You are on page 1of 4

DESIGN FOR FLEXURE ACI REINFORCEMENT LIMITS ACI procedures for ensuring under-reinforced behavior of flexural members have

e changed in ACI 318-02, as compared to past versions of ACI 318. The new procedure essentially presents a unified procedure for reinforced and prestressed concrete. The provisions may also be found in Appendix B of ACI 318-99, though there have been slight adjustments of the factors (to compensate for changes in the load combinations found in Chapter 9 under ACI 318-02). In ACI 318-02, the same set of strength reduction factors are used for the design of beams and columns. The factor is adjusted depending upon the type of failure. Definitions The following definitions are used in specifying factors. Recall that the extreme fiber concrete compressive strain at ultimate is assumed to be .003 in all cases. Compression-controlled section (ACI 10.3.3) - a cross-section in which the net tensile strain in the extreme tensile steel at the ultimate stage is less than or equal to the compression controlled strain limit (i.e. the reinforcement tensile strain at the balanced condition, or .002 for Grade 60 steel). Tension-controlled section (ACI 10.3.4) - a cross-section in which the net tensile strain in the extreme tensile steel at the ultimate stage is greater than or equal to .005. Note that the definitions are based on the reinforcement strain in the extreme level of reinforcement, and not at the centroid of the tensile reinforcement. Strain distributions corresponding to tension and compression controlled sections are shown in the figure below.

> 0.005

From: PCA, Notes on ACI 318-99

We can relate these definitions to the type of failure as follows: Compression-controlled sections are either balanced or overreinforced Transition sections are somewhat underreinforced Tension-controlled sections are significantly underreinforced

Strain Limit for Beams (ACI 10.3.5) ACI 318-02 requires that beams (members without a significant axial force) be designed such that the net tensile strain in the extreme tensile steel at the ultimate stage is greater than or equal to .004. This ensures that beams are designed to be sufficiently underreinforced. Per ACI 318-02 definitions, beams must be either tension-controlled, or in the transition zone between tension-controlled and compression-controlled designs. Beams cannot be designed as compression-controlled. Values of c/dt and a/dt for various strain conditions Limiting c/dt or a/dt ratios corresponding to specific strain conditions are given below. In each case, these ratios are taken from simple linear relationships of the strain at the extreme concrete compressive fiber (0.003) and the strain in the extreme layer of tensile reinforcement. Values of c/dt and a/dt corresponding to the tension-controlled limit:
c dt = .003 = .375 .003 + .005 AND a dt = .375 1

Values of c/dt and a/dt corresponding to the minimum strain limit for beams:
c dt = .003 .003 + .004 = .429 AND a dt = .429 1

Values of c/dt and a/dt corresponding to the compression-controlled limit:


c dt = .003 .003 + .002 = .600 AND a dt = .600 1

Strength Reduction Factors (ACI 9.3.2) The ACI Code requires a lower factor (higher factor of safety) for compressioncontrolled members because they exhibit brittle failures. The factor for tension and compression controlled sections are 0.90 and 0.70, respectively, for members with other than spiral transverse reinforcement. Most beams fall into this category. A linear transition is assumed between the tension- and compression-controlled limits as shown in the figure below.

From: PCA, Notes on ACI 318-02 (Also ACI 318-02, pg. 100)

Recall that ACI 318-02 limits the design of beams such that the strain in the extreme layer of tension reinforcement is at least 0.004. At a strain t = 0.004, the strength reduction factor (for other than spiral reinforced members) is = 0.81. Thus, it can be stated that the strength reduction factor for beams varies between = 0.81 and = 0.90, depending on the strain in the extreme layer of tension reinforcement. It is generally most economical to design beams such that the strain in the extreme layer of tension reinforcement exceeds 0.005, with = 0.90. Values of /b for various strain conditions For common cases, such as a rectangular cross-section with a single layer of tensile reinforcement and no compression reinforcement, we can derive simple relationships between the balanced reinforcement ratio and the tension- and compression-controlled limits. The simple derivation is shown below:
Assume d = d t For an underreinforced (or balanced) rectangular beam with a only tension reinforcement, As f y As f y d f y d C = T .85 f ' c ab = As f y a = a= a= .85 f ' c b .85 f ' c bd .85 f ' c

f y a = d .85 f ' c

f y c = d .851 f ' c

f y c = dt .851 f ' c

Rearranging terms yields

= .851 f 'c fy c d t

We can now substitute the values of t corresponding to the different strain conditions. For example, at the compression-controlled limit (which corresponds to the balanced case) for Grade 60 reinforcement:

t = 0.002

c .003 = = .600 d t .003 + .002

.851 f 'c = .600 fy

Values of /b corresponding to different cases can be derived by making similar substitutions for the tension-controlled limit and the beam minimum tension strain limit, and then comparing the results. The table below summarizes several parameters corresponding to the different strain conditions:
Transition Zone At TensionAbove Tension(Acceptable Beam Controlled Limit Controlled Limit Designs) t t = 0.002 0.004 < t < 0.005 t = 0.005 t > 0.005 Behavior Balanced Significantly Very Underreinforced Very Underreinforced Underreinforced c/dt c/dt = 0.600 0.429 > c/dt > 0.375 c/dt = 0.375 c/dt < 0.375 a/dt a/dt = 0.6001 0.4291 > a/dt > 0.3751 a/dt = 0.3751 a/dt < 0.3751 (spirals) =0.70 0.838 < < 0.90 =0.90 =0.90 =0.57 + 67t =0.37 + 0.20/( c/dt ) (other) =0.65 =0.812 0.812 < < 0.90 =0.90 =0.90 =0.48 + 83t =0.23 + 0.25/( c/dt ) / b /b = 1.000 /b = 0.715 0.715 > /b > 0.625 /b = 0.625 /b < 0.625 Note: tabulated values assume singly-reinforced rectangular sections with one layer of Grade 60 reinforcement At CompressionControlled Limit At Beam Minimum Strain Limit t = 0.004 Sufficiently Underreinforced c/dt = 0.429 a/dt = 0.4291 =0.838

Previous versions of ACI 318 (ACI 318-99 and earlier) limited the reinforcement ratio that could be used in design to /b < 0.75. In the table above, it can be seen that ACI 318-02 effectively limits this ratio to 0.715 for singly-reinforced rectangular sections with one layer of reinforcement. ACI 318-02 is therefore only slightly more conservative. However, in order to use the standard strength reduction factor of = 0.90, note that ACI 318-02 limits designs to /b < 0.625. Minimum reinforcement limits for beams (ACI 10.5) ACI 318-02 requires a minimum amount of reinforcement in beams so that beams are prevented from failing immediately after cracking. The minimum amount of reinforcement is given as:
As ,min = 3 f 'c fy bw d 200 bw d fy

Note that ACI 10.5.3 stipulates that the above limit need not be applied if the area of tensile reinforcement provided is at least 33% greater than required by analysis.