New approach for shear design of reinforced concrete slabs under concentrated loads based on tests and statistical analysis

Hamburg University of Technology
  • Concentrated load
  • Concrete bridge
  • Design assisted by testing
  • Shear
  • Slab
  • Wheel load
  • Despite the international research activity, the shear strength of reinforced concrete slabs without shear reinforcement is not yet satisfactorily resolved. In particular, deck slabs of existing bridges often show significant deficits in design shear capacity, although no damage has been reported so far. A test series of 14 large-scale cantilever slabs subjected to concentrated loads was conducted and analysed at the Hamburg University of Technology. Varying the distance between the concentrated load and the support in a previously unexamined wide range led to new considerations regarding the shear capacity in RC slabs. The ultimate and residual loads of the test specimens, as in many other studies on this topic, clearly exceeded the values for vehicle load assumptions in the current standards. In contrast to previous studies, a large shear slenderness in the load arrangement could be realized in the tests. This was the basic requirement for one of the key findings: The critical shear crack occurs locally in the area of load application and not at the support. Thus, shifting the design section for shear close to the concentrated load is reasonable, while in many approaches a critical section close to the support is chosen. Furthermore, the often-used effective width beff, which depends on the distance of single loads to the support, does not seem justified. The shear forces should be determined by finite element analysis, a common method in practice, which can consider the spatial load transfer and the stiffness of the support in a realistic manner. The new design method presented here is therefore not primarily concerned with the shear resistance, as other investigations are, but first on the side of determining the relevant internal shear forces, which are initially higher in the design section proposed here. Only in a second step is a preliminary factor C*Rd,c for the calculated resistance determined by means of a well-founded statistical evaluation. For this purpose, a database with 45 tests on RC slabs has been established. The new design approach provides significant greater shear capacities than the current regulations.
DOI 10.1016/j.engstruct.2020.110795
TUHH Open Research

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