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Prediction of Cracking in Reinforced Concrete Structures.

pdf icon Prediction of Cracking in Reinforced Concrete Structures. (3056 K)
Carino, N. J.; Clifton, J. R.

NISTIR 5634; 53 p. April 1995.

Available from:

National Technical Information Service
Order number: PB95-220448


building technology; concretes; cracking (fracturing); creep; reinforced concretes; restrained shrinkage


The useful life of a buried concrete, containment structure for low level nuclear waste may be controlled by the loss of its load-bearing capacity or an increase in permeability. The latter factor is controlled by the general degradation of the concrete and by the presence of discrete cracks resulting from externally applied loads or from restraint to normal volume changes. To be able to predict the effects of cracks on permeability, it is necessary to understand the causes and mechanisms of discrete crack formation in reinforced concrete structures. The objective of this report is to provide an overview of the design and behavior of reinforced concrete members and to discuss the factors affecting the formation of cracks in hardened concrete. The underlying philosophy of modern reinforced concrete design is presented, and it is shown that it allows for the formation of cracks of controlled widths under service loads. Models for predicting the width of flexural cracks are reviewed. Factors affecting drying shrinkage cracks and approximate methods for considering them are discussed. An example is provided to illustrate how to determine whether drying shrinkage cracks will develop under specific conditions. This is followed by a discussion of techniques to predict the number and widths of drying shrinkage cracks. Finally, there is a discussion of the interaction between flexural and drying shrinkage cracking. The report is directed to the general audience who is unfamiliar with the structural aspects of reinforced concrete.