Serviceability of non-prismatic concrete beams: Combined-interaction method

Yadgar Rafiq Tayfur, Antony Darby, Timothy Ibell, John Orr, Mark Evernden

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6 Citations (SciVal)
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Interest in the shape optimisation of concrete members is increasing alongside the availability of fabric formwork as a relatively simple technique to cast non-prismatic concrete structures. Research has shown that up 40% of concrete can be saved when shape optimised concrete beams are cast in fabric forms. However, optimisation results in members with non-uniform cross-sections and the resulting beam is less stiff than an equivalent strength prismatic beam. Serviceability, rather than strength, may govern the design of such members and therefore understanding the serviceability behaviour (deflection and cracking) of shape optimised concrete members becomes is a critical design consideration. There are many methods which can be used to evaluate serviceability behaviour of reinforced concrete beams, including the full-interaction method, which assumes no slip between the reinforcement and the surrounding concrete, and the partial-interaction method which accounts for slip. The full-interaction method is based on a smeared crack approach and so is unsuited for the prediction of cracking behaviour. The partial-interaction method, on the other hand, assumes that cracks form through bond-stress transfer only. In the case of non-prismatic concrete beams, the cracking capacity varies along the member. Therefore, cracking can occur over extended regions (full and partial bond interaction regions) and so it can be argued that neither of these models is fully suitable for the prediction of deflections and cracking of shape-optimised concrete beams. In this paper, a novel combined-interaction method is, for the first time, presented to predict the serviceability behaviour of non-prismatic statically determinate concrete beams by simulating both full and partial bond interactions at different cracked and uncracked regions along the length of the member. In order to validate this approach, two non-prismatic simply supported beams were cast and tested. The test results for deflections, crack widths and crack spacings were in good agreement with the predicted results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)766-774
Number of pages9
JournalEngineering Structures
Early online date9 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2019


  • Combined-interaction method
  • Fabric-formed concrete
  • Full-interaction analysis
  • Partial-interaction analysis
  • Serviceability


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