Every reinforced concrete element subjected to flexure is always accompanied by a shear force. This is a force that results in diagonal tension in concrete, consequently leading to failure via the formation of cracks. This cracks propagate from the supports and extend into the beam, ultimately leading to failure. Hence, shear reinforcement is normally provided to avoid this failure.
The most common and conventional method of designing against shear in reinforced concrete structures is via the provision of shear-links (stirrups). These are steel bars vertically placed around the tensile reinforcement at suitable spacings along the length of the concrete element. However, in certain scenarios, shear cannot be resisted via the use of links alone, especially where the applied shear-force is so enormous. In such cases, a very effective way of resisting shear in concrete is by combining the shear-links with the provision of bent-up bars. Bent-up bars are very effective although not very popular compared to shear-links, this is due to the increased cost of forming and fixing the reinforcement.
Basis of Bent-up Bars
Consider the case of a simply supported beam, subjected to uniformly distributed loading, as the bending moment decreases to zero, the shear force increases towards the support. It, therefore, follows that the flexural tensile reinforcement is useless towards the support, hence it is normally curtailed. However, instead of curtailing the tension reinforcement towards the supports, they can be bent-up (Figure 2) to cross a potential shear crack, and thus assist in resisting shear force.
The same ideology can be extended to concrete elements with continuous support as well. However, in the case of continuous supports, both bending moment and shear force increase towards the supports. Hence with continuous supports, the tension reinforcement is bent-down to act as shear reinforcement as the bending moment decreases away from the supports (Figure 3).
This is the main motivation for using bent-up or bent-down bars as the case may be. However, quite often there might not be sufficient bars to bend in order to comply with code specifications on minimum spacings.
Bent-up Bars Code Equation
The equations presented in this post only covers the use of bent-up bars only as shear reinforcement within concrete structures. It doesn’t extend to the use of shear links which is the most common method of resisting shear. Although the design equations presented are quite similar to those used for shear links, it is deliberately ignored here as most readers are quite familiar with the procedure.
Figure 4 shows the idealized model for the design of bent-up bars in the Eurocode, a composite truss consisting of bent-up bars and concrete struts. Assuming z is the lever arm, i.e. the distance between the compression and longitudinal reinforcement acting as tension chord. The concrete struts and the bent-up bars are inclined at angles θ and α respectively to the horizontal.
Taking a section parallel to the struts as shown in Figure. 5 the number of bent-up bars is z(cot θ + cot α)/s, where s is the spacing of the bent-up bars.
The vertical component of the bars is, therefore, the shear resistance VRd,s of the bent-up given as:
Where, Asw is the total area of bent-up bars or and fywd is the design yield stress of the bent-up bars
Similarly, taking a section perpendicular to the struts, the maximum shear strength in a concrete section with bent-up bars can be derived and shown as:
Procedure for Design
- Verify that
VRd, max> VEd
- Design shear reinforcement
- Verify serviceability & detailing requirement
A concrete beam of size (225 x 600) is required to resist a design
Step 1: Verify that VRd,max > VEd
Step 2: Design Shear Reinforcement
Step 3: Serviceability Requirement