Strut-and-tie-based design and testing of reinforced concrete pier caps

This study was motivated by the observation of unexpected cracking in an actual reinforced concrete (RC) pier cap, consisting of a pair of two secondary corbels, supported on a primary corbel with the pier at its center. The pier cap was analyzed using the strut-and-tie method (STM) by considering a three-dimensional (3-D) model. Tests were carried out on two scaled-down pier cap specimens to assess safety and serviceability performance. The load-carrying capacity of the pier cap was under-predicted by approximately 75% by STM using ACI 318 and AASHTO codes. The test results presented in the paper include evolution of cracking and strains in the steel reinforcing bars, along with load-deflection plots. It was observed that concentrating reinforcing bars near the bearings resulted in an increase in strength by approximately 8.5% without adversely affecting serviceability. In summary, STM is found to provide an effective basis for the design and detailing of such complex pier caps.


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  • Accession Number: 01758940
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 13 2020 3:31PM