2009 Volume 7 Issue 1 Pages 79-96
This paper presents an experimental investigation to clarify shear cracking behavior of reinforced concrete beams. The effects of the various influential parameters on the spacing between shear cracks and the relationship between shear crack width and stirrup strain at the intersection with shear cracks were carefully investigated. It was found that shear crack width proportionally increases with both the strain of shear reinforcement and with the spacing between shear cracks. Greater diagonal crack spacings were found in larger beams and hence resulted in wider shear crack width. The test results also revealed that shear reinforcement characteristics (side concrete cover to stirrup, stirrup spacing and/or stirrup configuration) and longitudinal reinforcement ratio play a critical role in controlling the diagonal crack spacings and openings. It was illustrated that the distance of shear crack from the crack tip and the intersection with the nearest reinforcement can significantly affect the variation of shear crack width along the same shear crack. Conversely, the loading paths (loading, unloading and reloading paths) show an insignificant effect on shear crack width-stirrup strain relationship. Finally, the experimental results presented are useful information for the development of a rational shear crack displacement prediction method in existing design codes.