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Engineering Structures 68 (2014) 5770

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Engineering Structures
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/engstruct

Behavior and analysis of inverted T-shaped RC beams under shear


and torsion
A. Deifalla a,, A. Ghobarah b
a
b

BUE, EL-Shourouk City, Postal No.11837, P.O. Box 43, Egypt


McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8S 4L7

a r t i c l e

i n f o

Article history:
Received 23 July 2013
Revised 19 February 2014
Accepted 20 February 2014
Available online 27 March 2014
Keywords:
T-beams
Combined loading
Torsion
Shear
Global behavior
Flange stirrup

a b s t r a c t
The 1998 ASCE-ACI Committee 445 on shear and torsion identied researching combined shear and
torsion as well as giving physical signicance for torsion design as an upcoming challenge (ASCE-ACI
Committee 445 on shear and torsion, 1998). Most of the previous experimental studies were focused
on reinforced (RC) beams under exure, shear or torsion. The behavior of inverted T-shaped beams with
both web and ange closed stirrups are not fully explored. In this research paper, an innovative test setup
capable of simulating the behavior of inverted T-shaped beams under combined shear and torsion was
developed and implemented. The behavior of three inverted T-shaped beams tested under different
values for the ratios of the applied torque to the applied shear force is discussed. The value of the torque
to shear ratio signicantly affects the behavior of the inverted T-shaped beams in terms of cracking pattern; failure mode; strut angle of inclination; cracking and ultimate torque; post-cracking torsional rigidity; cracking and ultimate shear; ange and web stirrup strain. The ange stirrup is more efcient in
resisting torsion moment over shear forces. A model capable of predicting the behavior of anged beams
under combined actions was developed and implemented. The model showed good agreement with the
experimental results from three different experimental studies.
2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction
Reinforced concrete (RC) inverted T-shaped beams are being
used as the main girders that support the lateral secondary precast
beams or slabs which is one of the popular structural systems for
many existing bridges and parking garages as shown in Fig. 1.
The behavior of inverted T-shaped beams is more complicated than
that of conventional either rectangular or T-shaped RC beams.
Conventional rectangular and T-shaped RC beams fail in exure,
shear, torsion, or a combination of these failure modes. In addition
to the conventional modes of failure, inverted T-shaped beams
could fail due to other local causes such as hanger failure in the
web, cantilever action, or punching shear in the ange, which
was studied by others [2,3]. Moreover, inverted T-shaped beams
are subjected to signicant torsional moments. Thus, these beams
must be designed to resist signicant torsional moment combined
with shear forces. In 1998, the ASCE-ACI Committee 445 on shear
and torsion identied integrating and designating a physical significance for the torsion design provisions, as well as reviewing combined shear and torsion, as an upcoming challenge [1]. Modeling of
Corresponding author.
E-mail addresses: diffalaf@mcmaster.ca, ahmed.deifalla@bue.edu.eg (A. Deifalla).
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.engstruct.2014.02.011
0141-0296/ 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

un-cracked anged beams is more complex than that of rectangular beams as shown in Fig. 2. Conventional Design Codes approach
the design of RC beams subjected to combined shear and torsion
differently, especially for cases that involve signicant torsion,
which was indicated by many researchers [46]. Thus, a unied
practical solution is required for the analysis of these inverted
T-shaped beams. Fig. 3 shows a typical inverted T-shaped beam
loading and forces. The test setup simulates the behavior at the
inection point with zero bending moment highlighted in Fig. 3.
This segment is subjected to signicant torsion and shear force,
while the values of bending moments are relatively insignicant.
In addition, it is far from the local effect of the load application
mechanism.
Although diagonal tension cracks occur in RC beams due to
torsion or shear, the behavior of RC beams due to torsion is different from that under shear. In the case of shear forces, the cracks
propagate in the same direction on both sides of the beam parallel
to the applied shear plane. In case of torsion, the cracks follow a
spiral pattern, propagating in opposite directions on the opposite
sides of the beam. In addition, the assumptions used in modeling
RC beams under shear are different from that used for modeling
those under torsion. In the case of shear forces, stresses are assumed to be in the plane of the applied shear and uniform across

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A. Deifalla, A. Ghobarah / Engineering Structures 68 (2014) 5770

Nomenclature
Ac
Ao
As
Ec
fc0
fy
i
k
l
m
Mx
N
Nvk
Pc
Po
q
qs
qt
T
V
Ti
t
ts
tt
Vi
yci

the gross concrete cross section area


the area enclosed inside the center of the shear ow
loop
area of each bar (j)
Youngs modulus of the concrete
the compressive strength of concrete
the yield stress of the steel
panel number
number of concrete strips for moment calculations
the length of the panel (i) parallel to the shear plane
number of steel bars
moment around the x-axis
the applied axial force on the cross section
the shear contribution from each panel (i)
the perimeter of the concrete cross section
the perimeter of the centerline of the equivalent thin
tube
the average shear ow of the panel (i)
the shear ow due to the shear force (V)
the uniform shear ow on the panel due to the torsion
the applied torsion moment on the whole cross section
the applied shear force on the whole cross section
the applied torsion moment on the rectangular subdivision
the effective thickness of each element resisting both
shear and torsion
the thickness of the element resisting the shear force (Vi)
the thickness of the element resisting the torsional moment (Ti)
the applied shear force of each rectangular sub-division
(i)
distance between the elastic centroid and the centroid
of each concrete panel (i)

ysj
ysk

t
/d
/L
/t
b1
b2

c
DAci

e0c
e1
e2
e2s
ex
ey
h

qh

r0ci
r0sj
r1
r2
rst
rx
ry
ui
W

distance between the elastic centroid and the center of


each bar (j)
distance between the elastic centroid and the panel (i)
centroid
the shear stress
the curvature in the direction of angle h
the longitudinal curvature
the transversal curvature
softening coefcient of the concrete stress
strain softening coefcient
the shear strain of each panel (i)
the area of the strip
concrete strain at the peak stress
the principal average tension concrete strain
the average principal compression strain
the maximum compression principal strain at the surface of the concrete
the average longitudinal strain
the average transverse strain
the inclination angle of the principal strains
the ratio of the transverse steel per unit length of the
span to the gross area of the concrete cross section
the concrete stress at the centroid of the strip
stress in the steel longitudinal reinforcement for each
bar (j)
the principal average tension stresses
the principal average compression stresses
the steel reinforcement stress
the average longitudinal stress
the average transverse stresses
the curvature for each panel
the twist rate

(a)

(b)

(c)

Fig. 1. Examples of inverted T-shaped beams under signicant torsion.

A. Deifalla, A. Ghobarah / Engineering Structures 68 (2014) 5770

59

(b)

(a)
(c)
Fig. 2. R and T-shaped beams under torsion (a) isometric; (b) uncracked and (c) cracked.

the test setup is capable of applying different shear to torsion ratios by varying the ratio between the applied loads. Three inverted
T-shaped beams were designed, constructed, and tested while subjected to various torque to shear ratios. The tested beams represented a scaled concrete inverted T-shaped beam model. The
inverted T-shaped beams were tested under torque to shear ratios
of 0.5 m, 1.0 m and 0.1 m while being referred to as TB1, TB2, and
TB3, respectively. The parameters investigated by the test program
were the effect of the torque to shear ratio on the behavior of the
RC inverted T-shaped beams subjected to shear, torsion, and an
unavoidably small bending moment. In addition, a previous analytical model developed by the authors was extended to predict the
full shear and torsional behavior of the inverted T-shaped beams.
2. Research signicance and previous work

Fig. 3. Typical inverted T-beam loading and internal forces.

the perpendicular plane to it. In the case of torsion, the diagonal


concrete compression strain is assumed to vary linearly across
the assumed effective thickness of the walls of the cross-section
due to lateral curvature that eventually causes the variation of
the stress across the section, both vertically and horizontally
[35]. In addition, according to the theory of hollow-tube spacetruss analogy, the effective thickness of the tube varies based on
the applied torque, similar to the variation of the effective depth
of the beam with the bending moment [35]. In theory, the concrete
web and the steel web stirrup carry most of the shear. However,
the torsional moment must be distributed between the web and
the ange, which can vary based on the dimensions and reinforcements of the section.
In this research study, an experimental program was conducted.
An innovative test set-up that allows the beams to fail due to combined shear and torsion accompanied by relatively low levels of
bending moments, was developed and constructed. In addition,

The 1998 report by the ASCE-ACI Committee 445 on shear and


torsion outlined the challenges of reviewing RC beams under combined shear and torsion and integrating and designating a physical
signicance for current torsion design provisions [1].
Behavior of RC inverted T-shaped beams, despite its frequent
use since the 1950s, remained as one of the least investigated until
mid-1980s [2,3]. Until that time, no guidance for handling design
issues specically those associated with the inverted-T section
was available in design standards. Therefore, engineers have
tended to rely on personal judgment and discretion for design of
these beams.
A careful examination of existing literature has shown the following: (1) very valuable contributions concerning the behavior
of RC beams under combined shear and torsion were made by
several researchers [29,11,24,17]. However, these studies focused
on rectangular beams rather than T-shaped beams with ange
stirrups; (2) pioneering works on the behavior of T-shaped beams
were conducted by several researchers [3639,2,34,40,41,3,26,27];
however, they all focused on T-shaped beams under pure shear,
pure bending, pure torsion, combined shear and moment, or combined moment and torsion. In addition, many recent investigations
were concerned with spandrel L-shaped beams [12,28,4245].
Kaminski and Pawlak indicated that, despite all the extensive research conducted in the area of beams under combined torsion,
not all the questions were answered. In addition, it was pointed
out that the behavior of RC beams with a cross section other than
rectangular or circular is yet to be explored [45].
Experimental testing remains the most reliable research approach compared to the use of numerical models. The tests provide

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A. Deifalla, A. Ghobarah / Engineering Structures 68 (2014) 5770

physical knowledge and information about the behavior of the system studied [53,54]. Moreover, test results are essential in verifying analytical models such as (1) the skew bending theory
models based on an inclined plane failure [713]; (2) the space hollow tube truss models [1418,6,1925]; (3) the nite element and
the nite difference numerical models [2628]; and (4) the empirical models developed by tting experimental data [2933].
A milestone point in the analysis of RC beams under combined
shear and torsion was the work presented by both Hsu, and Rahal
and Collins [34,17]. Hsu presented a unied theory for combined
shear and torsion Softened Truss Model that was based on: (1)
equilibrium equations; (2) compatibility equations; (3) the softened constitutive laws of concrete [34]. Rahal and Collins [17] updated the existing space truss model to include; (1) concrete
softening; (2) tension stiffening; (3) improved modeling for the
cover spalling; and (4) an equivalent uniform stress distribution
block for the concrete strut. Another key point in the history of
RC beams under combined actions was the work by Greene and
Belarbi [21]. They presented a Combined-Action Softened Truss
Model, which was based on the Softened Truss Model by Hsu
and Mo for pure torsion with improvements over existing models
[17,16]. More recently, Bernardo and co-workers studied the modeling of RC beams under torsion [19,24,25]. Their work focused on
comprehensively examining previous experimental and analytical
models to verify and improve existing analytical models. Ultimately, a modied version of the Variable Angle Truss-Model
by Hsu and co-workers [34,16,22] that is capable of predicting
the behavior of the beams for all loading stages was presented.
Moreover, they indicated that the next step would be dealing with
special beams under combined straining actions.
The behavior of RC inverted T-shaped beams is different from
RC rectangular beams. The cross-section shape can have a signicant effect on the behavior and design, as shown by several
researchers [26,27,5,31,46]. In addition, the inverted T-shaped
beams with ange stirrups are an asymmetricaly-reinforced section. Moreover, there is no unied approach for the design of RC inverted T-shaped beams under combined loading. The rst step in
reaching a unied approach is to conduct an experimental program
in order to identify the signicance of the contribution of various
parameters to the behavior.
3. Testing inverted T-shaped beams
3.1. Scale model for the inverted T-beam
The concrete dimensions of the tested beams were chosen as
half-scaled model for a commonly used precast inverted T-shaped
beam [47] or a typical 700 mm girder monolithically cast with a
200 mm slab. Since the study focused on the effect of the torque
to shear ratio on the behavior, beams were heavily reinforced in
the longitudinal direction to minimize the effect of exure on the
behavior of the tested beams. The stirrups were designed according to the CSA [48]. The concrete dimension and steel reinforcements were kept the same for all tested beams.
3.2. Specimen details
All of the test beams had a total depth of 350 mm, a ange
thickness of 100 mm, a ange width of 450 mm, and a web width
of 150 mm. Fig. 4b shows a typical cross-section of the beam within the test region. The concrete cover was 25 mm for the web and
15 mm for the ange. Fig. 4d shows a typical longitudinal section
of the beams and the reinforcements. All transversal and longitudinal reinforcements were ribbed steel bars. The longitudinal reinforcement is 420 M (i.e. 4 bars 20 mm diameter) at the bottom

of the web and 215 M + 410 M (i.e. 2 bars 15 mm and 4 bars


10 mm diameter) in the ange. The transverse reinforcement was
determined to be 10 M @ 170 mm (i.e. 10 mm stirrup every
170 mm). The clear length of the central region was 1400 mm, as
shown in Fig. 4, to ensure that at least one complete spiral crack
would occur within the central region. At the two ends of the test
region, an end block was created with a rectangular section having
a total depth of 350 mm, a width of 450 mm, and a length of
250 mm. These two end blocks were used to apply torsion at one
end (active frame) and to restrain the torsion at the other end
(reactive frame). To apply the required load and the proper boundary condition far from the test region, the beam was extended at
both ends. The extensions were either for applying load (loading
arm) or for applying the end restraints (roller arm). The loading
arm was 900 mm long while the roller arm was 750 mm as shown
in Fig. 6. To ensure that failure would occur within the test region,
both arms had additional longitudinal and transverse reinforcement. The shear reinforcement was 10-M @ 70 mm, the bottom
reinforcement was 620 M, and the top longitudinal reinforcement
was 410 M + 215 M.
The concrete mix was designed using Type 10 cement, sand, and
10 mm aggregate. The results from the compression testing of
standard concrete cylinders are shown in Table 1. The 28-day concrete compressive strength was 25.6 MPa. Compression tests conducted on the same day of the beam testing showed a
compressive strength of 35.9 MPa for beams TB3 and TB1, and
33.6 MPa for beam TB2. The longitudinal and transversal steel bars
were ribbed high strength steel. The tensile testing of coupons
made from the reinforcement bars showed that 10 M bars yielded
at 465 MPa, while the 15 M and 20 M bars yielded at 450 MPa.
Linear variable differential transformers (LVDTs) were used to
measure displacements at different locations of the beam. Ten
LVDTs measured the vertical displacements at ve sections of the
beamtwo at each section. The two LVDTs at the tip of the ange
of each section were used to calculate the rotation and the average
vertical displacement. Strain gauges were used to measure the
strain in the longitudinal and transversal reinforcement at different locations, as shown in Fig. 5. Strain in the longitudinal reinforcement was measured at the maximum and at the zero
moment section. Strain in the transverse reinforcement was measured at the beginning, middle, and the end of the test region area.
Strain gauges were installed at the same location in all the tested
beams.
3.3. Test set-up
Recently, Talaeitaba and Mostonejad proposed a test setup
using a simple beam with a cantilever in the middle for applying
combined shear and torsion [49]. In their test setup, the combined
shear and torsion are accompanied by relatively large bending moments. The test setup used in the present research was designed in
2005 with the objective of minimizing the bending moments in the
torsion and shear interaction test region. The combined shear and
torsion is signicant at low bending moment values, including, but
not limited to, the following cases: (1) the case of inection point
for a continuous beam; or (2) the case of a section at the support
of a simple beam. Fig. 6 shows a schematic of the structural system
for the test set-up where three different actuators are used to apply
loads to the beam (denoted as L1, L2, and L3), simulating a simple
beam with a cantilever at both ends. The middle section of the test
region is subjected to combined shear and torsion with zero or
near zero bending moment. The two hydraulic actuators L2 and
L3 apply the load to the beam through 0.5 m long steel arms to apply the required torque. The hydraulic actuator L1 acts at the center of the cross-section of the beam. The top end condition for
actuator L1 is a pin support. The middle region (test region) was

A. Deifalla, A. Ghobarah / Engineering Structures 68 (2014) 5770

61

Fig. 4. Dimensions and reinforcement details of tested beams.

Fig. 5. Strain gauge location on longitudinal and transversal reinforcement.

subjected to combined shear and torsion while the torque to shear


ratio was kept xed throughout the test by controlling the three
different applied loads. After installing the T-beams in the test setup and attaching the instruments to the data acquisition system,
the beam was loaded with low-level load combinations within
the elastic range of concrete. Measurements from this test were
veried to ensure that all the instruments were correctly installed
and functioning properly. The load values L1, L2, and L3 that give
the desired shear and torsion combination were calculated from
simple structural analysis. The loads were applied in small steps
of 2 kN in order to exercise better control over the loading values
and achieve the required torque to shear force ratio. After each

load step, the beam was inspected for cracks and any possible signs
of failure. During the tests, it was possible to maintain good control
over the torque to shear ratio all the way to near failure of the
beam. Fig. 7 shows a photo for the test setup with a specimen in
place. Four load cells (L1, L2, L3, and L4) were used in the test
set-up. Three of the load cells (L1, L2 and L3) were used to measure
the actual applied loads at Points A, D and E on the beam. The
fourth load cell (L4) was used at point F to measure the reaction
at the support of the beam. Fig. 8 shows the boundary conditions
at points F, D, E and A. Due to the complexity of the test set-up,
the assumptions made concerning the beam boundary conditions
were veried. This was done by comparing the measured values

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A. Deifalla, A. Ghobarah / Engineering Structures 68 (2014) 5770

TB3) were tested under torque to shear ratios of 0.5 m, 1.0 m and
0.1 m, respectively. The torque to shear ratio was chosen to cover
a wide range of practical shear torsion interactions. In addition, Table 2 shows the ratio of the applied torque to shear ratio to the ultimate torque to shear ratio, which was chosen to vary from 1 to 10.
Based on this range, the applied torque to shear ratios were chosen
to be either 0.1 m, 0.5 m, or 1.0 m.
4. Experimental results
4.1. Cracking pattern and failure mode

Fig. 6. Schematic structural system and interal forces for the tested beams.

Table 1
Concrete strength at different dates.
Batch I

Batch II

Date

fc0 (Mpa)

Date

fc0 (Mpa)

7 days
28 days
TB1

17.7
25.6
35.9

28 days
TB3
TB2

25.6
35.9
33.6

The concrete cracking pattern for beams TB1, TB2, and TB3 are
shown is Figs. 1113, respectively. In addition, the failure modes
are listed in Table 3. For beam TB1 (T/V = 0.5 m), the onset of cracking was observed at the bottom of the web at a total load value of
56 kN. Afterwards, more diagonal cracks were initiated within both
the web and the ange, which were spiral and uniformly distributed, as shown in Fig. 11(ad). Before failure, signicant concrete
cover spalling from the ange (as shown in Fig. 11b and c) and
additional longitudinal cracks in the exure compression zone side
were observed, as shown in Fig. 11a and b. These additional longitudinal cracks are due to the diagonal compression stress from the
shear and torsion, and that from the exure. The major diagonal
cracks were formed at an average angle of inclination with the longitudinal axis of the beam (h) value of 51. Beam TB1 failed due to
stirrup yielding before concrete compression at a load value of
162 kN.
For beam TB2 (T/V = 1.0 m), the onset of cracking occurred at an
applied load of 33 kN. The cracks propagated in a helical form
around the beam in a similar manner to those of beam TB1 (as
shown in Fig. 12ad), where concrete cover spalling from both
the ange and the web was observed. However, on average, the
major cracks formed at an average (h) value of 55, which is steeper
than beam TB1. Beam TB2 failed due to stirrup yielding before concrete compression at a load value of 75 kN. In comparing Fig. 11b
and Fig. 12b, it is clear that beam TB2 exhibited signicant web
spalling with respect to beam TB1.
For beam TB3 (T/V = 0.1 m), the onset of cracking was observed
at a load value of 130 kN. Signicant diagonal cracks were observed in the web compared to that in the ange, as shown in
Fig. 13ad. The cracking pattern varied along the test region and
between both sides of beam TB3. For the web side, where the shear
stresses due to the torsion and shear were added together, the
average (h) for the cracks was 30, which is lower than that of
the other web side, where shear stresses due to the torsion and
shear will subtract. Beam TB3 failed due to diagonal concrete compression before stirrup yielding at a load value of 342 kN. Comparing Fig. 13(ad) with Fig. 11(ad) and Fig. 12(ad), the angle of
inclination of the cracks of beam TB3 was lower than those of
either beam TB1 or TB2. The spacing between the cracks of beam
TB3 was smaller than that of either beam TB1 or TB2. The cracking
patterns of beams TB1, TB2, and TB3 were signicantly inuenced
by the torque to shear ratio.

Fig. 7. The test setup with a specimen in place.

of the reaction at point F (L4) to the theoretically predicted reaction at the same location (R1) using a linear structural analysis,
assuming actual hinges at R2 and R3, and an actual roller at R1,
as shown in Fig. 9.
3.4. Torque to shear ratio
Fig. 10 shows the applied torque versus the applied shear for
the tested inverted T-shaped beams. The beams (TB1, TB2, and

4.2. Torsional behavior


Fig. 14 shows the relationship between the applied torque and
the angle of twist for the tested beams. Before cracking, the behavior was similar for all of the tested inverted T-shaped beams, with a
pre-cracking torsional rigidity value of approximately 2110 kN m2.
The value of the cracking strength was taken as the minimum of
either the strength at which the torsion behavior deviated from
the initial linear behavior or the strength at which cracks were
observed during the testing of the beam. The recorded values of

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A. Deifalla, A. Ghobarah / Engineering Structures 68 (2014) 5770

Fig. 8. Details of the test setup; (a) roller support at point F, (b) actuator used to apply load at points D and E and c) actuator used to apply load at point A.

120

TB1

140

TB2

TB3 (0.1 m)

100

TB3

Shear force, Q2 (kN)

Calculated reaction force, R1(kN )

160

120
100
80
60

80
60
40

TB1 (0.5 m)

40

TB2 (1.0 m)

20
20
0

0
0

20

40

60

80

100

120

Measured reaction force, R1 (kN)


Fig. 9. Physical verication of the test setup.

140

160

10

15

Torque, T (kN. m)
Fig. 10. The applied shear and torsion.

20

25

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A. Deifalla, A. Ghobarah / Engineering Structures 68 (2014) 5770


Table 2
Selected torque to shear ratios.

(V - T)

(T/Tult)/(V/Vult)

(T/V) (m)

1
5
10

0.1
0.5
1.0

(V - T)

(a)
(V - T)

(V - T)

(V + T)
(V + T)

(b)

(a)
(V + T)

(V + T)

(c)

(b)
B

(c)

(d)
Fig. 12. Cracking pattern for TB2 (1.0); (a) south, (b) north, (c) bottom and (d) top.
C

B
(V - T)

(d)

(V - T)

Fig. 11. Crack pattern for TB1 (0.5); (a) south, (b) north, (c) bottom and (d) top.

the cracking torque and corresponding twist for all the tested
beams are shown in Table 3. After cracking, the behavior of beams
TB1 and TB2 was similar because they were subjected to high torque to shear ratios. However, the behavior of beam TB3 was different compared to beams TB1 and TB2. In examining Fig. 15, it can be
seen that the average post-cracking torsional rigidity of beam TB3
was higher than that of either beam TB1 or TB2 that is due to wider
cracks associated with the high torsion to shear ratio for beams
TB1 and TB2. This is commonly observed after steel yielding, which
is the case for both TB1 and TB2. The value of the ultimate strength
was taken as the maximum strength observed during the testing of
the beam. Table 3 shows the ultimate torque and the corresponding twist for all the tested beams. As shown in Table 3, the shear
torsion interaction affected the value of the ultimate torque.

4.3. Shear behavior


The shear behavior of the tested beams was affected by the
torque to shear ratio. Fig. 13 shows the relationship between the
applied shear force and the maximum strain in the transverse steel
reinforcement. The stirrup strain increased substantially with the
increase in the torque to shear ratio. The applied shear force at

(a)
C

(V + T)

(V + T)
B

(b)
C

(c)
B

(d)
Fig. 13. Crack pattern for TB3 (0.1); (a) south, (b) north, (c) bottom and (d) top.

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A. Deifalla, A. Ghobarah / Engineering Structures 68 (2014) 5770


Table 3
Summary of the experimental results.
Beam

T/V
(m)

Cracking torque
(kN m)

Twist at cracking
(deg/m)

Cracking shear
force (kN)

Ultimate torque
(kN m)

Twist at ultimate
(deg/m)

Ultimate
shear (kN)

Observed failure mode

TB1

0.5

11.6

0.25

17

23

2.82

46

TB2

1.00

11

0.33

11

22.7

3.16

21.4

TB3

0.1

0.13

42

10.8

0.5

105

Stirrup yield before


concrete crushing
Stirrup yield before
concrete crushing
Concrete diagonal crushing

the onset of cracking for all tested beams is shown in Table 3. The
value of the ultimate shear strength for all tested beams is also
shown in Table 3. It is clear in the table that the sheartorsion
interaction affected the ultimate and cracking shear force.

25
TB1 (0.5 m)
TB2 (1.0 m)

Torque, T (kN. m)

20

4.4. The sheartorsion interaction

15

10
TB3 (0.1 m)

0
0.00

0.50

1.00

1.50

2.00

2.50

3.00

3.50

Angle of twist (deg/m)


Fig. 14. Torsional behavior.

Fig. 16a shows a plot for the observed absolute values of the
cracking and the ultimate shear forces versus the torsion moment.
We can see that the relationship is not linear and there is a clear
curvature in the interaction. Huang et al. proposed a circular
dimensionless relationship for the torqueshear interaction based
on the theory of plasticity [30]. In an attempt to quantify the
sheartorsion interaction, the shear forces and torsion moments
were normalized and compared with the interaction relationship
proposed by Huang et al. and are shown in Fig. 16b [30]. We can
see that the experimentally observed values agreed fairly well with
the relationship, with an error less than 10%.
4.5. Transverse steel strain

TB3 (0.1 m)

100

Shear force, Q2 (kN)

Transverse steel yield

120

80
60
TB1 (0.5 m)

40

TB2 (1.0 m)

20
0
0.00

0.50

1.00

1.50

2.00

2.50

Stirrup strain at the mid of the test zone (1000 microstrain)


Fig. 15. Shear behavior.

(a)

3.00

Fig. 17 shows the transverse steel strain for the ange and web
stirrups versus the total load. In case of beam TB2 (high torque to
shear ratio), the strain measured in the ange was similar to the
strain measured in the web. However, in the case of beam TB3
(low torque to shear ratio), the strain in the web was larger than
the strain in the ange. The ange was more effective in cases of
higher torque to shear ratios.
Fig. 18 shows the relationship between the ange stirrup strain
at both the top and bottom branch versus the total load. The strain
gauges were installed as shown in Fig. 5, with the exception of
beam TB1, where the bottom strain gauge was installed in the middle of the bottom branch within the overlapping zone of the ange
stirrup. The strain of beam TB1 (under low torque to shear ratio)
was signicantly lower than that of TB3, which agrees well with
the assumption that the ange stirrup primarily carries forces from
torsion.

(b)

Fig. 16. Ultimat and cracking experimentaly observed sheartorsion interaction (a) absolute and (b) normalized.

66

A. Deifalla, A. Ghobarah / Engineering Structures 68 (2014) 5770

rectangular RC beams up to failure using a displacement control


solution scheme rather than a force control solution scheme; (2) include the FRP material modeling; (3) model external bonded reinforcements with different arrangements; and (4) improved the
concrete constitutive modeling [17,23]. All of these models focused
on rectangular beams under combined torsion, although structural
members subjected to torsion may be of different congurations,
such as rectangular beams, T-shaped beams, L-shaped beams, and
box beams.
In this study, the model by Deifalla and Ghobarah was adapted
and further extended to predict the behavior of cross-sections with
different shapes subjected to torsion, shear, and bending moments
[23]. In the development of the proposed model, the following
assumptions were made:

450

Total load (L1+L2+L3), kN

400
350
300
250
200
150
100
50
0
0

0.5

1.5

2.5

Strain (1000 microstrain)

Total load (L1+L2+L3), kN

Fig. 17. Stirrup strain versus total applied load (L1 + L2 + L3).

400
350
300
250
200
150
100
50
0

-1

-0.5

0.5

1.5

2.5

Strain (1000 microstrain)


Fig. 18. Flange stirrup strain versus total applied load (L1 + L2 + L3).

5. Analytical model
Several models were developed for predicting the behavior of RC
beams subjected to combined straining actions. Numerous
contributions by many researchers attempting to improve the space
truss model by Rausch were found in existing literature [50,15
18,51,6,19,21,20,2225]. Deifalla and Ghobarah [23] adapted the
model by Rahal and Collins [17] to: (1) predict the behavior of

(a)

(1) The longitudinal strain follows the BernoulliNavier hypothesis, which indicates that plane section before bending will
remain plane after bending.
(2) Mohr Circle can be used to evaluate the strain, curvature,
and stress status at any point in the plane.
(3) The direction of the principal stresses at any point in the
plane is coincident with the direction of the principal strain
evaluated at the same point in the plane [35].
(4) The torsional behavior is dominated by SaintVenants torsion, which indicates that the torsion will be resisted by
shear ow in the perimeter of the cross section [34,17,23].
(5) The effective thickness of the diagonal concrete struts is
function of the external loading [33,35] which is similar to
beams subjected to bending where the effective depth is
function of the bending moment.
(6) The equivalent hollow tube is being divided into four panels;
each panel is subjected to uniform bi-axial stresses
[33,17,18,23,21].
(7) The diagonal compressive strain distribution within the concrete diagonal struts is assumed to be linear and consequently the diagonal compressive stress is assumed to be
non-uniform [33,35,20,23].
(8) The torsion stresses and the uniform shear stresses are being
replaced by one equivalent uniform stress block as shown in
Fig. 19 [17].
5.1. Modeling T-shaped beams
This section describes the capability of predicting the behavior
of the anged beams. The anged cross-section is divided into
several rectangular sub-divisions. Each rectangular sub-division

(b)

(c)

Fig. 19. Compression Stress distribution within the concrete strut (a) actual stress distribution, (b) equivalent stress distribution, and (c) equivalent uniform stress
distribution.

67

A. Deifalla, A. Ghobarah / Engineering Structures 68 (2014) 5770

(a)

(b)

(c)

Fig. 20. Rectangular divisions (a) Solution I, (b) Solution II, (c) Solution III.

where Ti is the torsion carried by each rectangular sub-division (i) at


the same angle of twist and n is the total number of rectangular
subdivisions. The applied shear force (V) is calculated as follows:
Input section details and applied
internal actions.

n
X
Vi

i1

Set T and V as 0.1 of the applied


internal actions.

where Vi is the shear carried by each rectangular sub-division (i) at


the same angle of twist. The stirrup strain e is calculated such that:

Arbitrary assume tt

n
X

ei

i1

Calculate Ao and po, Eqs. (19-20)

where ei is the stirrup strain for each rectangular sub-division (i) at


the same angle of twist.

Calculate average shear stress, Eqs. (4-7)

5.2. Modeling rectangular sub-divisions


Calculate average stresses and strains
for each panel, Eqs. (8-14 and 23-29)

For predicting the full behavior of each rectangular sub-division, the model proposed by Deifalla and Ghobarah is implemented
[23]. The model is briey listed in Eqs. (4)(29); however, details
regarding the development of the adapted model is to be found
in both Deifalla [6] and Deifalla and Ghobarah [6,23].

Use the Panel subroutine shown in fig


(20) to calculate longitudinal stresses and
strain for the whole section, Eqs. (21-22).

qt

No
Check tt , Eqs. (15-17)
yes
Calculate

Check T and V
applied actions

Ti
2Ao

Input average shear stress and

using Eq. (18-20)

longitudinal strain

No

Assume the diagonal strain


Increase the T and V by
0.1 applied actions.

Assume the angle of inclination

yes
End

Solve the wall element

Fig. 21. Flow chart for the main program.

NO
Check the angle

is analyzed independently while subjected to the applied combined shear and torsion. For example, the T-shaped beam is divided into rectangular sub-divisions as shown in Fig. 20. After
modeling each rectangular section, the principle of superposition
is applied to obtain the strength and the deformations of the complete T-shaped beam, while assuming that the angle of twist for
the T-shaped beam and the sub-divisions are the same. The applied
torque (T) on the whole cross section is calculated such that:

n
X
Ti

Yes
NO
Check the diagonal stress

Yes
Return to main program

i1

Fig. 22. Flow chart for the Panel subroutine [23].

68

A. Deifalla, A. Ghobarah / Engineering Structures 68 (2014) 5770

Vi
l

qt  t t qs  t s
t

q
m
t

r2 b1 fc0 if

0:9
b1 p
1:0 400e1

25

1:0
b2 p
1:0 500e1

26

r1 Ec e1

27

5.3. Mohr circle for the average concrete strains of each panel

2e2 ex
tanh

ey

c
2 tanh

 e2

e1 e2 ex ey

r1

rs Es es 6 fy

5.4. Equilibrium and compatibility conditions for each panel

tan2 h

r2

r2  rx
r2  r1


s tanh

P1

24

28
29

A ow chart for the solution technique is being shown in Figs. 21


and 22. A force driven solution technique is being used limiting the
model predictions to the ultimate strength.
5.7. Model validation

11


Three rectangular RC beams (N1, N2, and N3) were found in


the literature. The beams were tested under combined signicant

12
15


1
 r1
tanh

Experimental [52]

13

ry qh rst r1  s tan h

14

ui w sin 2hi

15

e2s
ui

16

t ti

b2 e0c

0:33fc0
p
1 500e1

10

rx r2  ry  r1

e2

/d /t sin h /L cos2 h w sin2h

Anaylitical

Torque, T (kN. m)

qs

10

17

5.5. Panel assemblage

0
0

10

P4
w

i1 li ci
2Ao

Ao Ac 

150

10

150

10

15

Angle of twist (deg/m)

18

4
X
tt
li i
2
i1

(a)

(b)

(c)

Fig. 23. Torque versus angle of twist for (a) N1; (b) N2 and (c) N3.

19
25

4
X
Po Pc 
t ti

20

k
X

m
X

4
X
Nv k

i1

j1

k1

r0ci DAci

r0sj Asj N

21

k
m
4
X
X
X
r0ci DAci yci
r0sj Asj ysj M x
Nv k ysk
i1

j1

22

k1

Torque, T (kN. m)

20

i1

15
10

Experimental
Solution I

Solution II
Solution III

5.6. Material modeling

3 0.0 0.8 1.6 2.4 3.2 0.00

0.25

0.50

Angle of twist (deg/m)

"

r2 b1 fc0 2

 2 #

e2
e2
 0
e0c
ec

if

e2
b2 e0c

61

23

(a)

(b)

(c)

Fig. 24. Torque versus angle of twist for (a) TB1; (b) TB2 and (c) TB3.

69

A. Deifalla, A. Ghobarah / Engineering Structures 68 (2014) 5770

close agreement with the experimental results. However, only


up to the ultimate strength as the model employs a force driven
solution technique. From the current study, three T-shaped
beams (TB1, TB2, and TB3) tested under torque to shear ratio
values of 0.5, 1.0, and 0.1 m. Each T-shaped beam was divided
into two rectangular sub-divisions using each of the three proposed solutions, as shown in Fig. 20(ac). The comparison between the behavior (i.e., torque versus twist and shear force
versus stirrup strain) predicted by the model and the experimentally observed behavior is shown in Fig. 24(ac) and Fig. 25(ac).
The gures show that the model prediction agrees well with the
experimental results. Two L-shaped beams were found in the literature tested under combined torsion [45]. Each L-shaped beam
was divided into two rectangular sub-divisions using each of the
three proposed solutions, as shown in Fig. 20(ac). The comparison between the torsional behavior predicted by the model and
the experimentally observed behavior is shown in Fig. 26. The
gure shows that the model predictions agree well with the
experimental results.
Table 4 shows the experimentally observed ultimate torque
and the corresponding angle of twist versus the analytically calculated ones using the three solutions shown in Fig. 20. From
the table, we can see that any of the three solutions showed
good compliance with the experimentally observed results for
anged beams. However, solution II predictions were more consistent compared with those of solutions I and III for beams under combined torsion. This might be because solution II follows
the stirrups conguration.

120
Experimental

Shear force, Q2 (kN)

100

Solution I
Solution II
Solution III

80

60

40

20

0
0.00

0.60

1.20 0.00

1.00

2.00 3.00 0.00

0.50

1.00

Transversal steel strain (1000 micro-strain)

(a)

(b)

(c)

Fig. 25. Shear force versus transversal steel strain for (a) TB1; (b) TB2 and (c) TB3.

6. Conclusions
1. An innovative test setup capable of simulating the behavior of
T-shaped beams under combined shear and torsion was
designed and implemented.
2. The behavior of the tested inverted T-shaped beams was
affected by the value of the torque to shear ratio. Decreasing
the applied torque to the applied shear force ratio resulted in
the following: (1) a signicant reduction for the spacing
between diagonal cracks, the strut angle of inclination, cracking
and ultimate torque, ange and web stirrup strain; (2) a significant increase for the failure and cracking load, post-cracking
torsional rigidity, cracking and ultimate shear; and (3) the stirrups efciency was reduced, thus, beams failed due to concrete
diagonal failure rather than stirrups yield.
3. The proposed analytical model showed remarkable agreement
with the experimental results for the behavior of anged beams
under combined actions.

Fig. 26. Torque versus angle of twist for L-shaped beams [45].

torsion [52]. Beams had the same cross-section dimensions, but


the stirrups spacing were different. The model was used to predict the torsional behavior of three rectangular RC beams up to
ultimate torsion. The comparison between the model predictions
and the experimental results for the tested RC beams are shown
in Fig. 23(ac). The predicted behaviors were found to be in

Table 4
Strength and deformation predicted using the proposed model with solutions I, II, and III versus measured.
Beam

TB1
TB2
TB3
BK-Ta
BK-TVM-1a

Experimentally observed ultimate

Predicted by the model

Torque

Angle of twist

Torque

(kN m)

(/m)

II

III

II

III

II

III

II

III

23
22.7
10.8
16.8
18.6

2.82
3.16
0.5
1.9
2.5

25.4
21.5
9.3
16.2
16.2

23
21.3
11.8
16.8
16.8

20.3
21.2
8.6
17.3
17.3

2.8
3.2
0.49
1.91
1.91

2.6
3.2
0.49
1.9
1.9

2.82
3.16
0.49
1.9
1.9

0.91
1.06
1.17
1.04
1.15

1.00
1.07
0.98
1.00
1.10

1.14
1.07
1.26
0.97
1.08

1.00
1.00
1.01
0.99
1.31

1.07
1.00
1.01
0.98
1.29

1.00
1.00
1.01
0.98
1.29

1.07
10%
0.1

1.03
5.0%
0.05

1.10
10%
0.1

1.06
13%
0.14

1.07
12%
0.13

1.06
12%
0.13

Average
Coefcient of variation
95% Condence interval
a

Ref. [45].

Experimental/predicted
Angle of twist

Torque

Angle of twist

70

A. Deifalla, A. Ghobarah / Engineering Structures 68 (2014) 5770

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