Journal article

Effect of load distribution and variable depth on shear resistance of slender beams without stirrups

The shear resistance of elements without stirrups has mainly been investigated by test setups involving simply supported beams of constant thickness subjected to one- or two-point loading, and most of the formulas included in codes have been adjusted using this experimental background. It is a fact, however, that most design situations involve constant or triangular distributed loading (such as retaining walls or footings) on tapered members. Furthermore, there seems to be few shear tests involving cantilever structures subjected to distributed loading. These structures, which are common in everyday practice, fail in shear near the clamped end, where the shear forces and bending moments are maximum (contrary to simply supported beams of tests, where shear failures under distributed loading develop near the support region for large shear forces but limited bending moments). In this paper, a specific testing program undertaken at the Poly- technic University of Madrid (UPM), Madrid, Spain, in close collab- oration with Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland, is presented. It was aimed at investigating the influence of load distribution and tapered beam geometrics on the shear strength. The experimental program consists of eight slender beams without stirrups. Four specimens had a constant depth, whereas the others had variable depths (maximum depth of 600 mm [23.6 in.]). Each specimen was tested twice: one side was tested first under point loading, and then (after repairing) the other side was tested under either uniform loading or triangular loading. The setup allowed direct comparisons between point and distributed loading. The experimental results showed a significant influence of the type of loading and of tapered geometries on the shear strength. On the basis of these results, and using the funda- mentals of the critical shear crack theory, a consistent physical explanation of the observed failure modes and differences in shear strength is provided. Also, comparisons to current design provisions (ACI 318-08 and EC2) are discussed.

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