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NUST Institute of Civil Engineering

CE 806

Reinforced Concrete Members

Dr. Wasim

Reinforced Concrete Columns

Reinforced Concrete Columns

Behavior of Columns

Confinement in Concrete Columns

Concrete columns under monotonically increasing concentric compression show extremely brittle
behavior unless confined with transverse reinforcement commonly in the form of closely spaced steel
spirals or hoops. Hence, confinement has a significant influence on strength and ductility in the
At low levels of stress in the concrete, the transverse reinforcement is hardly stressed; hence the
concrete is unconfined.
The concrete becomes confined when at stresses approaching the uniaxial strength, the transverse
strains become very high because of progressive internal cracking and the concrete bears out against the
transverse reinforcement, which then applies a confining reaction to the concrete. Thus the transverse
reinforcement provides passive confinement.
Tests by many investigators have shown that confinement by transverse reinforcement can considerably
improve the stress-strain characteristics of concrete at high strains.

Richart et al. found, for example, that the equation as follows, for the strength of concrete confined by
fluid pressure, applies approximately to concrete confined by circular spirals.


f'cc = f'c + 4.1 fl

f'cc = axial compressive strength of confined specimen
f'c = uniaxial compressive strength of unconfined specimen
fl = lateral confining pressure

The strength and ductility of concrete, therefore, are greatly increased under conditions of triaxial
Figure (a): shows stress-strain curves obtained from three sets of concrete cylinders confined by
circular spirals. Each set was for a different unconfined strength of concrete. The increase in strength
and ductility with content of confining steel is very significant. Tests have demonstrated that circular
spirals confine concrete much more effectively than rectangular or square hoops.

Figure (b)

Figure (a)

In Figure (b) we have load-strain curves from concrete prisms tested by which contained various
amounts of square ties. The effect of the different transverse steel contents on the ductility is quite
appreciable, but the effect on strength is much smaller.
The reason for the considerable difference between the confinement by circular steel spirals and
confinement by rectangular or square steel hoops is illustrated in Figure (c).

Figure (c)

Circular spirals, because of their shape, are in axial hoop tension and provide a continuous confining
pressure around the circumference, which at large transverse strains approximates fluid confinement.
However, square hoops can apply only confining reactions near the corners of the hoops because the
pressure of the concrete against the sides of the hoops tends to bend the sides outwards, as in Figure
Therefore a considerable portion of the concrete cross section may be unconfined. Because of internal
arching between the corners, the concrete is confined effectively only in the corners and the central
region of the section.

Nevertheless, square confining steel does produce a significant increase in ductility, and some
enhancement of strength has been observed by many investigators.

A smaller spacing leads to more effective confinement, as illustrated in Figure (d). The conerete is confined
by arching of the concrete between the transverse bars and if the spacing is large it is evident that a large
volume of the concrete cannot be confined and may spall away.

Figure (d)

A larger bar diameter leads to more effective confinement. Transverse bars of small diameter will act
merely as ties between the corners because the flexural stiffness of the hoop bar is small.
With a larger transverse bar, the area of concrete effectively confined will be larger because of the
greater flexural stiffness of the hoop side.
In the case of a circular spiral this variable has no significance: given its shape, the spiral will be in axial
tension and will apply a uniform radial pressure to the concrete.

Confinement in concrete columns is, therefore, greatly improved if

The reinforcement is placed at a relatively close spacing and is well anchored

by hooks etc.

Additional supplementary overlapping hoops or cross ties with several legs

crossing the section are included.
The longitudinal bars are well distributed within the section.

The ratio of volume of transverse reinforcement to volume of concrete core or

the yield strength of the transverse reinforcement is increased.

Spirals or circular hoops are used instead of rectangular and supplementary

cross ties.

Based on strength of materials and geometry columns may divided into 2
Short Columns most columns in ordinary practice
Slender Columns use of high strength materials and improved
Strength of columns is evaluated on the basis of the following principles
A linear strain distribution exists across the thickness of the column.
There is no slippage between the concrete and steel (that is the strain in in
steel and in the adjoining concrete is the same).
The maximum allowable concrete strain at failure for the purpose of
strength calculations is 0.003 in/in.
The tensile resistance of the concrete is negligible and is disregarded in the

ACI Code Provisions

ACI Code Provisions

ACI Code Provisions

Variation in strength reduction factor

Column Strength and ACI Requirements

ACI Requirements

ACI Requirements

Required Strength

Capacity of Columns
in Compression

Example 1
A non slender tied columns is subjected to axial load only. It has
the geometry shown in figure and is reinforced with three No. 9
bars on each of the two faces. Calculate the nominal and design
axial load strength Pn(max) for the column. fy = 60,000 psi and fc =
4000 psi

Example 2
A non slender spiral columns is subjected to axial load only. It
has the geometry shown in figure and is reinforced with 6 No. 8
bars. Calculate the maximum and design axial load strength
Pn(max) for the column. fy = 60,000 psi and fc = 4000 psi

6 #8


Axial Load and Bending

Axial Load and Bending

Strain Compatibility Analysis and

Interaction Diagram

P M Interaction Diagram

P M Interaction Diagram
Point A - Pure Axial Load
Uniform axial compression without
moment, this is the largest axial load
the column can support

Region A-C - Compression Controlled Failure

Crushing of compression face before extreme layer of
tensile reinforcement yields
Point B - Zero Tension, Onset of cracking
Tensile stresses in concrete are overcome and section gets
Point C - Balanced Failure, Compression controlled
Limit Strain
Strain in Concrete = c

u 0.003
Strain in Steel t= y
Point D - Tensile Controlled Limit
Strain in Concrete = c

u 0.003
Strain in Steel t= 0.005
Region C-D Transition Region
From brittle failure at C to ductile failure at D

Stresses and Strains Compatibility in

Eccentrically Loaded Columns

Strain Compatibility Analysis and Interaction


Capacity of Eccentricity Loaded Columns

Strain Compatibility Analysis and Interaction


Example 3

Distributed Reinforcement
When large bending moments are present, it is most economical to place
most steel along the outer faces parallel to the axis of bending, unlike axial
compression where most steel is distributed equally along all faces.


Design Aids
Graphs A-5 to A-16
= 0.6 0.9
g = As/Ag= 0.01 0.08
t = 0.002 - 0.005

Example 5

Pu = 1.2x222+1.6x297=742 K
Mu = 1.2x136+1.6x194=474 K-ft
Column size = 20x25
Cover = 2.5 in

= (25-5)/25=0.80
g = 0.023
As = 0.023 x 500 = 11.5 ~ 12 in2
Use 12 # 9 bars evenly placed on all
faces of column

Pu = 1.2x222+1.6x166=532 K
Mu = 1.2x136+1.6x194=474 K-ft
Column size = 20x25
Cover = 2.5 in

= (25-5)/25=0.80
g = 0.017
As = 0.017 x 500 = 8.5 ~ 9 in2
Use 12 # 8 bars (9.48 in2) evenly
placed on all faces of column

Example 5

Assume h = 25 in
Cover = 2.5 in
= (25-5)/25=0.80
e = Mu/Pu = 492x12/481 = 12.3
e/h = 12.3/25 = 0.49
Use graph A-11
Kn = 0.51

Use 15 x 25 in column with

Ast = 0.003x15x25=11.25 in2
Use 8 # 11 bars (12.48 in2) evenly
placed on two faces of the column

Circular Columns
Calculations are carried out similar to
rectangular columns, except that for
circular columns the concrete
compression zone subject to the
equivalent rectangular stress distribution
has the shape of a segment of a circle.
Shape of the compression zone and the
strain variation in the different groups of
bars make longhand calculations
awkward, no new principles are involved
and computer solutions are easily
Design or analysis of spirally reinforced
columns is usually carried out by means
of design aids, such as Graphs

Biaxial Bending

Column Section with Biaxial Bending Strain Compatibility

Analysis and Design Biaxial Bending in Columns

1. Reciprocal Load Method
2. Load Contour Method
3. Equivalent Eccentricity Method
4. Strain Compatibility Method

Bresler Reciprocal Load Method

Bresler, B. Design Criteria for Reinforced Concrete Columns Under Axial Load and
Biaxial Loading. Journal of the American Concrete Institute, Vol. 57, No. 5,
November 1960, pp.481-490.
Bresler based his analysis on an assumption of a number of possible Failure Surface
in three dimensions.
Failure Surface 1 - Failure point defined as a function of axial load and eccentricities.
Failure Surface 2 - Similar basis with 1 failure point defined as function of 1/pn, ex, ey

Bresler Reciprocal Load Method

Bresler reasoned:
1. The failure surface is too complicated to exactly define.
2. An acceptable approximation could be defined by a plane which passes through three
points which could be found by conventional (uniaxial bending) analysis.

Bresler Reciprocal Load Method

Bresler Reciprocal Load Method

Bresler Reciprocal Load Method

Breslers reciprocal load equation derived from the geometry of the approximate

This procedure is acceptably accurate for design purposes provided Pn0.1P0.

If Pn<0.1P0, it would be more accurate to neglect the axial force entirely and to
calculate the section for biaxial bending only.
ACI strength reduction factors do not change the development in any fundamental way
as long as the factor is constant for all columns.

Bresler Load Contour Method

The load contour method is based on representing the failure surface
of by a family of curves corresponding to constant values of Pn
The general form of these curves can be approximated by a non
dimensional interaction equation

Bresler Load Contour Method

falls in the range from 1.15 to 1.55 for square and rectangular
In practice, the values of Pu, Mux, and
Muy are known from the analysis of the
structure. For a trial column section, the
values of Mnx0 and Mny0 corresponding to
the load Pu/ can easily be found by the
usual methods for uniaxial bending.
Then replacing Mnx with Mux/ and Mny
with Muy/ and using 1 = 2 = in
Load Contour Eq, or alternatively by
plotting (Mnx/ )/Mnx0 and (Mny/ )/Mny0
in figure for , it can be confirmed that a
particular combination of factored
moments falls within the load contour
(safe design)

Section, Rft, fy, f c

Parme Load Contour Method

Improved Bresler Approach
= 0.55-0.70 [Normal Range]
= 0.65 for design

Equivalent Eccentricity Method

Equivalent Eccentricity Method

Example (Bi-Axial Bending)

Example (Contd.)

Example (Contd.)

Example (Contd.)

Example (Contd.)

Bi-axial Bending Design Constants

Bi-axial Bending Design Constants

Bi-axial Bending Design Constants

Bi-axial Bending Design Constants

Equivalent Eccentricity Method (Example)