Journal article

Bond behaviour of straight, hooked, U-shaped and headed bars in cracked concrete

Most classic investigations on bonding properties in reinforced concrete have been performed on the basis of pull-out tests, where a reinforcement bar is pulled out from an uncracked concrete cylinder, prism or cube. In these tests, the bond is governed by the concrete strength and bar surface properties of the reinforcement (bond index, rib geometry) or by the splitting strength of the concrete (concrete cover). In the latter case, bond failure occurs due to uncontrolled cracking of the concrete specimen. In contrast to these fundamental tests, bond in many structural members is activated within already cracked concrete. This is particularly relevant for the reinforcement in beams and slabs (both for flexural and transverse reinforcement), as the reinforcing bars might be located at planes where flexural cracks develop. The opening of these cracks along the reinforcement is nevertheless not uncontrolled (as opposed to splitting failures), but it is governed by the bending deformations. The bond properties and strength of the reinforcement in actual members are therefore influenced by the opening of these cracks and are potentially different from those observed in classic pull-out tests. The present paper aims to address this topic by presenting the results of an experimental investigation with 89 monotonic pullout tests performed on cracked ties. The opening of the cracks was controlled while transverse bars - located in the plane of these cracks - were pulled out from the specimens. The tests were performed for crack openings ranging from 0.2 mm to 2.0 mm in order to cover conditions both at the serviceability and ultimate limit states. The results show a very significant influence of in-plane cracking on both strength and bond-slip stiffness, with decreasing mechanical performance for increasing crack openings. The performance of different actual anchorage types (straight, hooked, U-shaped and headed bars) - generally characterized through force-slip relationships - is finally analytically investigated and compared to the test results.


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