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Engineering Structures 33 (2011) 532538

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Neopreneconcrete friction relationships for seismic assessment of existing

precast buildings
Gennaro Magliulo a, , Vittorio Capozzi a , Giovanni Fabbrocino b , Gaetano Manfredi a
Department of Structural Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, Via Claudio 21, 80125 Napoli, Italy
Department SAVA, Engineering & Environment Division, Engineering & Environment Division, University of Molise, Via De Sanctis, 86100 Campobasso, Italy

article info abstract

Article history: In Italy many precast industrial buildings built between 1950s and 1970s present beamcolumn connec-
Received 25 May 2010 tions with strength coming from neopreneconcrete friction. Numerical studies recently performed by the
Received in revised form authors confirm that, in order to determine the seismic vulnerability of such structures, a reliable value
11 October 2010
of the neopreneconcrete friction coefficient has to be known. Technical bibliography provides many and
Accepted 2 November 2010
Available online 30 November 2010
different values for this coefficient; consequently, in order to define reliable values, a specific experimen-
tal campaign is carried out. Three types of experimental tests are performed: tests on neoprene hardness,
tilting tests and pulling tests; in the last case, the specimen is also axially loaded.
Friction Tilting tests provide a value of the mean friction coefficient equal to about 0.5, with very low C.O.V..
Friction strength Pulling tests underline a friction strength dependence on axial load and, in particular, a decrease in the
Laboratory tests friction coefficient as the axial load increases; a relationship for compressive stressneopreneconcrete
Connections friction coefficient is proposed.
Prefabrication 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Precast concrete
Seismic analysis

1. Introduction friction strength, can collapse due to the loss of support (Fig. 1).
Consequently, in order to determine the seismic vulnerability
This research was developed in the frame of a project concern- of such structures, it is necessary to know the value of the
ing the seismic vulnerability of precast industrial buildings built in neopreneconcrete friction coefficient.
Italy between the 1950s and the 1970s [1,2]. Few references related to the determination of such coefficient
The part of the project already carried out may be divided can be found in bibliography and its value often concerns applica-
into two phases. The first one is characterized by the definition tions different from structural ones [36]. Interesting indications
of the typologies and structural characteristics of the considered can be found in CNR 10018 [7], Schrage [8], PCI design handbook [9]
buildings, with particular reference to connections, by a large and UNI-EN 1337:3 [10].
bibliography research, interviewing technicians who worked in CNR 10018 [7] provides the relationship between the rub-
the field of precast structures during the reference period and berconcrete friction coefficient and the compressive stress v :
studying actually executed projects. Consequently, some reference 0.2
buildings representative of the most spread typologies during = 0.1 + , (1)
the reference period are selected. The second phase, instead, is v
characterized by numerical analyses, in particular modal elastic where v is the compressive stress in N/mm2 ; Eq. (1) is valid
analyses and nonlinear static and dynamic ones. Such analyses for compressive stress not lower than v,min = 1.5 N/mm2 .
showed that, even under seismic forces characterizing, a medium This equation is determined by means of the friction tests carried
intensity Italian seismic zone, precast existing buildings, whose out in 1964 by the Munich Technical University under the
beamcolumn connections are based on neopreneconcrete auspices of the International Railroad Association (UIC [11]). The
tests take into account laminated bearings and bearing pads of
several European countries. The results underline that the rubber-
bearings friction coefficient depends on average normal stress. The
Corresponding author. Tel.: +39 0817683656; fax: +39 0817683491.
E-mail addresses: (G. Magliulo),
NCHRP report [12] discusses these European studies, but setup,
(V. Capozzi), (G. Fabbrocino), materials, pad dimensions and shear loading rate used in the tests
(G. Manfredi). are not specified.
0141-0296/$ see front matter 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
G. Magliulo et al. / Engineering Structures 33 (2011) 532538 533










200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000
a. Average values based on tests at 70% shear and slippage strain.

Fig. 1. Technical drawing of the typical beamcolumn connection based on Fig. 2. Neoprene friction strengthaxial stress relationship [9].
neopreneconcrete friction strength.
coefficients for neoprene and ROF pads decrease well below a static
Ref. [8] represents a significant research paper on the topic. In coefficient equal to 0.7, that was commonly used in old US design
it, Schrage presents 27 plain neoprene (also denominated chloro- code, under reference compression loads.
prene) pads undergoing shear/compression tests against concrete The data from the 27 European tests (Schrage tests) and the 22
surface. Tests were characterized by nominal compressive stresses US tests on plain pads were plotted in report [15] in terms of shear
equal to 0.5, 5 and 20 N/mm2 . The pad shape factor S = (a b)/(2 versus compressive stress on the pad; according to such results,
s (a + b)) was equal to 5.5 (a and b are the plan dimensions and Iverson and Pfeifer suggested the following friction coefficient-
s the trickiness of the rectangular pad). Shear loads were applied compressive stress (N/mm2 ) relationship, also reported in PCI
providing constant horizontal displacement rates equal to 50, 0.5 Handbook [9]:
and 0.01 mm/s: the maximum reached displacements were 0.7,
1.4 and 2.1 times the pad thickness. Schrage also performed tests 0.26
= 0.04 + . (3)
under 1 Hz sinusoidal dynamic normal stress varying between 1.5 v
and 5 N/mm2 at the above reported displacement rates. Specimen
materials and test setup are reported in Refs. [13,14] (in German). UNI-EN 1337:3 [10] also provides a relationship characterizing the
In [8] Schrage suggests the following equation, relating the friction friction between a surface and its elastomeric support:
coefficient () to the compressive stress (v in N/mm2 ): 1.5 Kf
= 0.1 + (4)
0.4 v
= 0.05 + . (2)
v where v is the compressive stress in N/mm2 , v,min is equal to
Such an equation is obtained for shear loading rate equal to 3 N/mm2 and Kf is equal to 0.6 if the surface is made by concrete
0.5 mm/s and temperature equal to 20 C. The author concludes and 0.2 if it is made by other materials; consequently, in the case
that the friction coefficient depends on the shear loading rate of friction between concrete and the elastomeric support, Eq. (4)
(increasing shear loading rate, the friction coefficient increases), provides
but does not depend on the nominal area of neoprene slab, on time
of prepressing and on bearings shape. Schrage tests on neoprene 0.9
= 0.1 + . (5)
friction did not investigate on the effects of temperature. v
A study on the shearcompression strength of random-oriented
Eq. (5) is provided without any detail concerning the rubber
fibre (ROF) pads was performed in 198384 by WJE (Wiss, Janney,
characterizing the support and the experimental tests performed
Elstner Associates, Inc.) [15] and by the pad manufacturer JVI [16],
in order to better understand pad behaviour and to develop in order to obtain it.
appropriate design criteria for bearing pads to be included in Eqs. (1)(5), assigned a value of compressive stress, may provide
PCI Design Handbook [9] (in Fig. 2 friction strengthaxial stress significantly different values of friction coefficient between neo-
relationship is represented). Twenty-two tests were performed: prene pad and concrete surface. This is due to the circumstance
18 by JVI and 4 by WJE; only 4 of them concern neoprene pads that they are obtained by tests characterized by different setups,
(3 performed by JVI on concrete and 1 by WJE on steel). JVI and contact surface characteristics, pad dimensions and shape factor
WJE adopted the same shear test methodology. The cyclic shear S, shear loading rates and temperatures; furthermore, Eq. (3) is
displacements equal to 70% of the pad thickness were applied obtained by tests performed by different authors, while parame-
horizontally with a maximum rate of about 1000 cycles per hour. ters characterizing the tests providing Eqs. (1), (4) and (5) are not
The tests concerning plain neoprene pads were characterized by a known in details.
nominal compressive stress equal to 5.9 N/mm2 and by uniform In this paper, the compressive stressneopreneconcrete fric-
float finished concrete surfaces. The pad shape factor S belonged tion coefficient relationship is reported in terms of experimental
to the range 2.493.3. Creep, aging or similar long-term effects curve and empirical formula, based on many experimental tests
were not covered in this investigation. Laboratory temperature performed at the laboratory of Department of Structural Engineer-
during the tests varied approximately from 18 to 24 C. The study ing of University of Naples Federico II; specimen characteristics,
underlines that friction is not sensitive to the shape factor and that setup, test procedure and results are described in details. The spec-
depends on contact surface roughness and on shear displacement imens are provided by an Italian precast industry; this is relevant
rate. These 22 cyclic shearcompression tests substantiate the considering that the research is performed in order to assess the
European data and show that the shearcompression friction seismic vulnerability of existing precast buildings.
534 G. Magliulo et al. / Engineering Structures 33 (2011) 532538

corresponding to the attainment of the maximum value of the

friction strength (Tfriction ); for larger angles the specimen slips on
the inclined plane:

s = tg a = Tfriction /N (6)

where N is the load component orthogonal to the inclined surface.

The test setup (Fig. 4) is represented by a rotating frame, where
a concrete plate is constrained; such a plate is characterized by
a drying longer than seven days and by a smooth surface, which
is typical of the element part in contact with the formwork. The
neoprene specimen is glued to a concrete brick, which provides
the necessary load to perform the test and guarantees a uniform
contact between neoprene and concrete surfaces; the neoprene is
then placed on the concrete plate.
The tests are performed on two specimens of different
dimensions: the first one is 20 cm 9 cm 1 cm (S = 3.10),
while the second one is 25 cm 20 cm 1 cm (S = 5.56);
consequently, the contact surfaces are 180 cm2 and 500 cm2 . The
Fig. 3. Hardness test: (a) durometer; (b) durometer indentor. first specimen is loaded by a concrete block whose dimensions are
24 cm 12 cm 5 cm and whose weight is equal to 36 N; the
2. Experimental investigation second one is loaded by a concrete block whose dimensions are
25 cm 30 cm 5 cm and whose weight is equal to 93.8 N. The
2.1. Hardness test corresponding contact stresses are equal to = 0.0020 N/mm2
and = 0.0018 N/mm2 respectively, which are negligible.
The rubber of specimens is characterized by its nominal hard- Four LVDT transducers of inductive type (Fig. 4) are used in
ness, which is determined by tests performed at the Department of order to measure the displacements. Two of them are attached
Materials and Production Engineering of University of Naples Fed- to the concrete brick (A and B in Fig. 4), in order to measure the
erico II according to the provisions of ISO 48 [17] (Fig. 3). displacements along the inclined plane; the other two (E and F in
Two typologies of specimens are tested: one of them is made Fig. 4), vertically positioned, are connected to the rotating frame in
of neoprene, which is generally used as support at beamcolumn order to measure its rotations.
connections of Italian precast buildings; the other one, rarely used The test is performed slowly rotating the frame by a manual
as support, is made of generic rubber. The specimen dimensions system (end-less screw). The neoprene pad does not slip till the
are 100 50 20 mm and 100 50 10 mm, respectively. For angle of the inclined plane is lower than the friction one ( < a );
each specimen typology, two tests are performed: in the case of when the two transducers set on the inclined plane measure a
neoprene the obtained hardness IRHD is equal to 67 and 69, while displacement, it means that the friction force is overpassed. The
in the case of rubber it is equal to 63 and 65. According to the ISO test is stopped and the angle measured by the vertical transducers
7619 [18,19], the hardness IRHD is coincident with the hardness corresponds to the friction angle.
Shore A, by which the material shear elastic modulus is obtained; The results of the 21 tests performed on the two described
this is equal to 1.15 N/mm2 in the case of neoprene and 1.0 N/mm2 specimens are reported in Table 1: the friction coefficient ()
in the case of rubber. obtained by each test is listed along with the average of such
Tests presented in the following (tilting and pulling tests) are coefficients (mean ) and their standard deviation (s.d. ) for each
all performed on neoprene specimens. specimen. The average (mean ) of all the results is also reported
and it is equal to 0.492, while the corresponding standard deviation
2.2. Tilting test s.d. is equal to 0.060; the C.O.V. is equal to 0.122, showing that
the mean result is reliable. Consequently, the neopreneconcrete
The friction (static) coefficient s is determined, according to friction coefficient, deduced by tests without load orthogonal to
its definition, as tangent of the friction angle a , which is the angle the contact surface, is s = 0.492 0.060.

Fig. 4. Tilting test setup.

G. Magliulo et al. / Engineering Structures 33 (2011) 532538 535

Fig. 5. Pulling test initial setup.

Table 1 pulling tests are carried out. The aim of the tests is to obtain the
Tilting tests results. neopreneconcrete friction coefficient that can be attained under
Neoprene specimen Test n. mean s.d. serviceability conditions of an existing connection. The initial set
1 0.528 up, presented below, is modified after the pilot tests, as described
2 0.437 in the next paragraph.
3 0.493 The initial setup (Fig. 5) is composed of two lateral concrete
4 0.516 blocks whose dimensions are 60 60 25 cm and a central steel
5 0.629
20 9 1 cm 6 0.566 0.526 0.053
plate; at each side of such a plate a neoprene specimen, whose
7 0.541 dimensions are 30 15 1 cm (S = 5), is glued by a universal
8 0.471 cold-vulcanizing sticker. The neopreneconcrete contact surfaces
9 0.584 are subjected to an axial load, assigned by a hydraulic horizontal
10 0.501
jack, located in a cradle, which acts on two metallic plates; one
11 0.520
of them uniformly distributes the load on the concrete block and
12 0.444 the other one, on the other side of the jack, restrains it. This plate
13 0.433 is restrained by bolts to three steel bars, as well as another steel
14 0.513
15 0.496
plate which is placed in correspondence of the external surface of
16 0.459 the concrete block on the other side with respect to the jack; such
25 20 1 cm 0.454 0.043
17 0.393 two steel plates close the system.
18 0.409 The two neoprene bearing pads are connected to a vertical jack
19 0.482
by the steel plate and a steel pipe. This provides the shear force
20 0.410
21 0.504 parallel to the neoprene surface, making contrast on a double T
with double web profile; this is supported by two strengthened
0.492 0.048
HE180A profiles, which run on the top surface of each concrete
block. A teflon sheet is placed between the profile and the concrete
Table 1 also seems to show that, in the case of negligible block, in order to avoid undesirable frictions. Vertical bars, bolted
compressive stress, the friction coefficient is little sensitive to the to the two HE180A profiles, ensure the needed restraint to the
shape factor: the friction coefficient scarcely decreases increasing floor: the tensile action applied on the rubber determines on the
S factor. blocks an overturning moment which is controlled by the vertical
bar clamping action.
2.3. Pulling test: initial test setup The displacements are measured by inductive transducers and
Results of tilting tests cannot take into account the influence of In particular, neoprene displacements are detected by six po-
axial load levels on neoprene bearing pad; consequently, specific tentiometers: two, connected by a steel screw, for each neoprene
536 G. Magliulo et al. / Engineering Structures 33 (2011) 532538

Fig. 7. Threaded bushing and reinforcement of the central concrete block.

The elements that transmit shear force by the jack to the

neoprene bearing pads, i.e. the central concrete block and vertical
bar, have a total weight equal to 1 kN; consequently, such weight
is subtracted from the applied shear force.
Fig. 6. Relative displacement between neoprene specimens and steel plate. The displacements are monitored by two LVDT transducers,
which measure the displacements of the central block with respect
specimen, one for each side, and two on the steel plate which sup- to the lateral ones and, consequently, the neoprene displacements
ports the specimens. Consequently, both the deformations of the with respect to these ones; indeed, the specimens do not slide
neoprene and the absolute displacement of the steel plate, when with respect to the central concrete block, due to its rough surface
the friction is overpassed, can be detected. The potentiometers are (Fig. 8).
fixed to an external support, which is not influenced by the setup
deformations. 3. Experimental results and discussion
The transducers, LVDT of inductive type, are connected to the
two concrete blocks in order to detect the relative displacement 3.1. Pulling test results
between them, and, then, the axial deformation of the neoprene.
In particular, four transducers are used, two for each block, one at Twenty tests are carried out, four for each level of axial force:
the bottom side of the block and the other one at the top side, in 80, 120, 160, 200 and 240 kN (these axial forces correspond to
order to also evaluate possible rotations of the blocks. a tributary area in realistic structures varying from 5 4 m2
to 5 12 m2 ). The last one is a limit value, due to the normal
2.4. Pulling test: final test setup stress limitation on neoprene specimens equal to 5 N/mm2 in
accordance with the CNR 10018 [7]. For each axial load level, the
Two tests are performed by the above presented setup, force parallel to the neoprene/concrete surface (shear force) is
characterized by compressive forces equal to 80 kN and 120 kN, increased monotonously increasing the displacement with a low
respectively. During such tests a relative displacement between speed equal to 0.02 mm/s (shear loading rate).
neoprene specimens and steel plate is observed (Fig. 6), showing Bearing pads are characterized by a gradual transit from partial
the glue failure; this happens at a shear force equal to 20 kN, which slip, i.e. rolling, into the state of slip over the whole surface; the
corresponds to a shear stress equal to 0.44 N/mm2 . Consequently, result is a strongly bended curve of resistance (friction curve).
the initial set up is modified. The test is interrupted when the neoprene significantly slides
The steel plate is replaced by a concrete block. A threaded on the concrete and the displacement increases at a constant
bushing, type 30 MA with a capacity of 40 kN, usually used for shear force value: the whole surface is in the state of slip. The
lifting and moving precast elements, is adopted in order to pull friction coefficient is computed by a shear force equal to the
the concrete block; the design safety factor of bushings is equal minimum value between the test maximum shear force and
to 5, and consequently it is assumed that it can carry 200 kN. The 0.5G = 0.575 N/mm2 (see Section 2.1), which is a code [7]
threaded bushing is anchored by a passing bar and four 10 staples limitation; such a value is never reached during tests (Table 2). Half
(Fig. 7). of the shear force, from which the weight of the central block has
The central concrete block is cast so that its surface presents the been subtracted, divided by the axial load, represents the friction
same characteristics of the column top surface, while the internal coefficient.
surface of the external blocks is cast in order to reproduce the same The results of the 20 performed tests are reported in Table 2.
surface of the bottom part of the beam, which is smooth due to From the left to the right, the following data are listed: the 20 test
the formwork; in this way, real conditions of the beam to column denominations (Test name), the axial load levels (N), the shear
connection are reproduced. forces at the neopreneconcrete surface multiplied by two (T ),
Furthermore, the neoprene specimen is not glued to the central the corresponding friction coefficients (), their average (mean )
concrete block, but it is simply placed between the two concrete and standard deviation (s.d. ) for each level of axial load and the
blocks by a line, so that the surfaces of concrete and neoprene are neoprene normal ( ) and shear ( ) stress. The reliability of tests
parallel and centred with respect to the axial load (Fig. 8). results is supported by the low values of standard deviation. As
This setup is better than the previous one because of the already written, the specimen dimensions are 15 cm30 cm1 cm
following reasons: (1) the beam to column connection is more (S = 5).
faithfully reproduced due to the fact that the neoprene is not glued Considering the results shown in Tables 1 and 2, it can be stated
neither to the beam nor to the column; (2) neoprene is easily that if the contact surface is normally loaded the friction coefficient
monitored and replaced in the case of damage. decreases.
G. Magliulo et al. / Engineering Structures 33 (2011) 532538 537

Fig. 8. Pulling test final setup.

Table 2
Pulling tests results.
Test name N T (2) i mean s.d.
(kN) (kN) (N/mm2 ) (N/mm2 )
80-2 80 21.4 0.134 1.78 0.238
80-3 80 19.0 0.119 1.78 0.211
0.131 0.009
80-4 80 21.1 0.132 1.78 0.235
80-5 80 22.4 0.140 1.78 0.249
120-2 120 29.8 0.124 2.67 0.331
120-3 120 27.1 0.113 2.67 0.301
0.120 0.006
120-4 120 30.5 0.127 2.67 0.339
120-5 120 28.1 0.117 2.67 0.312
160-1 160 38.5 0.120 3.56 0.428
160-2 160 35.6 0.111 3.56 0.396 Fig. 9. Comparison between compressiveshear stress curves provided by CNR
0.115 0.004
160-3 160 37.3 0.117 3.56 0.414 10018, Schrage, PCI Handbook and UNI-EN 1337:3 and tests regression curve.
160-5 160 35.8 0.112 3.56 0.398
200-1 200 45.3 0.113 4.44 0.503
200-2 200 48.0 0.120 4.44 0.533
0.114 0.005
200-3 200 45.8 0.115 4.44 0.509
200-4 200 43.6 0.109 4.44 0.484
240-1 240 43.7 0.091 5.33 0.486
240-2 240 46.3 0.097 5.33 0.514
0.095 0.005
240-3 240 44.5 0.093 5.33 0.494
240-4 240 48.8 0.102 5.33 0.542

3.2. Comparison with the data provided by CNR 10018, Schrage, PCI
Handbook and UNIEN 1337:3

Comparison between tests results and friction coefficient values

provided by CNR 10018 [7] according to Eq. (1), Schage [8]
Fig. 10. Comparison between compressive stressfriction coefficient curves
according to Eq. (2), PCI Handbook [9] according to Eq. (3) and
provided by CNR 10018, Schrage, PCI Handbook and UNI-EN 1337:3 and tests
UNI-EN 1337:3 [10] according to Eq. (5) is shown in Figs. 9 and regression curve.
10. In Fig. 9 the neoprene compressive stress ( ) is reported on
horizontal axis, while the shear stress ( ) on the vertical axis; in The tests results also confirm the moderate increment of fric-
Fig. 10 on the vertical axis, the friction coefficient is presented. tion strength, which corresponds to a light decrement of friction
It is evident that the PCI Handbook curve well approximates the coefficient, as the compressive stress increases (Fig. 10) [8].
experimental data linear regression curve, providing larger friction By experimental results, the following relationships for neo-
strength only for compressive stress lower than about 3.5 N/mm2 ; preneconcrete friction coefficient are proposed:
much larger values characterize the UNI-EN 1337:3 curve. CNR
10018 and Schrage provide moderately larger friction strength = 0.49 if v 0.14 N/mm2 (7)
with respect to the experimental results.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to explain why different authors =c+ if 0.14 < v 5 N/mm2 (8)
proposed different curves (see Figs. 9 and 10). This is mainly due v
to the lack of some data and information concerning the test where v is the compressive stress in N/mm2 , = 0.055, c =
performed in the past, as reported in the Introduction of this paper; 0.1 and v = 5 N/mm2 is neoprene maximum compressive
an important uncertainty is also related to the roughness of the strength according to CNR 10018. Considering that tilting tests
specimens concrete surface. Furthermore, in the case of Eq. (3), are less realistic than pulling tests, the only formula (8) should be
results obtained by different tests were considered. CNR 10018, practically applied, limited to the range 1.5 v 5 N/mm2 .
UNI-EN 1337:3 and experimental data linear regression curves These equations along with linear regression curve of tests
present similar slope, but, at the same compressive stress, different mean results are plotted in Fig. 11: the two curves are almost
shear stresses: probably such curves are obtained at different shear coincident. Vertical dashed lines limit the range of application
loading rates. according to CNR 10018 [7].
538 G. Magliulo et al. / Engineering Structures 33 (2011) 532538

The low values of the friction coefficient provided by the

tests and the results of numerical analyses reported in other
papers underline the low resistance to the seismic actions of the
precast industrial buildings whose beamcolumn connections are
not pinned; they, even for earthquakes of medium intensity, can
collapse for loss of support.
The compressive stressfriction coefficient curve provided in
the paper may be used for computational purposes; as an example,
it can be used when performing nonlinear seismic analysis aimed
at assessing seismic vulnerability of existing precast buildings with
simply supported beamcolumn connections.

Fig. 11. Proposed compressive stressconcreteneoprene friction coefficient Acknowledgements

This research has been partially funded by Italian Department
The presented tests are performed on new bearing pads, not of Civil Protection in the frame of the national project ReLUIS
on pads belonging to existing buildings, due to the difficulty to theme 2.
have them at disposal. It would be interesting in the future to The authors thank Eng. Luigi Manto and Eng. Antonio Gloria of
test also bearings taken from existing structures and to compare Department of Materials and Production Engineering of University
results. However, the authors believe that the results would not of Naples Federico II for collaboration on hardness tests and Eng.
significantly change because the contact surfaces do not much Mauro Redaelli for collaboration on friction tests.
4. Conclusions
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having unilateral simply supported beamcolumn connections: 2008;30(9):25808.
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[8] Schrage I. Anchoring of Bearings. Concrete Institute Publication SP-70. Joint
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proposed. The tests confirm the equation = 0.1 + assumed hardness part 1: durometer method (Shore hardness), Geneva, Switzerland;
v 2004.
by CNR 10018 and UNI-EN 1337:3, even though a different value [19] ISO 7619. Rubber, vulcanized or thermoplastic determination of indentation
of is obtained. hardness part 2: IRHD pocket meter method, Geneva, Switzerland; 2004.