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Lapped joints in reinforced concrete

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Disciplines
  • Design

Abstract

This thesis is concerned with an experimental investigation of the behaviour of lapped joints in reinforced concrete. A review of existing literature highlights the need to establish the longitudinal strain distribution along lap joints. This has been achieved experimentally, with detailed strain measurements being taken using a technique of internally gauging the reinforcing rods. In some specimens, strain concentration gauges were installed at the tip of the lap to permit the acquisition of particularly localised information. Computer programs were developed to process the substantial amounts of data generated during the course of each test. Two series of tests were undertaken, both using axially loaded specimens, and dealing with tension and compression lap joints respectively. The laps ranged in length from 125 to 750 mm, and comprised bars of either 12 or 20 mm diameter. Transverse reinforcement was provided in two of the tension specimens. Greater emphasis was placed on the first series, with fifteen tension specimens being tested. Thirteen of these tests were each completed within a single day but, additionally, two long-term tests were undertaken. In the latter, a constant load was sustained for up to 81 days. The measurements clearly showed the changing behaviour of the specimens, first as transverse cracks developed and subsequently as failure of the lap joint was approached. The comprehensive analysis of the test results includes a comparison of the ultimate behaviour of these joints with existing design proposals and regulations. The detailed information provided by the strain measurements enables the justification of design assumptions regarding lap joint behaviour, and thus lends greater confidence to existing design regulations. The results from five compression specimens were analysed and compared with the tension tests. The significant contribution to force transfer made by the bearing of the free end of the steel against the concrete was evident. The specimens were loaded to the rig capacity without failing. Additional strain measurements were taken in one tension and one compression specimen by casting embedment gauges within the concrete. These gauges were arranged to measure the circumferential strains in the specimen, and were complemented by strain gauges mounted on the surface of the concrete. The data thus obtained permitted a comparison of the bursting forces set up inside and outside the lap joints. The work showed that some aspects of lap joint behaviour require clarification. Suggestions for further work are included.

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