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Aseismic Design of structures

Course material

1. Plain Concrete

Plain concrete is a brittle material. During the first cycle the stress- strain
curve is the same as that obtained from static tests (Fig.1.)

Fig. 1. Brittle and ductile force behaviour Fig. 2. Plain concrete section under repeated
Compressive loading

If the specimen is unloaded and reloaded in compression, stress-strain curves similar to

those in fig. 2 are obtained.

It can be seen that slope of the stress-strain curves (Fig. 2) as well as the maximum
attainable stress decrease with number of cycles. Thus the stress-strain relationship for plain
concrete subjected to repeated compressive loads is cycle dependant. The decrease in
stiffness and strength of plain concrete is due to the formation of cracks. The compressive
strength of concrete depends on the rate of loading. As the rate of loading increase, the
compressive strength of concrete increase but the strain at the maximum stress decreases.

Plain concrete cannot be subjected to repeated tensile loads since its tensile
strength is practically zero.

2. Reinforcement:

Reinforcing steel has much more ductility than plain concrete. The ultimate strain in
mild steel is of the order of 25% whereas, in concrete it is of the order of 0.3%.

In the first cycle the reinforcing steel shows stress-strain curves similar to that
obtained in the static test. After the specimen has reached its yield level and direction of load
is reversed, that is, unloading begins, it can be seen that the unloading curve is not straight
but curvilinear.

This curve in the unloading segment of stress-strain curve is referred to as the

Bauschinger effect after the discoverer of the phenomenon.

Aseismic Design of structures
Course material

Fig. 3. Hysterisis behaviour of

Reinforcing steel

3. Reinforced concrete

Reinforcing steel has much more ductility than plain concrete. Plain concrete can be
subjected only to repeated compressive loading and not to repeated tensile loading cycles due to
its poor tensile strength. However reinforcing steel can be subjected to repeated reversible tensile
and compressive loading cycles and exhibits stable hysterisis loops. Thus the cyclic behaviour of
reinforced concrete members is significantly improved due to the presence of reinforcing steel.

The fig. shows the typical load-deflection curves for a cantilever RC beam
subjected to reversed cyclic loading. Reinforcing steel is present in both faces since one
face is in tension during the first half loading cycle and the other face is in tension during
the remaining half of the loading cycle.
It is also seen that the slope of load-deflection curve, that is, stiffness of the beam
decreases with no. of cycles. Also the curves tend to pinch-in near zero loads. These types
of beams and columns are referred to as stiffness degradation and pinching-in effects.