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www.elsevier.com/locate/engstruct

Behavior of reinforced concrete beams with minimum

torsional reinforcement

Hao-Jan Chiu, I-Kuang Fang

Department of Civil Engineering, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, 701, Taiwan, ROC

Received 17 February 2006; received in revised form 9 October 2006; accepted 8 November 2006

Available online 22 December 2006

Abstract

An experimental investigation was conducted on the behavior of thirteen high-(HSC) and normal-strength concrete (NSC) full-size beams

with relatively low amounts of torsional reinforcement. The crack patterns, the maximum crack widths at service load level, torsional strength,

torsional ductility, and post-cracking reserve strength results of the experiments are discussed. The main parameters include the volumetric ratio

of torsional reinforcements, the compressive strength of the concrete, and the aspect ratio of the cross section. It was found that the adequacy

of the post-cracking reserve strength for specimens with relatively low amounts of torsional reinforcement is primarily related to the ratio of the

transverse to the longitudinal reinforcement factors in addition to the total amounts of torsional reinforcement. The minimum requirements of

torsional reinforcement for NSC beams proposed by other researchers are also discussed on the basis of our test results of both HSC and NSC

beams.

c 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: High strength concrete; Reinforced concrete beam; Torsion

1. Introduction

Structural elements such as spandrel beams in buildings,

curved beams, and eccentrically loaded box girders in bridges

are subjected to signicant torsional moments that affect their

strength and deformation. The torsion design provisions in

the ACI Building Code before 1995 were based on the skew-

bending theory [1]. Since 1995, the design for torsion is based

on the thin-walled tube [2], and space truss analogy [3], which

covers both prestressed and nonprestressed concrete members.

The torsional cracking strength T

cr

includes the effects of

concrete compressive strength, solid or hollow cross section,

and level of axial or prestressing force.

Unlike the 1989 version of the ACI 318 Code [4], the

contribution of concrete to the ultimate torsional strength in a

structural concrete member was neglected, whereas the nominal

torsional moment strength specied in the ACI 318-05 Code [5]

is proportional to the amounts of transverse and longitudinal

E-mail address: fanglou@mail.ncku.edu.tw (I.-K. Fang).

reinforcements, and the angle of the compression diagonals.

The code provisions also assume that both longitudinal and

transverse reinforcements yield prior to the ultimate strength

stage. Furthermore, the maximum shear stress is specied to

control the crack width. To prevent brittle and sudden failures

upon the formation of the rst inclined cracking, the minimum

amount of transverse reinforcement specied in ACI 318-

05 Code [5] includes the effect of compressive strength of

concrete. Nevertheless, the test data used to validate the above

specication were primarily based on the beams subjected

to pure shear [68]. More details about the torsion design

provision in ACI 318-05 will be introduced in the following

paragraph.

Recently, Ali and White [9] proposed that the minimum tor-

sional reinforcement specied in the ACI 318-95 Code [10]

could result in a negative calculated minimumlongitudinal rein-

forcement and cause unnecessary confusion to designers. Thus,

they suggested that the minimum required torsional reinforce-

ment should be a function of the torsional cracking strength.

Koutchoukai and Belarbi [11] investigated the effect of high-

strength concrete on the torsional cracking strength T

cr

. They

also proposed the minimum required torsional reinforcement

0141-0296/$ - see front matter c 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

doi:10.1016/j.engstruct.2006.11.004

2194 H.-J. Chiu et al. / Engineering Structures 29 (2007) 21932205

Notations

A

cp

area enclosed by outside perimeter of concrete

cross section, mm

2

A

g

gross area of concrete cross section, mm

2

. For a

hollow section, A

g

is the area of the concrete only

and does not include the area of void(s).

A

l

total area of longitudinal reinforcement to resist

torsion, mm

2

A

l,min (ACI)

minimum area of total longitudinal reinforce-

ment required for torsion, mm

2

A

o

gross area enclosed by shear ow path, mm

2

A

oh

area enclosed by centerline of the outermost

closed transverse torsional reinforcement, mm

2

A

t

area of one leg of a closed stirrup resisting torsion

within a distance s, mm

2

A

t,min (ACI)

minimum cross-sectional area of one leg of

closed stirrups, mm

2

b

w

web width, or diameter of circular section, mm

f

c

specied compressive strength of concrete, MPa

f

yl

yield strength of longitudinal torsional reinforce-

ment, MPa

f

yv

yield strength of closed transverse torsional

reinforcement, MPa

p

cp

outside perimeter of the concrete cross sec-

tion, mm

p

h

perimeter of centerline of outermost closed

transverse torsional reinforcement, mm

s spacing of torsional reinforcement measured in

a direction parallel to longitudinal reinforce-

ment, mm

T

cr

torsional cracking moment under pure torsion,

kN m

T

n

nominal torsional moment strength, kN m

x

1

shorter overall dimension of rectangular part of

cross section, mm

y

1

longer overall dimension of rectangular part of

cross section, mm

angle of compression diagonals in truss analogy

for torsion

associated with the minimum required torsional strength to the

torsional cracking strength.

Experimental investigations on the torsional behavior of

reinforced concrete beams with relatively lower amounts of

transverse and longitudinal reinforcement are limited. The

effects of the ratio of transverse to longitudinal reinforcement

on the post-cracking reserve strength and crack control under

service conditions for members with the minimum amount

of torsional reinforcement still need to be discussed in the

literature. Therefore, this paper presents the test results of our

investigation of the behavior of reinforced concrete beams with

relatively low levels of torsional reinforcement and evaluates

the minimum torsional reinforcement provision in the ACI 318

Code.

2. Research signicance

The crack patterns, crack width, post-cracking reserve

strength, and torsional ductility for NSC and HSC beams

with lower amounts of torsional reinforcement under pure

torsion were investigated. The main parameters included the

volumetric ratio of transverse to longitudinal reinforcement,

compressive strength of concrete, aspect ratio of the cross

section, and hollow and solid sections. The minimum

requirements of torsional reinforcement for NSC beams

proposed by other researchers are also discussed according to

the test results.

3. Brief introduction of torsion design in the ACI 318-05

code

The design provisions for torsional cracking strength for

the nonprestressed concrete beam in ACI 318-05 Code [5] are

specied as follows:

T

cr

=

c

3

A

2

cp

p

cp

T

cr

=

c

3

A

2

cp

p

cp

A

g

A

cp

Upon torsional cracking, the ACI 318-05 Code assumes that

the torsional resistance of a structural concrete member is pro-

vided mainly by closed stirrups, longitudinal reinforcements,

and compression diagonals, which construct a space truss. In

accordance with the space truss analogy and current torsion de-

sign provisions, the torsional strength and the required longitu-

dinal reinforcement are specied as follows. The angle of the

compression diagonal is specied as varying from 30 to 60

deg.

T

n

=

2A

t

A

o

f

yv

s

cot (3)

A

o

= 0.85A

oh

(4)

A

l

=

A

t

s

p

h

f

yv

f

yl

cot

2

. (5)

The ACI 318-05 Code requires a minimum amount of

torsional reinforcement to provide the torsional resistance when

the factored torsional moment exceeds the threshold torque

specied in Section 11.6.1 of the code. For pure torsion,

the minimum amount of closed stirrups is specied by the

following two equations, depending on whichever is greater:

2A

t,min (ACI)

= 0.062

c

b

w

s

f

yv

(6)

2A

t,min (ACI)

0.35

b

w

s

f

yv

. (7)

According to the Eq. (6), we nd that the effect of the

compressive strength of concrete has been included in the

design of the minimum amount of transverse reinforcement.

H.-J. Chiu et al. / Engineering Structures 29 (2007) 21932205 2195

Fig. 1(a). Comparison of minimum transverse reinforcement requirements for

pure torsion.

The current design code also species the following minimum

longitudinal torsional reinforcement.

A

l,min (ACI)

=

5

c

A

cp

12 f

yl

A

t

s

p

h

f

yv

f

yl

. (8)

In order to ensure the development of the ultimate torsional

strength, to control crack width, and to prevent excessive

loss of torsional stiffness after the cracking of the reinforced

concrete member, the ACI 318-05 Code species the maximum

spacing of the torsional reinforcement in Section 11.6.6. The

spacing of transverse torsional reinforcement shall not exceed

the smaller of p

h

/8 or 305 mm. In addition, the provision of

the longitudinal reinforcement required for torsion is specied

in Section 11.6.6.2 of the ACI 318-05.

The effects of the concrete compressive strength on the

minimumtransverse, longitudinal, and total amount of torsional

reinforcement requirements specied in the current and older

versions of the ACI 318 Code are compared in Figs. 1(a)1(c).

4. Experimental program

4.1. Specimen details

Thirteen beam specimens, having rectangular cross sections

of 420 420 mm(y/x = 1.0), 350 500 mm(y/x = 1.43),

and 250 700 mm(y/x = 2.8), were constructed in the

laboratory and tested under pure torsion. The details, including

the identication and design parameters of the specimens are

shown in Figs. 2(a) and 2(b) and Table 1. A clear concrete

cover to the outer surface of stirrups was 20 mm. Additional

transverse reinforcement was placed at both ends of the beam,

so that failure would occur in the central test region of the beam.

The test zone was 1.6 m wide to allow at least one complete

helical crack to form along each beam specimen.

The primary parameters consisted of the: (1) ratios of

transverse and longitudinal reinforcement (

t

= 0.13%0.61%,

l

= 0.43%0.91%); (2) compressive strength of concrete

( f

c

= 3578 MPa); (3) aspect ratio of the cross section (A-

series (y/x = 1.0), B-series (y/x = 1.43), and C-series

Fig. 1(b). Comparison of minimum longitudinal reinforcement requirements

for pure torsion.

Fig. 1(c). Comparison of minimum torsional reinforcement requirements.

(y/x = 2.8)); and (4) hollow (H) and solid (S) sections.

In addition, we use the ratio of transverse to longitudinal

reinforcement factors

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

, the volumetric ratio of

the torsional reinforcements including the effect of the yield

strength of the reinforcement, to investigate the behavior of

the reinforced concrete beams with lower amounts of torsional

reinforcement subjected to pure torsion.

The HSC specimen HBS-82-13 in Table 1, designed with the

minimum amount of transverse reinforcement and maximum

spacing of transverse reinforcement ( p

h

/8 = 190 mm) of

the ACI 318-05 Code [5], i.e., A

t

/s = (A

t

/s)

min,(ACI)

(

t

=

0.13%) and A

l

= 1.52 A

l,min,(ACI)

(

l

= 0.82%), had

its sum of torsional reinforcement ratios

total

= 0.95%.

Similarly, the NSC specimen NBS-82-13 was designed with the

maximum spacing of the transverse torsional reinforcements

( p

h

/8 = 190 mm), having A

t

/s = 1.39(A

t

/s)

min,(ACI)

,

t

= 0.13%,

l

= 0.82%, and

total

= 0.95%. Another

HSC specimen HBS-74-17 was designed with A

t

/s =

1.35(A

t

/s)

min,(ACI)

,

l

= 0.74%, and

total

= 0.91%. The

ratios of

t

/

l

for the above three specimens ranged from 0.16

to 0.23.

The values of

total

for the other ten specimens, as shown

in Table 1, varied from 0.87% to 1.41%. The ratios of

t

/

l

for

these specimens varied from 0.43 to 1.0. Among them, the HSC

2196 H.-J. Chiu et al. / Engineering Structures 29 (2007) 21932205

Fig. 2(a). Elevation of the steel cage.

Fig. 2(b). Specimen details.

specimens HAS-51-50 and HCS-52-50 were designed with

T

n

= 1.0T

cr

and = 45 deg, which is equivalent to A

t

/s =

1.99(A

t

/s)

min,(ACI)

. Similarly, the HSC specimen HBS-60-61

had T

n

= 1.2T

cr

, = 45 deg, and A

t

/s = 3.05(A

t

/s)

min,(ACI)

.

The NSC specimen NBS-43-44 was designed with T

n

=

1.29T

cr

and = 45 deg, and A

t

/s = 3.02(A

t

/s)

min,(ACI)

. In

addition, the specimens HAH-81-35, NCH-62-33, and HCH-

91-42 with hollow sections were designed to compare with

those having solid sections.

4.2. Material properties

The concrete was supplied from a local ready mix plant. Two

types of concrete mixture, for the normal- and high-strength

concretes, were used and are shown in Table 2. For both types

of concrete, Type I Portland cement, Type F y ash, slag, local

crushed aggregate with a maximum size of 10 mm, and local

river sand with a neness modulus of 2.7 were used. Silica

fume (11% by weight of cement) with a specic gravity of

2.2 was used for the high-strength concrete. Superplasticizer

(ASTM C494 Type G) was used to improve the workability of

the mixtures for achieving the desired ow of 600 mm.

For each test beam specimen, six 150 300 mm concrete

cylinders and three 150 150 530 mm prisms were cast

as control specimens for basic material strength. The concrete

cylinders, prisms, and the test beams were stored together and

sprayed with curing compound several times during the curing

period until testing. The uniaxial compressive strength was

determined according to the average test results of three control

cylinders.

Mild steel bars were used as transverse and longitudinal

reinforcements. The test yield strengths of the various sizes of

reinforcement used in the test beams are shown in Table 1.

4.3. Test setup and instrumentation

Details of the schematic test setup are shown in Figs. 3(a)

and 3(b). Near the ends of the test region, the specimen was

clamped with steel torsional arms, which were loaded through

a steel transfer beam by the Shimatzu universal testing machine

to generate pure torsional loads. The support devices were

installed to ensure that the beam would be free to elongate in

the longitudinal direction and rotate in the transverse direction

during the test. At both ends of the central test region, aluminum

rigs were tied to the surfaces of each specimen to measure the

rotation of its cross section. Four electronic dial gauges were

used to measure the relative deections of the aluminum rigs,

which were transformed into the rotation of the cross section.

The twist of the test region was determined from the relative

rotations of the two aluminum rigs at the sides of the test

region.

Electrical resistance strain gauges were mounted on the

stirrups and longitudinal reinforcements in the test region to

monitor the strain variations of the reinforcements, as shown

in Fig. 2(a). As shown in Fig. 4, copper target points were

attached to the front, back, and top side of the test region of

H.-J. Chiu et al. / Engineering Structures 29 (2007) 21932205 2197

Table 1

Details of test specimens

Specimen number y/x f

c

f

yv

f

yl

Longitudinal bars Stirrups s (mm)

total

t

f

yv

l

f

yl

Comments

(MPa) (MPa) (MPa) (%)

HAS-51-50 76.0 396 6-No. 4 and 2-No. 3 No. 3@120 1.01 0.95 T

n

= 1.0T

cr

; = 45

(

l

= 0.51%) (

t

= 0.50%)

t

/

l

= 0.98

NAS-61-35 48.0 394 4-No. 5 and 4-No. 3 No. 3@170 0.96 0.56 A

t

/s = 1.77(A

t

/s)

min,(ACI)

1.0 385 (

l

= 0.61%) (

t

= 0.35%)

t

/

l

= 0.57

HAH-81-35 78.0 493 4-No. 6 and 4-No. 3 No. 3@170 1.16 0.34 A

t

/s = 1.39(A

t

/s)

min,(ACI)

(

l

= 0.81%) (

t

= 0.35%)

t

/

l

= 0.43

HAS-90-50 78.0 400 8-No. 5 No. 3@120 1.40 0.53 A

t

/s = 1.97(A

t

/s)

min,(ACI)

(

l

= 0.90%) (

t

= 0.50%)

t

/

l

= 0.56

NBS-43-44 35.0 385 400 6-No. 4 No. 3@140 0.87 T

n

= 1.29T

cr

; = 45

(

l

= 0.43%) (

t

= 0.44%) 0.98

t

/

l

= 1.02

HBS-74-17 67.0 600 505 4-No. 6 and 2-No. 3 No. 2@140 0.91 0.27 A

t

/s = 1.35(A

t

/s)

min,(ACI)

(

l

= 0.74%) (

t

= 0.17%)

t

/

l

= 0.23

HBS-82-13 67.0 600 493 4-No. 6 and 4-No. 3 No. 2@190 0.95 0.19 A

t

/s = (A

t

/s)

min,(ACI)

1.43 (

l

= 0.82%) (

t

= 0.13%)

t

/

l

= 0.16

NBS-82-13 35.0 600 493 4-No. 6 and 4-No. 3 No. 2@190 0.95 0.19 A

t

/s = 1.39(A

t

/s)

min,(ACI)

(

l

= 0.82%) (

t

= 0.13%)

t

/

l

= 0.16

HBS-60-61 67.0 385 402 4-No. 5 and 2-No. 4 No. 3@100 1.21 0.97 T

n

= 1.2T

cr

; = 45

(

l

= 0.60%) (

t

= 0.61%)

t

/

l

= 1.02

HCS-52-50 76.0 396 6-No. 4 and 2-No. 3 No. 3@140 1.02 0.93 T

n

= 1.0T

cr

; = 45

(

l

= 0.52%)

t

= 0.50%

t

/

l

= 0.96

NCH-62-33 48.0 394 4-No. 5 and 4-No. 3 No. 3@210 0.95 0.52 A

t

/s = 2.41(A

t

/s)

min,(ACI)

2.8 385 (

l

= 0.62%)

t

= 0.33%

t

/

l

= 0.53

HCH-91-42 78.0 8-No. 5 No. 3@165 1.33 0.44 A

t

/s = 2.40(A

t

/s)

min,(ACI)

400 (

l

= 0.91%) (

t

= 0.42%)

t

/

l

= 0.46

HCS-91-50 78.0 8-No. 5 No. 3@140 1.41 0.53 A

t

/s = 2.83(A

t

/s)

min,(ACI)

(

l

= 0.91%) (

t

= 0.50%)

t

/

l

= 0.55

Note:

t

=

A

t

P

h

A

cp

s

100%;

l

=

A

l

A

cp

100%;

total

=

t

+

l

#2: A

s

= 28.3 mm

2

; #3: A

s

= 71.3 mm

2

; #4: A

s

= 126.7 mm

2

#5: A

s

= 198.6 mm

2

; #6: A

s

= 286.5 mm

2

.

beam specimens to provide full information about the average

surface deformations in the horizontal, vertical, 45 deg, and 135

deg directions. The relative displacements of the adjacent target

points were measured by an electronic digital caliper gauge

at each load stage during the test. The angles of the principal

compressive strain at mid-span during the test procedure were

obtained using the Mohrs strain circle. The electronic load cells

placed at the top of the steel torsional arms were used to monitor

the applied load. The data of load, twist, and reinforcement

strains of the beam were collected by a personal computer for

automatic data acquisitions.

4.4. Test procedure

During the tests, the torsional load was applied in a

controlled manner until several visible cracks occurred on the

surface of the specimen. The cracking torque T

cr

and the

associated twist were recorded, and the specimen was then

loaded monotonically to failure. At every load stage after initial

cracking, the load was held constant for several minutes to

measure the crack widths. In addition, the crack propagations

were traced and marked on the surfaces of the specimens and

the maximum crack width was measured by using a magnifying

glass.

2198 H.-J. Chiu et al. / Engineering Structures 29 (2007) 21932205

Table 2

Concrete mixture proportions

Constituents (kg/m

3

) Target strength Target strength

70 MPa (HSC) 40 MPa (NSC)

Cement, 413 264

Silica fume, 44

Slag, 65 61

Fly ash, 28 81

Sand, 622 725

Coarse aggregate, 988 1033

Water, 164 183

Superplasticizer, 12.1 4.9

(ASTM C 494 Type G)

Fig. 3(a). Schematic test setup.

Fig. 3(b). Schematic test setup at the end of specimen.

5. Test results and discussion

5.1. Crack patterns

The observed crack patterns of the test specimens are shown

in Fig. 5. One major inclined crack initiated on the top and front

sides of the HSC specimen HBS-74-17 having relatively lower

ratio of

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

(

total

= 0.91%,

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

= 0.27), and

soon after that, the concrete on the back side of it was crushed as

shown in Figs. 5(a) and 5(b). The crack pattern of this specimen

is similar to that assumed in the skewing bending theory [1].

According to Figs. 5(c)5(g), for the specimens with relatively

higher ratios of

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

, 0.440.97, we observe that the

smeared helical cracks were evenly distributed on the surface

in which the inclined concrete struts of the space truss analogy

Fig. 4. Location of targets on concrete surface.

H.-J. Chiu et al. / Engineering Structures 29 (2007) 21932205 2199

Fig. 5(a). Crack pattern of specimen HBS-74-17 after failure (front side).

Fig. 5(b). Crack pattern of specimen HBS-74-17 after failure (back side).

Fig. 5(c). Crack pattern of specimen NAS-61-35 after failure.

Fig. 5(d). Crack pattern of specimen HBS-60-61 after failure.

were developed to resist the external torque. Corner spallings

were observed on some of the test specimens.

The selections of the angle of the compression diagonal

for torsion design of reinforced concrete beams vary from

30 deg to 60 deg based on the current provisions of the

ACI 318-05 Code. If an angle of 45 deg is chosen for the

Fig. 5(e). Crack pattern of specimen NAS-61-35 after failure.

Fig. 5(f). Crack pattern of specimen HCH-91-42 after failure.

Fig. 5(g). Crack pattern of specimen NCH-62-33 after failure.

compression diagonal, it will end up with equal percentages

of reinforcement in the longitudinal and transverse directions,

i.e.,

t

f

yv

=

l

f

yl

. However, if the selected angle deviates from

45 deg, the designed percentage of torsional reinforcement in

the longitudinal direction will differ from that in the transverse

direction. The initial cracking angles of the specimens as shown

in Fig. 5 are about 4347 deg, except for the specimen HBS-74-

17, which failed shortly after its initial diagonal crack occurred.

The angles of the principal strain at the ultimate strength stage

of the thirteen specimens are about 3544 deg, which coincide

with the tendencies of the angles for the compression diagonals

calculated from the ACI 318-05 Code [5]. From Figs. 5(c)

and 5(d), the angles of the principal strain at ultimate strength

stage for the specimens HAS-51-50 and HBS-60-61, having

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

= 0.95 and 0.97, are very close to 45 deg. Also,

the deviations of the inclined angles at the ultimate strength

stage from those at the initial cracking stage are insignicant.

2200 H.-J. Chiu et al. / Engineering Structures 29 (2007) 21932205

However, as shown in Figs. 5(e)5(g), the angles of principal

strain at the ultimate strength stage for the specimens NAS-

61-35, HCH-91-42, and NCH-62-33, having

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

=

0.440.56, are approximately 3537 deg, which deviate about

79 deg from those at the initial cracking stages. The test results

validate the theory that the tendency of deviation of the angles

of the compression diagonal is mainly dependant on the ratio of

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

[12].

5.2. Crack width

For the crack control, there must be sufcient reinforcement

in the cross section to ensure that the distribution of cracks

can occur and the reinforcement does not yield at the rst

cracking. According to the theory of elasticity, when the

specimens are subjected to pure torsion, the rst inclined

crack normally initiates in the middle of the wider face of the

cross section. Therefore, during the test, the crack widths were

measured at that location. As mentioned above, for specimens

having similar amounts of torsional reinforcement, the torsional

cracking strength is lower for those with hollow sections or

greater aspect ratios. As a result, the reinforcement started to

resist external loads at an earlier load stage for such specimens.

From the test observations, the specimen HBS-82-13 (A

t

/s =

(A

t

/s)

min,(ACI)

and

t

f

y

v/

l

f

y

l = 0.19) approached its

ultimate strength stage shortly after the formation of diagonal

cracking. Furthermore, the deformations on the surface of the

specimens HBS-74-17 and NBS-82-13 were concentrated on

only a few cracks. Therefore, the crack control is inadequate for

the specimens containing relatively lower amounts of transverse

reinforcements.

In this investigation, we select the A (y/x = 1.0) and

C-series (y/x = 2.8) specimens to discuss the development

of crack widths for specimens with lower amounts of

torsional reinforcement. Fig. 6 shows the relationships of

the T

(test)

/T

u(test)

and the crack widths of A- and C-series

specimens. Each curve starts at the cracking torque and

terminates at the point when the reinforcement reaches its

yielding strain. In this paper, we adopted the 60% of the

nominal torsional strength calculated by the ACI 318-05

Code [5] as the service load level, which was also proposed by

Yoon et al. [7] and Ozcebe et al. [8] for reinforced concrete

beams subjected to shear. The horizontal and vertical dotted

lines in the gures represent the calculated service load level

and crack width criteria in a exure of 0.30 mm in the ACI

318-95 Code [10] and in Eurocode 2 [13] at the service

load level, respectively. Figs. 6(a) and 6(b) show that the

calculated service loads are less than the experimental cracking

loads; therefore, the specimens designed with relatively higher

ratios of

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

, 0.34 to 0.95, remain un-cracked at the

calculated service load level.

As shown in Fig. 6(a), the crack width of the specimen

HAH-81-35 with hollow section is greater than the HSC

specimen HAS-90-50 with solid section at the same load level.

A similar phenomenon is observed in Fig. 6(b) for the C-

series specimens HCH-91-42 and HCS-91-50. Therefore, the

developments of crack widths for the specimens with hollow

Fig. 6(a). External torque level versus crack width for A-series specimens.

Fig. 6(b). External torque level versus crack width for C-series specimens.

sections are more signicant than those of the specimens

with solid sections. From Fig. 6(b), it can also been seen

that the crack width of HSC specimen HCH-91-42 is greater

than that of the NSC specimen NCH-62-33 at the same load

level. Similarly, the tendency can be observed in Fig. 6(a) for

HSC specimen HAS-51-50 and NSC specimen NAS-61-35 to

go beyond 80% of the experimental ultimate torque. This is

because the HSC beams have higher tensile strength and exhibit

fewer inclined cracks and larger torsional crack width than

the NSC beams. A comparison of Figs. 6(a) and 6(b) shows

a signicant difference in the development of crack widths

between the A- and C-series specimens. The crack widths of the

C-series specimens HCS-52-50 and HCS-91-50 (y/x = 2.8)

are larger than the corresponding specimens HAS-51-50 and

HAS-90-50 (y/x = 1.0) in the A-series, which indicates that

the crack widths increase with increases in the aspect ratio of

the cross section.

According to the numerical analysis and experimental

investigations conducted by Park et al. [14] the maximum

crack width was affected by the relative amounts of torsional

reinforcement in the transverse and longitudinal directions. The

crack widths of specimen HCS-91-50 are smaller than those of

specimen HCS-52-50 at the same external load level. A similar

result is also shown in Fig. 6(a) for specimens HAS-90-50

and HAS-51-50 after going beyond 80% of the experimental

H.-J. Chiu et al. / Engineering Structures 29 (2007) 21932205 2201

Table 3

Summary of test results of specimens

Specimen number T

cr(test)

(kN m) T

u(test)

(kN m)

T

cr(test)

T

cr(ACI)

T

u(test)

T

n

(ACI)

T

n(ACI)

T

cr(ACI)

T

u(test)

T

cr(test)

0.85A

u

A

y

HAS-51-50 62.10 84.86 1.15 1.56 1.01 1.37 4.12

NAS-61-35 50.03 74.71 1.17 1.49 1.18 1.49 4.06

HAH-81-35 44.42 94.31 1.39 1.46 2.02 2.12 3.88

HAS-90-50 68.43 104.23 1.25 1.43 1.34 1.52 5.71

NBS-43-44 44.50 60.60 1.25 1.32 1.29 1.36 3.79

HBS-74-17 57.48 62.20 1.17 1.18 1.12 1.08 2.51

HBS-82-13 56.31 56.31 1.15 1.20 1.06 1.00 2.72

NBS-82-13 46.18 52.90 1.30 1.12 1.32 1.15 2.46

HBS-60-61 59.01 93.70 1.20 1.47 1.30 1.59 3.81

HCS-52-50 47.22 73.54 1.01 1.64 1.00 1.56 3.46

NCH-62-33 36.61 64.14 1.43 1.60 1.57 1.75 1.95

HCH-91-42 40.74 87.51 1.25 1.59 1.69 2.15 2.13

HCS-91-50 53.22 95.86 1.12 1.60 1.26 1.80 4.73

Average 1.22 1.44

ultimate torque. This indicates that an increase in the amount

of longitudinal reinforcement decreases the crack width for

reinforced concrete beams subjected to pure torsion. The crack

widths at 60% of T

u(test)

for specimens HAS-51-50 and HCS-

52-50 (

total

= 1.02%) are smaller than 0.3 mm. Thus, the

specimens designed with T

n

= 1.0T

cr

provide adequate crack

control.

5.3. Torsional strength

The experimental results of the torsional strength tests are

listed in columns 2 and 3 of Table 3 and compared with the

calculated values of the ACI 318-05 Code in columns 4 and 5.

The crack initiates as the maximumapplied tensile stress arrives

at the tensile strength of concrete; therefore, the torsional

cracking strengths of the HSC specimens are higher than those

of the NSC specimens. The test results indicate that the average

value of T

cr(test)

/T

cr(ACI)

for HSC and NSC specimens are 1.19

and 1.29, respectively, and the average value of T

cr(test)

/T

cr(ACI)

for all specimens shown in Table 3 is approximately 1.22.

As shown in Table 3, the experimental cracking strengths

of the hollow section specimens HAH-81-35 (y/x = 1.0) and

HCH-91-42 (y/x = 2.8) are 44.42 kN m and 40.74 kN m,

respectively, which are less than the 68.43 kN m and

53.22 kN m, respectively, of the corresponding solid section

specimens HAS-90-50 (y/x = 1.0) and HCS-91-50 (y/x =

2.8). In addition, the test results of the above four specimens

also reveal that the aspect ratio would affect the torsional

cracking strength. We further normalize the torisonal cracking

strength of the specimens with solid and hollow sections by

c

as shown in Fig. 7. The normalized torsional cracking

strength decreased as the aspect ratios of specimens increased.

Furthermore, the experimental ultimate torsional strengths of

the specimens HAS-51-50 (y/x = 1.0,

total

= 1.01%) and

HAS-90-50 (y/x = 1.0,

total

= 1.40%) are 84.86 kN m

and 104.23 kN m, respectively, which are greater than the

73.54 kN m and 95.86 kN m, respectively, of the corresponding

solid section specimens HCS-52-50 (y/x = 2.8,

total

=

1.02%) and HCS-91-50 (y/x = 2.8,

total

= 1.41%). The test

Fig. 7. Normalized cracking torsional strengthaspect ratio relationships for

the test specimens.

results also reveal that the ultimate torsional strength decreases

with the increase of the aspect ratio of the specimens.

5.4. Torsional ductility

Fig. 8(a)(d) show the experimental torquetwist relation-

ships of the test specimens. The torsional ductility of the

specimen is dened as the ratio of the area enclosed by the

torquetwist curve between the origin and 85% of the peak

strength (A

0.85T

u

) in the descending branch to that between the

origin and the rst yielding of torsional reinforcement (A

y

).

The variations of torsional ductility among the specimens are

listed in column 8 of Table 3. The reinforcements of the all

specimens yielded prior to the ultimate strength stage, except

for the specimens HBS-74-17, HBS-82-13, and NBS-82-13

shown in Fig. 8(a), which were designed with relatively lower

ratios of

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

. Only the transverse reinforcement of

the above three specimens yielded. The torquetwist curves of

the HBS-82-13 and NBS-82-13 (

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

= 0.19), shown

in Fig. 8(a), designed with the minimum amount of stirrups

and maximum spacing of the stirrups specied in ACI 318-

05 Code, respectively, had steeper strength decay than the

other specimens shown in Fig. 8. From Table 3, the ratios of

2202 H.-J. Chiu et al. / Engineering Structures 29 (2007) 21932205

(a) Beams HBS-74-17, HBS-82-13, and NBS-82-13. (b) Beams HAS-90-50 and HAH-81-35.

(c) Beams HCS-91-50 and HCH-91-42. (d) Beams HAS-51-50, HCS-52-50, and NBS-43-44.

Fig. 8. Experimental torquetwist relationships of the test specimens.

A

0.85T

u

/A

y

for specimens HBS-82-13 and HBS-74-17, hav-

ing

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

= 0.19 and 0.27, are 2.72 and 2.51, respec-

tively, which are less than the 3.81 of the specimen HBS-60-

61 of the same cross section designed with a relatively higher

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

ratio of 0.97.

From Fig. 8(b) and (c), the test results reveal that the

ascending branches in the experimental torquetwist curves of

the specimens with solid sections are slightly steeper than those

with hollow sections. The ratios of A

0.85T

u

/A

y

for specimens

HAH-81-35 and HCH-91-42 with hollow sections, shown in

Table 3, are 3.88 and 2.08, respectively, which are less than the

5.71 and 4.73 of the corresponding specimens HAS-90-50 and

HCS-91-50 with solid sections.

According to the test results of Fang and Shiau [15], the

torsional ductility of HSC specimens is better than that of NSC

specimens. In this investigation, the ratios of A

0.85T

u

/A

y

for the

HSC specimens HBS-82-13 and HCH-91-42 are 2.72 and 2.13,

which are greater than the 2.46 and 1.95 of the corresponding

NSC specimens NBS-82-13 and NCH-62-33.

The experimental torquetwist curves of the specimens

HAS-51-50, HCS-52-50, and NBS-43-44 (

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

=

0.930.98) in Fig. 8(d) show fairly ductile behavior in the

descending branches. The ratios of A

0.85T

u

/A

y

for the above

three specimens are 4.12, 3.46, and 3.79, respectively. The test

results reveal that the specimens designed with

t

f

yv

=

l

f

yl

can provide better torsional ductility than those having lower

ratios of

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

.

5.5. Effect of

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

ratio on the post-cracking reserve

strength

According to the equilibrium equations of the space truss

analogy theory [3,16,17] for reinforced concrete members

subjected to pure torsion, the ratio of the amount of transverse

to longitudinal reinforcement (

t

/

l

) signicantly affects the

torsional strength and the angle of the compression diagonal.

Furthermore, Leu and Lee [18] and Rahal [19] found that the

ratio of

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

has a signicant inuence on the ultimate

torsional strength and failure mode of beams subjected to pure

torsion. The test results of this investigation indicated that all

of the torsional reinforcements of specimens yielded before

reaching their ultimate strength stages. Therefore, the result

of T

u(test)

/T

cr(test)

should be greater than 1.0, because the code

provisions assume that all of the torsional reinforcements yield

at the ultimate strength stage.

The effect of the

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

ratio on the post-cracking

reserve strength (T

u(test)

/T

cr(test))

for specimens with lower

amounts of torsional reinforcement is investigated as follows.

H.-J. Chiu et al. / Engineering Structures 29 (2007) 21932205 2203

As shown in Table 3, the post-cracking reserve strength

T

u(test)

/T

cr(test)

for HSC specimen HBS-82-13 (with A

t

/s =

(A

t

/s)

min,(ACI)

and

l

= 0.82%) and HBS-74-17 (with

A

t

/s = 1.35(A

t

/s)

min,(ACI)

and

l

= 0.74%), having

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

= 0.19 and 0.27, are 1.00 and 1.08, respectively,

which are less than the corresponding code prediction values,

T

n(ACI)

/T

cr(ACI)

, of 1.06 and 1.12, respectively. Similarly, the

result of T

u(test)

/T

cr(test)

for NSC specimen NBS-82-13, with

reinforcement ratio

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

= 0.19 and

total

= 0.95%

is 1.15, which is also less than the code prediction value of

1.32. Therefore, the specimens designed with lower ratios of

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

, 0.19 and 0.27, did not provide adequate post-

cracking reserve strength even though they were designed with

torsional reinforcements of

total

> 0.90%.

The following HSC specimens were designed with relatively

more transverse reinforcements, i.e., A

t

/s = 1.39 to 2.83

(A

t

/s)

min,(ACI)

,

l

= 0.81%0.91%,

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

= 0.340.53

and

total

= 1.16%1.41%. The experimental reserve strengths

for the HSC specimens HAH-81-35, HAS-90-43, HAS-90-50,

HCH-91-42, and HCS-91-50 are 2.12, 1.48, 1.52, 2.15, and

1.80, respectively, which are all greater than the corresponding

prediction values of T

n(ACI)

/T

cr(ACI)

, 2.02, 1.24, 1.34, 1.69,

and 1.26, respectively. Similarly, for the NSC specimens

NAS-61-35 and NCH-62-33, with A

t

/s = 1.77 and 2.41

(A

t

/s)

min,(ACI)

,

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

= 0.56 and 0.52, and

total

0.96%, the test values of the reserve strengtsh are 1.49 and 1.75,

respectively, which are also greater than the associated values

of T

n(ACI)

/T

cr(ACI)

, which are 1.18 and 1.57, respectively.

According to the code provisions of ACI 318-05 [5],

i.e., Eqs. (3) and (5) in this paper, the angle of the

compression diagonal is 45 deg for beams designed with equal

percentages of torsional reinforcement in the transverse and

longitudinal directions. From Table 3, we nd that the values

of T

u(test)

/T

cr(test)

for the HSC specimens HAS-51-50, HCS-52-

50, and HBS-60-61, with A

t

/s = 1.99 to 3.22 (A

t

/s)

min,(ACI)

,

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

= 0.930.97, and

total

= 1.01%1.21%, are

1.37, 1.56, and 1.59, respectively, which are all greater than

the prediction values of T

n(ACI)

/T

cr(ACI)

, which are 1.01, 1.00,

and 1.20, respectively. Similarly, for the NSC specimen NBS-

43-44, having T

n

= 1.29T

cr

, A

t

/s = 3.02(A

t

/s)

min,(ACI)

,

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

= 0.98, and

total

= 0.87%, the value of

T

u(test)

/T

cr(test)

is 1.36, which is greater than the code prediction

value of 1.29.

To summarize the above comparisons of HSC and NSC

specimens designed with

total

= 0.87%1.21%, which

are close to the minimum amounts required by the current

design provisions, the experimental post-cracking strengths

are approximately 1.371.59 if

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

1.0 is used.

Therefore, the lower post-cracking reserve strengths of the

specimens are primarily due to the design with

t

f

yv

<<

l

f

yl

, even if

total

was only slightly less than 1.0%.

Fig. 9 further demonstrates the relationships between the

post-cracking reserve strengths and the ratios of

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

for HSC beams subjected to pure torsion according to ACI 318-

05 (Eqs. (1)(5) of this paper). The six prediction curves are

illustrated for B-series specimens having the conditions of solid

section,

total

= 0.9%1.4%, x

1

= 300 mm, y

1

= 450 mm,

Fig. 9. Reserve strength versus ratios of

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

for HSC specimens.

f

c

= 70 MPa, f

yv

= 400 MPa, and f

yl

= 440 MPa.

For beams having

total

= 0.9%1.2%, the curves start with

the condition of maximum spacing of stirrups, whereas for

those having

total

= 1.3% and 1.4%, the curves start with

the condition of the angle of the compression diagonal being

30 deg. All of the curves end with the condition of the

compression diagonal being 60 deg. The prediction curves also

show that the post-cracking reserve strength increases as the

ratio of

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

increases and reaches its maximum value

when

t

f

yv

is very close to

l

f

yl

, i.e., = 45 deg, and then

it decreases as the value of

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

is greater than 1.00.

The experimental post-cracking reserve strength of specimen

HBS-60-61 (

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

= 0.97) is 1.59, as plotted in Fig. 9,

which is higher than those of the HSC specimens HBS-74-

17 (

total

= 0.91%) and HBS-82-13 (

total

= 0.95%) which

were designed with the lower

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

ratios of 0.27 and

0.19, respectively. Therefore, the variation of the post-cracking

reserve strength T

u(test)

/T

cr(test)

was primarily affected by the

ratio of

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

in addition to

total

. Fig. 9 also indicates

that insufcient reserve strength would occur when the ratio of

total

is less than 1.0% for HSC specimens.

5.6. Minimum required torsional reinforcement

The relationships between the minimum requirements of

torsional reinforcement, specied in ACI 318-95 [10] and ACI

318-05 [5], and the compressive strength of concrete are shown

in Fig. 1. The gures show that the minimum requirements

of the transverse, longitudinal, and total amounts of torsional

reinforcement are the same in both ACI 318-95 and ACI 318-

05 Codes, as the value of f

c

is less than 32 MPa. When the

concrete compressive strengths are greater than 32 MPa, the

minimum amount of transverse reinforcement specied in the

ACI 318-05 Code is higher than that in the ACI 318-95 Code.

However, the minimum amount of longitudinal reinforcement

specied in the ACI 318-05 Code is lower than that specied

in the ACI 318-95 Code. Fig. 1 shows that the minimum

amounts of torsional reinforcement specied in ACI 318-95

and ACI 318-05 are very close. Furthermore, the minimum

torsional reinforcement in the transverse direction is less than

2204 H.-J. Chiu et al. / Engineering Structures 29 (2007) 21932205

that of the torsional reinforcement in the longitudinal direction

as specied in ACI 318 Code.

As mentioned previously, the inadequacy of the post-

cracking reserve strength for HSC specimens with a lower

ratio of

total

was primarily due to the greater difference

in the amounts of transverse and longitudinal reinforcements

(

t

f

yv

<<

l

f

yl

). Recently, a solution for the determination

of minimum amounts of torsional reinforcement based on the

concept that T

n

be in proportion to T

cr

is proposed by Hsu [20],

Ali and White [9], and Koutchoukali and Belarbi [11], but the

related test results are still limited. The logic to determine the

minimum amounts of torsional reinforcement is similar to that

of prestressed and nonprestressed concrete exural members

(M

n

= 1.2M

cr

). In accordance with the previous discussions,

the beam specimens designed with

t

f

yv

=

l

f

yl

(the angle of

the compression diagonal = 45 deg) had the maximum post-

cracking reserve strength. In addition, for the serviceability of

crack control, Hsu [12] indicated that the use of = 45 deg

can provide the best crack width control. The experimental

post-cracking reserve strengths of the specimens HAS-51-

50, NBS-43-44, HBS-60-61, and HCS-52-50, designed with

t

f

yv

=

l

f

yl

, and

total

= 0.87%1.21% were 1.37, 1.36,

1.59 and 1.56, respectively, and the associated failure modes

were ductile.

According to the plots in Figs. 1(a) and 1(b), the amount of

minimum transverse reinforcement calculated by T

n

= 1.0T

cr

is higher than that of the ACI 318 Code, whereas the amount of

minimum longitudinal reinforcement calculated by T

n

= 1.0T

cr

is lower than that of the ACI 318 Code. Furthermore, the

minimum amount of total torsional reinforcement according

to the concept of T

n

= 1.0T

cr

is slightly higher than that of

the ACI 318 Code, as shown in Fig. 1(c). Therefore, in order

to ensure a ductile failure mode, adequate crack control, and

sufcient post-cracking reserve strength for reinforced concrete

beams, an increase in the

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

ratio of the minimum

amount of torsional reinforcement specied in the ACI 31805

Code would be necessary. More work is still needed, including

studies of the behavior of beams of compressive strength higher

than 100 MPa, and of the effects of combined actions.

6. Conclusions

The behavior of reinforced concrete beams designed with

lower amounts of torsional reinforcement and the design

method for determining the minimum amounts of torsion

reinforcement were investigated. The following conclusions are

drawn based on the test results of this study.

1. A brittle failure mode was found for the HSC specimens

designed with lower ratios of

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

and totals, for

instances,

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

= 0.190.27 and

total

= 0.95%.

A ductile failure mode was found for both HSC and NSC

specimens designed with the ratios of

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

ranging from

0.34 to 0.98, and

total

greater than 0.95% for HSC specimens

and 0.87% for NSC specimens, respectively.

2. The torsional cracking strengths of the specimens with

hollow sections are smaller than those of the specimens

with solid sections. The increase of the aspect ratio of the

cross section decreases the cracking and ultimate strengths,

and increases the crack widths for the specimens with

approximately the same amounts of torsional reinforcement.

3. For the HSC and NSC specimens having A

t

/s = 1.00 to

1.38 (A

t

/s)

min,(ACI)

,

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

= 0.190.27, and

total

=

0.91%0.95%, lower values of T

u(test)

/T

cr(test)

, 1.00 to 1.15,

were observed. For the HSC and NSC specimens designed with

A

t

/s 1.39 to 2.83 (A

t

/s)

min,(ACI)

,

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

= 0.340.56,

and

total

= 0.95%1.41%, the results of T

u(test)

/T

cr(test)

were

approximately 1.482.15. For those made with HSC and NSC,

having A

t

/s = 1.99 to 3.22 (A

t

/s)

min,(ACI)

,

t

/

l

1.0, and

total

= 0.87%1.21%, the values of T

u(test)

/T

cr(test)

were about

1.321.59. The adequacy of post-cracking reserve strengths for

HSC and NSC beams reinforced with the minimum amounts

of torsional reinforcement specied in ACI 318-05 is primarily

related to the ratio of

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

in addition to the ratio of

total

.

4. For the HSC and NSC specimens designed with lower

amounts of torsional reinforcement, the selection of equal

percentages in the transverse and longitudinal directions

(i.e.,

t

f

yv

/

l

f

yl

1.0) provides adequately not only the post-

cracking reserve strength and torsional ductility needed, but

also the crack width control necessary at service load level.

Acknowledgment

The research funding provided by the National Science

Council of the Republic of China is highly appreciated.

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