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BYGNINGSSTATISKE
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Proceedings of the Danish Society for Structural Science and Engineering

Y. ZHAO, L. C. HOANG, M. P. NIELSEN


On the Conceptual Basis of the Crack Sliding Theory1-48

KBENHAVN 2008

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Copyright 2008 Dansk Selskab for Bygningsstatik, Kbenhavn
ISSN 0106-3715 (trykt udgave)
ISSN 1601-6548 (online)

rgang LXXIX, Nr. 1, marts 2008

BYGNINGSSTATISKE
MEDDELELSER
udgivet af
DANSK SELSKAB FOR BYGNINGSSTATIK

Proceedings of the Danish Society for Structural Science and Engineering

Y. ZHAO, L. C. HOANG, M. P. NIELSEN


On the Conceptual Basis of the Crack Sliding Theory1-48

KBENHAVN 2008

Redaktionsudvalg
Lars German Hagsten (Redaktr)
Rasmus Ingomar Petersen
Finn Bach
Morten Bo Christiansen
Jrgen Nielsen
Mogens Peter Nielsen
Sven Eilif Svensson

Artikler offentliggjort i Bygningsstatiske Meddelelser har gennemget review.


Papers published in the Proceedings of the Danish Society for Structural Science
and Engineering have been reviewed.

On the Conceptual Basis of the Crack Sliding Theory


1

Introduction

Review of the classical plasticity approach

The Crack Sliding Model

Model with arbitrary curved yield lines

4.1

Dissipation formula for curved yield lines

4.2

Crack Sliding Model for curved diagonal cracks

10

Calculation based on observed crack patterns

15

Conclusions

31

References

32

Notations

33

Appendix A. Calculations for short beams

36

Appendix B. Experimental parameters for test series in [1].

44

BYGNINGSSTATISKE MEDDELELSER
Proceedings of the Danish Society for Structural Science and Engineering
Edited and published by the Danish Society for Structural Science and Engineering
Volume 79, No. 1-2, 2008, pp. 1-48

On the Conceptual Basis of the


Crack Sliding Theory
Y. Zhao1
L. C. Hoang2
M. P. Nielsen3

1. Introduction
In the original formulation of the crack sliding theory developed by Zhang [5] and
Hoang [9], very simple yield line patterns consisting of straight yield lines were
used in order to simplify calculations. These calculations rendered very good results for not too small shear spans. However, for short shear spans, the results
were rather conservative.
In this paper, more accurate curved yield lines, in fact those observed in tests, are
calculated using the same values of the effectiveness factors as those formed
originally. By taking into account whether sliding failure takes place in an already
existing crack or in uncracked concrete, remarkably accurate results are found in
the whole relevant shear span interval. Both concentrated loading and uniform
loading are treated.
2. Review of the classical plasticity approach
In the classical plasticity approach to beam shear problems, concrete is identified
as a homogeneous and rigid plastic Coulomb material without tensile strength.
The lack of perfectly plastic compressive behaviour is accounted for by introduc1

PhD student, Department of Bridge Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai, China


Professor, Institute of Industrial and Civil Engineering, University of Southern Denmark
3
Professor Emeritus, Technical University of Denmark
2

2 Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

ing a so-called effectiveness factor into the theoretical solutions. Any possible
strength reduction due to cracking is also covered by the effectiveness factor.
Therefore, models based on the classical approach are neither capable of quantifying the strength reduction due to cracking nor account for the influence of cracking on the failure mechanism. An example on this drawback can be seen in the
model developed for shear strength of beams without stirrups. For the standard
case of a simply supported beam symmetrically loaded by two concentrated
forces, an exact plastic solution for the maximum shear capacity is obtained by
considering the stress field and the failure mechanism shown in figure 2.1, [2].
The solution appears in formula (1).

Figure 2.1 Failure mechanism and stress field rendering the exact plastic solution.

P
u
1
a
a
= u = 1+
f c f c bh 2
h
h

(1)

In order to determine the effectiveness factor , solution (1) was compared with a
large number of test results, [2]. It turned out that, unlike the case of shear reinforced beams, good agreement with test results could only be obtained when the
effectiveness factor had a dependency on the shear span to depth ratio a/h. This
result was rather unsatisfactory for two reasons: 1) a physical explanation of the
a/h-dependence was lacking. 2) The dependency on a/h is not practical for design
purposes.
The a/h dependency indicated that the classical plasticity approach was unable of
fully capturing the shear failure mechanism of beams without stirrups. Figure 2.2
schematically shows the process at the onset of a typical shear failure for beams
with a/h larger than approximately 2. At a load level near the failure load, the
crack pattern is as shown in figure 2.2 (left). Of particular interest prior to failure
is the last formed diagonal crack, which typically initiates perpendicular to the
bottom face and propagates towards (and end very near) the loading point. This
crack will in the following be termed the critical diagonal crack and characterised
by its horizontal projection x (or xo). For beams with a/h larger than 2 we have x <
a. When the beam collapses, figure 2.2 (right), a sliding failure takes place in a

Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

curved yield line. This yield line runs along a large portion of the last formed diagonal crack. Near the bottom face of the beam, the yield line deviates from the
path of the last formed diagonal crack and runs to the bottom face in almost
alignment with the longitudinal reinforcement. In contrary to the upper part, this
lower part of the yield line does not run along an existing crack. Rather, this part
is formed in uncracked concrete at the very onset of failure.
A mechanically transparent explanation of the disagreement between the actual
failure mode and the one predicated by the classical plasticity approach was given
by Zhang [5; 7], who studied the strength reduction due to diagonal cracking and
subsequently developed a modified upper bound plasticity approach the so
called Crack Sliding Model. Description of this model is given in the next chapter.
A model based on lower bound considerations and taking into account strength
reduction due to cracking has been developed by Muttoni & Schwartz [4] and
Muttoni & Fernndez [10].

Figure 2.2 Typical crack pattern prior to failure (left). Failure mechanism involving sliding in part
of the last formed diagonal crack (right).

3. The Crack Sliding Model


The basic principles of the Crack Sliding Model will be described in the following. For more details, see Zhang [5; 7], Nielsen [8] and Hoang [9].
As already mentioned a typical shear failure in concrete beams without stirrups is
characterized by the formation of a critical diagonal crack and subsequently sliding failure in parts of this crack. The phenomenon of crack sliding has been observed by Muttoni [3] who measured the relative displacements along the critical
diagonal crack at different loading levels, see figure 3.1. When the crack is
formed, the relative displacement is mainly perpendicular to the crack. At the load
level corresponding to failure there is a displacement component parallel to the
crack. In other words, the critical diagonal crack is transformed into a yield line.
Such a yield line has less sliding resistance than the yield line formed in uncracked concrete.

4 Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

Figure 3.1 Relative displacements along a diagonal crack at different load levels, Muttoni [3].

The distinction between yield lines formed in uncracked concrete and yield lines
formed in cracked concrete may be illustrated by figure 3.2 which schematically
shows two different ways of analyzing the shear failure of an overreinforced beam
without stirrups. Case a) shows a straight yield line formed in uncracked concrete
as assumed in the classical plastic approach. This is characterized by the fact that
the relative displacement between the two parts on both sides of the yield line is
described by only one displacement parameter u. In this case there is no displacement discontinuity prior to failure. Case b) illustrates a straight diagonal crack
transformed into a yield line. Here the displacement is described by two paths,
namely w followed by u, where w represents the opening (formation) of the crack
prior to failure and u represents the shear failure along the crack, i.e. transformation of the crack into a yield line. It is evident that the assumptions in case b) is in
closer agreement with experimental observations, figure 3.1, than that of case a).
Note that the mechanism of figure 3.2 b) is still a simple approximation. As indicated in figures 2.2 and 3.1, diagonal cracks are not straight but curved. In addition, only a part of the diagonal crack is transformed into a sliding yield line.
These details will be taken into account in chapter 4 and 5.

Figure 3.2 Yield line formed in uncracked concrete a). Crack transformed into yield line b).

Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

To account for crack sliding, two Modified Coulomb failure criteria are used; see
figure 3.3. For uncracked concrete, the failure criterion corresponds to the dotted
lines with cohesion c and angle of friction . In planes where cracks are developed, the failure criterion is assumed to shrink such that the tensile strength disappears and the cohesion reduces to c while the angle of friction remains unchanged.
For uncracked concrete the angle of friction and the cohesion are taken to be =
37o and c = 0.250fc. Here fc is the uniaxial compressive strength and 0 is an effectiveness factor taking into account softening and micro-cracking, see formula
(3). For cracked concrete the cohesion is assumed to reduce to c = sc where s is
called the crack sliding reduction factor, which may be taken to be s = 0.5. This
value has been confirmed by Zhang [6] using a micro mechanical model.

Figure 3.3 Failure criteria for uncracked concrete and for cracked concrete.

Having defined the failure criterion along planes of cracks, it is now possible to
calculate the dissipated energy (internal work) in a crack suffering sliding failure.
The dissipation per unit length of the crack reads; see for instance [8].
1
Wl = s 0 fc (1 sin ) bu
2

(2)

Here is the angle between the yield line and the displacement u and b is the
width of the beam. The constraints on are due to the fact that crack sliding must
be treated as a plane strain problem, [5]. The effectiveness factor 0 may be taken
from (3) in which the compressive strength fc is inserted in MPa and the depth h in

6 Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

meters. The parameter = As/bh is the longitudinal reinforcement ratio. The factor
depends on the loading configuration. For beams subjected to concentrated
loading = 1.0 whereas = for beams subjected to uniform loading [5].

0 =

0.88
1
1 +
(1 + 26 ) ;
fc
h

0 1

(3)

For a straight diagonal crack transformed into a yield line, the total dissipated energy WI can be calculated by use of (2). Using the notations from figure 3.2(b) and
assuming the displacement u to be vertically directed, we find:
2

1
x
x

WI = s 0 f c bh 1 + u

2
h h

(4)

Inserting (4) into the work equation, the external work being Pu u and s = 0.5, we
find the following expression for the shear capacity as a function of x.
2

1
x
x

Pu = 0 f c bh 1 +

4
h h

(5)

The remaining problem is to determine the actual horizontal projection x of the


yield line/critical diagonal crack. According to the Crack Sliding Model, this
problem is solved by requiring that the load needed to develop the diagonal crack
must be equal to the load needed to cause sliding failure in the crack.
Using a plasticity approach, a crack may develop when the effective tensile
strength of concrete, ftef, is reached along the crack path, figure 3.4. Hence, the
load required to form a crack may either be determined by considering a cracking mechanism as shown in figure 3.4 or simply by considering moment equilibrium around the crack tip. A more refined model would require a fracture mechanics approach. After formation of the crack, the longitudinal reinforcement will be
activated and prevent the cracking mechanism to further develop into a flexural
failure. If the crack is critical, a shear failure will follow immediately. If not, the
load may be further increased and another crack with smaller inclination (larger x)
is to be considered. Using the notations from figure 3.4, the cracking load Pcr may
be expressed as follows:

b x2 + h2
1
Pcr = ftef
2
a

(6)

The effective tensile strength includes a size effect factor and may be taken to be,
[5]:

Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

ftef = 0.156 f c2 / 3

0.1

0.30

( f c in MPa and h in meters)

(7)

Figure 3.4 Equivalent plastic stress distribution along a developing crack.

By means of (5) and (6) we may now qualitatively illustrate the variation of the
forces Pcr and Pu (corresponding to the cracking load and the crack sliding capacity, respectively) as a function of x/h, see figure 3.5.

Figure 3.5 Cracking load and crack sliding capacity versus x/h.

Using figure 3.5 the shear failure mechanism in a beam without stirrups may now
be explained as follows: When the applied load P increases, cracks with increasing horizontal projection x are developed. However, as long as the load is less
than PA, sliding failure in the cracks developed will not occur since sliding requires a higher load level. Only at the load level PA corresponding to the intersection point between the two curves, sliding failure may take place in the crack just
developed. Thus the shear capacity of the beam has been reached.

8 Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

Therefore, by solving the equation Pu = Pcr, the horizontal projection x of the


critical diagonal crack is determined and consequently the load carrying capacity
may be calculated as well. If x is found to be larger than a, then x = a must be inserted into (5) when calculating the shear capacity. Further, crack sliding is only
possible for x/h tan = 0.75. This is due to the constraint, imposed by the normality condition of the theory of plasticity, on the angle between the relative displacement and the yield line when plane strain problems are treated.
Using the procedure outlined, Zhang has compared the calculated shear strength
with a large number of test results, [5]. The agreement was found to be good. On
the average, the model underestimates the shear strength by approximately 10%.
The results obtained in chapter 4 and 5 by considering curved yield lines suggest
that parts of the deviation found by Zhang are most probably due to the assumption of straight diagonal cracks.

4. Model with arbitrary curved yield lines


As mentioned in chapter 3 only straight diagonal cracks are considered in the
Crack Sliding Model. This is an approximation which adds to the simplicity of the
model and makes it suitable for practical use. However, as explained previously
the shear failure mechanism is more complex. The critical crack is curved and the
actual failure does not take place entirely as crack sliding, but rather as sliding in a
yield line consisting partly of a portion of the last formed diagonal crack and
partly of a portion formed at the onset of failure. The last portion may be interpreted as a yield line formed in uncracked concrete.
In view of these facts, it appears interesting to investigate whether the concept of
crack sliding may still be applicable if some of the complexity of the shear failure
mode is included in the analysis of the ultimate load. More generally, it is also
interesting to outline how the Crack Sliding Model can be extended to include
arbitrary curved yield lines. For both purposes, there is a need of developing a
dissipation formula for arbitrary curved yield lines.
4.1

Dissipation formula for curved yield lines

Consider a shear failure mechanism as shown in figure 4.1 where part I moves
away from part II by the downwards displacement u. A curved yield line separates
the two rigid parts. For the time being, the yield line may be formed in uncracked
concrete or it may be the result of a diagonal crack suffering sliding failure. For
both cases, similar dissipation formulas are obtained. The only difference will be
the effective compressive strength which takes the form f c* = s 0 fc in case of
crack sliding and f c* = 0 fc in case of sliding failure through uncracked concrete.

Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

Figure 4.1 Shear failure in a curved yield line.

Assume that the curved yield line is described by the function y = f(x) with f(x) >
0. The dissipation in a unit length ds of the yield line may be expressed as, see
also formula (2):
dWI =

1 *
f c bu (1 sin )ds
2

(8)

In case we are dealing with crack sliding, the constraints on as given in (2) also
apply to (8). If the yield line is formed in uncracked concrete, the dissipation may
be calculated by assuming plane stress condition and can therefore take any
possible value. From geometrical considerations, the following relations are obtained:
1
1 + ( f ' ( x))2

(9)

ds = 1 + ( f ' ( x)) 2 dx

(10)

sin =

By inserting (9) and (10) into (8) and integrating over the whole length of the
yield line, we obtain the following simple expression for the dissipation in a
curved yield line:
WI =

1 * x0
f c bu 1 + ( f ' ( x))2 dx xo
0

(11)

As can be seen from formula (11), the first part in the bracket is the total length of
the yield line while the second part in the bracket simply is the horizontal projection xo of the curve. Formula (11) can therefore be rewritten as:

10 Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

1 *
f c bu (l xo )
2

WI =

(12)

Here l is the length of the yield line:

l=

x0

1 + ( f ' ( x)) 2 dx

(13)

According to (12) we find that for any fixed value of horizontal projection xo a
straight yield line always renders minimum dissipation. Thus, a straight yield line
is, as expected, also the correct result when dealing with sliding failure through
uncracked concrete. For crack sliding problems, however, the form of the crack
can not be determined by minimizing (12). Calculation of the cracking path must
be based on fracture mechanical crack growth analysis. This is, however, not the
scope of this paper. In the following, we will carry out analyses based on predefined crack shapes and based on crack patterns observed in tests.
4.2

Crack Sliding Model for curved diagonal cracks

Having established (12) it is now possible to extend the crack sliding model to
deal with arbitrary curved diagonal cracks.
By inserting (12) into the work equation, the external work being Puu, we find the
following expression for the shear capacity as a function of xo:
Pu =

1 *
f c b(l xo )
2

(14)

The cracking load and the shape of the curved diagonal crack should, as mentioned above, ideally be determined using fracture mechanical crack growth
analyses. However, in a much more simplified approach the shape of the diagonal
cracks may be assumed (predefined) and the cracking load can be calculated as
outlined in chapter 3, i.e. by assuming the normal stresses along the crack path to
be constant and equal to ftef. This approach implies, as indicated in figure 4.2, that
the cracking load only depends on the horizontal projection of the crack but not on
the shape of the crack. Thus, the cracking load may be calculated using formula
(6).

Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

11

Figure 4.2 Models rendering identical cracking load.

To illustrate the concept, we will in the following carry out calculations based on
diagonal cracks having parabolic shape, i.e. y = f ( x) = Ax 2 + Bx + C (see figure
4.3). To determine the constants A, B and C, we have the following geometrical
conditions.

f (0) = 0
f ( xo ) = h

0 f ' ( x) 4 / 3 for x [0; xo ]

(15)

The first two conditions are obvious. The third condition ensures that
0 f ( x) h and = 37o. The situation for which f(0) = 4/3 and at the same
time f(xo) = 0 is found for xo = 3/2h. When xo < 3/2h, we always have f(0) = 4/3
whereas f(xo) = 0 is a sufficient replacement of the third condition in (15) when xo
> 3/2h. For xo = 3/4h, A = C = 0 resulting in a straight diagonal crack.
Having determined f(x) as described, formulas (13) and (14) are then used to calculate the crack sliding capacity as a function of xo. The results appear as shown
in (16) and (17) with f c* = s 0 fc . As mentioned, the cracking load only depends
on the horizontal projection and can therefore be calculated using (6).

Figure 4.3 Beam with parabolic diagonal crack.

12 Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

2
2

2h 4 5
1
1 1 + 2h 4 +

1+

2
x0 3 3h

x0 3 3

x0

1 *
; 3 xo 3
Pu = f c bxo
4 h 2
2

2h 4 + 1 + 2h 4

x0 3
1
x0 3
+ 1

ln
1
4 h 4

x0 3

(16)

1
1
h
1 1 + 4

2 2
x0

Pu = f c*bxo

2
1x
1
0 ln
2
4 h h
h

2 + 1 + 4

x0
x0

(17)

3 xo
; 2 h

1


Formulas (6), (16) and (17) have been used to calculate the shear strength of two
beams tested by Leonhardt and Walther [1], namely beam No. 6 and No. D4/1.
Data for these test specimens can be found in appendix B. Based on the test data,
the cracking load curve and the crack sliding capacity curve have been calculated,
see figure 4.4. In the figure, the sliding capacity curve for straight diagonal cracks
is also shown.
The intersection points provide the results shown in table 4.1.
Beam No.

6
D4/1

Straight yield line


xo/h
2.3
2.03

Pu [kN]
60
73.5

Parabolic yield line


xo/h
2. 6
2. 2

Pu [kN]
70
85.5

Test results
Ptest [kN]
62
75.5

Tabel 4.1 Results based on different yield lines for beam No.6 and beam No. D4/1.

Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

13

As expected, calculations based on parabolic cracks give higher shear capacity.


For these two particular tests, calculations based on straight diagonal cracks can
be seen to be in closer agreement with experiments. However, as mentioned in the
preceding, approximately 10% underestimation of the capacity was found for a
large number of tests with a/h > 2 when straight diagonal cracks are considered,
[5]. It is therefore expected that on the average closer agreement with tests can be
obtained when using curved diagonal cracks.
Figure 4.5 shows the calculated positions of the cracks. It can be seen that the
assumed parabolic shape to some extent captures the actual cracking path better
than the assumption of straight crack.
200

P (kN)
Pu(straight yield line)
Pu(parabolic yield line)
150

Pcr

100

50

x (mm)
0
0

250

500

750

1000

1250

1500

a) Beam No. 6, [1].


200

P(kN)

150
Pu(straight yield line)
Pu(parabolic yield line)
100
Pcr

50

x (mm)
0
0

250

500

750

1000

1250

1500

b) Beam No.D4/1, [1].


Figure 4.4 Calculation of shear capacity assuming different shape of yield lines

14 Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

a) Beam No. 6, [1].

b) Beam No. D4/1, [1].


Figure 4.5 Actual yield lines and calculated yield lines with predefined shape.

Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

15

5. Calculation based on observed crack patterns


The formulas developed for curved yield lines will in the following be used to
investigate the applicability of the crack sliding concept when observed shear
failure modes are used in the analysis of the ultimate load.
Data used in the following stems from the well-known test series by Leonhardt
and Walther [1]. As explained in the previous chapters, we consider the shear
failure as the result of sliding in a yield line partly formed along a crack and partly
formed in uncracked concrete. This is indicated in figure 5.1, where the part
formed in uncracked concrete is shown with the length l1 and horizontal projection xo1. The part of the diagonal crack suffering sliding failure is shown with the
length l2 and horizontal projection xo2. The point where the yield line deviates
from the path of the diagonal crack marks the transition between crack sliding
failure and failure through uncracked concrete. This transition point is usually
easy to localize from photographs of test specimens. In cases where the transition
point does not appear clearly, the point at which the diagonal crack forms the angle = with the vertical displacement vector u will be used as the transition
point. The reason for this is, that = marks the point where crack sliding according to (2) is possible.

Figure 5.1 Failure mode with combination of crack sliding and yield line through uncracked
concrete.

To reflect the failure mode described above and shown in figure 5.1, formula (14)
must be rewritten as follows:
1
Pu = 0 f c b [ (l1 xo1 ) + s (l2 xo 2 )]
2

(18)

For beams subjected to uniform loading, a formula similar to (18) can be obtained
by use of the work equation. In this case, the internal work is taken as the right

16 Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

hand side of (18) and the external work is q(a-ao). Using the notation from figure
5.2, the result reads:
1
a
Pu = qa = 0 f c b [ (l1 xo1 ) + s (l2 xo 2 )]
2
a ao

(19)

Figure 5.2 Beam subjected to uniformed loading

The tests by Leonhardt and Walther [1] include a number of beams without stirrups. These tests are in the following grouped in three series, 1, 2 and 3. The main
test data and calculation data are summarized in appendix B.
The first series consists of 10 beams subjected to four point bending. The shear
span to depth ratio a/h was the main varying parameter. In this series, 8 beams
failed in shear. Figure 5.3 shows photographs of the test specimens. Based on the
photographs, the geometries of the yield lines have been extracted and shown in a
drawing of each beam4. From the drawings, l1, l2, xo1 and xo2 are measured (see
appendix B) and inserted into formula (18) in order to calculate the shear capacity.
Figure 5.4 shows the comparison of calculated values and test results. The agreement is remarkably good. It should be mentioned that for beams No. 1 and No. 2,
the calculations have not been based on formula (18). The reason is that this formula and the associated failure mechanism only applies to beams with a/h larger
than approximately 2. For beam No. 1, the geometry of the beam and of the loading plates make it impossible for crack sliding to take place ( < ). In this case,
the calculation must be based on yield line through uncracked concrete. The fail4

Note that the loading and support plates shown in the drawings have the correct dimensions.
According to [1] the width of the loading plates was 130 mm.

Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

17

ure mechanism of beam No. 2 is completely different from that considered in figure 5.1.
If for beam No. 2 a failure mechanism consisting of a straight yield line in uncracked concrete from support to load is calculated, almost exact agreement is
found. However, this failure mechanism has not developed, as seen in figure 5.3.
If the observed mechanism is calculated the lower bound solution deviates rather
much from the upper bound solution. However, the average gives a very accurate
value. It may happen that the observed mechanism is the result of some complicated fracture dynamics at the onset of a sudden failure, a phenomenon which can
not yet be treated theoretically in an accurate way. Detailed calculations for beams
No. 1 and 2 are given in appendix A.
The second series consists of 8 beams with varying length and subjected to uniform loading. Seven beams failed in shear. Two of the seven beams have been
omitted because of difficulties in determining the yield lines (photographs show
large areas with damages making it difficult to identify the yield lines). Yield lines
observed and used in calculations are shown in figure 5.5. Comparison of calculations with tests appears in figure 5.6. The agreement is seen to be good, especially
for a/h larger than 4.
The third series from [1] consists of beams, all having shear span to effective
depth ratio equals to 3. The depth varies from 80 mm to 670 mm. Photographs of
8 specimens are provided in [1]. These and drawings of yield lines used in calculations are shown in figure 5.7. Comparison of calculations with tests can be seen
in figure 5.8. The agreement is good.
Summary of the calculations for all three series are shown in figure 5.9. The
agreement with tests is seen to be very good.
The results obtained strongly indicate that the crack sliding concept is capable of
capturing the essential phenomena in the shear failure mechanism of reinforced
concrete beams without stirrups.

18 Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

Figure 5.3 Series 1, test specimens and drawings with yield lines. Tests by Leonhardt & Walther
[1].

Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

Figure 5.3 (continued).

19

20 Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

Figure 5.3 (continued).

Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

Figure 5.3 (continued)

21

22 Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

500

Pu(kN)
cal

test

400

300

200

100
a/h
0
0

Pu (kN)
400
cal

test

300

200

100

0
1

4
5
Specimen No.

Figure 5.4 Results for beams subjected to concentrated load, series 1.

7-1

8-1

Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

23

Figure 5.5 Series 2, test specimens and drawings with yield lines. Tests by Leonhardt & Walther
[1]

24 Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

Figure 5.5 (continued).

Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

Figure 5.5 (continued).

400

Pu(kN)

cal

test

300

200

100

0
11-1

12-1

13-1

14-1

Specimen No.
Figure 5.6 Results for beams subjected to uniform loading, serie 2.

15-1

25

26 Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

Figure 5.7 Series 3, test specimens and drawings with yield lines. Tests by Leonhardt & Walther
[1].

Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

Figure 5.7 (continued).

27

28 Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

Figure 5.7 (continued).

Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

Figure 5.7 (continued).

29

30 Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

180

100

Pu(kN)

Pu(kN)
80
cal

test

120

60
cal

40

test

60

20

0
D1-1

D2-2

D3-2

C1

D4-1

C2

C3

C4

Figure 5.8 Results for beams subjected to concentrated load, series 3.

450

Vtest (kN)
400
350
300
250
200
series 1

150
series 2

100

series 3

50

Vcal.(kN)
0
0

50

100

150

200

250

300

Figure 5.9 Comparison of tests and calculations for all test series.

350

400

450

Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

31

6. Conclusions
In the classical plasticity approach, failure mechanisms are determined solely by
energy minimization. The Crack Sliding Model on the other hand determines the
critical yield line by evaluating both the sliding strength and the cracking load of
the considered crack pattern. Since cracking is a fracture mechanical phenomenon, it is not possible within the framework of plastic theory accurately to calculate the form of the crack suffering sliding failure. In the original formulation of
the Crack Sliding Model, diagonal cracks are predefined to be straight.
The objective of this paper has been to investigate the applicability of the crack
sliding model when arbitrary curved diagonal cracks are taken into account. For
this purpose, a general dissipation formula for arbitrary yield lines has been developed.
By means of this formula, a simple extension of the Crack Sliding Model involving cracks of parabolic shape has been carried out. Results of two simple calculations suggest that good agreement with tests can be obtained.
Further, it has been shown that the developed formula in a very simple way may
be used to take into account the actual shear failure mechanism when analyzing
the ultimate strength. Remarkably good agreement with test results has been
found.
The results obtained first of all demonstrate that there is a sound physical basis
behind the simple straight yield line calculations used in the crack sliding theory.
The results obtained further may be used as a basis for future research as well as
immediate implementation in practice. In future research, it is obvious that the
concept of crack sliding in arbitrary curved cracks should be combined with a
fracture mechanical approach to evaluate the crack formation. With regards to
practical implementation, the results found in chapter 5 evidently may be used to
evaluate the vulnerability towards sliding failure in observed cracks in existing
concrete structures. This is a task often met when dealing with strength assessment of existing concrete bridges.

32 Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

References
[1]

Leonhardt, F. & Walther, R.: Schubversuche an einfelddrigen


Stahlbetonbalken mit und ohne Schubbewehrung. Deutscher Ausschuss
fr Stahlbeton, Heft 151, 1962.

[2]

Nielsen, M. P., Braestrup, M. W., Jensen, B. C. & Bach, F. : Concrete


plasticity---Beam shear-Shear in joints-Punching shear. Special Publication. Danish Society for Structural Science and Engineering, Structural
Research Laboratory, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, 1978.

[3]

Muttoni, A. : Die Anwendbarkeit der Plastizittstheorie in der


Bemessung von Stahlbeton. Institut fr Baustatik und Konstruktion, ETH
Zurich, Bericht Nr.176, Juni 1990.

[4]

Muttoni, A. & Schwartz, J.: Behaviour of Beams and Punching in Slabs


without Shear Reinforcement. IABSE Colloquium, Vol. 62, pp. 703-708,
Stuttgart, Germany, 1991.

[5]

Zhang, J. P.: Strength of cracked concrete. Part 1---Shear strength of


conventional concrete beams, deep beams, corbels, and prestressed reinforced concrete beams without shear reinforcement. Technical University of Denmark, Department of Structural Engineering, Report R 311,
Lyngby, 1994.

[6]

Zhang, J. P.: Strength of cracked concrete. Part 2---Micromechanical


modeling of shear failure in cement paste and in concrete. Technical
University of Denmark, Department of Structural Engineering, Report R
17, Lyngby, 1997.

[7]

Zhang, J. P.: Diagonal cracking and shear strength of reinforced concrete beams. Magazine of Concrete Research, Vol. 49, No.178, 1997, pp.
55-65.

[8]

Nielsen, M. P. : Limit analysis and concrete plasticity. Second edition,


CRC Press, 1998.

[9]

Hoang, L. C.: Extension and application of the crack sliding model. Proceedings of the Danish Society for Structural Science and Engineering,
Vol. 72, No.4, 2001, pp. 71-118.

Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

[10]

Muttoni, A. & Fernndez, R. M.: Shear strength of members without


transverse reinforcement as function of critical shear crack width, ACI
Structural Journal, Vol. 105, No. 2, pp. 163-172, 2008.

Notations
a
ao

Shear span/half of span length

As

Cross section area of longitudinal reinforcement

Web width of the beam

Cohesion in uncracked concrete

c'

Cohesion in cracked concrete

Effective depth of cross section

fc

Uniaxial compressive strength of concrete

fc*

Effevtive compressive strength of concrete, defined as fc*=fc

ftef

Effetive plastic tensile strength of concrete

fy

Yield strength of longitudinal reinforcement

Depth of beam

Total curve length of yield line/crack

l1

Curve length of yield line in uncracked concrete

l2

Curve length of yield line/critical diagonal crack

Lo

Length of support/loading plate

External load

Pcr

Cracking load

Distance between the end of the yield line and the support in uniformly
loaded beams

33

34 Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

Pu

Ultimate load/load carrying capacity

Pucal

Calculated ultimate shear force

Putest

Experimental ultimate shear force

Load per unit length

Relative displacement in yield line

Reaction at support

Displacement in diagonal crack at onset of cracking

WE

External work at failure

WI

Internal work at failure

Horizontal projection of yield line

xo

Horizontal projection of yield line

xo1

Horizontal projection of yield line formed in uncracked concrete

xo2

Horizontal projection of yield line/critical diagonal crack

Angle between yield line and displacement direction

Inclination of yield line

Rotation angle

Loading configuration factor

Effectiveness factor for compressive strength of concrete

Effectiveness factor due to softening effects and microcracking

Sliding reduction factor

Reinforcement ratio(=As/bh)

Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

Normal stress

Concrete stress

Shear stress

Angle of friction for concrete

Angle of friction in a crack

35

36 Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

Appendix A. Calculations for short beams


For the short beams No. 1 and No. 2 in the Leonhardt-Walther test series [1], the
failure mechanism assumed in figure 5.1 of the paper does not apply. This appendix contains calculations specifically for these two beams.

A.1. Specimen No. 1


For beam No. 1 the shear span to depth ratio is: 0.27/0.32 = 0.84. When the
widths of the loading plate (130 mm) and the support plate (100 mm) are taken
into account and when the plates are assumed to be rigid, the largest possible
horizontal projection of the yield line becomes 155 mm. This means that the angle
= Arctan (155/270) = 30o. This is smaller than 37o meaning that the assumption
of crack sliding can not be used. Instead, the calculation must be based on the
classical plasticity approach. For this purpose, formula (18) can still be used if l2
and xo2 are put to zero. From figure A-1 the following length are measured: l1 =
365 mm and xo1 = 162 mm. Note that xo1 is a bit larger than the theoretical values
(155mm). The reason is that the loading and support plates are not perfectly rigid.
The effectiveness factor for this specimen is 0 = 0.65 (see also appendix B). Inserting into (18), we find:
1
Pu = 0 f c b [ (l1 xo1 ) + s (l2 xo 2 )]
2
1
= 0.65 29.47 MPa 190 mm [ (365mm 162mm ]
2
= 369 kN

Figure A-1 Failure mode of beam No. 1, photo and drawing of yield line.

(A.1)

Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

37

A.2 Specimen No. 2


Upper bound Analysis:
From the photograph of the failure mechanism of beam No. 2, it appears that it is
completely different from that considered in figure 5.1. For the crack patterns
shown on the drawing in figure 5.3, a failure mechanism involving a simple vertical displacement is not possible. The beam must therefore be analyzed using another failure mechanism.
What we notice from the photograph of the test specimen is that the compression
zone between the applied loads is crushed. A mechanism allowing for crushing of
this zone and shear failure in the diagonal cracks can be seen in figure A-2.
This mechanism consists of a rotation of part I about the point of intersection
between the diagonal crack and the longitudinal reinforcement. The rotation
causes the compression zone between the loads to crush. Dissipation in the
crushed zone may be calculated by considering a vertical yield line undergoing a
linear displacement field with constant = -90o. Since the reinforcement is not
yielding (due to the position of the point of rotation) the mechanism also involves
a downward punching of part II. The resulting displacement field in the diagonal crack and in the horizontal yield line is composed of the vertical displacement
of part II and the rotation of part I. This means that the displacement vector varies
along the yield lines. This is illustrated in figure A-3.
The diagonal crack (or parts of it) is assumed to have been developed prior to
failure whereas the rest of the yield lines are assumed to develop at the onset of
failure. This means that for the horizontal yield line, failure through uncracked
concrete is assumed. Dissipations for the three different yield lines are derived in
the following.

Figure A-2 Assumed failure mechanism for beam No. 2 based on photograph of specimen.

38 Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

Figure A-3 Relative displacements along yield lines.

A.2.1 Dissipation in diagonal crack

Figure A-4 Sliding failure along the diagonal crack, (left) the part above rotation point, (right) the
part below rotation point.

As shown in figure A-4 (left), there are two components of displacement for any
point along the diagonal crack; namely v1 stemming from the rotation of part I and
u1 from the vertical displacement of part II. The relative displacement u between
the two parts along the crack is the vector sum of v1 and u1. For a point at the
distance x from the point of rotation, we have:

u = u12 + v12 2 u1 v1 cos = x 2 2 ( y1 + y2 ) x cos + ( y1 + y2 ) 2

(A.2)

Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

39

From geometrical conditions, we further find:

u sin = u1 cos v1

; u1 = ( y1 + y2 ) ; v1 = x

(A.3)

The dissipation for a length dx of the yield line is:


dW =

1 *
f c bu (1 sin )dx
2

(A.4)

Inserting (A.2) and (A.3) into (A.4) and integrating along the yield line from the
point of rotation to the end point A, we find:
1 R
W1 = b f c*u (1 sin )dx
2 0
2
2
R *

1 0 f c [ x ( y1 + y2 ) cos ] + [ ( y1 + y2 ) sin ] dx
= b R

2 f * ( y + y ) cos x dx

[
]
c
1
2
0

(A.5)

Note that in (A.5) the effective compressive strength may vary along the yield line
depending on whether is smaller or larger than . Using figures A-2 and A-4
(left) and values in table A-1, it can be shown that = = 37 o at a distance x1
3
from the point of rotation. This distance is: x1 = ( y1 + y2 )( y2 z1 ) / R . Thus, for
4
o
o
0 x x1 we have 37 while < 37 for x1 < x R . Therefore, in (A.5)
f c* = s 0 f c must be inserted for 0 x x1 and f c* = 0 f c applies when x1 < x R .

For the part of the yield line below the rotation point, see figure A-4 (right), we
have:

u = x 2 + 2( y1 + y2 ) x cos + ( y1 + y2 ) 2
u sin = u1 cos + v2

(A.6)

v2 = x

Similar to (A.5) we find the dissipation for the part of the crack below the point of
rotation to be:

40 Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

r x + ( y + y ) cos 2 + ( y + y )sin 2 dx
] [ 1 2
]
1
2
0 [
1
*

W2 = b f c
2
2
( y + y ) cos r + r

(A.7)

In (A.7) f c* = s 0 f c may be used as 37 o for 0 x r .

A.2.2 Sliding failure in horizontal part of yield line

Figure A-5 Displacement in horizontal yield line.

For the horizontal part of the yield line AB in figure A-5, we find the following
geometrical conditions:

u = x 2 2 ( y1 + y2 ) x + ( y1 + y2 ) 2 + z12 ; u sin = u1 v3 cos ;


v3 =

cos

(A.8)

The dissipation along the horizontal yield line is:


W3 =
=

1 * y1 + y2
fc b
(1 sin )udx
y2
2
1 *
f c b
2

y1 + y2
y2

[ x ( y1 + y2 )]

+ z12 dx

y1 + y2
y2

( y1 + y2 x)dx

(A.9)

As this part of the yield line is assumed to develop at the onset of failure,
f c* = 0 f c may be used.

Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

41

A.2.3 Concrete crushing

Figure A-6 Displacement in vertical yield line.

For the vertical yield line representing concrete crushing, see figure A-6, we have
constant = -90 degrees. The dissipation is:
W4 =

z1 + z3
1
1 sin(90o ) x dx
vb f c b
z
1
2

( z + z ) 2 z12
z32 + 2 z3 z1
= b f cb 3 1
=

f
b

b c
2
2

(A.10)

For concrete crushing in zones with constant moment, the effectiveness factor
may be taken as the one valid for bending, [8]:

b = 0.97

fy
5000

fc
300

(A.11)

With fc = 29.5 MPa and fy = 355 MPa we find b = 0.80.


The total dissipation (for half of the beam) is the sum of (A.5), (A.7), (A.9) and
(A.10):

42 Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

WI = W1 + W2 + W3 + W4 =

x1 x ( y + y ) cos 2 + ( y + y ) sin 2 dx x1 ( y + y ) cos x dx


] [ 1 2
]
]
1
2
0 [ 1 2
0 s 0 [

R
R
2
2
+
[ x ( y1 + y2 ) cos ] + [ ( y1 + y2 ) sin ] dx x1 [ ( y1 + y2 ) cos x ] dx
1
0 x1
f cb
r

r2
2
2
2
+ 0 s [ x + ( y1 + y2 ) cos ] + [ ( y1 + y2 ) sin ] dx ( y1 + y2 ) cos r +
0
2

y1 + y2
y
+
y
z + 2 z3 z1
2
1
2
x ( y1 + y2 )] + z12 dx
( y1 + y2 x)dx + b 3
+ 0 y

[
y2
2
2

(A.12)
The external work for half of the beam is:
WE = P (a1 + a2 )

(A.13)

By setting up the work equation WE = WI , an upper bound is found for the shear
capacity of the beam. The geometrical parameters to be used in (A.12) and (A.13)
are measured from photograph and drawing of the test specimen. These are listed
in table A-1. In the table, strength parameters are also shown (see also appendix
B).
By inserting the parameters into (A.12) and (A.13) and by performing numerical
integration, we obtain the following upper bound for the shear capacity:
Pu = 369 KN

a1
cm
25.32

x1
cm
16.38

(A.14)

a2
cm
14.87

y2
cm
26.81

b
cm
19

h
cm
32

y3
cm
7.64

fc
MPa
29.47

R
cm
32.89

r
cm
9.37

y1
cm
16.21

cos

sin

0.649

0.5

0.8

0.82

0.58

Table A.1 Parameters for beam No. 2, [1]. .

z3
cm
7.49

z1
cm
19.05

z2
cm
5.43

Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

43

Lower bound analysis:


Beam No. 2 has also been analyzed using a lower bound approach. Figure A-7
shows an admissible stress field with diagonal struts avoiding the observed crack
pattern. The geometrical parameters for this stress field are shown in the figure,
where the width of the bearing stress block is Lo = 41 mm. The triangular parts are
in plane hydrostatic stress conditions.
Since the diagonal struts are not crossing any cracks, a compressive stress corresponding to c = 0fc may be transferred throughout the system. A lower bound
for Pu can therefore be calculated as below:

Pu = 0 f c Lo b
= 0.65 29.5MPa 41mm 190mm

(A.15)

= 149 kN

Figure A-7. Stress field rendering lower bound solution

Averaging the results:


From the upper and lower bound analyses, an estimate of the shear capacity of the
beam can be obtained by taking the average value of the two results. Thus:
Pu =

1
(149 + 369 ) kN = 259 kN
2

Notice that the capacity obtained in test is 265 kN.

(A.16)

44 Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

Appendix B. Experimental parameters for test series in [1].

Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

45

46 Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

Resum

I forbindelse med anvendelse af plasticitetsteoriens vrevrdiprincip til beregning


af forskydningsstyrken af betonbjlker er der behov for at bestemme den plastiske dissipation i brudlinierne. De hidtil udviklede beregningsformler er hovedsageligt baseret p antagelsen om rette brudlinjer. Det fremgr dog af utallige forsg, at bruddet sker i krumme forskydningsrevner. Denne artikel prsenterer en
procedure til beregning af dissipationen i vilkrlige krumme brudlinier. Resultatet
viser sig at vre en simpel formel velegnet til praktisk anvendelse. I artiklen anvendes den udviklede formel til forskydningsberegning iht. revneglidingsteorien.
Frst foretages beregninger, hvor det antages at den krumme forskydningsrevne
har parabolske form. Dernst foretages beregninger baseret p brudlinieforlb
observeret ved forsg. Der opns gode overensstemmelser mellem beregnede og
eksperimentelle styrker.

Summary
When the upper bound plasticity approach is used to calculate the shear strength
of concrete beams, there is a need of determining the energy dissipated in the
yield lines. Plastic design formulas developed until now are mostly based on the
assumption of straight yield lines. However, many experimental results have
shown that shear cracks in beams are curved. This paper presents a procedure to
calculate the dissipation in arbitrary curved yield lines. The result turns out to be a
simple formula suitable for practical use. The derived formula is used to carry out
shear strength analyses within the framework of the plasticity based Crack Sliding
Model. First, an analysis based on the assumption of shear failure in cracks with
predefined parabolic shape is carried out. There next, the formula is used to carry
out calculations based on crack patterns observed in tests. Very good agreements
with test results are obtained.

Y. Zhao et al.: On the conceptual basis of the crack sliding theory

Artikel modtaget december 2008


Diskussion ben indtil juli 2009

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