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Structural Engineering and Mechanics
  Volume 34, Number 2, January30 2010, pages 189-211

Investigating the negative tension stiffening effect of reinforced concrete
Carlos Zanuy

    The behaviour of a reinforced concrete tension member is governed by the contribution of concrete between cracks, tension stiffening effect. Under highly repeated loading, this contribution is progressively reduced and the member response approximates that given by the fully cracked member. When focusing on the unloaded state, experiments show deformations larger than those of the naked reinforcement. This has been referred to as negative tension stiffening and is due to the fact that concrete carries compressive stresses along the crack spacing, even thought the tie is subjected to an external tensile force. In this paper a cycle-dependent approach is presented to reproduce the behaviour of the axially loaded tension member, paying attention to the negative tension stiffening contribution. The interaction of cyclic bond degradation and time-dependent effects of concrete is investigated. Finally, some practical diagrams are given to account for the negative tension stiffening effect in reinforced concrete elements.
Key Words
    cracking; bond mechanics; reinforced concrete; tension stiffening; repeated loads.
Carlos Zanuy: Dept. of Continuum Mechanics and Structures, E.T.S. Ingenieros de Caminos, Canales y Puertos, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Av. Profesor Aranguren s/n, 28040 Madrid, Spain

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