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Engineering Structures 29 (2007) 21932205

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Behavior of reinforced concrete beams with minimum


torsional reinforcement
Hao-Jan Chiu, I-Kuang Fang , Wen-Tang Young, Jyh-Kun Shiau
Department of Civil Engineering, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, 701, Taiwan, ROC
Received 17 February 2006; received in revised form 9 October 2006; accepted 8 November 2006
Available online 22 December 2006

Abstract
An experimental investigation was conducted on the behavior of thirteen high-(HSC) and normal-strength concrete (NSC) full-size beams
with relatively low amounts of torsional reinforcement. The crack patterns, the maximum crack widths at service load level, torsional strength,
torsional ductility, and post-cracking reserve strength results of the experiments are discussed. The main parameters include the volumetric ratio
of torsional reinforcements, the compressive strength of the concrete, and the aspect ratio of the cross section. It was found that the adequacy
of the post-cracking reserve strength for specimens with relatively low amounts of torsional reinforcement is primarily related to the ratio of the
transverse to the longitudinal reinforcement factors in addition to the total amounts of torsional reinforcement. The minimum requirements of
torsional reinforcement for NSC beams proposed by other researchers are also discussed on the basis of our test results of both HSC and NSC
beams.
c 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: High strength concrete; Reinforced concrete beam; Torsion

1. Introduction
Structural elements such as spandrel beams in buildings,
curved beams, and eccentrically loaded box girders in bridges
are subjected to significant torsional moments that affect their
strength and deformation. The torsion design provisions in
the ACI Building Code before 1995 were based on the skewbending theory [1]. Since 1995, the design for torsion is based
on the thin-walled tube [2], and space truss analogy [3], which
covers both prestressed and nonprestressed concrete members.
The torsional cracking strength Tcr includes the effects of
concrete compressive strength, solid or hollow cross section,
and level of axial or prestressing force.
Unlike the 1989 version of the ACI 318 Code [4], the
contribution of concrete to the ultimate torsional strength in a
structural concrete member was neglected, whereas the nominal
torsional moment strength specified in the ACI 318-05 Code [5]
is proportional to the amounts of transverse and longitudinal

Corresponding author. Tel.: +886 6 2757575x63163; fax: +886 6 2080565.

E-mail address: fanglou@mail.ncku.edu.tw (I.-K. Fang).


c 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
0141-0296/$ - see front matter
doi:10.1016/j.engstruct.2006.11.004

reinforcements, and the angle of the compression diagonals.


The code provisions also assume that both longitudinal and
transverse reinforcements yield prior to the ultimate strength
stage. Furthermore, the maximum shear stress is specified to
control the crack width. To prevent brittle and sudden failures
upon the formation of the first inclined cracking, the minimum
amount of transverse reinforcement specified in ACI 31805 Code [5] includes the effect of compressive strength of
concrete. Nevertheless, the test data used to validate the above
specification were primarily based on the beams subjected
to pure shear [68]. More details about the torsion design
provision in ACI 318-05 will be introduced in the following
paragraph.
Recently, Ali and White [9] proposed that the minimum torsional reinforcement specified in the ACI 318-95 Code [10]
could result in a negative calculated minimum longitudinal reinforcement and cause unnecessary confusion to designers. Thus,
they suggested that the minimum required torsional reinforcement should be a function of the torsional cracking strength.
Koutchoukai and Belarbi [11] investigated the effect of highstrength concrete on the torsional cracking strength Tcr . They
also proposed the minimum required torsional reinforcement

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2. Research significance
Notations
area enclosed by outside perimeter of concrete
cross section, mm2
Ag
gross area of concrete cross section, mm2 . For a
hollow section, A g is the area of the concrete only
and does not include the area of void(s).
Al
total area of longitudinal reinforcement to resist
torsion, mm2
Al,min (ACI) minimum area of total longitudinal reinforcement required for torsion, mm2
Ao
gross area enclosed by shear flow path, mm2
Aoh
area enclosed by centerline of the outermost
closed transverse torsional reinforcement, mm2
At
area of one leg of a closed stirrup resisting torsion
within a distance s, mm2
At,min (ACI) minimum cross-sectional area of one leg of
closed stirrups, mm2
bw
web width, or diameter of circular section, mm
f c0
specified compressive strength of concrete, MPa
f yl
yield strength of longitudinal torsional reinforcement, MPa
f yv
yield strength of closed transverse torsional
reinforcement, MPa
pcp
outside perimeter of the concrete cross section, mm
ph
perimeter of centerline of outermost closed
transverse torsional reinforcement, mm
s
spacing of torsional reinforcement measured in
a direction parallel to longitudinal reinforcement, mm
Tcr
torsional cracking moment under pure torsion,
kN m
Tn
nominal torsional moment strength, kN m
x1
shorter overall dimension of rectangular part of
cross section, mm
y1
longer overall dimension of rectangular part of
cross section, mm

angle of compression diagonals in truss analogy


for torsion
Acp

associated with the minimum required torsional strength to the


torsional cracking strength.
Experimental investigations on the torsional behavior of
reinforced concrete beams with relatively lower amounts of
transverse and longitudinal reinforcement are limited. The
effects of the ratio of transverse to longitudinal reinforcement
on the post-cracking reserve strength and crack control under
service conditions for members with the minimum amount
of torsional reinforcement still need to be discussed in the
literature. Therefore, this paper presents the test results of our
investigation of the behavior of reinforced concrete beams with
relatively low levels of torsional reinforcement and evaluates
the minimum torsional reinforcement provision in the ACI 318
Code.

The crack patterns, crack width, post-cracking reserve


strength, and torsional ductility for NSC and HSC beams
with lower amounts of torsional reinforcement under pure
torsion were investigated. The main parameters included the
volumetric ratio of transverse to longitudinal reinforcement,
compressive strength of concrete, aspect ratio of the cross
section, and hollow and solid sections. The minimum
requirements of torsional reinforcement for NSC beams
proposed by other researchers are also discussed according to
the test results.
3. Brief introduction of torsion design in the ACI 318-05
code
The design provisions for torsional cracking strength for
the nonprestressed concrete beam in ACI 318-05 Code [5] are
specified as follows:
!
p
f c0 A2cp
Tcr =
for solid section
(1)
3
pcp
!
p

f c0 A2cp
Ag
for hollow section.
(2)
Tcr =
3
pcp
Acp
Upon torsional cracking, the ACI 318-05 Code assumes that
the torsional resistance of a structural concrete member is provided mainly by closed stirrups, longitudinal reinforcements,
and compression diagonals, which construct a space truss. In
accordance with the space truss analogy and current torsion design provisions, the torsional strength and the required longitudinal reinforcement are specified as follows. The angle of the
compression diagonal is specified as varying from 30 to 60
deg.
2At Ao f yv
cot
s
Ao = 0.85Aoh


f yv
At
ph
cot2 .
Al =
s
f yl

Tn =

(3)
(4)
(5)

The ACI 318-05 Code requires a minimum amount of


torsional reinforcement to provide the torsional resistance when
the factored torsional moment exceeds the threshold torque
specified in Section 11.6.1 of the code. For pure torsion,
the minimum amount of closed stirrups is specified by the
following two equations, depending on whichever is greater:
2At,min (ACI) = 0.062
2At,min (ACI) 0.35

f c0

bw s
.
f yv

bw s
f yv

(6)
(7)

According to the Eq. (6), we find that the effect of the


compressive strength of concrete has been included in the
design of the minimum amount of transverse reinforcement.

H.-J. Chiu et al. / Engineering Structures 29 (2007) 21932205

Fig. 1(a). Comparison of minimum transverse reinforcement requirements for


pure torsion.

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Fig. 1(b). Comparison of minimum longitudinal reinforcement requirements


for pure torsion.

The current design code also specifies the following minimum


longitudinal torsional reinforcement.
p
 
5 f c0 Acp
f yv
At
Al,min (ACI) =
ph

.
(8)
12 f yl
s
f yl
In order to ensure the development of the ultimate torsional
strength, to control crack width, and to prevent excessive
loss of torsional stiffness after the cracking of the reinforced
concrete member, the ACI 318-05 Code specifies the maximum
spacing of the torsional reinforcement in Section 11.6.6. The
spacing of transverse torsional reinforcement shall not exceed
the smaller of ph /8 or 305 mm. In addition, the provision of
the longitudinal reinforcement required for torsion is specified
in Section 11.6.6.2 of the ACI 318-05.
The effects of the concrete compressive strength on the
minimum transverse, longitudinal, and total amount of torsional
reinforcement requirements specified in the current and older
versions of the ACI 318 Code are compared in Figs. 1(a)1(c).
4. Experimental program
4.1. Specimen details
Thirteen beam specimens, having rectangular cross sections
of 420 420 mm (y/x = 1.0), 350 500 mm (y/x = 1.43),
and 250 700 mm (y/x = 2.8), were constructed in the
laboratory and tested under pure torsion. The details, including
the identification and design parameters of the specimens are
shown in Figs. 2(a) and 2(b) and Table 1. A clear concrete
cover to the outer surface of stirrups was 20 mm. Additional
transverse reinforcement was placed at both ends of the beam,
so that failure would occur in the central test region of the beam.
The test zone was 1.6 m wide to allow at least one complete
helical crack to form along each beam specimen.
The primary parameters consisted of the: (1) ratios of
transverse and longitudinal reinforcement (t = 0.13%0.61%,
l = 0.43%0.91%); (2) compressive strength of concrete
( f c0 = 3578 MPa); (3) aspect ratio of the cross section (Aseries (y/x = 1.0), B-series (y/x = 1.43), and C-series

Fig. 1(c). Comparison of minimum torsional reinforcement requirements.

(y/x = 2.8)); and (4) hollow (H) and solid (S) sections.
In addition, we use the ratio of transverse to longitudinal
reinforcement factors t f yv /l f yl , the volumetric ratio of
the torsional reinforcements including the effect of the yield
strength of the reinforcement, to investigate the behavior of
the reinforced concrete beams with lower amounts of torsional
reinforcement subjected to pure torsion.
The HSC specimen HBS-82-13 in Table 1, designed with the
minimum amount of transverse reinforcement and maximum
spacing of transverse reinforcement ( ph /8 = 190 mm) of
the ACI 318-05 Code [5], i.e., At /s = (At /s)min,(ACI) (t =
0.13%) and Al = 1.52 Al,min,(ACI) (l = 0.82%), had
its sum of torsional reinforcement ratios total = 0.95%.
Similarly, the NSC specimen NBS-82-13 was designed with the
maximum spacing of the transverse torsional reinforcements
( ph /8 = 190 mm), having At /s = 1.39(At /s)min,(ACI) ,
t = 0.13%, l = 0.82%, and total = 0.95%. Another
HSC specimen HBS-74-17 was designed with At /s =
1.35(At /s)min,(ACI) , l = 0.74%, and total = 0.91%. The
ratios of t /l for the above three specimens ranged from 0.16
to 0.23.
The values of total for the other ten specimens, as shown
in Table 1, varied from 0.87% to 1.41%. The ratios of t /l for
these specimens varied from 0.43 to 1.0. Among them, the HSC

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Fig. 2(a). Elevation of the steel cage.

Fig. 2(b). Specimen details.

specimens HAS-51-50 and HCS-52-50 were designed with


Tn = 1.0Tcr and = 45 deg, which is equivalent to At /s =
1.99(At /s)min,(ACI) . Similarly, the HSC specimen HBS-60-61
had Tn = 1.2Tcr , = 45 deg, and At /s = 3.05(At /s)min,(ACI) .
The NSC specimen NBS-43-44 was designed with Tn =
1.29Tcr and = 45 deg, and At /s = 3.02(At /s)min,(ACI) . In
addition, the specimens HAH-81-35, NCH-62-33, and HCH91-42 with hollow sections were designed to compare with
those having solid sections.
4.2. Material properties
The concrete was supplied from a local ready mix plant. Two
types of concrete mixture, for the normal- and high-strength
concretes, were used and are shown in Table 2. For both types
of concrete, Type I Portland cement, Type F fly ash, slag, local
crushed aggregate with a maximum size of 10 mm, and local
river sand with a fineness modulus of 2.7 were used. Silica
fume (11% by weight of cement) with a specific gravity of
2.2 was used for the high-strength concrete. Superplasticizer
(ASTM C494 Type G) was used to improve the workability of
the mixtures for achieving the desired flow of 600 mm.
For each test beam specimen, six 150 300 mm concrete
cylinders and three 150 150 530 mm prisms were cast
as control specimens for basic material strength. The concrete
cylinders, prisms, and the test beams were stored together and
sprayed with curing compound several times during the curing
period until testing. The uniaxial compressive strength was

determined according to the average test results of three control


cylinders.
Mild steel bars were used as transverse and longitudinal
reinforcements. The test yield strengths of the various sizes of
reinforcement used in the test beams are shown in Table 1.
4.3. Test setup and instrumentation
Details of the schematic test setup are shown in Figs. 3(a)
and 3(b). Near the ends of the test region, the specimen was
clamped with steel torsional arms, which were loaded through
a steel transfer beam by the Shimatzu universal testing machine
to generate pure torsional loads. The support devices were
installed to ensure that the beam would be free to elongate in
the longitudinal direction and rotate in the transverse direction
during the test. At both ends of the central test region, aluminum
rigs were tied to the surfaces of each specimen to measure the
rotation of its cross section. Four electronic dial gauges were
used to measure the relative deflections of the aluminum rigs,
which were transformed into the rotation of the cross section.
The twist of the test region was determined from the relative
rotations of the two aluminum rigs at the sides of the test
region.
Electrical resistance strain gauges were mounted on the
stirrups and longitudinal reinforcements in the test region to
monitor the strain variations of the reinforcements, as shown
in Fig. 2(a). As shown in Fig. 4, copper target points were
attached to the front, back, and top side of the test region of

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Table 1
Details of test specimens
Specimen number

y/x

HAS-51-50

f c0

f yv

f yl

(MPa)

(MPa)

(MPa)

76.0

NAS-61-35

48.0
1.0

Longitudinal bars

Stirrups s (mm)

total

t f yv
l f yl

Comments

(%)

396

6-No. 4 and 2-No. 3


( l = 0.51%)

No. 3@120
( t = 0.50%)

1.01

0.95

Tn = 1.0Tcr ; = 45
t / l = 0.98

394

4-No. 5 and 4-No. 3


( l = 0.61%)

No. 3@170
( t = 0.35%)

0.96

0.56

At /s = 1.77(At /s)min,(ACI)
t / l = 0.57

385

HAH-81-35

78.0

493

4-No. 6 and 4-No. 3


( l = 0.81%)

No. 3@170
( t = 0.35%)

1.16

0.34

At /s = 1.39(At /s)min,(ACI)
t / l = 0.43

HAS-90-50

78.0

400

8-No. 5
( l = 0.90%)

No. 3@120
( t = 0.50%)

1.40

0.53

At /s = 1.97(At /s)min,(ACI)
t / l = 0.56

NBS-43-44

35.0

400

6-No. 4
( l = 0.43%)

No. 3@140
( t = 0.44%)

0.87

385

0.98

Tn = 1.29Tcr ; = 45
t / l = 1.02

67.0

600

505

4-No. 6 and 2-No. 3


( l = 0.74%)

No. 2@140
( t = 0.17%)

0.91

0.27

At /s = 1.35(At /s)min,(ACI)
t / l = 0.23

67.0

600

493

4-No. 6 and 4-No. 3


( l = 0.82%)

No. 2@190
( t = 0.13%)

0.95

0.19

At /s = (At /s)min,(ACI)
t / l = 0.16

NBS-82-13

35.0

600

493

4-No. 6 and 4-No. 3


( l = 0.82%)

No. 2@190
( t = 0.13%)

0.95

0.19

At /s = 1.39(At /s)min,(ACI)
t / l = 0.16

HBS-60-61

67.0

385

402

4-No. 5 and 2-No. 4


( l = 0.60%)

No. 3@100
( t = 0.61%)

1.21

0.97

Tn = 1.2Tcr ; = 45
t / l = 1.02

HCS-52-50

76.0

396

6-No. 4 and 2-No. 3


( l = 0.52%)

No. 3@140
t = 0.50%

1.02

0.93

Tn = 1.0Tcr ; = 45
t / l = 0.96

394

4-No. 5 and 4-No. 3


( l = 0.62%)

No. 3@210
t = 0.33%

0.95

0.52

At /s = 2.41(At /s)min,(ACI)
t / l = 0.53

8-No. 5
( l = 0.91%)
8-No. 5
( l = 0.91%)

No. 3@165
( t = 0.42%)
No. 3@140
( t = 0.50%)

1.33

0.44

1.41

0.53

At /s = 2.40(At /s)min,(ACI)
t / l = 0.46
At /s = 2.83(At /s)min,(ACI)
t / l = 0.55

HBS-74-17
HBS-82-13
1.43

NCH-62-33

48.0
2.8

HCH-91-42

385
78.0
400

HCS-91-50

78.0
A P

Note: t = At hs 100%; l = A l 100%; total = t + l


cp
cp
#2: As = 28.3 mm2 ; #3: As = 71.3 mm2 ; #4: As = 126.7 mm2
#5: As = 198.6 mm2 ; #6: As = 286.5 mm2 .

beam specimens to provide full information about the average


surface deformations in the horizontal, vertical, 45 deg, and 135
deg directions. The relative displacements of the adjacent target
points were measured by an electronic digital caliper gauge
at each load stage during the test. The angles of the principal
compressive strain at mid-span during the test procedure were
obtained using the Mohrs strain circle. The electronic load cells
placed at the top of the steel torsional arms were used to monitor
the applied load. The data of load, twist, and reinforcement
strains of the beam were collected by a personal computer for
automatic data acquisitions.

4.4. Test procedure


During the tests, the torsional load was applied in a
controlled manner until several visible cracks occurred on the
surface of the specimen. The cracking torque Tcr and the
associated twist were recorded, and the specimen was then
loaded monotonically to failure. At every load stage after initial
cracking, the load was held constant for several minutes to
measure the crack widths. In addition, the crack propagations
were traced and marked on the surfaces of the specimens and
the maximum crack width was measured by using a magnifying
glass.

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Table 2
Concrete mixture proportions
Constituents (kg/m3 )

Target strength
70 MPa (HSC)

Target strength
40 MPa (NSC)

Cement,
Silica fume,
Slag,
Fly ash,
Sand,
Coarse aggregate,
Water,
Superplasticizer,
(ASTM C 494 Type G)

413
44
65
28
622
988
164
12.1

264

61
81
725
1033
183
4.9
Fig. 3(b). Schematic test setup at the end of specimen.

5. Test results and discussion


5.1. Crack patterns

Fig. 3(a). Schematic test setup.

The observed crack patterns of the test specimens are shown


in Fig. 5. One major inclined crack initiated on the top and front
sides of the HSC specimen HBS-74-17 having relatively lower
ratio of t f yv /l f yl (total = 0.91%, t f yv /l f yl = 0.27), and
soon after that, the concrete on the back side of it was crushed as
shown in Figs. 5(a) and 5(b). The crack pattern of this specimen
is similar to that assumed in the skewing bending theory [1].
According to Figs. 5(c)5(g), for the specimens with relatively
higher ratios of t f yv /l f yl , 0.440.97, we observe that the
smeared helical cracks were evenly distributed on the surface
in which the inclined concrete struts of the space truss analogy

Fig. 4. Location of targets on concrete surface.

H.-J. Chiu et al. / Engineering Structures 29 (2007) 21932205

Fig. 5(a). Crack pattern of specimen HBS-74-17 after failure (front side).

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Fig. 5(e). Crack pattern of specimen NAS-61-35 after failure.

Fig. 5(b). Crack pattern of specimen HBS-74-17 after failure (back side).
Fig. 5(f). Crack pattern of specimen HCH-91-42 after failure.

Fig. 5(c). Crack pattern of specimen NAS-61-35 after failure.


Fig. 5(g). Crack pattern of specimen NCH-62-33 after failure.

Fig. 5(d). Crack pattern of specimen HBS-60-61 after failure.

were developed to resist the external torque. Corner spallings


were observed on some of the test specimens.
The selections of the angle of the compression diagonal
for torsion design of reinforced concrete beams vary from
30 deg to 60 deg based on the current provisions of the
ACI 318-05 Code. If an angle of 45 deg is chosen for the

compression diagonal, it will end up with equal percentages


of reinforcement in the longitudinal and transverse directions,
i.e., t f yv = l f yl . However, if the selected angle deviates from
45 deg, the designed percentage of torsional reinforcement in
the longitudinal direction will differ from that in the transverse
direction. The initial cracking angles of the specimens as shown
in Fig. 5 are about 4347 deg, except for the specimen HBS-7417, which failed shortly after its initial diagonal crack occurred.
The angles of the principal strain at the ultimate strength stage
of the thirteen specimens are about 3544 deg, which coincide
with the tendencies of the angles for the compression diagonals
calculated from the ACI 318-05 Code [5]. From Figs. 5(c)
and 5(d), the angles of the principal strain at ultimate strength
stage for the specimens HAS-51-50 and HBS-60-61, having
t f yv /l f yl = 0.95 and 0.97, are very close to 45 deg. Also,
the deviations of the inclined angles at the ultimate strength
stage from those at the initial cracking stage are insignificant.

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However, as shown in Figs. 5(e)5(g), the angles of principal


strain at the ultimate strength stage for the specimens NAS61-35, HCH-91-42, and NCH-62-33, having t f yv /l f yl =
0.440.56, are approximately 3537 deg, which deviate about
79 deg from those at the initial cracking stages. The test results
validate the theory that the tendency of deviation of the angles
of the compression diagonal is mainly dependant on the ratio of
t f yv /l f yl [12].
5.2. Crack width
For the crack control, there must be sufficient reinforcement
in the cross section to ensure that the distribution of cracks
can occur and the reinforcement does not yield at the first
cracking. According to the theory of elasticity, when the
specimens are subjected to pure torsion, the first inclined
crack normally initiates in the middle of the wider face of the
cross section. Therefore, during the test, the crack widths were
measured at that location. As mentioned above, for specimens
having similar amounts of torsional reinforcement, the torsional
cracking strength is lower for those with hollow sections or
greater aspect ratios. As a result, the reinforcement started to
resist external loads at an earlier load stage for such specimens.
From the test observations, the specimen HBS-82-13 (At /s =
(At /s)min,(ACI) and t f y v/l f y l = 0.19) approached its
ultimate strength stage shortly after the formation of diagonal
cracking. Furthermore, the deformations on the surface of the
specimens HBS-74-17 and NBS-82-13 were concentrated on
only a few cracks. Therefore, the crack control is inadequate for
the specimens containing relatively lower amounts of transverse
reinforcements.
In this investigation, we select the A (y/x = 1.0) and
C-series (y/x = 2.8) specimens to discuss the development
of crack widths for specimens with lower amounts of
torsional reinforcement. Fig. 6 shows the relationships of
the T(test) /Tu(test) and the crack widths of A- and C-series
specimens. Each curve starts at the cracking torque and
terminates at the point when the reinforcement reaches its
yielding strain. In this paper, we adopted the 60% of the
nominal torsional strength calculated by the ACI 318-05
Code [5] as the service load level, which was also proposed by
Yoon et al. [7] and Ozcebe et al. [8] for reinforced concrete
beams subjected to shear. The horizontal and vertical dotted
lines in the figures represent the calculated service load level
and crack width criteria in a flexure of 0.30 mm in the ACI
318-95 Code [10] and in Eurocode 2 [13] at the service
load level, respectively. Figs. 6(a) and 6(b) show that the
calculated service loads are less than the experimental cracking
loads; therefore, the specimens designed with relatively higher
ratios of t f yv /l f yl , 0.34 to 0.95, remain un-cracked at the
calculated service load level.
As shown in Fig. 6(a), the crack width of the specimen
HAH-81-35 with hollow section is greater than the HSC
specimen HAS-90-50 with solid section at the same load level.
A similar phenomenon is observed in Fig. 6(b) for the Cseries specimens HCH-91-42 and HCS-91-50. Therefore, the
developments of crack widths for the specimens with hollow

Fig. 6(a). External torque level versus crack width for A-series specimens.

Fig. 6(b). External torque level versus crack width for C-series specimens.

sections are more significant than those of the specimens


with solid sections. From Fig. 6(b), it can also been seen
that the crack width of HSC specimen HCH-91-42 is greater
than that of the NSC specimen NCH-62-33 at the same load
level. Similarly, the tendency can be observed in Fig. 6(a) for
HSC specimen HAS-51-50 and NSC specimen NAS-61-35 to
go beyond 80% of the experimental ultimate torque. This is
because the HSC beams have higher tensile strength and exhibit
fewer inclined cracks and larger torsional crack width than
the NSC beams. A comparison of Figs. 6(a) and 6(b) shows
a significant difference in the development of crack widths
between the A- and C-series specimens. The crack widths of the
C-series specimens HCS-52-50 and HCS-91-50 (y/x = 2.8)
are larger than the corresponding specimens HAS-51-50 and
HAS-90-50 (y/x = 1.0) in the A-series, which indicates that
the crack widths increase with increases in the aspect ratio of
the cross section.
According to the numerical analysis and experimental
investigations conducted by Park et al. [14] the maximum
crack width was affected by the relative amounts of torsional
reinforcement in the transverse and longitudinal directions. The
crack widths of specimen HCS-91-50 are smaller than those of
specimen HCS-52-50 at the same external load level. A similar
result is also shown in Fig. 6(a) for specimens HAS-90-50
and HAS-51-50 after going beyond 80% of the experimental

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Table 3
Summary of test results of specimens
Specimen number

Tcr(test) (kN m)

Tu(test) (kN m)

Tcr(test)
Tcr(ACI)

Tu(test)
Tn (ACI)

Tn(ACI)
Tcr(ACI)

Tu(test)
Tcr(test)

0.85Au
Ay

HAS-51-50
NAS-61-35
HAH-81-35
HAS-90-50
NBS-43-44
HBS-74-17
HBS-82-13
NBS-82-13
HBS-60-61
HCS-52-50
NCH-62-33
HCH-91-42
HCS-91-50

62.10
50.03
44.42
68.43
44.50
57.48
56.31
46.18
59.01
47.22
36.61
40.74
53.22

84.86
74.71
94.31
104.23
60.60
62.20
56.31
52.90
93.70
73.54
64.14
87.51
95.86

1.15
1.17
1.39
1.25
1.25
1.17
1.15
1.30
1.20
1.01
1.43
1.25
1.12

1.56
1.49
1.46
1.43
1.32
1.18
1.20
1.12
1.47
1.64
1.60
1.59
1.60

1.01
1.18
2.02
1.34
1.29
1.12
1.06
1.32
1.30
1.00
1.57
1.69
1.26

1.37
1.49
2.12
1.52
1.36
1.08
1.00
1.15
1.59
1.56
1.75
2.15
1.80

4.12
4.06
3.88
5.71
3.79
2.51
2.72
2.46
3.81
3.46
1.95
2.13
4.73

1.22

1.44

Average

ultimate torque. This indicates that an increase in the amount


of longitudinal reinforcement decreases the crack width for
reinforced concrete beams subjected to pure torsion. The crack
widths at 60% of Tu(test) for specimens HAS-51-50 and HCS52-50 (total = 1.02%) are smaller than 0.3 mm. Thus, the
specimens designed with Tn = 1.0Tcr provide adequate crack
control.
5.3. Torsional strength
The experimental results of the torsional strength tests are
listed in columns 2 and 3 of Table 3 and compared with the
calculated values of the ACI 318-05 Code in columns 4 and 5.
The crack initiates as the maximum applied tensile stress arrives
at the tensile strength of concrete; therefore, the torsional
cracking strengths of the HSC specimens are higher than those
of the NSC specimens. The test results indicate that the average
value of Tcr(test) /Tcr(ACI) for HSC and NSC specimens are 1.19
and 1.29, respectively, and the average value of Tcr(test) /Tcr(ACI)
for all specimens shown in Table 3 is approximately 1.22.
As shown in Table 3, the experimental cracking strengths
of the hollow section specimens HAH-81-35 (y/x = 1.0) and
HCH-91-42 (y/x = 2.8) are 44.42 kN m and 40.74 kN m,
respectively, which are less than the 68.43 kN m and
53.22 kN m, respectively, of the corresponding solid section
specimens HAS-90-50 (y/x = 1.0) and HCS-91-50 (y/x =
2.8). In addition, the test results of the above four specimens
also reveal that the aspect ratio would affect the torsional
cracking strength. We further normalize the torisonal cracking
strength
of the specimens with solid and hollow sections by
p
f c0 as shown in Fig. 7. The normalized torsional cracking
strength decreased as the aspect ratios of specimens increased.
Furthermore, the experimental ultimate torsional strengths of
the specimens HAS-51-50 (y/x = 1.0, total = 1.01%) and
HAS-90-50 (y/x = 1.0, total = 1.40%) are 84.86 kN m
and 104.23 kN m, respectively, which are greater than the
73.54 kN m and 95.86 kN m, respectively, of the corresponding
solid section specimens HCS-52-50 (y/x = 2.8, total =
1.02%) and HCS-91-50 (y/x = 2.8, total = 1.41%). The test

Fig. 7. Normalized cracking torsional strengthaspect ratio relationships for


the test specimens.

results also reveal that the ultimate torsional strength decreases


with the increase of the aspect ratio of the specimens.
5.4. Torsional ductility
Fig. 8(a)(d) show the experimental torquetwist relationships of the test specimens. The torsional ductility of the
specimen is defined as the ratio of the area enclosed by the
torquetwist curve between the origin and 85% of the peak
strength (A0.85Tu ) in the descending branch to that between the
origin and the first yielding of torsional reinforcement (A y ).
The variations of torsional ductility among the specimens are
listed in column 8 of Table 3. The reinforcements of the all
specimens yielded prior to the ultimate strength stage, except
for the specimens HBS-74-17, HBS-82-13, and NBS-82-13
shown in Fig. 8(a), which were designed with relatively lower
ratios of t f yv /l f yl . Only the transverse reinforcement of
the above three specimens yielded. The torquetwist curves of
the HBS-82-13 and NBS-82-13 (t f yv /l f yl = 0.19), shown
in Fig. 8(a), designed with the minimum amount of stirrups
and maximum spacing of the stirrups specified in ACI 31805 Code, respectively, had steeper strength decay than the
other specimens shown in Fig. 8. From Table 3, the ratios of

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H.-J. Chiu et al. / Engineering Structures 29 (2007) 21932205

(a) Beams HBS-74-17, HBS-82-13, and NBS-82-13.

(b) Beams HAS-90-50 and HAH-81-35.

(c) Beams HCS-91-50 and HCH-91-42.

(d) Beams HAS-51-50, HCS-52-50, and NBS-43-44.


Fig. 8. Experimental torquetwist relationships of the test specimens.

A0.85Tu /A y for specimens HBS-82-13 and HBS-74-17, having t f yv /l f yl = 0.19 and 0.27, are 2.72 and 2.51, respectively, which are less than the 3.81 of the specimen HBS-6061 of the same cross section designed with a relatively higher
t f yv /l f yl ratio of 0.97.
From Fig. 8(b) and (c), the test results reveal that the
ascending branches in the experimental torquetwist curves of
the specimens with solid sections are slightly steeper than those
with hollow sections. The ratios of A0.85Tu /A y for specimens
HAH-81-35 and HCH-91-42 with hollow sections, shown in
Table 3, are 3.88 and 2.08, respectively, which are less than the
5.71 and 4.73 of the corresponding specimens HAS-90-50 and
HCS-91-50 with solid sections.
According to the test results of Fang and Shiau [15], the
torsional ductility of HSC specimens is better than that of NSC
specimens. In this investigation, the ratios of A0.85Tu /A y for the
HSC specimens HBS-82-13 and HCH-91-42 are 2.72 and 2.13,
which are greater than the 2.46 and 1.95 of the corresponding
NSC specimens NBS-82-13 and NCH-62-33.
The experimental torquetwist curves of the specimens
HAS-51-50, HCS-52-50, and NBS-43-44 (t f yv /l f yl =
0.930.98) in Fig. 8(d) show fairly ductile behavior in the
descending branches. The ratios of A0.85Tu /A y for the above
three specimens are 4.12, 3.46, and 3.79, respectively. The test

results reveal that the specimens designed with t f yv = l f yl


can provide better torsional ductility than those having lower
ratios of t f yv /l f yl .
5.5. Effect of t f yv /l f yl ratio on the post-cracking reserve
strength
According to the equilibrium equations of the space truss
analogy theory [3,16,17] for reinforced concrete members
subjected to pure torsion, the ratio of the amount of transverse
to longitudinal reinforcement (t /l ) significantly affects the
torsional strength and the angle of the compression diagonal.
Furthermore, Leu and Lee [18] and Rahal [19] found that the
ratio of t f yv /l f yl has a significant influence on the ultimate
torsional strength and failure mode of beams subjected to pure
torsion. The test results of this investigation indicated that all
of the torsional reinforcements of specimens yielded before
reaching their ultimate strength stages. Therefore, the result
of Tu(test) /Tcr(test) should be greater than 1.0, because the code
provisions assume that all of the torsional reinforcements yield
at the ultimate strength stage.
The effect of the t f yv /l f yl ratio on the post-cracking
reserve strength (Tu(test) /Tcr(test)) for specimens with lower
amounts of torsional reinforcement is investigated as follows.

H.-J. Chiu et al. / Engineering Structures 29 (2007) 21932205

As shown in Table 3, the post-cracking reserve strength


Tu(test) /Tcr(test) for HSC specimen HBS-82-13 (with At /s =
(At /s)min,(ACI) and l = 0.82%) and HBS-74-17 (with
At /s = 1.35(At /s)min,(ACI) and l = 0.74%), having
t f yv /l f yl = 0.19 and 0.27, are 1.00 and 1.08, respectively,
which are less than the corresponding code prediction values,
Tn(ACI) /Tcr(ACI) , of 1.06 and 1.12, respectively. Similarly, the
result of Tu(test) /Tcr(test) for NSC specimen NBS-82-13, with
reinforcement ratio t f yv /l f yl = 0.19 and total = 0.95%
is 1.15, which is also less than the code prediction value of
1.32. Therefore, the specimens designed with lower ratios of
t f yv /l f yl , 0.19 and 0.27, did not provide adequate postcracking reserve strength even though they were designed with
torsional reinforcements of total > 0.90%.
The following HSC specimens were designed with relatively
more transverse reinforcements, i.e., At /s = 1.39 to 2.83
(At /s)min,(ACI) , l = 0.81%0.91%, t f yv /l f yl = 0.340.53
and total = 1.16%1.41%. The experimental reserve strengths
for the HSC specimens HAH-81-35, HAS-90-43, HAS-90-50,
HCH-91-42, and HCS-91-50 are 2.12, 1.48, 1.52, 2.15, and
1.80, respectively, which are all greater than the corresponding
prediction values of Tn(ACI) /Tcr(ACI) , 2.02, 1.24, 1.34, 1.69,
and 1.26, respectively. Similarly, for the NSC specimens
NAS-61-35 and NCH-62-33, with At /s = 1.77 and 2.41
(At /s)min,(ACI) , t f yv /l f yl = 0.56 and 0.52, and total ;
0.96%, the test values of the reserve strengtsh are 1.49 and 1.75,
respectively, which are also greater than the associated values
of Tn(ACI) /Tcr(ACI) , which are 1.18 and 1.57, respectively.
According to the code provisions of ACI 318-05 [5],
i.e., Eqs. (3) and (5) in this paper, the angle of the
compression diagonal is 45 deg for beams designed with equal
percentages of torsional reinforcement in the transverse and
longitudinal directions. From Table 3, we find that the values
of Tu(test) /Tcr(test) for the HSC specimens HAS-51-50, HCS-5250, and HBS-60-61, with At /s = 1.99 to 3.22 (At /s)min,(ACI) ,
t f yv /l f yl = 0.930.97, and total = 1.01%1.21%, are
1.37, 1.56, and 1.59, respectively, which are all greater than
the prediction values of Tn(ACI) /Tcr(ACI) , which are 1.01, 1.00,
and 1.20, respectively. Similarly, for the NSC specimen NBS43-44, having Tn = 1.29Tcr , At /s = 3.02(At /s)min,(ACI) ,
t f yv /l f yl = 0.98, and total = 0.87%, the value of
Tu(test) /Tcr(test) is 1.36, which is greater than the code prediction
value of 1.29.
To summarize the above comparisons of HSC and NSC
specimens designed with total = 0.87%1.21%, which
are close to the minimum amounts required by the current
design provisions, the experimental post-cracking strengths
are approximately 1.371.59 if t f yv /l f yl ; 1.0 is used.
Therefore, the lower post-cracking reserve strengths of the
specimens are primarily due to the design with t f yv <<
l f yl , even if total was only slightly less than 1.0%.
Fig. 9 further demonstrates the relationships between the
post-cracking reserve strengths and the ratios of t f yv /l f yl
for HSC beams subjected to pure torsion according to ACI 31805 (Eqs. (1)(5) of this paper). The six prediction curves are
illustrated for B-series specimens having the conditions of solid
section, total = 0.9%1.4%, x1 = 300 mm, y1 = 450 mm,

2203

Fig. 9. Reserve strength versus ratios of t f yv /l f yl for HSC specimens.

f c0 = 70 MPa, f yv = 400 MPa, and f yl = 440 MPa.


For beams having total = 0.9%1.2%, the curves start with
the condition of maximum spacing of stirrups, whereas for
those having total = 1.3% and 1.4%, the curves start with
the condition of the angle of the compression diagonal being
30 deg. All of the curves end with the condition of the
compression diagonal being 60 deg. The prediction curves also
show that the post-cracking reserve strength increases as the
ratio of t f yv /l f yl increases and reaches its maximum value
when t f yv is very close to l f yl , i.e., = 45 deg, and then
it decreases as the value of t f yv /l f yl is greater than 1.00.
The experimental post-cracking reserve strength of specimen
HBS-60-61 (t f yv /l f yl = 0.97) is 1.59, as plotted in Fig. 9,
which is higher than those of the HSC specimens HBS-7417 (total = 0.91%) and HBS-82-13 (total = 0.95%) which
were designed with the lower t f yv /l f yl ratios of 0.27 and
0.19, respectively. Therefore, the variation of the post-cracking
reserve strength Tu(test) /Tcr(test) was primarily affected by the
ratio of t f yv /l f yl in addition to total . Fig. 9 also indicates
that insufficient reserve strength would occur when the ratio of
total is less than 1.0% for HSC specimens.
5.6. Minimum required torsional reinforcement
The relationships between the minimum requirements of
torsional reinforcement, specified in ACI 318-95 [10] and ACI
318-05 [5], and the compressive strength of concrete are shown
in Fig. 1. The figures show that the minimum requirements
of the transverse, longitudinal, and total amounts of torsional
reinforcement are the same in both ACI 318-95 and ACI 31805 Codes, as the value of f c0 is less than 32 MPa. When the
concrete compressive strengths are greater than 32 MPa, the
minimum amount of transverse reinforcement specified in the
ACI 318-05 Code is higher than that in the ACI 318-95 Code.
However, the minimum amount of longitudinal reinforcement
specified in the ACI 318-05 Code is lower than that specified
in the ACI 318-95 Code. Fig. 1 shows that the minimum
amounts of torsional reinforcement specified in ACI 318-95
and ACI 318-05 are very close. Furthermore, the minimum
torsional reinforcement in the transverse direction is less than

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H.-J. Chiu et al. / Engineering Structures 29 (2007) 21932205

that of the torsional reinforcement in the longitudinal direction


as specified in ACI 318 Code.
As mentioned previously, the inadequacy of the postcracking reserve strength for HSC specimens with a lower
ratio of total was primarily due to the greater difference
in the amounts of transverse and longitudinal reinforcements
(t f yv << l f yl ). Recently, a solution for the determination
of minimum amounts of torsional reinforcement based on the
concept that Tn be in proportion to Tcr is proposed by Hsu [20],
Ali and White [9], and Koutchoukali and Belarbi [11], but the
related test results are still limited. The logic to determine the
minimum amounts of torsional reinforcement is similar to that
of prestressed and nonprestressed concrete flexural members
(Mn = 1.2Mcr ). In accordance with the previous discussions,
the beam specimens designed with t f yv = l f yl (the angle of
the compression diagonal = 45 deg) had the maximum postcracking reserve strength. In addition, for the serviceability of
crack control, Hsu [12] indicated that the use of = 45 deg
can provide the best crack width control. The experimental
post-cracking reserve strengths of the specimens HAS-5150, NBS-43-44, HBS-60-61, and HCS-52-50, designed with
t f yv = l f yl , and total = 0.87%1.21% were 1.37, 1.36,
1.59 and 1.56, respectively, and the associated failure modes
were ductile.
According to the plots in Figs. 1(a) and 1(b), the amount of
minimum transverse reinforcement calculated by Tn = 1.0Tcr
is higher than that of the ACI 318 Code, whereas the amount of
minimum longitudinal reinforcement calculated by Tn = 1.0Tcr
is lower than that of the ACI 318 Code. Furthermore, the
minimum amount of total torsional reinforcement according
to the concept of Tn = 1.0Tcr is slightly higher than that of
the ACI 318 Code, as shown in Fig. 1(c). Therefore, in order
to ensure a ductile failure mode, adequate crack control, and
sufficient post-cracking reserve strength for reinforced concrete
beams, an increase in the t f yv /l f yl ratio of the minimum
amount of torsional reinforcement specified in the ACI 31805
Code would be necessary. More work is still needed, including
studies of the behavior of beams of compressive strength higher
than 100 MPa, and of the effects of combined actions.
6. Conclusions
The behavior of reinforced concrete beams designed with
lower amounts of torsional reinforcement and the design
method for determining the minimum amounts of torsion
reinforcement were investigated. The following conclusions are
drawn based on the test results of this study.
1. A brittle failure mode was found for the HSC specimens
designed with lower ratios of t f yv /l f yl and totals, for
instances, t f yv /l f yl = 0.190.27 and total = 0.95%.
A ductile failure mode was found for both HSC and NSC
specimens designed with the ratios of t f yv /l f yl ranging from
0.34 to 0.98, and total greater than 0.95% for HSC specimens
and 0.87% for NSC specimens, respectively.
2. The torsional cracking strengths of the specimens with
hollow sections are smaller than those of the specimens
with solid sections. The increase of the aspect ratio of the

cross section decreases the cracking and ultimate strengths,


and increases the crack widths for the specimens with
approximately the same amounts of torsional reinforcement.
3. For the HSC and NSC specimens having At /s = 1.00 to
1.38 (At /s)min,(ACI) , t f yv /l f yl = 0.190.27, and total =
0.91%0.95%, lower values of Tu(test) /Tcr(test) , 1.00 to 1.15,
were observed. For the HSC and NSC specimens designed with
At /s 1.39 to 2.83 (At /s)min,(ACI) , t f yv /l f yl = 0.340.56,
and total = 0.95%1.41%, the results of Tu(test) /Tcr(test) were
approximately 1.482.15. For those made with HSC and NSC,
having At /s = 1.99 to 3.22 (At /s)min,(ACI) , t /l ; 1.0, and
total = 0.87%1.21%, the values of Tu(test) /Tcr(test) were about
1.321.59. The adequacy of post-cracking reserve strengths for
HSC and NSC beams reinforced with the minimum amounts
of torsional reinforcement specified in ACI 318-05 is primarily
related to the ratio of t f yv /l f yl in addition to the ratio of
total .
4. For the HSC and NSC specimens designed with lower
amounts of torsional reinforcement, the selection of equal
percentages in the transverse and longitudinal directions
(i.e., t f yv /l f yl ; 1.0) provides adequately not only the postcracking reserve strength and torsional ductility needed, but
also the crack width control necessary at service load level.
Acknowledgment
The research funding provided by the National Science
Council of the Republic of China is highly appreciated.
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