditions of the panels and the deformation compatibility conditions. The ASCE-ACI Committee 445 on Shear and Torsion[6] defined methodologies based on these assumptions as Compression Field Approaches or Smeared Approaches. This investigation makes use of such an approach. Therefore, it is necessary to calculate the relationship between principal average stresses and principal average strains both for the concrete and the ordinary rebars.

Average tension versus strain relationships have been proposed for ordinary rebars under stress that take into account the interaction between the rebar and the surrounding concrete (the stiffening effect). Various relationships have also been proposed between average tension and strain for concrete under both tensile and compressive stress. This will be focused in section Basic Concrete and Steel Equations.

In order to simplify the estimation of the strength of reinforced concrete panels, certain assumptions have been made. For example, it was assumed that the principal directions of stress within a reinforced concrete member coincide with the principal directions of its deformation state (there is no relative slippage between the rebars and the concrete). This assumption has been proved to be acceptable, as shown by studies carried out in two orthogonal directions on reinforced concrete pieces with identical reinforcement.[6, 7] These studies have indicated values of less than 10° between the directions of principal stress and deformation. This subject has not been studied recently, and there is no real consensus on this matter. In fact, there are very few studies in this area, almost certainly due to the high cost of testing. However, some recent studies[8-10] have investigated box walls and strut and tie mechanisms but did not investigate the strength of concrete struts under perpendicular tensile stresses.

This article, which constitutes the first of the series, presents the state-of-the-art with regard to concrete struts under perpendicular tensile stress. Six concrete panels were tested under shear, with particular attention given to investigating the influence of membrane thickness. This article also describes the tests and presents the results with respect to the principal directions. The corresponding tensions and strains are also discussed. Another objective was to conceive, construct, and validate a simple and easy testing apparatus. In the second article of the series,[11] the influence of the thickness on the concrete panels is investigated, new experimental stress–strain relationships for thin plates are proposed and a comparative study with previsions for the strength capacity from some important Codes of practice is also be presented.

Basic Concrete and Steel Equations

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Basic Concrete and Steel Equations
  5. Codes of Practice
  6. Experimental Programme
  7. Analysis of Experimental Results
  8. Conclusions
  9. References

Concrete under compressive stress

This section briefly discusses the key relationships concerning the behaviour of concrete under compressive stress.

The behaviour of concrete in actual structures can differ slightly from the behaviour that lab tests seem to indicate. There are some tests specially recommended for the evaluation of concrete properties in real structures.[12-15] However, to anticipate the behaviour of a future structure, conclusions by previous investigations, most of them from laboratory works, need to be taken into account. There are some stress–strain relationships available to model the concrete material. In this work, the authors have used the proposed equation by Hognestad,[16] that is:

  • display math(1)

where inline image is the maximum compression resistance of the concrete (measured in uniaxial compression tests on cylindrical specimens) and ɛ0 is the strain corresponding to inline image.

When establishing stress versus strain relationships for concrete cracked due to shear forces, it is important to remember that the deformation state it experiences is very different from what occurs in test membranes under uniaxial compression, where stress causes some transverse strain as a result of the Poisson effect. When cracked reinforced concrete is subjected to shear, concrete suffers significant stress because of transverse strain, as a result of which it becomes less resistant to compression and less rigid (the softening effect) than test specimens in uniaxial compression tests.

The search for a wide-ranging, rational method for predicting the behaviour of reinforced concrete led to the introduction of a model known as Compression Field Theory (CFT), which was based on experimental trials with concrete slabs.[17] This model was later refined and became known as the Modified Compression Field Theory (MCFT).[18, 19] From this emerged a new average tension versus strain relationship for concrete under compression (Eq. (2)) which took into account the softening effect using βσ (a softening parameter) defined by Eq. (3), a function of principal strain 1 (stress), to modify the Hognestad parabola. Both the maximum uniaxial compression stress of the concrete inline image as well as the associated strain (ɛ0) were multiplied by parameter β.

  • display math(2)
  • display math(3)

In order to include high strength concrete in the model and to correct some deviations observed in practical trials, namely in low-strength concrete, Vecchio and Collins[20] proposed using a curve developed by Thorenfeldt et al.,[21] calibrated by Collins and Poraz,[22] and defined by Eqs. (4), (5), and (6). The subscript “base” is used in Eq. (4) to highlight that this equation was originally recommended by Thorenfeldt et al.[21] for describing uniaxial compression response of concrete in standard tests. By changing this “base” curve, Vecchio and Collins[20] proposed two models (Models A and B).

  • display math(4)
  • display math(5)
  • display math(6)

In Model A, where a reduction in the maximum compression stress of the concrete and its corresponding strain is paramount, the reduction factor for stress (βσ) and for strain (βɛ) is given by Eqs. (7), (8), and (9) (Fig. 2).

  • display math(7)
  • display math(8)
  • display math(9)

The Kc parameter accounts for strains in concrete and the Kf parameter takes into account that in high strength concrete, the softening effect is more pronounced as a consequence of smoothed fracture planes, resulting in the earlier onset of local compression stability failure or in earlier crack-slip failure.[19]


Figure 2. Reduction factors inline image.

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The curve of Model A is divided into three parts:

  • for inline image inline image it is calculated from Eq. (4) using inline image;
  • for inline image
  • for inline image using fc2,base calculated from Eq. (4) using inline image

Vecchio and Collins also proposed a simpler Model B that only uses a reduction factor for compression stress, given by Eqs. (10) and (11).

  • display math(10)
  • display math(11)

Later, Vecchio et al.[23] extended Model B to include high resistance concretes, by using Model A and incorporating a factor Kf expressed by Eq. (12).

  • display math(12)

These models were based on the results of proportional stress tests on concrete panels with equal percentages of reinforcement in the two orthogonal directions, in which the test pieces failed because the concrete was crushed before the rebars gave way and in which a lesser softening effect was observed than that predicted by earlier theoretical models. Therefore, Vecchio[24] proposed using the parameter β from Eq. (13) for both models.

  • display math(13)

In the previous equation Cs = 0.55 and Cd assume the values of Kc (Eqs. (8) and (11)). Coefficients Kσ and Kɛ are defined in Table 1.

Table 1. Coefficients Kσ and Kɛ
 Proportional actionSequential action
 α =45°α =90°α =45°α =90°

Belarbi and Hsu[25, 26] also proposed a model (Eqs. (14), (15), and (16)), which was based on the Hognestad parabola but with different softening parameters for stress and strain, adjusted according to the type of stress applied to the test panels and the inclination angle of the fractures with respect to the rebars (α). The coefficients Kσ and Kɛ are defined in Table 1.

  • display math(14)
  • display math(15)
  • display math(16)

Hsu[27] later proposed Eq. (17) to conservatively describe the softening effect, for use in conjunction with Eq. (14). According to Hsu, this is a conservative expression that provides a lower limit for the tests carried out during the investigation.

  • display math(17)

Afterwards, based on tests in which the principal direction of stresses was at an oblique angle relative to the rebars, Mikame et al.[28] proposed Eq. (18) as the coefficient to describe the reduction in resistance to compression.

  • display math(18)

Figure 3 represents the reduction factors calculated from previous models as well as from some less common models not discussed here. The deviations between the curves from the several proposed models are notable. Therefore, more reliable models need to be considered. None of the studied models considers the thickness of the panels as a parameter. These aspects justify further investigation in this area, especially with a view to incorporating variables that have not been considered relevant before, such as the above-mentioned thickness of the panels.


Figure 3. Geometry of the specimens.

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Reinforcements under tension

In the elastic phase, the average stress versus strain of rebars surrounded by concrete, when subject to tension, can be mathematically described by the curve obtained from uniaxial tensile tests on isolated rebars (free from concrete).

However, when concrete cracks, there are large differences in the distribution of tensile stresses and strains occurring in the rebars. These differences occur because throughout the length of a crack the entire traction stress is absorbed by the rebars, while between the cracks, the tensile stress is absorbed by concrete, by adherence in the interface. This is the so-called stiffening effect.

While some models for rebars embedded in concrete (CFT, MCFT) incorporate simplified average elastic stress versus strain relationships with a perfectly plastic yield plateau, others (Softened Truss Model–STM, Rotating Angle Softened Truss Model–RASTM) incorporate more elaborate mathematical expressions which take into account the spatial differences in tensions and strains mentioned above.

Following this line of thinking, Belarbi and Hsu[29] proposed two curves to model the behaviour of rebars in concrete under tension. In the first, more complex model, the average stress versus average strain is mathematically described by a continuous curve. In the other model (Eqs. (19) to (23)), for simplicity, the stress versus strain curve of concrete under stress is modelled using two rectilinear paths that intersect at a particular stress level inline image, as given by Eqs. (19) to (23).

  • display math(19)
  • display math(20)
  • display math(21)
  • display math(22)
  • display math(23)

In the above equations, Es is the modulus of elasticity, inline image is the tangent modulus in the plastic region, inline image is the stress corresponding to the intersection of the second rectilinear path with the y-axis and fcr is the tension stress that causes the concrete to crack, which according to the authors can be calculated as inline image

To more easily enable these equations to be applied, Belarbi and Hsu[26] take certain values as given: Ep = 0.025 Es, f0 = 0.89 fy e fn = 0.091 fy, resulting in Eq. (24).

  • display math(24)

Codes of Practice

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Basic Concrete and Steel Equations
  5. Codes of Practice
  6. Experimental Programme
  7. Analysis of Experimental Results
  8. Conclusions
  9. References

In this study, the following documents are analysed: CEN EN 1992-1-1,[30] CEB-FIP Model Code 1990,[31] ACI 318-05,[32] and CSA Standard A23.3-04.[33] In this article, the authors are only concerned with the rules for members with transversal reinforcement perpendicular to the longitudinal axis. Table 2 lays out the recommended values for accepted reduction factors (efficiency factors: ν) for concrete under compression when applied to reinforced concrete under shear (transverse and twisting forces). In Table 2, α is the inclination of the transverse rebars, θ is the inclination of the diagonal compression struts (relative to the longitudinal rebars), ɛc1 is the average strain of (smeared) stress of the cracked reinforced concrete measured transverse to the direction of the applied compression forces and k is a coefficient that depends on the roughness of the surface and the diameter of the rebars.

Table 2. Reduction factors proposed in standards and codesThumbnail image of

Simply put, in order to consider the reduced resistance of concrete cracked by compression in members submitted biaxially to compression and tension, as is the case for lattice type struts, the regulatory documentation recommends reduction factors for the concrete's resistance to compression. This reduction in resistance is attributed essentially to stress that appears in the concrete between the cracks caused by the stress transferred via adherence from the rebars to the concrete.

Experimental Programme

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Basic Concrete and Steel Equations
  5. Codes of Practice
  6. Experimental Programme
  7. Analysis of Experimental Results
  8. Conclusions
  9. References

Testing options

The literature refers to tests of the behaviour of concrete under compressive stress in the presence of transverse strain in which reinforced concrete panels were subjected to shear stresses. The equipment used for these tests is very expensive. Despite offering the flexibility to accurately vary certain parameters (such as the state of stress or deformation to which the panels are submitted) the equipment did not easily allow the geometry of the panels to be varied.[17] Therefore, for this study, a different apparatus was developed. It allows the investigation of stress states similar to those generated by pure shear in reinforced concrete panels of different thicknesses. It was also much less expensive than previous test equipment.

The biggest difference between this study and those using the more expensive apparatus is that instead of subjecting the entire panel to the required stress (pure shear) only a small area in the centre of the test piece is subjected to pure shear.

Testing models

Figure 3 illustrates the geometry adopted for the panels tested. Two equal series of panels were tested (Series I and II), each series having three panels. The test pieces were plates measuring 860 × 860 mm with a thickness of e (variable during testing) fixed to a piece measuring 200 × 350 × 860 mm for attachment to a reaction wall.

The panel section of each test piece was reinforced with an orthogonal rebar mesh (identical in every case) in order to limit strain by limiting cracking in the concrete. The reinforcement ratio was 1% This is a usual value for panels. As for instance, Nakachi et al.[34] published a work on cycle loads on shear panels and they have constructed panels with reinforcement ratios between 0.7 and 1.2%. Horizontal rebars were also used in order to resist bending forces (upper rebars: tie). The reinforcement of the test specimens is illustrated in Fig. 3 and defined in Table 3 (referring only to the reinforcement in the panel section). The cover adopted for the rebars was 2 cm. For practical reasons, the concrete was poured into the panels with these ones horizontally placed in the floor (Fig. 3). In other words, the concrete was poured in a direction perpendicular to the plane of the load.

Table 3. Reinforcement steel of the specimens
  Distributed reinforcementTie
SeriesNameNameϕ (mm)Spacing (mm)Nameϕ (mm)n.°

Figure 4. Test setup.

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Description of materials

The concrete mix used is summarised in Table 4. Each series I and II were cast using the same concrete batch.

Table 4. Concrete mix
ComponentsConcrete mix (per m3)
Sand (kg)841
Gravel 1 (kg)960
Normal Portland cement Type II / 32.5 (kg)350
Water (L)175
A/C   0.5
Density (kg/m3)2326 

The compressive strength of concrete was measured in uniaxial compression tests on cubic test specimens (15 cm per side) cured in conditions similar to those of the panels. Table 5 lists the average compression strength values for the concretes. For each plate, four concrete cubic test specimens were tested.

Table 5. Compressive stress in concrete
Seriese (cm)inline image (MPa)

The rebars used in the test pieces were ordinary commercial rebars of heat-laminated steel A500 NR and A400 NR with diameters of 6, 8, 10, and 12 mm. Tensile tests on steel test specimens (six specimen per diameter) were carried out to find the average yield stress, fym, and yield strain corresponding to the start of the yield plateau, ɛym (Table 6). The ɛym parameter was calculated from the measured fym and assuming the standard value usually indicated for ordinary rebars for the elasticity modulus: Es = 200 GPa.

Table 6. Results from tension tests of steel bars
ϕ (mm)fym (MPa)ɛym (×10−6)

Testing apparatus

The testing apparatus (Fig. 4), designed to enable the reinforced concrete test pieces to be subjected to a shear force, incorporates a reinforced concrete reaction wall. A metallic bracket fixed to the reaction wall supports an electromechanical actuator (1000 kN). The test piece is basically tested as if it were a large slim corbel, with a concentrated force applied at its extremity.

The loading plates are designed to distribute the load across the entire height of the concrete, thereby avoiding the load being concentrated at the top of the piece which could lead to localised cracking in the finer panels. It should be noted that the testing procedure was firstly validated with an elastic Finite Element Analysis (FEA). A plane model composed with shell elements (stress plane state) was created, loaded, and supported according to Fig. 4. This numerical model showed that, in the central zone of the plate, the direction of principal stresses were 45° inclined with respect to a horizontal line. These results showed that a pure shear stress state was achieved in this area by using the referred testing procedure.


Strategically positioned digital strain gauges were used to measure the global deformation states of the test panels (LVDTs) (Fig. 5).


Figure 5. Instrumentation.

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According to the approach adopted for this study, it is necessary to know the average strains in the central zone of the specimens. These strains should be measured in an area large enough to contain several cracks. Therefore, a network of demec targets was placed on either side of the panel as well as in the central zone under pure shear force (demec targets are small discs to be stuck to the concrete surface; each of these discs have a hole into which an extremity of a strain measuring device will be adjusted; a second disc is needed for the adjustment of the other extremity of the device and subsequent length reading). These targets were offset by 20 mm and served as a reference to measure average strain throughout the test (Fig. 5).

Additionally, resistance extensometers (strain gauges) were glued to the surface of the stiffening rods in both directions (at the central area of the test specimen) and in the rebars of the tie, respectively to investigate the yielding load and to control the flexural effect induced by the loading (Fig. 5). The vertical force applied to the models was measured by a load cell (500 kN) placed between the actuator and the steel plate used to transfer the load. A data logger was used to read and record the data.


The test panels were subject to controlled deformation (a constant velocity of 0.015 mm/s). Figure 6 shows the crack patterns for some of the panels. From Fig. 6, it is possible to verify that the cracking pattern in the central area of the specimens is compatible with a pure shear stress state. This observation validates the testing procedure and confirms the numerical results. The lateral bracing system of panel SIIE10 did not function as desired and results from this panel have therefore been disregarded.


Figure 6. Crack patterns.

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Analysis of Experimental Results

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Basic Concrete and Steel Equations
  5. Codes of Practice
  6. Experimental Programme
  7. Analysis of Experimental Results
  8. Conclusions
  9. References

When calculating the compression field angle of the concrete (θ) based on Compression Field Approaches or Smeared Approaches, it is assumed that the principal stress directions coincide with the principal directions of the deformation state. This hypothesis has been experimentally tested on specimens with rebars in two orthogonal directions.[29]

Deformation state

The principal direction 2 of the deformation state was determined from the demecs targets readings. Using average readings in the three directions for each load step (horizontal, x; vertical, y, and 45°), and by using Mohr's circle for strain, simple arithmetic allows the calculation of the distortion γxy/2 by knowing ɛα = ɛc45, ɛx, ɛy and α = 45°. Using γxy/2 for each load step, the angles that the principal directions of the deformation state make with the x axis, as well as their deviation from the predicted (45°) angle, were measured.

Figure 7 shows the variation in angle of deformation state (principal direction 2) relative to the x axis in the test panels, as well as its deviation from the predicted (45°) angle.


Figure 7. Principal direction of compression of the deformation state.

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Figure 7 shows that for smaller loads, deformation state (principal direction 2) shows large percentage deviations from the expected angle (45°). This behaviour may have its origins in the low level strain caused by such low loading and the inherent errors in registering such small changes.

These deviations from the expected angle are significantly reduced once the concrete starts to crack, which occurs at between 15 to 25% of the load necessary for failure. Cracking also leads to the reduction and stabilization of the angle that deformation state principal direction 2 makes with the x axis.

Using deformation state principal direction 2 (θ), principal strain 2 (ɛc2) was calculated for each set of readings from Mohrís circle for strain. This value was compared to the one obtained experimentally at 45° to the x-axis (ɛc45) in Fig. 8, which also shows the percentage by which ɛc2 deviates from ɛc45.


Figure 8. ɛc2 versus ɛc45.

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Figure 8 shows that, although deformation state (principal direction 2) of panel (θ) deviates significantly from the expected (45°), the strain in this direction (ɛc45) shows little significant deviation from principal strain 2 of panel (ɛc2), in other words inline image.

Table 7 shows the average angle that deformation state principal direction 2 makes with the x axis for each test, the average absolute deviation of this angle relative to the expected 45°, as well as the corresponding absolute average percentage, and the experimentally measured average absolute percentage deviation of the strain from 45° to the x axis relative to principal strain 2 of the deformation state.

Table 7. Summary of results 1
inline image44.144.342.141.945.4
inline image2.
inline image5.9%5.2%11.7%7.3%3.5%
inline image1.0%1.2%6.2%2.0%0.5%

The average values reported in Table 7 do not include readings taken before cracking, due to the percentage errors observed.

Table 7 again shows that despite the percentage deviation between deformation state principal direction 2 (θ) and 45°, the difference between the strain in these directions is not significant. It can be seen that the 10-cm thick panel from Series I has an average absolute percentage deviation of extension, in deformation state principal direction 2 relative to the strain at an angle of 45° to the larger x axis, higher 6.2% when compared to the values recorded for the other panels.

Concrete stress

The test pieces were reinforced concrete panels with a uniformly distributed dense orthogonal lattice. During testing, they were subjected to known levels of perpendicular and tangential stresses that were used to calculate the principal stress directions for various loads. The general state of stresses can be split in the stresses applied to the concrete in the principal directions of stresses or in the stresses applied to the concrete facets in the x, y directions (x horizontal), and in tensile stresses of the reinforcement bars. By balancing the stresses in the vertical and horizontal directions (case of pure shear stress), the compressive stresses in concrete in horizontal (fcnx) and vertical (fcny) directions are computed. By using the normal stresses fcnx and fcny as well as the tangential stresses fctxy, the principal directions of the stress state for the zone under study is known from Mohrís circle for plain stress.

Figure 9 shows the variation in principal stress direction 2 in the concrete of the test pieces as well as the deviation from the expected (45°) angle.


Figure 9. Principal direction of compression of the stress state.

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Generally, the angle that principal stress direction 2 makes with the x axis increases slightly with increasing load. This is in contrast to what was observed for principal deformation state direction 2 (Fig. 7).

Additionally, the way in which θ diverges from the expected value (45°)at the beginning of the test does not hold true for θ.

Using the values of actuating tensions in the faces of the concrete parallel to the x-y axes, it was possible to calculate principal stress 2 of the concrete (fc2) for each set of readings from Mohrís circle for plain stress. This value was compared to the stress in the concrete in a direction at 45° from the axis x (fc45). Figure 10 shows the values recorded for these quantities as well as their percentage deviation.

Figure 10 shows that the principal stress 2 of the concrete (fc2), despite the deviation of its direction (θ) from 45°, does not deviate significantly from the stress value fc45.


Figure 10. fc2 versus fc45.

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Table 8 presents the average angle that principal direction 2 of the concrete's stress state (θ) makes with the x axis for each test, the average absolute deviation of this angle relative to the expected angle (45°) as well as the corresponding average absolute percentages, and the average absolute percentage deviation of stress in principal stress direction 2 in the concrete (fc2) relative to the compression stress at an angle of 45° to the axis x (fc45). Just as for Table 7, readings taken before fracturing were not used.

Table 8. Summary of results 2
inline image46.546.248.347.444.6
inline image2.
inline image4.6%3.8%8.2%5.4%2.1%
inline image0.2%0.2%0.6%0.3%0.0%

Comparing the average values of θ from Table 8 with the average values of θ from Table 7, there is some divergence between the principal directions of the deformation state and the principal directions of the stress state in the concrete.

It can also be seen that although principal direction 2 of the stress in the concrete (θ) shows significant deviation from the predicted 45°, the difference in the stress values in the two directions is insignificant.


  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Basic Concrete and Steel Equations
  5. Codes of Practice
  6. Experimental Programme
  7. Analysis of Experimental Results
  8. Conclusions
  9. References

Experimental readings of strains in the central zone of the panels showed that the actual principal directions of the panels were approximately coincident to the predictions of numerical computations (45°). Therefore, the dimensions of the panels and the testing set up are appropriate to ensure a stabilised area of stresses in the middle zone of the panel. As a consequence, the test procedure presented in this article can be used to study the behaviour of reinforced concrete panels under pure shear. Strain values were highly dispersed for low loads. Dispersion was significantly reduced for loads between 15 and 25% of the failure load and over.

With regard to the deformation state of the walls, the expected value of 45° from the principal direction was generally not achieved, as the results deviated 3.5 and 11.7% from this angle. The errors that resulted from assuming strain at 45° from the principal direction instead of parallel to it varied between 0.5 and 6.2%.

With regard to the stress in the concrete, the error resulting from assuming stress at 45° from the principal direction instead of parallel to it was very small (between 0 and 0.6%).


  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Basic Concrete and Steel Equations
  5. Codes of Practice
  6. Experimental Programme
  7. Analysis of Experimental Results
  8. Conclusions
  9. References
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