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AS 3600 Supp 1-1994 Concrete structures - Commentary (Supplement to AS


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AS 3600 Supplement 11994

(Supplement to AS 36001994)
Concrete structuresCommentary
AS 3600 Supp11994
This Australian Standard was prepared by Committee BD/2, Concrete Structures. It
was approved on behalf of the Council of Standards Australia on 27 July 1994 and
published on 10 October 1994.

The following interests are represented on Committee BD/2:

Association of Consulting Engineers, Australia
Australian Construction Services
Australian Federation of Construction Contractors
Australian Precast Concrete Manufacturers Association
Bureau of Steel Manufacturers of Australia
Cement and Concrete Association of Australia
CSIRO, Division of Building, Construction and Engineering
Department of Public Works, N.S.W.
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Hydro-electric Commission, Tas.

Institution of Engineers, Australia
Master Builders Construction and Housing Association, Australia
National Ash Association of Australasia
National Ready Mixed Concrete Association
Steel Reinforcement Institute of Australia
South Australian Department of Housing and Construction
University of Adelaide
University of New South Wales
University of Sydney
University of Technology, Sydney
Water BoardSydney, Illawarra and Blue Mountains

Review of Australian Standards. To keep abreast of progress in industry, Australian Standards are subject
to periodic review and are kept up to date by the issue of amendments or new editi ons as necessary. It is
important therefore that Standards users ensure that they are in possession of the latest edit ion, and any
amendments thereto.
Full detail s of all Australi an Standards and related publications wil l be found in the Standards Australia
Catalogue of Publications; this informati on is supplemented each month by the magazine The Australi an
Standard, which subscribing members receive, and which gives detail s of new publications, new edit ions
and amendments, and of withdrawn Standards.
Suggesti ons for improvements to Australian Standards, addressed to the head offi ce of Standards Australi a,
are welcomed. Noti fi cati on of any inaccuracy or ambiguity found in an Australi an Standard should be made
without delay in order that the matter may be investigated and appropriate action taken.
AS 3600 Supp11994

AS 3600 Supplement 11994

Concrete structuresCommentary
(Supplement to AS 36001994)
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AS 3600 Supplement 1 fir st publi shed in part as

SAA MP28.C4 1975.
SAA MP28.C6 fir st published 1977.
SAA MP28.C9 fir st published 1975.
SAA MP28.C10 fi rst publi shed 1975.
SAA MP28.C11 fi rst publi shed 1977.
SAA MP28.C12 to C15 fi rst published 1977.
SAA MP28.C19 fi rst publi shed 1978.
SAA MP28.C21 fi rst publi shed 1978.
SAA MP28.C22 fi rst publi shed 1978.
SAA MP28.C23 fi rst publi shed 1978.
SAA MP28.C25 fi rst publi shed 1978.
SAA MP28.C26 fi rst publi shed 1975.
These Standards revised, amalgamated and redesignated
AS 3600 Supplement 11990.
Second editi on 1994.
Amdt 1 1996


ISBN 0 7262 9195 1
AS 3600 Supp1 1994 2


This Commentary (AS 3600 Supplement 1) was prepared by Standards Australia

Committee on Concrete Structures and first published in 1990 to replace MP 28,
Commentary on AS 1480 Concrete Structures Code, which was withdrawn in January
1991. While it is intended that it be read in conjunction with AS 3600, Concrete
structures, it does not form an integral part of that Standard.
Objective The objective of this Commentary is
(a) to provide background reference material to the Clauses in the Standard;
(b) to indicate the origin of particular requirements;
(c) to indicate departures from previous practice; and
(d) to explain the application of certain Clauses.
The clause numbers and titles used in the Commentary are the same as those in AS 3600
except that they are prefixed by the letter C. To avoid possible confusion between
Commentary and Standard clauses cross-referenced within the text, Commentary clauses
are referred to as Paragraph C ... in accordance with Standards Australia policy.
Gaps in the numerical sequence of Commentary Paragraphs indicate that either the
technical requirements of the corresponding clauses in the Standard are essentially the
same as those previously given in AS 1480, Concrete Structures Code or AS 1481,
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Prestressed Concrete Code, or the committee considered that commentary on these

clauses was not needed.
Where appropriate, each Section of the Commentary concludes with a list of references
which are cross-referenced numerically in the text, e.g. (Ref. 6) or (Refs 6, 7 and 8). In
some Sections additional references for further reading, or as a lead to specialist literature,
have also been listed.
As noted in the Preface to AS 3600, the Standard represents a comprehensive revision and
amalgamation of AS 1480 and AS 1481. To put things in perspective, AS 1480 and
AS 1481 largely dated back to 1973 and essentially represented the technology of the
1960s. Since then there have been considerable advances in materials and construction
technology. Also, due to the increased application of computers to modelling and
analytical techniques, an improved understanding of both material and member behaviour
in complete structures has been realized. More sophisticated analysis and design
procedures are now readily available to design-office staff via desktop computers, while
complex formulas can be quickly evaluated using electronic calculators.
While the Standard inevitably reflects the abovementioned changes, a considerable amount
of material and concepts have been retained from AS 1480 and AS 1481, particularly in
those areas where the benefits of technical change seemed doubtful to the committee.
However, in all such instances the opportunity was taken to edit retained requirements, in
order to remove ambiguities which in the past have led to conflicting interpretations.
Background to second edition
The background to the second edition of this Commentary is essentially the same as that
given in the Preface of the second edition of AS 3600, with respect to new and revised
reference Standards. Furthermore, in agreeing to a second edition of the Standard rather
than the usual green-slip amendments, the Committee also agreed that the same
philosophy should in addition apply to the Commentary so that consistency would be
maintained between corresponding editions of the two documents.
As the Commentary had not been amended since its publication, the opportunity was
taken to include improvements suggested in the interim by users, as well as the
appropriate changes necessitated by the 1990 and 1994 amendments to AS 3600. All such
changes are indicated by a single bar in the left-hand margin for the extent of the affected
text or figure.
3 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

Objective of second edition

The objective of the second edition is to provide a clean, updated version of the
Commentary that is consistent with the second edition of AS 3600.
Like the Standard itself, this Commentary is neither an immutable nor a perfect document.
Suggestions for improvement to the Commentary, in either the content or extent of that
provided, are therefore welcomed by Standards Australia.


Standards Australia wishes to acknowledge and thank the following members of BD/2 and
its subcommittees who have contributed significantly to this Commentary.
Assoc. Prof. R Q Bridge
Mr B J Corcoran
Prof. K A Faulkes
Mr B J Ferguson
Dr I Gilbert
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Dr D Gunasekera
Mr H P Isaacs
Dr F S Pitman
Mr R J Potter
Prof. B V Rangan
Mr W J Semple
Mr D J Smee
Mr G C Verge
Dr P F Walsh
Prof. R T Warner
Mr A C Whitting
Mr P J Wyche
AS 3600 Supp1 1994 4



C1.1 SCOPE AND APPLICATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
C1.2 REFERENCED DOCUMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
METHODS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
C1.4 DESIGN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
C1.5 CONSTRUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
C1.6 DEFINITIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
C1.7 NOTATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10


C2.1 DESIGN REQUIREMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
C2.3 DESIGN FOR STRENGTH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
C2.4 DESIGN FOR SERVICEABILITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
C2.6 DESIGN FOR DURABILITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
C2.7 DESIGN FOR FIRE RESISTANCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
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C2.8 OTHER DESIGN REQUIREMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22


C3.1 LOADS AND OTHER ACTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
C3.2 LOAD COMBINATION FOR STABILITY DESIGN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
C3.3 LOAD COMBINATIONS FOR STRENGTH DESIGN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24


C4.1 APPLICATION OF SECTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
C4.2 DESIGN FOR DURABILITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
C4.3 EXPOSURE CLASSIFICATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
CLASSIFICATIONS A1 AND A2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
CLASSIFICATIONS B1, B2 AND C . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
CLASSIFICATION U . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
C4.7 ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR ABRASION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
TENDONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32


C5.1 SCOPE OF SECTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .. .. 35
C5.2 DEFINITIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .. ... .. 37
C5.3 DESIGN REQUIREMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. ... .. . . 37
C5.4 FIRE-RESISTANCE PERIODS FOR BEAMS . . . . . . . . . . . . .. ..... .. 38
C5.5 FIRE-RESISTANCE PERIODS FOR SLABS . . . . . . . . . . . . .. ..... .. 40
C5.6 FIRE-RESISTANCE PERIODS FOR COLUMNS . . . . . . . . . .. ... .. .. 40
5 AS 3600 Supp1 1994


C5.7 FIRE-RESISTANCE PERIODS FOR WALLS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

C5.8 FIRE-RESISTANCE PERIODS FROM FIRE TESTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
C5.9 CALCULATION OF FIRE TEST PERFORMANCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
INSULATING MATERIALS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41


C6.1 PROPERTIES OF CONCRETE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
C6.2 PROPERTIES OF REINFORCEMENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
C6.3 PROPERTIES OF TENDONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
C6.4 LOSS OF PRESTRESS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54


C7.1 METHODS OF ANALYSIS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
AND ONE-WAY SLABS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
SUPPORTED ON FOUR SIDES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
C7.4 AND C7.5 TWO-WAY SLAB SYSTEMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
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SYSTEMS HAVING MULTIPLE SPANS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
TWO-WAY SLAB SYSTEMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
C7.6 LINEAR ELASTIC ANALYSIS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
BENDING MOMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
C7.8 RIGOROUS STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
C7.9 PLASTIC METHODS OF ANALYSIS FOR SLABS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65


C8.1 STRENGTH OF BEAMS IN BENDING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
C8.2 STRENGTH OF BEAMS IN SHEAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
C8.3 STRENGTH OF BEAMS IN TORSION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
C8.4 LONGITUDINAL SHEAR IN BEAMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
C8.5 DEFLECTION OF BEAMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
C8.6 CRACK CONTROL OF BEAMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86
C8.7 VIBRATION OF BEAMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
C8.8 T-BEAMS AND L-BEAMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
C8.9 SLENDERNESS LIMITS FOR BEAMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88


C9.1 STRENGTH OF SLABS IN BENDING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92
C9.2 STRENGTH OF SLABS IN SHEAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
C9.3 DEFLECTION OF SLABS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95
C9.4 CRACK CONTROL OF SLABS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96
C9.5 VIBRATION OF SLABS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
POINT LOADS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
AS 3600 Supp1 1994 6



C10.1 GENERAL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
C10.2 DESIGN PROCEDURES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
C10.3 DESIGN OF SHORT COLUMNS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103
C10.4 DESIGN OF SLENDER COLUMNS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103
C10.5 SLENDERNESS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
COMPRESSION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109
C10.7 REINFORCEMENT REQUIREMENTS FOR COLUMNS . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112


C11.1 APPLICATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116
C11.2 DESIGN PROCEDURES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116
C11.3 BRACING OF WALLS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116
TO VERTICAL FORCES ONLY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116
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C11.6 REINFORCEMENT REQUIREMENTS FOR WALLS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118


C12.1 DESIGN OF NON-FLEXURAL MEMBERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119
C12.3 BEARING SURFACES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126


C13.1 STRESS DEVELOPMENT IN REINFORCEMENT . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . 128
C13.2 SPLICING OF REINFORCEMENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . 132
C13.3 STRESS DEVELOPMENT IN TENDONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133
C13.4 COUPLING OF TENDONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . 133


C14.1 DESIGNS OF JOINTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134
C14.2 EMBEDDED ITEMS AND HOLES IN CONCRETE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134
C14.3 REQUIREMENTS FOR FIXINGS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134


C15.1 APPLICATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .. . .. .. .. . . . . . . 135
C15.2 DESIGN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .. .. .. ... . . . . . . 135
C15.3 STRENGTH IN BENDING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .. ...... . . . . . . . 135
C15.4 STRENGTH IN SHEAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .. .... ... . . . . . . 135
C15.5 STRENGTH IN AXIAL COMPRESSION . . . . . . . .. .. ... .... . . . . . . 135
7 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

C16.1 APPLICATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136
INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL FLOORS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136
C16.3 RESIDENTIAL FLOORS AND FOOTINGS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136


C17.1 GENERAL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137


C18.1 APPLICATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138
C18.2 ADDITIONAL LOADS AND ACTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138


CONCRETE AND GROUT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141
REINFORCING STEEL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144
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ITEMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147
C19.5 TOLERANCES FOR STRUCTURES AND MEMBERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147
C19.6 FORMWORK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148


C20.1 GENERAL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155
C20.2 MANUFACTURE OF CONCRETE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155
C20.3 PROJECT ASSESSMENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155
GRADE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156
C20.5 ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT METHODS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156
C20.6 DEEMED TO COMPLY PROVISIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156


C21.1 PROOF TESTING OF BEAMS AND SLABS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 157
C21.2 PROTOTYPE TESTING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 157


TO SEISMIC ACTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160
AS 3600 Supp1 1994 8


Australian Standard
AS 3600 Supp 1
Concrete structuresCommentary (Supplement to AS 36001994)



C1.1.1 Scope The Standard sets out the minimum requirements for the design and
construction of safe, serviceable and durable concrete structures. There may be other
requirements, not covered by the Standard, which also have to be considered.
C1.1.2 Application A lower concrete strength limit of 20 MPa has been imposed, as
strength grades less than this are not considered suitable for structures.
An upper concrete strength limit of 50 MPa has been adopted, because much of the
research on which the Standard is based involved concrete strengths at or below this
value. Nevertheless, higher strength concretes are being used in Australia and overseas
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(Refs. 1 and 2). The Standard may possibly be applied without change to concretes with
28-day compressive strengths up to 65 MPa. However, beyond 50 MPa, concrete becomes
increasingly brittle in its structural behaviour and, as indicated in Note 2, current detailing
requirements may be inadequate for ensuring the necessary elastic and ductile behaviour
assumed in the various design Sections.
Concretes made from naturally occurring Australian coarse aggregates have surface-dry
densities falling in the range 2100 kg/m 3 to 2800 kg/m3 . Lightweight structural concretes
in Australia generally use naturally occurring sands combined with manufactured
lightweight aggregates, for which the surface-dry density is seldom less than 1800 kg/m 3.
Density limits for structural concretes have been set accordingly.
Design of road and pedestrian bridges is covered by the Austroads Bridge Design Code.
In the preparation of a Standard such as this, a certain level of knowledge and competence
of the majority of users must be assumed. As indicated by the Note, it was assumed that
the predominant users of this Standard would be professionally qualified civil or structural
engineers experienced in the design of concrete structures, or equally qualified but less
experienced persons working under their guidance. It is therefore intended that the
Standard be applied and interpreted primarily by such persons.

C1.2 REFERENCED DOCUMENTS The Standards listed in Appendix B are subject

to revision from time to time. A check should be made with Standards Australia as to the
currency of any Standard referenced in the text.


METHODS It is intended that where Committee Interpretations or Opinions are given,
which may relate initially to particular projects but have general application, they will be
collated and published in a separate document as Rulings, which will be updated on a
regular basis. The Rulings will then form the basis for future amendments or revisions of
the Standard or its Commentary and will be in line with similar Rulings applying to
other Australian Standards.

9 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

The designer is usually required to seek approval from the appropriate Authority, for the
use of alternative materials or methods. For example, fibre impregnated concrete may be
used for members if it complies with the requirements of Section 2. However, the use of
such fibres would not mean that a relaxation of the requirements for conventional
reinforcement or tendons automatically follows (Refs 6 and 7).

C1.4 DESIGN The information applicable to most members may be shown in only
one of the drawings, usually the first sheet, or cited in the project specification as
appropriate (see Refs 4 and 5).

C1.5 CONSTRUCTION The extent of supervision and inspection depends on the

importance and complexity of the structure concerned.
Any structure which is either complex or contains tendons should be supervised by a
person responsible to a qualified engineer employed by the builder and experienced in the
supervision of comparable structures.
In addition, the works should be inspected at specified stages by a suitably qualified
person nominated by the building owner.
If there is any doubt regarding the design, or the interpretation of the documents, the
supervisor or inspector should refer the doubtful matter to the designer for resolution.
Suitable site records should be kept during construction and be available for inspection
during the progress of the work, and for at least 2 years after completion of the work.
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Such records should include, as appropriate

(a) the quantity, grade and type of reinforcing steel and prestressing steel;
(b) each date on which concrete was placed and the corresponding location of that
concrete in the structure;
(c) the results of all tests on the concrete together with the locations in the structure of
the batches sampled, and copies of the suppliers identification certificates; and
(d) stressing details.

C1.6.3 Technical definitions
Cement The term cement is used throughout the Standard in the generic sense of
hydraulic cementitious materials since it is now defined as portland cement, or
blended cement or either of these in combination with one or more of the permissible
supplementary cementitious materials (fly ash, slag and silica fume). Refer to
Paragraph C4.5 for minimum cement content in normal class concrete.
Characteristic strength The concept of characteristic strength removes some of the
confusion regarding terms such as minimum strength, design strength, and target
strength. The characteristic strength, as defined, is consistent with the 5% defective
probability adopted (although not stated as such) in CA21963 and thus identical with f c
as defined in AS 14801974, the revised and metricated version of that Standard. (See
also Section C20.)
Effective depth For a cross-section with multiple layers of reinforcement, or a mixture of
reinforcement and tendons, all the steel may not be at yield at the ultimate strength
conditions. In such cases the resultant tensile force will not be at the centroid of the
tensile steel area. The new definition of effective depth accommodates this and is
therefore equally applicable to reinforced, prestressed and partially prestressed members.

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 10

Where all the tensile reinforcement is effectively at its yield stress under ultimate strength
conditions, the usual case for normal reinforced concrete beams, the resultant tensile force
acts at the centroid of the tensile steel area.
Lightweight concrete For the purpose of the Standard, the term lightweight concrete
applies only to structural concrete made with lightweight coarse aggregate and
normal-weight fine aggregate. Cellular concrete, no-fines concrete and concrete in which
the aggregates are entirely lightweight, are excluded from this definition.

INTRODUCTION The change from the notation used in AS 1480 and AS 1481 to the
present notation follows Standards Australia policy on limit-state Standards and a general
policy to adopt, whenever and as far as practicable, recommendations of the
International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
The notation is based on ISO Standard 3898 (Ref. 3), which sets out rules for constructing
a coherent and consistent set of symbols applicable to the design of structures. That
Standard specifies only the general terms, so the particular terms relevant to concrete
structures have been derived and included in this Standard.
The following text, tables and figures illustrate the notation and its derivation.


The symbol to represent a given quantity or term is chosen as follows:
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(a) The leading or main character of the symbol is selected from Tables C2, C3, C4 or
C5 in accordance with the criteria in Table C1.
(b) Descriptive subscripts are selected to suit. Where subscripts other than those in Tables
C6, and C7 are used, they are defined.
(c) The first subscript indicates the material or part and the following subscripts qualify
this as to nature, type, location and the like. Where necessary to avoid confusion, a
full stop is used between categories of subscripts (see Example 2).
(d) When there is no likelihood of confusion some or all subscripts are omitted.
(e) Numbers are sometimes used as subscripts, either alone or with letters.
To avoid confusion, some Roman and Greek letters are not used. These letters are marked
(VOID) or otherwise noted in the tables.
Roman upper and lower-case O are not used as leading characters. However, the lower-
case is used as a subscript, to mean zero.
Greek lower-case letters iota (), kappa (), omicron (), upsilon (), eta () and chi (),
are not used because of possible confusion with Roman letters.
The possible confusion of (numeral) 1 with (letter) l when typed is eliminated by adopting
upper case L for both leading characters and subscripts.

1. Symbol for Area of reinforcement The dimensions and usage columns of Table C1
indicates a Roman capital letter. From Table C2 the letter A is selected as the leading
character for Area.
As the material is steel, the subscript s is chosen from Table C6. Thus, A s is the
symbol for the cross-sectional area of reinforcement.
If it is tensile reinforcement, the subscript t is added. Hence A st is the symbol for the
cross-sectional area of tensile reinforcement.

11 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

2. Symbol for Concrete shrinkage strain As strain is dimensionless, Table C1 indicates

the use of a Greek lower-case letter. From Table C4 the letter , is selected as the
leading character for strain.
To symbolize concrete shrinkage, subscripts are chosen from Table C6. Thus, cs is
the symbol for concrete shrinkage strain.
If further differentiation is required, the additional subscript is separated from the first
subscripts by a full stop. Hence cs.b is the symbol for basic shrinkage strain.
3. Symbols for material strength
The dimension and usage columns of Table C1 indicate a Roman lower-case letter for
the leading character. Table C3 indicates the letter, f for strength. Superscripts and
subscripts are added as shown in the following diagram:
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Thus f cc = the characteristic concrete strength in compression.

NOTE: The prime superscript () is not an ISO standard. It is used to indicate the
characteristic value for concrete, in deference to long-standing practice in Australia and the
USA, and immediately follows the lead character.
4. Symbols for loads, actions and action effects Loads and actions are represented by
the upper-case Roman letters F, G, P, Q, S and W. Lower-case subscripts denote the
type of action, e.g. Fep is the force resulting from earth pressure and F g+q would be
the force from dead plus live loads.
Action effects are denoted by the upper-case Roman letters N, M and V representing
axial force, bending moment and shear force respectively. If these are combinations
of loads factored for strength design, an asterisk is used as a superscript, e.g. M* is
the design bending moment for strength.

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 12


Type of letter Dimensions Usage

Roman capital Force, force times length, area to a power, Bending or torsional moment, shear,
temperature normal force, concentrated load, total
Area, first and second moments of area
Strain moduli (exception to
Roman lower-case Length, quotient of length and time to a Unit moment, shear, normal force,
power, force per unit length or area, except load
where used as subscripts, mass, time. Linear dimensions (length, width,
Velocity, acceleration,
Descriptive letters (subscripts)
Greek capital Reserved for mathematics and for
physical quantities excluding
geometric and mechanical quantities
Greek lower-case Dimensionless Coefficients and dimensionless ratios
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Specific gravity (ratio of densities)
Stress (exception to dimensions)

NO TE: Letter types for usages not included above should correspond to the nearest appropriate category.

13 AS 3600 Supp1 1994


Letter Meaning
A area; accidental action
B (not assigned)
C torsional second moment of area
D depth (physical)
E strain modulus; always used with a subscript
F action (loads and imposed deformations), used as a leading letter with subscripts given in
Table 7; force in general
G dead load
H height
I second moment of area
J torsional modulus
K stiffness; any quantity but with a specific dimension in the absence of a specific symbol
L span, length of member (physical); left
M bending moment
N normal force
P prestressing force
Q live load
R resultant force; reaction; right; relaxation; resistance
S first moment of an area; action effect used as a leading letter with subscripts given in
Table 7 (internal M, N, V, T); snow load
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T torsional moment; temperature; period of time

U (not assigned)
V shear force; vertical component of force
W wind load
X reactions or forces in general, parallel to axis x
Y reactions or forces in general, parallel to axis y
Z reactions or forces in general, parallel to axis z; section modulus

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 14


Letter Meaning
a acceleration; distance
b width
c concrete cover
d effective depth; diameter
e eccentricity
f strength
g distributed dead load; acceleration due to gravity
h (not assigned)
i (not assigned)
j number of days
k any coefficient with proper dimensions
l replaced by L to avoid ambiguity
m bending moment per unit length or width; mass; average value of a sample
n normal force per unit length or width
o (VOID)
p geometrical ratio of reinforcement; pressure; probability
q distributed live load
r radius; radius of gyration
s distributed snow load; Standard deviation of a sample; spacing
t time; torsional moment per unit length or width; thickness of thin members
u perimeter
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v shear force per unit length or width; velocity

w distributed wind load
x coordinate; depth of neutral axis
y coordinate; depth of rectangular stress block
z coordinate; lever arm

15 AS 3600 Supp1 1994


Letter Symbol Meaning

Alpha angle; ratio e.g. = E/Ec ; coefficient
Beta angle; ratio; coefficient
Gamma specific gravity; shear strain (angular deformation)
Delta coefficient of variation; coefficient
Epsilon strain
Zeta (VOID)
Eta (VOID)
Theta rotation; angle
Iota (VOID)
Kappa (VOID)
Lambda slenderness ratio; coefficient
Mu coefficient of friction; relative bending moment; average of a population; corrective factor
Nu Poissons ratio; relative normal force
Xi (not assigned)
Om icron (VOID)
Pi (see Table 5)
Rho mass density
Sigma normal stress; standard deviation of a population
Tau shear stress
Upsilon (VOID)
Phi creep coefficient; strength reduction factor; angle
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Chi (VOID)
Psi ratio; relative humidity; reduction coefficient
Om ega angular velocity


Symbol Meaning
difference; increment; deflection
() characteristic strength
c base of Napierian logarithms
the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle (3.1416)
number of
or // parallel to
perpendicular to; normal to
* design value

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 16


Symbol Meaning (see Note 1)

a axial; accidental action
b bond; bar; beam; basic
c concrete; compression ; column; creep
d design value; duct
e elastic limit
f forces and other actions ; flange; flexure; friction fitment
g dead load
h horizontal; hypothetical
i initial in time; value of a variable in a series
j number of days; joint
k characteristic (see Note 2)
l longitudinal; long term
m average value; materials; moment
n net; normal
o numeral zero (see also below); at the origin
p prestress
q live load
r resistance
s steel; snow; slab; short term; shrinkage
t tension
u ultimate (limit state)
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v shear; vertical
w wind: wire; web; wall
x linear coordinate
y linear coordinate; yield
z linear coordinate
0, 1, 2 particular values of quantities

1 Meanings in bold type correspond to international agreements and are
2 Characteristic values are defined in terms of probability of exceedance.

17 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

Letters Meaning
abs absolute
adm admissible (permissible)
cal calculated (as opposed of observed)
crit (or cr) critical
dyn dynamic
ef effective
el elastic in general
ep earth pressure
eq earthquake
est estimated
exc exceptional
ext external
fat fatigue
im impact
inf inferior
int internal
lat lateral
lim limit
max maximum
min minimum
nom nominal
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obs observed
par parallel
per perpendicular
pl plastic
red reduced
rel relative
rep representative
ser serviceability
st static
sup superior
tem temperature
tor torsion
tot total
tra transversal
var variable

NO TE: Abbreviations which are not contained in this Table should

be derived from words having Latin roots. If there is no risk of
confusion, these subscripts may be reduced to one or two letters.

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 18

1 CHOY R.S., High-strength concrete, Technical Report TR/F112, Cement and
Concrete Association of Australia, Sydney, 1988.
2 RUSSELL H.G., High-strength concrete in North America, International Symposium
on utilization of high-strength concrete, Stavanger, Norway, 1987.
3 ISO 3898:1987, Bases for design of structures Notations General symbols,
International Organization for Standardization.
4 FERGUSON B.J., Reinforcement Detailing Handbook, Concrete Institute of
Australia, Sydney, 1988.
5 AS 1100, Part 501, Structural engineering drawing, SAA, Sydney, 1985.
6 HANNANT D.J., Fibre cements and fibre concretes, John Wiley and Sons Ltd,
London, 1978.
7 AITCIN P-C., LAPLANTE P. AND LA PALME P., The use of fibre reinforced
concrete for highway rehabilitation, Etude #231, IGM 85-305-231, University of
Sherbrooke and the Industrial Materials Research Institute, Quebec, 1985. (In
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19 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

S E C T I O N C 2 D E S I G N R E Q U I R E M EN T S A N D

C2.1 DESIGN REQUIREMENTS This is a new Clause drawing attention to the

probabilistic basis of design.
The design requirements apply to the complete structure and its component members.
During construction there may be critical periods for the partially built structure when
unusual load paths are called into play. The designer should consider such conditions.

C2.3 DESIGN FOR STRENGTH The design procedure is the same in all essential
aspects as the ultimate strength design method of AS 1480.
The design strength of a member is the ultimate strength, calculated in accordance with
the relevant Clauses, multiplied by a strength reduction factor () which is always less
than one. The rules for calculating the ultimate strength of a member are based on chosen
limiting states of stress, strain, cracking or crushing as appropriate, and conform to
research data for each type of structural action.
The strength reduction factor () takes the following into account:
(a) Variation in material strength, material properties, position of reinforcing or
prestressing steel, size of members and homogeneity.
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(b) Differences between the ultimate strength obtained from tests and the ultimate
strength of the member in the structure.
(c) Inaccuracies in the design equations related to member design and an incomplete
understanding of internal actions.
(d) Degree of ductility and required reliability of the member under the action effects
being considered.
(e) Importance of the member in the structure.
For example, the factor used for columns is lower than that for beams because a column
has less ductility, is more sensitive to variations in concrete strength and the consequences
of failure are likely to be more serious.
Values given in Table 2.3 for the strength reduction factor, (), are lower than those
previously used in AS 1480. However these changes have to be considered together with
corresponding changes in the load factors given in AS 1170.1. For example, in the
combination of dead and live loads, the load factors have been reduced from 1.5 to 1.25
and from 1.8 to 1.5 respectively, while the factor for bending has decreased from 0.9 to
In this case the overall factor of safety has been lowered by 6%. This brings it into line
with the overall safety factors used in the American Code (Ref. 23), the Canadian Code,
and very close to those used in the British Code (Ref. 22), although in the latter case a
clear-cut comparison is difficult to make. The adjusted load factors and factors represent
more realistically the sources and magnitudes of variability in the processes of design and
The reduction in the overall safety factors is justified by refinements to calculations for
design action effects and member strengths incorporated elsewhere in the Standard.

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 20

Table 2.3 In most instances in the Table, is assigned a single value in the range 0.6
0.8. For certain cases of bending without axial force and for all cases of bending
combined with axial force, the value of varies with the ductility of the section under
consideration. Fully ductile behaviour is assigned a value of 0.8, and non-ductile
behaviour a value of 0.6. The neutral axis parameter k u is used as a measure of ductility.
In rows (a) and (b) members subjected to axial tension are deemed to be ductile, as are
members subjected to bending without axial force when k u 0.4, and in both cases
= 0.8. Members in axial compression are non-ductile with = 0.6 and, for members in
bending without axial force, reduces from 0.8 to 0.6 as k u increases above 0.4 and
ductility decreases (as indicated in row (b)(ii)).
For members in axial tension and for ductile flexural members (i.e. k u 0.4 in pure
bending), = 0.8. For non-ductile flexural members (i.e. ku > 0.4 in pure bending),
0.6 0.8 as indicated in row (c).
For members in combined bending and axial compression, is specified in row (d) of the
Table and depends on the magnitude of N u with respect to N ub. When N u N ub, a primary
compressive failure occurs, and deformation at failure is small. Accordingly, = 0.6.
When N u < N ub , a primary tensile failure occurs, deformation at failure is relatively large
and increases linearly from 0.6 (when N u = N ub) to its value in pure bending (given in
row (c) of the Table).
Where strength depends primarily on the behaviour of both concrete and steel, and the
ductility varies for the different load carrying elements, is taken as 0.7. This includes
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the shear strength and the torsional strength of beams, and for members in which strength
is determined by strut and tie modelling.
Concrete in bearing and in plain concrete elements is considered non-ductile and therefore
= 0.6.


C2.4.1 General The important serviceability criteria are usually excessive deflection
and cracking. Other criteria should be examined where required.
C2.4.2 Deflection limits for beams and slabs The deflection limits in Table 2.4.2 are
different from those in AS 1480 and reflect experience gained from examining the
performance of structures designed to that Code.
The limit of Span/250 for total deflection is intended to control the final deflected shape
of the member after allowing for the long-term effects due to sustained dead and live
loads plus the short-term effect due to the transitory component of the live load additional
to the sustained live load. The component values for short-term and long-term effects are
specified in AS 1170.1.
Designers should note that the limit of Span/250 may not be sufficient to meet particular
aesthetic or functional requirements such as visual sagging and ponding of water.
The Standard implies that the total deflection is measured from the as-cast position but
does not provide specific guidance on the treatment of camber which could be used to
eliminate the effect of part or all of the total deflection and possibly permit slender
members, particularly for longer spans. If camber is used to significantly reduce the
stiffness of the floor otherwise required to meet this limit, then care should be taken to
check the incremental deflection, support rotations, and the possibility of excessive
A limit on incremental deflection is required for all members supporting masonry
partitions or other sensitive attachments. The incremental deflection comprises that part of
the long-term effects due to the sustained dead and live loads which occur after the

21 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

addition of partitions and the short-term effect due to the transitory component of the live
load under service conditions.
Usually this criterion will be more severe than the limit on total deflection, unless
provision is made to minimize the effect of the movement by detailing joints and delaying
the erection of the masonry walls until a substantial part of the long-term deflection has
occurred. This latter precaution may not be practicable if speed and flexibility of
construction are desired.
Details of the methods of calculating deflections are set out in Clause 8.5, Deflection of
beams, and Clause 9.3, Deflection of slabs.
C2.4.3 Lateral drift Unbraced frames are more sensitive to the effects of lateral
loading than braced frames or shear wall structures. The limit on interstorey lateral drift
of storey height/500 is intended to provide a reasonably stiff and serviceable structure.
C2.4.4 Cracking The control of cracking under service conditions is required for
durability and long-term performance. The detailed design requirements are set out in
Clause 8.6 for beams and Clause 9.4 for slabs.
C2.4.5 Vibration The design of structures subject to dynamic loads, such that the
vibrations generated do not exceed acceptable levels, is a complex subject. References 1
to 18 provide an introduction to the specialist literature in this field. Essential to the
solution is a detailed understanding of the magnitude and nature of the dynamic loads
applied (harmonic, transient, or random force), the acceptability criteria relevant to the
type of structure under consideration and the nature of the loads.
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Among the dynamic loads that may require consideration for the serviceability limit state
(a) Pedestrian traffic on suspended floors and footbridges (References 1 to 5).
(b) Wind loads on structure (References 6 to 9).
(c) Service loads due to plant and manufacturing processes, e.g. forging hammers,
generators, presses, etc. (References 10 to 14).
(d) Adjacent road or rail traffic (References 15, 16).
(e) Blasting (assuming a nearby quarry) (References 15 to 18).
The designer should be careful to use appropriate acceptability criteria in judging the
adequacy of the design. For example the reduced comfort boundary levels nominated in
AS 2670, Vibration and shock Guide to the evaluation of human exposure to whole
body vibration, are unlikely to be acceptable in an apartment or office whereas they may
be acceptable in a machine shop.
The difficulties of obtaining precise information on the dynamic loads and of finding
relevant acceptability criteria, means that the designer is unlikely to obtain solutions with
the confidence levels that apply to static problems.
Although AS 2670 provides data on the evaluation of human exposure to whole body
vibrations, the NOTES to Clause 3.1.4 of that Standard indicate that there are limits to its
usefulness for the evaluation of disturbance due to building vibration.

C2.6 DESIGN FOR DURABILITY Durability may be a critical design consideration

for many structures and hence needs to be investigated at the same time as the other listed

C2.7 DESIGN FOR FIRE RESISTANCE Fire resistance has now been made a design
requirement, the provisions of Section 5 replacing the recommendations of AS 1480
Appendix B.

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 22

C2.8 OTHER DESIGN REQUIREMENTS Fatigue is not a significant design

consideration in normal building structures. For structures subject to repeated or dynamic
loads, reference should be made to specialist literature such as References 19 and 20.
Progressive collapse means a continuous sequence of failures initiated by the local failure
of one part of the structure.
Progressive collapse may be prevented by providing either
(a) adequate structural strength and continuity of the structure and its parts; or
(b) alternative load paths, whereby applied forces can be transmitted safely through the
Structural continuity may rely upon, among other things, moment, shear, or tensile
connections, depending on the kind of structural system employed. The designer should
note the importance of this consideration in precast or combinations of precast and in-situ
construction (Ref. 21). See for example, the provisions of BS 8110.1 (Ref. 22).

1 WHEELER J.E., Prediction and Control of Pedestrian Induced Vibrations in
Footbridges, Journal of the Structural Division, ASCE, Vol. 108, No. ST9,
September 1982.
2 McCORMICK M.M. AND MASON D., Office Floor Vibrations Design Criteria
and Tests, Noise Shock and Vibration Conference, Monash University, 1974.
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3 CARO J.C., LARKINS G.K. AND CAIRNES T.H., Vibration in Prestressed Slabs
with Particular Reference to Hospital Structures, Institution of Engineers Aust.
Conference, Melbourne, 1975.
4 ELLINGWOOD B. AND TALLIN A., Structural ServiceabilityFloor Vibrations,
Journal of the Structural Division, ASCE, Vol. 110, No. ST2, February 1984.
5 ALLEN D.E., RAINER J.H. AND PERNICA G., Vibration Criteria for Long Span
Concrete Floors, ACI Special Publication No. 60, Vibrations of Concrete Structures
No. SP-60, American Concrete Institute, Detroit.
6 IRWIN A.W., Human Reactions to Oscillations of Buildings, Build International,
8, 1975, pp. 89102.
7 IRWIN A.W., Human Response to Dynamic Motion of Structures, Structural
Engineer, Vol. 56A, No. 9, September 1978.
8 HANSEN R.J., REED J.W. AND VANMARCKE E.H., Human Response to Wind
Induced Motion of Buildings, Journal of the Structural Division, ASCE, Vol. 99,
ST7, July 1973.
9 ASCE, Monograph on Planning and Design of Tall Buildings, Volume PC,
Chapter 13, Motion Perception and Tolerance.
10 BAKER J.K., Vibration Isolation, Engineering Design Guides No. 13, OUP, 1975.
11 Building Research Station Digests, Vibrations in Buildings1, Digest 117, May
1970, Vibrations in Buildings2, Digest 118, June 1970.
12 STEFFENS R.J., Structural Vibration and Damage, Building Research Establish-
ment Report, 1974.
13 MAJOR A., Dynamics in Civil Engineering, Vols 1 to 4, Akademiai Kiado
Budapest, 1980.
14 MACINANTE J.A., Seismic Mountings for Vibration Isolation, John Wiley and
Sons, 1984.

23 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

15 TYNAN A.E., Ground Vibrations, Australian Road Research Board, Melbourne,

Special Report No. 11, 1974.
16 HOLMBERG R., Vibrations Generated by Traffic and Building Construction
Activities, Swedish Council for Building Research, Stockholm, 1984.
17 MAINSTONE R.J., The Hazard of Internal Blast in Buildings, Building Research
Establishment, UK, Current Paper CP 11/73, 1973.
18 GOLDBERG J.L. AND DREW P., The Response of High Rise Buildings to Ground
Vibration from Blasting, 10th International Congress on Acoustics, Sydney, 1980.
19 ACI 215-74, Considerations for the Design of Concrete Structures Subjected to
Fatigue Loadings, Journal of the American Concrete Institute, Proc. Vol. 71, No. 3,
March 1974.
20 ACI SP-75, Fatigue of Concrete Structures, American Concrete Institute, Detroit,
21 VERGE G.C. AND GAMBLE S.N., Progressive collapse provisions for large panel
buildings, ACSE 50th Anniversary Conference, June 1983.
22 BRITISH STANDARDS INSTITUTE, BS 8110.1, Structural Use of Concrete,
Part 1: Code of practice for design and construction , 1985.
23 ACI COMMITTEE 318, Building Code requirements for reinforced concrete
(ACI 318M-83), American Concrete Institute, Detroit, 1984.
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AS 3600 Supp1 1994 24

C O M B I N A T I O N S F O R S T A B I L I T Y ,


C3.1.1 Loads Accidental loading includes collisions, explosions, subsidence of
subgrades, extreme erosion and tornadic storms in regions not normally exposed to them.
The deemed-to-comply wind loads in AS 4055 (Ref.1) may be used for housing where the
limitations of that Standard apply. However, there may be advantages in using the more
rigorous wind load procedures from AS 1170.2 (Ref 2) especially for larger housing
Loads specified in the ANZRC Railway Bridge Design Manual are generally applicable to
all rail bridges. Loads specified in the AUSTROADS Bridge Design Code are applicable
to all road and pedestrian bridges under the jurisdiction of the Austroads member
authorities and are generally applicable for road and pedestrian bridges of other
authorities and organizations. However, other authorities and organizations may specify
reduced design live loads for bridges where the owner of the bridge has full control of the
C3.1.2 Construction loads Some guidance on construction loads is provided in
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Appendix D of AS 1170.11989 (Ref. 1), although the Standard itself gives no specific
values for them. AS 3610 (Ref. 3) gives construction live loads with a minimum of
1.0 kPa to be used for workmen and equipment and 4.0 kPa for stacked materials. Both of
these documents emphasize the need for careful assessment of the loads induced by
floor-to-floor propping in multi-storey construction (see also C19.6.2).
C3.1.3 Other actions No guidance is given in the Standard on the level of the listed
actions because of uncertainties in their implications. The designer should be aware that
the actions given in (a), (b), (c), (e) and (f) do not affect the strength of the member if it
is sufficiently ductile. However, these actions may need to be considered for


in AS 1480, these requirements are stated in limit state terms and give a safety index
consistent with other design aspects. For each situation, the designer is required to decide
which are the loads or load effects producing instability and which are those resisting
The reduction factor of 0.8 applies to the resistance offered by the foundations, ground
anchor, anchor piles and the like as well as to the counter-balancing effects of portions of
the structure itself. Variable loads are generally not included in the loads resisting
instability unless they have a permanent component which can be evaluated, in which case
only that component may be included.


structures other than bridges are included in AS 1170.1 (Ref. 4), except that an alternative
for the combination of multiple loads is given here and specific requirements for
prestressing forces are given.
The designer should not assume that the combinations of loadings given are
comprehensive, as other loads and combinations may need to be considered.
Various combinations of loading will need to be considered to determine the most critical
design condition, particularly where strength is dependent on more than one load effect,

25 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

such as strength for combined flexure and axial load, or shear strength in members with
axial load.
In determining the most critical combination of loadings, the designer should also
consider the direction of the load, as one type of load may produce effects of opposite
sense to that produced by another type. The load combinations with 0.8 G are specifically
included for the case where dead load reduces the effects of other loads.
For structures such as parking buildings, loading docks, warehouse floors and elevator
shafts, impact effects should be considered and impact forces, if any, included with live
loads in the various equations for required strength. In all equations substitute (Q +
impact) for Q where required.
Load factors and combinations must be consistent with the loads to which they apply.
Thus if loads are based on the Austroads Bridge Design Code or the ANZRC Railway
Bridge Design Manual, the load factors, strength reduction factors and load combinations
need to be taken from the same code or be independently specified by the relevant
authority or organization.

1 AS 4055, Wind loads for housing, Standards Australia, Sydney, 1992.
2 AS 1170, SAA Loading Code, Part 2: Wind loads, Standards Australia, Sydney,
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3 AS 3610, Formwork for concrete, Standards Australia, Sydney, 1990.

4 AS 1170, Minimum design loads on structures (known as the SAA Loading Code),
Part 1: Dead and live loads and load combinations , Standards Australia, Sydney,

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 26

S E C T I O N C 4 D E S I G N F OR D U R A B I L I T Y

Since AS 1480 was published in 1974, durability has been recognized as a major design
consideration. This is reflected in the Standard by the inclusion of this Section. In it, the
requirements for durability design have been collected together and placed at the
beginning of the design Section, instead of being scattered as detailing requirements,
throughout the Standard.
The importance of designing for durability is highlighted by an estimated annual cost in
1979 of $50 million (Ref. 1) to repair damage due to inadequate durability.
In Clause 2.1.1 durability is indirectly defined as the ability of a member to withstand the
expected wear and deterioration throughout its intended life without the need for undue
maintenance. The expected wear and deterioration may include the influences of
weathering, chemical attack and abrasion. It is a complex matter involving a large number
of interrelated factors (Ref. 2), such as
(a) attention to design details, including reinforcement layout, appropriate cover and
provision for shedding of water from exposed surfaces;
(b) good mix design; and
(c) correct construction practices, including adequate fixing of reinforcement and the
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placing, compacting and curing of the concrete,

all of which are important.
This Standard specifies requirements for only some of these areas. Reference should also
be made to the Institution of Engineers Code of Practice: Quality Assurance for Durable
Concrete Structures (Ref. 3) and the CIA Recommended Practice: Durable Concrete
(Ref. 4).

C4.1 APPLICATION OF SECTION The fact that these requirements are minimum
requirements is emphasized in the concluding note. Provisions are formulated for only a
limited range of environments, considering a limited number of types of attack, e.g.
corrosion of reinforcement and abrasion.
Reactions between the alkalis in cement and reactive silica or other alkali-reactive
constituents in aggregates are also possible causes of deterioration. They are collectively
known as alkali-aggregate reaction (AAR). Generally, the reaction and its products are
sensitive to the presence of moisture. In the presence of moisture the products swell and
occupy a greater volume than the initial constituents. This may lead to cracking and
deterioration of the concrete. Usually, the reaction is slow but the consequences may
involve the demolition of the structure. Three conditions must be fulfilled for AAR to
occur; the presence of reactive aggregates; a sufficient supply of alkalis; the presence of
adequate moisture. The problem can be avoided by not using reactive aggregates, limiting
the available alkalis or keeping the member dry. While the occurrence of AAR in
Australia is rare and has been largely confined to North Queensland and Western
Australia, designers should be aware of the potential problem. It was however believed
that nothing particular in this regard need be specified in the Standard. For further
information see Reference 18.
The current state of knowledge of durability design is not sufficiently advanced for design
life to be used as an input parameter within the Standard. Therefore, the requirements
have been formulated for buildings with a normal design life of 40 to 60 years in mind.
For monumental structures more stringent requirements should be adopted: for
temporary structures less rigorous requirements may be acceptable.

27 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

C4.2 DESIGN FOR DURABILITY This Clause sets out the procedure for design for
durability, i.e. determination of the exposure classification followed by consideration of
concrete quality, chemical content and cover.
The Standard recognizes corrosion of reinforcement to be the most common and obvious
form of durability failure. This can manifest itself as any one of, or a combination of
surface staining, cracking along reinforcement close to a surface and spalling of a surface.
The following simplified explanation of the corrosion process will assist users in
understanding the basis of measures provided in the Standard to prevent this type of
durability failure.
For simplicity, the process of corrosion can be divided into two phases initiation and
propagation. Generally the reinforcement is protected against corrosion by the alkalinity
of the concrete surrounding it. The initiation phase is considered to be the period over
which this alkalinity is reduced to the level where active corrosion can commence. The
propagation phase is considered to be the period from commencement of corrosion to the
stage where corrosion products cause a failure in the surrounding concrete.
In the initiation phase, the protection afforded by the alkalinity of the concrete can be
reduced by two processes carbonation (neutralization of the high pH by infiltration of
atmospheric carbon dioxide, a slow, continuous process) and ionization (an increase in the
concentration of reactive ions such as chlorides, a relatively rapid, random process).
In the propagation stage, the reinforcement will corrode at a rate which depends on the
availability of oxygen and moisture, the temperature of the concrete, the presence of
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reactive ions and residual alkalinity.

It follows from the above that the time to initiation and the subsequent rate of corrosion
will depend to a large extent on the environment to which a concrete surface is exposed.
For a given quality and thickness of cover, hot, humid seaside environments lead to more
rapid corrosion rates than cooler, dry inland environments. Thus for a given durability
level, exposure to the former environment will require thicker covers and better quality
concrete than exposure to the latter environment.
Chloride ions can be introduced into the concrete by way of admixtures, contaminated
aggregates, salt depositions on reinforcement and formwork, or they can permeate into the
hardened concrete during acid etching or from salt spray deposited on the member
surface. Limitations, therefore, are placed on the quantity of chlorides which can be
introduced into the fresh concrete from any source (see Clause 4.9).
The procedure given in the Standard for durability design is firstly to classify the severity
of the environment to which the concrete surfaces are exposed. For that exposure
classification, a minimum concrete quality is specified by strength and, where
reinforcement is to be protected, a minimum cover is then required. The basic principle is
that where corrosion of the reinforcement, once initiated, is likely to be fast, then higher
levels of protection are required. More severe environments require increasingly better
protection and this is reflected by the requirement for better quality concrete and larger
Because strength can be easily specified and measured, f c has been adopted as the quality
criterion. However it should be remembered that f c is at best only an indirect measure of
concrete quality from a durability viewpoint (Ref. 13), in reality reflecting the quality of
concrete after 28-day curing in a fog room. This amount of curing is seldom achieved on
the site. Research by the CSIRO (Ref. 5) has shown the importance of early, continuous
curing and this is the basis for the curing requirements for concrete in the various
exposure classifications (Clauses 4.4 and 4.5). The findings also stressed that, after initial
curing, further improvement in concrete properties due to exposure to the weather is
doubtful, being highly dependent on the orientation of the member and local climatic

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 28

Appropriate covers for the given exposure classification, depending on the chosen
concrete quality, are specified in Clause 4.10.
Requirements for abrasion resistance and exposure to freezing and thawing are additional
to the general requirements of Clause 4.2.1. For example, a concrete pavement would
have to satisfy the requirements for abrasion resistance (Clause 4.7) and may, depending
on its location, also need to satisfy the requirements for freezing and thawing (Clause 4.8)
in addition to the requirements given in Clauses 4.3 to 4.6.

C4.3 EXPOSURE CLASSIFICATION An important part of the new provisions is the

system of exposure classification. This classification focuses on conditions leading to
corrosion of reinforcement. However, guidance is also given regarding the severity of
attack on the concrete itself.
Definitions of environmental conditions have been derived from the general concepts
given in AS 2312 (Ref. 6). The classifications may be summarized as follows:
(a) Exposure classifications A1 and A2 relatively benign environments, such as in the
interior of most buildings, or in inland country towns remote from the coast, where
the provision of adequate cover will give satisfactory performance.
(b) Exposure classifications B1 and B2 moderately aggressive environments, such as
locations close to the coast, for which protection can be satisfactorily provided by a
combination of appropriate concrete quality and associated cover.
(c) Exposure classification C the most aggressive environments for which guidance is
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given on concrete quality and cover.

(d) Exposure classification U these are environments for which the Standard gives no
guidance. They may be more severe than exposure classification C, or as benign as
exposure classification A1. For them the designer has to quantify the severity of the
exposure along the above lines and choose methods of protection relevant to that
A conflict exists between the effect of climate on the rate of carbonation (and therefore,
the time to initiation of corrosion) and its effect on the rate of corrosion once initiated.
For the purpose of the Standard, the rate of corrosion of the steel (i.e. the propagation
phase) has been taken as the dominant factor for the following reasons:
(i) In severe climates of high humidity or tropical conditions, although subsequent
curing by weather may be better and carbonation might be slower, the presence of
moisture and probable chlorides means that corrosion, once initiated, could proceed
at a rapid rate.
(ii) For a dry climate, although the rate of carbonation might be high, the propagation
of the corrosion, once initiated, proceeds at a negligible rate.
In practical terms, the climatic conditions are less significant than proximity to the coast.
The closer to the sea, the more severe the exposure tends to be, with wind-driven spray
imposing a heavy load of chlorides on exposed concrete. In some circumstances, the limit
of 1 km for B2 exposure classification should be increased and this is discussed in Note 5
to Table 4.3. For example, many locations in N.S.W. are known to be influenced by
strong NE winds which carry chlorides well inland. On the other hand, high coastal cliffs
may offer some protection. The protected conditions inside the reef in northern
Queensland do not seem to lead to such severe conditions as are experienced in areas
adjacent to exposed seas but the 1 km limit would still be prudent in such cases.
Structures actually built in the water are covered in Table 4.3. Structures occasionally
subject to direct contact by the sea should be assessed by the designer as to the
appropriate classification of B2 or C.

29 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

The emission of certain pollutants by industry is known to increase the risk of degradation
of the concrete or corrosion of reinforcement. Industrial plants burning sulfide-containing
fuels, or emitting acidic gases, may be considered a severe risk and subject to the
industrial classification. The limit of 3 km given in the Standard represents a reasonable
estimate, but engineering judgement should be used, depending on the nature and scale of
the industrial pollutants and the prevailing wind directions.
Contact with liquids is a difficult area in which to provide firm classifications. Fresh
water can cause significant leaching of the partly soluble concrete components, as can
repeated exposure to condensation. Running water and frequent wet-and-dry cycles in
water-retaining structures can also cause physical and chemical degradation. These
problems become additive to those associated with reinforcement corrosion. The Standard
proposes a range of classifications, based primarily on experience, which depend on the
type of structure. Exposure to tidal and splashing salt water is classified as C. The
more-moderate exposure of being permanently submerged in seawater is classified as B2.
Despite the high content of sulfates and chlorides in seawater, an extra level of protection
is provided by the formation of an impermeable surface layer of carbonates, and the lack
of dissolved oxygen, particularly at depth.
The Standard focuses on groundwater containing sulfates, or sulfides that may oxidize to
sulfates, which can attack concrete in a rapid and destructive manner. Groundwater
containing high levels of chlorides or organic matter can also be destructive. Higher
quality concrete can provide some protection, but for groundwater containing more than
1 gram/litre of sulfates, special cements and other protective methods are needed. Sulfate
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attack is unlikely to be a problem in clay soils because of their low permeability.

The protection offered by an impermeable membrane under a slab on the surface of the
ground should provide an environment equivalent to classification A1.
For practical reasons only one grade of concrete will be used in any member, therefore the
quality is determined by the most severe exposure classification for any of the surfaces
(see Figure C4.3.1).


AS 3600 Supp1 1994 30

Care should be exercised when assessing the ability of a surface coating to protect the
surface and to continue to do so during the life of the building. Originally, it was hoped
that a definition of impermeability could be produced to aid in this. However, it proved
too difficult to firstly define an appropriate test method and secondly to determine
suitable limiting values.
The choice of a suitable coating is outside the scope of the Standard, but the designer
should be warned that an inadequate, poorly maintained coating may lead to more rapid
degradation than no coating (Ref. 7).
C4.3.2 Concession for exterior exposure of a single surface An illustration of the
interpretation of this Clause is shown in Figure C4.3.2.
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A1 AND A2 The requirements for concrete are a minimum f c and an initial curing
period of not less than three days. Where accelerated curing methods are used, e.g. steam
curing in a precast factory, a minimum average compressive strength is required,
determined in accordance with the principles of Clause


B1, B2 AND C The strength and curing requirements are similar to, but more stringent
than, those of the previous Clause. Where accelerated curing methods are used, e.g. steam
curing in a precast factory, a minimum average compressive strength is required,
determined in accordance with the principles of Clause
The addition of fly ash, slag or silica fume to portland (GP) cement may improve the
impermeability and the long-term durability of concrete made with such blends, provided
that appropriate adjustments have been made to the mix design by the supplier and proper
compaction and curing have been carried out on site. However, these supplementary
materials (particularly fly ash and slag) may also reduce the rate of strength gain of the
concrete at early ages. For normal-class concrete where early-age strength is a design or
construction consideration (e.g. for durability, early stripping or prestressing), it therefore
recommended that specification of the early-age option given in AS 1379 (i.e. the addition
of the suffix E3 or E7 to the grade designation) is exercised. This should ensure that both
the strength and durability requirements of this Standard can be satisfied by normal-class
concrete made from a wide range of blended mixes.

31 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

Where special-class concrete is required, additional parameters are also to be specified,

namely cement type and content, taking due account of the nature and severity of the
environmental exposure. As a guide to the specifier, Table C4.5 sets out suggested
minimum cement content for special-class concretes, although the amount actually needed
will depend on the type of cement and type of aggregates being used.
Water-to-cement ratios have not been given in the Standard or this Table because firstly
they cannot be readily measured once the concrete has been mixed, and secondly they
have not been conclusively shown to be any better measure of durability than
characteristic compressive strength.

Required Suggested minimum

minimum f c cement content
(MPa) (kg/m 3)
B1 32 285
B2 40 330
C 50 400
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Exposure classification U will include a range of exposures from more severe than C,
down to those as benign as A1. In many cases classifications ranging from A1 to C may
be selected, based on the principles of Clause 4.3. Guidance on appropriate measures for
some severe exposures is given in the following references.
Durability in general: Reference 14
Liquid-retaining structures: Reference 15
Salt water (marine exposure): Reference 16
Sulfates: Reference 12
Acids, sulfuric acid, carbonic acid and soft water: Reference 17
For guidance on coatings: Reference 18
Reference(5) should also be consulted for further information.


floors is a common cause of serviceability failure. Compressive strength was selected as
the most important, readily specified parameter but consideration should also be given to
methods of construction (Ref. 8), since abrasion resistance is strongly influenced by
curing and surface finish as well as compressive strength.
The Clause specifies additional requirements for abrasion exposure, i.e. the concrete must
also satisfy the requirements for other exposure criteria. For example, concrete for a
reinforced concrete external pavement subject only to light, pneumatic-tyred traffic, but
located in the coastal zone, would have to comply with the requirements for B2 and those
requirements would take precedence. On the other hand, for an internal factory floor
subject to medium to heavy pneumatic-tyred traffic, the requirements for abrasion under
this Clause would take precedence.


role of air entrainment in providing resistance to freeze-thaw degradation is well
established and this Clause presents the usually accepted values. Those given represent an
envelope of accepted practice. In general the larger the nominal aggregate size, the lower
the required amount of entrained air to give the desired protection.

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 32

Severity of exposure is also dependent on the presence of moisture on the surface prior to
freezing (Refs 9 and 10).
If the surface is also subject to abrasion, the upper values of air entrainment given may be
too high to permit the desired abrasion resistance to be achieved; if so, an intermediate
value will have to be chosen.


C4.9.1 Restriction on chloride-ion content for corrosion protection The protection
of reinforcement by the provision of an adequate cover of dense concrete relies primarily
on the protection afforded by the alkalinity of the concrete. This protection will prevent
the initiation of corrosion until carbonation has advanced close to the steel surface,
which usually takes decades. However, if chloride-ions are present, corrosion can be
initiated even in an alkaline environment. Moreover, chloride-ions accelerate the corrosion
process so their presence should be minimized.
When considering the effect of chlorides on corrosion it is necessary to distinguish
between free chloride present in the pore water and chloride bound by the cement in the
matrix. The bound chlorides do not take part directly in corrosion, whereas the free
chlorides may rupture the passive protective film on the surface of the bars. Free
chloride-ions increase the electrical conductivity of the pore water and the rate of
dissolution of metallic-ions. Nevertheless, as the proportion of free to bound chlorides
is subject to change, and bound chlorides may go into solution, it is considered desirable
to place limits on the total chloride content rather than just the free chloride content. For
this reason limits were placed on the acid-soluble chlorides, as determined by standard
test, which are closely related to total chlorides.
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Limits on chloride-ion content are quoted as mass per cubic metre of concrete which is
consistent with the test method. To simplify the application of normal-class concrete the
one level of 0.8 kg/m 3 is given for reinforced, prestressed and steam-cured concrete. This
is greater than the value Hope and Ip (Ref. 11) have suggested is the chloride-threshold in
concrete. However, a lower value in the Standard would create problems for materials,
currently used in some parts of Australia, which have been shown not to give rise to
durability problems.
Attention is drawn to the fact that values are specified in terms of acid-soluble chloride
content, whereas ACI 318 specifies water-soluble chloride-ion contents.
Admixtures used in normal-class concrete for exposure classifications B1, B2 and C, will
generally ensure that special-class concrete will not need to be specified to further limit
chloride-ion content.
C4.9.2 Restriction on sulfate content An upper limit of 5% of sulfur trioxide (SO3)
by mass of cement has been set to minimize the expansive influence of sulfate on the
concrete. This includes the sulfate in the cement as well as aggregates and water. Great
care should be taken when rock waste from mining is used as an aggregate. Many mineral
ores include sulfides that oxidize to sulfates.
C4.9.3 Restriction on other salts Designers and supervisors should note that some
admixtures used in place of chloride accelerators may also cause problems. For example,
concern has been expressed about the possible deleterious effect of nitrates used for this

C4.10.2 Cover for concrete placement Attention is drawn to the fact that larger
covers than those given in the Standard may need to be specified for other reasons, e.g.
achievement of required surface finish, the use of bundled bars, the congestion due to a
number of reinforcement layers, or the configuration of narrow webs and large
prestressing ducts.
C4.10.3 Cover for corrosion protection
C4.10.3.1 General As explained in C4.2, the protection of the reinforcement is
provided by a combination of concrete quality and thickness of cover.

33 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

In Clauses to, the covers quoted assume the placing tolerances specified
in Clause 19.5.3 are met. If there is doubt that these can be achieved on the project, then
larger covers should be specified to account for the increased tolerance. In Clause
no negative tolerance is specified and if this cannot be achieved, increased covers should
again be invoked.
It has recently been confirmed that failure to achieve or maintain specified or required
covers is the most common cause of reinforcement corrosion problems. This can be due to
either faulty fabrication or faulty placement of the reinforcement, or to dislodgment of the
reinforcement while concrete is being placed. The former causes can be minimized by
ensuring that adequate inspections of the reinforcement and cover are made before
concrete is placed. The latter cause can be similarly minimized if the means of preventing
movement of the reinforcement, relative to the forms, are properly checked at the same
time and, in addition, if positive measures are taken on site to prevent construction
personnel from walking on or otherwise dislodging reinforcement that has been
satisfactorily placed and fixed.
Where the cost of future rehabilitation of concrete damaged by reinforcement corrosion is
likely to be substantial, designers should seriously consider specifying, in addition to the
above, a system for checking the covers actually achieved after the concrete has been
placed and appropriate courses of action if they are found to be unsatisfactory. Such a
specification would need to include acceptable means of cover measurement (chases,
cover meters, etc), methodology of measurement (random, grid points, etc.) and relevant
criteria for acceptance or rejection (e.g. 95% within a given area is OK).
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C4.10.3.2 Standard formwork and compaction In general, covers increase as the

severity of the exposure increases. Provision has been made to permit reduced covers in
situations where concrete grades higher than the minimum specified for the exposure
classifications are used. The Table uses the approach developed by Guirguis (Ref. 17).
The values below the stepped line can be used only in situations covered by Clause 4.3.2.
C4.10.3.3 Cast against ground The increase in cover caters for the irregularity of such
surfaces. A lower value is given where a damp-proof membrane is used because of the
protection provided by this to the concrete.
C4.10.3.4 Rigid formwork and intense compaction The reduced cover permitted applies
to members such as precast bridge beams and for some precast construction. The format
follows the same approach as given in Clause Lower values reflect better
concrete quality (better compaction) and better construction tolerances on member
dimensions and reinforcement positioning usually achieved in these circumstances. For
some concretes, it is possible to achieve intense compaction by means other than intense
C4.10.3.5 Structural members manufactured by spinning or rolling Other Standards
apply to concrete pipes or culverts carrying aqueous liquids. This Clause would apply to
pipes only if they were used as a column or pier. A significant reduction is given to take
into account the low water-cement ratios, uniformly high densities and the small
tolerances usually required for the manufacture of such products.

1 BERESFORD F.G. AND HO D.W.S., Repair of Concrete Structures A Scientific
Assessment, Concrete Institute of Australia, Biennial Conference, Canberra, 1979.
2 POTTER R.J. AND GUIRGUIS S., Concrete the Durable Material, Symposium on
Concrete, 1981 Towards Better Concrete Structures, The Institution of Engineers,
Australia, Canberra, 1981.
Assurance for Durable Concrete Structures (to be published).

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 34

4 CONCRETE INSTITUTE OF AUSTRALIA, Recommended Practice: Durable

Concrete (to be published).
5 HO D.W.S. AND LEWIS R.K., Concrete quality after one year of outdoor
exposure, Durability of Building Materials, Vol. 5, 1987, pp. 111.
6 AS 2312, Guide to the protection of iron and steel against atmospheric corrosion,
Standards Association of Australia, 1984.
7 HO D.W.S. AND LEWIS R.K., Warning Surface Treatment of Dry Reinforced
Concrete, Concrete Institute of Australia News, Vol. 8, No. 2, July 1982.
8 KETTLE R. AND SADGZADEH M., The Influence of Construction Procedures on
Abrasion Resistance, Concrete Durability, Katherine and Bryant Mather
International Conference, ACI SP100, Vol. 2, pp. 1385410.
9 ACI 318-83, Building Code Requirements for Reinforced Concrete , American
Concrete Institute, 1983.
10 ACI 318R-83, Commentary on Building Code Requirements for Reinforced Concrete
(ACI 31883), American Concrete Institute, 1983.
11 HOPE B.B. AND IP A.K.C., Chloride Corrosion Threshold in Concrete, ACI
Materials Journal, Vol. 84, No. 4, JulyAugust 1987, pp. 30614.
12 BS 8110, Structural Use of Concrete, Part 1: Code of Practice for Design and
Construction , British Standards Institution, 1985.
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13 HO D.W.S. AND LEWIS R.K., The specification of concrete for reinforcement

protection performance criteria and compliance by strength, Cement and Concrete
Research, Vol. 18, No. 4, 1988, pp. 58494.
14 ACI 201.2R77, Guide to Durable Concrete, Manual of Concrete Practice, Part 1,
American Concrete Institute, 1985.
15 AS 3735, Concrete structures for retaining liquids , Standards Australia, Sydney,
of Concrete Sea Structures, Fourth Edition, Thomas Telford Ltd, 1985.
17 GUIRGUIS S., Durability of Concrete Structures, TN 37, Cement and Concrete
Association of Australia, November 1980.
18 ACI 515R-66, Guide for the Protection of Concrete Against Chemical Attack by
Means of Coatings and Other Corrosion-Resistance Materials, Manual of Concrete
Practice, Part 5, American Concrete Institute, 1985.

35 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

S E C T I O N C 5 D E S I G N F OR F I R E

INTRODUCTION Building regulations invoke two methods of providing fire resistance

in buildings, namely active methods which involve the provision of fire hoses, sprinklers
and the like to extinguish a fire, and passive methods which involve particular
arrangements of non-combustible or fire-retardant building elements to prevent the spread
of fire and provide safe escape routes for building occupants. It is the latter methods
which are relevant to the fire-resistance requirements of this Standard.
The principal regulatory means of achieving passive resistance is to require the building
to be subdivided into compartments, the boundary elements of which are required to have
not less than a specified degree of fire resistance. The intention is to contain a fire to the
compartment of its origin, delay its spread from there to adjacent compartments, and
prevent or impede the fire from entering the required escape routes. The boundary
elements of the compartments, which are usually walls and successive floors, are therefore
assumed to be subject to fire on one side only and thus serve a fire-separating function.
For regulatory purposes, the potential intensity of a fire is related to the intended
occupancy of the building or the compartment, and the degree of resistance required for
particular elements is related to the performance of prototype elements in the appropriate
standard fire test specified in AS 1530.4. It is important to realize that these are greatly
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simplified assumptions which are only indirectly related to actual building fires, and to
the performance of as-constructed building elements in them.
The degree of fire resistance required by Regulations, has in the past been specified in
terms of a fire-resistant rating, expressed in hours. This corresponded to the smallest of
the three resistance periods that would be determined in the standard fire test. However,
the Building Code of Australia (BCA) now specifies resistance in terms of a
fire-resistance level (FRL), which states all three test periods.
For example, if a standard fire test on a slab yielded the following test results
Structural adequacy period = 182 minutes
Integrity period = 145 minutes
Insulation period = 125 minutes,
then in past terms, the slab would satisfy a requirement for a fire-resistant rating of 2
hours or less, while in BCA terms it would satisfy a requirement for a fire-resistance level
of 180/120/120, or less.

C5.1 SCOPE OF SECTION In building regulations, the specification of various fire

resistance levels in relation to standard fire test conditions ensures that relatively higher
or lower levels of fire resistance are achieved by various types of construction. This
Section gives rules whereby concrete members can be proportioned and detailed to satisfy
regulatory requirements for particular fire-resistance levels.
As discussed in the introduction, the term fire-resistance level (FRL) refers to the level
of fire resistance that will be required for the structural member by the building
regulations. In the Building Code of Australia, the fire-resistance level is expressed in
minutes, in the order Structural Adequacy/Integrity/Insulation. Thus a FRL of 90/90/90
means that the structural member is required to have a resistance period for structural
adequacy of 90 minutes, integrity of 90 minutes and thermal insulation of 90 minutes, i.e.
the minimum periods of time that would need to be achieved if the member was tested for
these criteria in accordance with AS 1530.4.

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 36

AS 1530 Part 4 (Ref. 1) specifies conditions for the assessment of the fire resistance of a
building component or member. A prototype specimen is tested in a furnace which is
operated so that the furnace temperature-time relationship is as shown in Figure C5.1.
Overseas fire test Standards require an almost identical temperature-time relationship to
be followed.
Thus the Standard fire-resistance test provides an internationally accepted basis for the
assessment of the relative degree of fire resistance of different materials and building
It must be emphasized that the temperature versus time relationship corresponding to an
actual fire is dependent on many factors, including quantity and type of fuel, fuel
geometry, ventilation and other compartment characteristics and is likely to be
significantly different from the standard time-temperature curve in a standard fire test.
Furthermore, in an actual fire, unaffected portions of a building apply constraints on
members which are almost impossible to duplicate in a prototype test situation.
It is important to realize that AS 1530.4 specifies not only a particular time-temperature
relationship but also specifies the direction from which prototype test members are to be
heated in the furnace, namely: floor and roof assemblies (slabs and beams) from below,
walls from either side but not both sides simultaneously and columns from all vertical
sides. These requirements have important consequences on the manner in which
subsequent Clauses in this Section are framed and the application of these Clauses to the
design of members in actual buildings.
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37 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

Provided that the implications of these limitations are taken into account when
interpreting regulatory requirements, the use of the standard fire test will remain an
important component of building regulations.

C5.2 DEFINITIONS In general, AS 1530.4 considers that three limit state criteria are
relevant to the assessment of the performance of a building component under test. These
are structural adequacy, integrity and insulation.
Structural adequacy applies to all structural members and is therefore always relevant in
design for fire resistance.
Both integrity and insulation relate to preventing the spread of fire from one building
space to another and are therefore relevant only to this function. Roof slabs, floor slabs
and walls are typical examples of members serving a fire-separating function for which
these criteria are relevant.
In Amendment 1, some minor changes were made to the definitions. These include:
(a) The force in a load-bearing member, which was specifically defined to avoid
uncertainty. The definition is consistent with that used in wall design.
(b) The restriction on the spacing of ribs, which has been relaxed in line with ACI
references to this subject.


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C5.3.3 Spalling of beams and columns Spalling of concrete in fires has been
observed in numerous situations and is dependent on a variety of factors including
aggregate types, moisture content, geometry and stress level.
AS 14801982, Appendix B, required the use of secondary mesh located within the
concrete cover to control spalling, especially for beams and columns. This was based on
limited early British studies which indicated that in some situations the use of such mesh
would increase the fire resistance of reinforced concrete columns.
Concern regarding long-term durability of concrete members with secondary steel located
close to the surface (which could of itself lead to spalling) and doubts concerning the
ability of such steel to control the effects of spalling generally have led to there being no
requirements for secondary mesh in the Standard.
C5.3.4 Methods for determining fire-resistance periods Three methods of
determining fire-resistance periods are given in the Section.
Clauses 5.4 to 5.7 recommend geometries which result in members deemed to satisfy the
stated fire-resistance periods. The recommended cross-section dimensions and cover have
been based on British and European recommendations (References 2, 3, 4, 5 and 10). A
comparison of the various overseas recommendations with the available fire test data has
been given in References 6, 7 and 8.
The recommended cross-section dimensions and cover set out in Clauses 5.4 to 5.7
assume that the member is loaded to give an internal action of about 50% of the ultimate
capacity of the member. This simulates the fire-test situation.
No differentiation is made between normal and lightweight concretes, although
lightweight concretes are more effective in restricting temperature rise compared with
normal weight concretes. For Australian lightweight concretes however, the reductions in
cover and member geometry from the normal weight concrete values are likely to be small
and it was not considered appropriate to incorporate additional graphs to cover Australian
lightweight concretes (see C1.6.3).

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 38


C5.4.1 Insulation and integrity for beams Beams which form part of the fire-resistant
wall construction required between horizontally adjoining fire compartments (e.g. spandrel
beams) require consideration of the fire-resistance periods for insulation and integrity.
C5.4.2 Structural adequacy for beams incorporated in roof or floor systems As
shown in Figure C5.4.2(A), this Clause is concerned with floor beams heated from below.
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Both the beam width and the cover to the longitudinal bottom reinforcement or tendons
are important in restricting the rise in temperature in each of the longitudinal reinforcing
bars or tendons. As the temperature of longitudinal bottom steel increases, its strength
decreases and this leads to a reduction in member strength.
Figure 5.9(B) in the Standard shows the reduction in strength of reinforcing and
prestressing steel with increasing temperatures. It should be noted that the decrease in
strength of prestressing steel, for a given rise in temperature, is greater than for
reinforcing steel and this is the reason for the increased cover requirements for members
reinforced with tendons, except in the case of prestressed walls (see Clause C5.7).
Smaller covers for given levels of fire resistance are required for continuous beams
(Figure 5.4.2(B)) than for simply supported beams (Figure 5.4.2(A)). Alternatively a
continuous member will attain a higher fire-resistance rating compared with a simply
supported member with the same amount of cover. This is illustrated in Figure C5.4.2(B)
for a two-span continuous beam.
With fire exposure from beneath, the underside of the beam expands more than the top.
This differential expansion causes the ends of the beam to tend to lift from the outer
supports thus increasing the reaction at the interior support. This results in a redistribution
of moments, i.e. the negative moment at the interior support increases while the positive
moment decreases.

39 AS 3600 Supp1 1994
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During the course of a fire, moment redistribution continues to occur, along with
reduction of both positive and negative moment strengths. The positive moment strength
is reduced because the bottom steel loses its strength as its temperature increases, whereas
the negative moment strength is reduced due to concrete at the bottom of the beam
heating up with associated reduction in strength. However, the positive moment strength
is reduced more rapidly than the negative moment strength, hence higher temperatures can
be tolerated in the bottom steel for a continuous beam, compared with a simply supported
beam, before collapse occurs.
With the expansion of the beam and reduction in negative bending strength at the
supports, it is quite possible that a plastic hinge will be formed at the centre support.
Final member collapse occurs when the maximum positive bending moment exceeds the
positive bending strength.
Where band-beams exceed certain widths (500 mm or 700 mm), cover provisions are the
same as for slabs.
C5.4.3 Structural adequacy for beams exposed to fire on all sides The particular
requirements of this Clause are derived from the CEB/FIP recommendations (Ref. 5) for
beams exposed to fire on all sides. The requirements recognize that higher temperatures

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 40

will be experienced by the top surface of a beam subject to fire on all sides, compared
with one heated only from below.
C5.4.4 Increasing fire-resistance period by insulating materials The important point
to note is that the increase is obtained by adding the insulation to the faces exposed to the
fire, i.e. for T and L beams, to the sides of the web and the soffit. (See
Paragraph C5.10.)


C5.5.1 Insulation for slab The differences between the values for effective thickness
given in Table 5.5.1 and the corresponding values in AS 1480, Table B2, which date back
to 1963, reflect the vastly increased amount of available test data from which the most
recent values have been obtained.
C5.5.3 Structural adequacy for slabs Table 5.5.3(A) sets out less stringent cover
requirements for two-way simply supported slabs compared with those required for
one-way simply supported slabs. This would appear to be related to the superior ultimate
load performance of two-way slabs compared with one-way slabs. Slab systems which are
continuous in one or both directions also have lesser cover requirements for the same
reasons as outlined in C5.4.2 for continuous beams.
The requirements of Table 5.5.3(B) for ribbed slabs are based on recommendations given
in References 3 and 10. The dimensional requirements for ribbed slabs are significantly
less than those for beams subjected to fire on three sides. This is considered to be related
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to a number of factors including the ability of the ribs to participate in load sharing.
C5.5.4 Increasing fire-resistance period by insulating materials This Clause
recognizes that increasing the overall thickness of the slab by means of a topping will
increase the fire-resistance period with respect to insulation. This will have little influence
on the temperature of the reinforcement and therefore little influence on structural
adequacy. To increase the fire-resistance period with respect to both structural adequacy
and insulation, the addition of an insulating material to the soffit of the slab is necessary.


C5.6.1 General The minimum dimensions and covers given in Figure 5.6.3 are based
on the assumption that the columns are exposed to fire on all sides. If blade columns can
be exposed to fire on all sides, they must be treated as columns not walls.
A column, fully incorporated into a wall that is subject to heat flow from one direction
only, is required to satisfy the structural adequacy requirements for load-bearing walls
because it serves a fire-separating function.


C5.7.2 Insulation for walls Note that the values in Table 5.7.2 are identical with those
in Table 5.5.1. This is because both types of members serve the same function, namely of
separating one building space from fire in an adjacent space and hence are considered to
be heated from one direction only. Unlike slabs, however, which are assumed to be heated
only from below, walls are assumed to be heated from either side but not simultaneously.
This corresponds to the manner in which these members are tested in accordance with
AS 1530.4.
C5.7.4 Structural adequacy for walls The minimum cover to vertical reinforcement
for structural adequacy of walls is given in Table 5.7.4. The smaller values for tendons,
for the higher fire-resistance periods, result from the beneficial effect of prestressing on
the load-curvature behaviour of walls heated on one face.

41 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

Most compartment boundary walls, such as those associated with service cores in
buildings, should be regarded as having a fire-separating function and therefore being
subject to fire on one side only. This also applies to walls incorporating openings, where
the wall should be proportioned with regard to structural adequacy on the assumption that
the opening is fitted with an appropriately resistant door or window.
The 1990 and 1994 amendments significantly altered this Clause to give a design method
for structural adequacy that was simpler than the 1988 version and which is now
consistent with the design rules for non-fire situations.
In the assessment of effective height, the general principles of Section 10 can be applied.
However in multi-storey buildings, fire is assumed to be confined to a single compartment
bounded by fire-resistant walls and floors. Under these conditions, significant rotational
restraint will be provided to the wall by the adjacent members and the cooler parts of the
wall located above and below the section of wall subject to fire (see Ref. 15). This
generally leads to shorter effective lengths than those used for strength.


C5.8.2 Load-bearing members tested under load This Clause sets out rules for the
interpretation and application of the results from a fire test on a load-bearing member
subjected to a test load, which may be different from the design load.
C5.8.3 Beams, slabs and columns tested as non-loaded members AS 1530.4 allows
the determination of the structural adequacy of a load-bearing member by measuring the
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variation with time of temperatures at critical locations in the cross-section and then using
a recognized method of calculation (see C5.9) to determine the strength at any time using
that record of temperatures.


for calculating the behaviour of concrete members in fire are those outlined in
References 3, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 16. Such a calculation involves the determination of
temperatures within the concrete cross-section and then the evaluation of associated
member strength.
The equations on which the Figures in the Standard are based are given against the
corresponding curves in Figures C5.9(A) and C5.9(B).
Consideration is currently being given to the suitability of the calculation procedures cited
above, when applied to sections reinforced with steels of relatively low ductility (e.g.
fabrics conforming to AS 1304). This situation is flagged with a new Note.


C5.10.1.1 General The application of a topping to the top surface of a slab will
increase the fire-resistance period with respect to insulation only. The application of an
insulation material to the side(s) of the member closest to the fire results in lower steel
and concrete temperatures for a given time of fire exposure, and consequently increases
fire-resistance periods with respect to both insulation and structural adequacy.
While the addition of insulation is fairly straightforward for slabs and beams in floor or
roof systems, somewhat more careful thought needs to be applied in determining the
proper positioning of the additional material on walls.
The key here is that, except for walls forming the sides of a fire-isolated passageway or
shaft, fire is assumed to be on either face of the wall, irrespective of whether it is an
interior or an exterior wall.
If the deficiency in the wall relates only to insulation, the additional material can be
added to either or both faces, since effective thickness is the only criterion in this case.
The decision here will therefore depend only on ease of application.

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AS 3600 Supp1 1994


43 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

If the deficiency relates to structural adequacy, cover to the reinforcement is the criterion,
so the additional material will need to be added to the face for which the cover to the
reinforcement is deficient, i.e. both faces for a centrally reinforced wall and one or both
faces, as appropriate, for a doubly reinforced wall. In the case of a wall forming the sides
of a fire-isolated passageway or shaft, the fire is always assumed to be outside the
passageway or shaft, hence the additional material would need to be placed on the face
opposite to the interior but only if the cover on that particular face is deficient.
C5.10.1.2 Acceptable forms of insulation The Clause is based on Clause of
AS 1481 1978.
C5.10.1.3 Thickness of insulating materials This Clause is based on a rationalization of
Clause of AS 1481 1978, to cover members containing either tendons or

1 AS 1530, Methods for fire test on building materials components and structures,
Part 4: Fire-resistance test of structures, Standards Australia.
2 CP110, Part 2 (1984), Final draft document, BSI 84/14/87, British Standards
Institute, 1987.
3 BS 8110, Structural use of concrete, Part 2: Code of practice for special
circumstances , British Standards Institution, 1985.
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4 CEB/FIP, Report on Methods of Assessment of the Fire Resistance of Concrete

Structural Elements, Federation Internationale de la Precontrainte, 1978.
5 CEB/FIP (1981), Design of Concrete Structures for Fire Resistance, Appendix to
CEB/FIP Model Code for Concrete Structures Draft Chapter 4, 1981.
6 BENNETTS I.D. AND THOMAS I.R., Fire Resistance of Concrete Structures, Civ.
Eng. Trans., I.E. Aust., Vol. CE26, No. 3, August 1984, pp. 1617.
7 BENNETTS I.D., Seminar Notes, Concrete Structures Code, Concrete Institute of
Australia, Melbourne, September 1985.
8 BENNETTS I.D. AND POTTER R.J., Design for fire-resistance in accordance with
the new Concrete Structures Standard, Passive Fire 87, Institution of Fire
Engineers, Queensland Branch Conference, Brisbane, May 1987.
9 FORREST J.C.M. AND LAW M., Guidance for the Application of Tabular Data for
Fire Resistance of Concrete Elements, Institution of Structural Engineers, London,
December 1984.
10 Design and Detailing of Concrete Structures for Fire Resistance, Interim Guidance
by a Joint Committee of Institution of Structural Engineers and the Concrete
Society, the Institution of Structural Engineers, London, April 1978.
Resistance, 1st Edition, 1980.
12 GUSTAFERRO A.H. AND MARTIN L.D., PCI Design for Fire Resistance of
Precast Prestressed Concrete, Prestressed Concrete Institute, 1977.
13 ISO/TR 3956, Principles of structural fire-engineering design with special regard to
the connection between real fire exposure and the heating conditions of the
standard fire-resistance test, International Standards Organization, 1975.
14 OMEAGHER A.J. AND BENNETTS I.D., Behaviour of Concrete Walls in Fire,
First National Structural Engineering Conference, Vol. 3, May 1987.

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 44

15 OMEAGHER A.J. AND BENNETTS I.D., Modelling of Concrete Walls in Fire,

Fire Safety Journal, No. 17, 1991, pp. 31535.
16 ACI Report No. 216R-81, Guide for determining the fire endurance of concrete
elements, American Concrete Institute, Detroit, 1981.
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45 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

S E C T I O N C 6 D E S I G N P R O P E R T I E S O F

Throughout this Section, the designer is given the option of either taking the prescribed
property value or testing the material. The alternative adopted should be appropriate to the
desired accuracy.

C6.1 PROPERTIES OF CONCRETE Generally the values given in the Standard for
the respective design properties of concrete are typical values. If required, better estimates
may be derived from historical records of concrete at a specific location.
Where greater precision is required in the calculations, then the value to be used should
be determined from tests on concrete that is, as far as practicable, identical with that
intended for the structure.
C6.1.1 Strength The design value of compressive strength adopted may be dictated by
considerations of serviceability and durability rather than by strength considerations.
The standard compressive strength grades of concrete are defined in Clause as 20,
25, 32, 40 and 50 MPa. This reduces the number of grades needed to cover the practical
ranges of 2050 MPa. Although the number 32 looks curious at first sight, it obviates the
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need to include both 30 and 35 as standard grades. The number sequence is an

internationally accepted standard series based on 25% increments of each grade over the
preceding grade. Standard grades are no longer given for flexural and indirect tensile
The formulas given for characteristic flexural and indirect tensile strengths are lower
bound estimates and therefore should not be used to derive a relationship between them.
Some idea of the scatter of results and average curves for the relationship between
average compressive strength and the average tensile strength is given in Figure C6.1.1
from Reference 1. Note that a more exact relationship may be derived for a given set of
C6.1.2 Modulus of elasticity The formula is empirical, having been initially proposed
by Pauw (Ref. 3), based on average 28-day strengths (fcm ), for concretes with densities in
the ranges of 1500 to 2500 kg/m 3. In AS 1480 the modulus was related to the
characteristic strength at 28-days (f c ) in line with the then current ACI-318 (Ref. 2)
recommendations. This however underestimates the value, so in this Standard the original
Pauw relationship has been adopted without modification. Calculated values for the
standard strength grades are given in Table C6.1.2.
Carse and Behan (Ref. 4), have shown that the formula can be used to determine E c at any
age, provided the average compressive strength at that age is used. They also show that a
better prediction can be made if the aggregate type, aggregate-cement ratio, and the curing
regime are all known.
C6.1.3 Density The density given refers to concrete alone. For the calculation of loads,
the mass of concrete members should include an allowance for reinforcement and tendons.
A unit weight of 25 kN/m 3 is usually taken for both reinforced and prestressed concrete to
allow for the mass of steel and possible local variations in the acceleration due to gravity.
C6.1.4 Stress-strain curves Equations describing the curvilinear stress-strain curve for
concrete are given in References 5, 6 and 7 and in Clause C10.6.1. Typical curves are
shown in Figure C6.1.4.

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 46
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TABLE C6.1.2

Calculated modulus at 28 days

Typical fcm.28 *
Strength grade (Ec. 28 ) for = 2400 kg/m3
20 24.0 25 000
25 29.5 27 500
32 37.5 31 000

40 46.0 34 500
50 56.5 38 000

* Based on data supplied by National Ready Mixed Concrete

Association (Aust).

Where curvilinear stress-strain curves based on the characteristic compressive cylinder

strength f c of concrete at 28 days are used in design, the maximum stress is taken as
0.85f c to account for the effects of long-term loading and other site conditions. This
approach is consistent with that in Eurocode 2 (Ref. 7(a)).

47 AS 3600 Supp1 1994
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C6.1.5 Poissons ratio The value of 0.2 is that used in the CEB-FIP Code (Ref. 8).
C6.1.6 Coefficient of thermal expansion The value of 10 10 6 is that used in the
CEB-FIP Code (Ref. 8) and should be satisfactory for most structural calculations.
However, the coefficient varies over a wide range depending on the aggregate type, the
volume of the cement paste and the degree of saturation of the concrete. An indication of
how the type of aggregate affects the coefficient is given in Table C6.1.6. These are
average values for the aggregate types quoted, all other factors being constant.
The coefficient of thermal expansion for saturated concrete is about 2 10 6 /C less than
that for partially-dry concrete.
TABLE C6.1.6
Coefficient of thermal
Type of aggregate
expansion of concrete
(fine and coarse)
10 6 per C
Quartzite 12.8
Sandstone 11.7
Sand and gravel 10.8
Granite 9.5
Basalt 8.6
Expanded clay and shale 7.6
Limestone 6.8
Clinker 5.9

* From Table 30.2 of Concrete Technology and Practice, W H Taylor, 4th Edition

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 48

C6.1.7 Shrinkage The mathematical model for shrinkage behaviour should modify the
basic shrinkage strain to account, at least, for variations in member size, time and the
environment. There is a proviso that the model adopted must predict the basic shrinkage
Three ways of obtaining the basic shrinkage strain are given. The second and third options
should give a more precise value than the first. Note that shrinkage tests take at least two
months to carry out, so there may be a considerable delay in obtaining design information.
Neville (Ref. 9) and others have shown that shrinkage is highly dependent on the
materials and their proportions in the concrete mix. The influence of aggregates in this
respect is shown in Figure C6.1.7 from Reference 9. Further Australian data, given in
Table C6.1.7(A), based on a limited number of test results, supports this.
Because these materials factors are not included in the variables considered in the
common theoretical models of shrinkage behaviour, a better estimate of cs.obs will be
determined from tests on samples made from concrete that, as far as practicable, is
identical with that intended to be used in the structure. This is implied in alternatives (b)
and (c) of Clause
The accuracy of the estimated design shrinkage is affected by the precision of the basic
shrinkage strain and the accuracy of the shrinkage model adopted. The method outlined in
the Standard requires only a short calculation and provides an estimate of cs within a
range of 30%. Before attempting more accurate and time-consuming methods, the
designer should consider carefully what benefits any increase in accuracy might achieve.
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Acceptable models for shrinkage are the CEB-FIP 1970 Model Code (Ref. 8), the Rusch
model given in an Appendix to the CEB-FIP 1978 Model Code (Ref. 10) and the
Bazant-Panula model (Ref. 11), which has been widely quoted in recent literature.

NOTE: Shrinkages are for concretes of fixed mix proport ions but made with dif ferent aggregates, and stored in air at 21 C
and a relative humidit y of 50 percent (ti me reckoned since end of wet curi ng at the age of 28 days).


49 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

TABLE C6.1.7(A)

Range of basic strain values (cs.ob s )

10 6
Brisbane 500 to 900
Sydney 500 to 900
Melbourne 600 to 1000
Adelaide 700 to 1100
Perth 600 to 1200
NO TE: Data is based on typical shrinkage values for
commercial structural concrete, suitable for pumping at a
slump of approximately 80 mm.

TABLE C6.1.7(B)

Final design shrinkage strain (10-6 ) for

Hypothetical 40 MPa concrete, as calculated by
thickness various models and rounded off
(tb )
Rusch Bazant CE B-FIP
(Ref. 10) (Ref. 11) (Ref. 8)
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100 460 400 400
200 400 380 300
400 350 330 210
800 330 240 190

The curves given in Figure are based on the CEB-FIP 1970 model, which was also
used for similar curves in AS 1481 and the NAASRA Bridge Design Specification
(Ref. 12). The curves have been drawn from a plot of calculated point values, there being
no simple governing equation which takes account of all the variables. One specific
criticism of the CEB 1970 model, compared with other models and with some test results,
is that it yields less conservative values for thicker members (see Table C6.1.7(B)).
If shrinkage is important in very large members, the given reference should be consulted
before extrapolating from test results.
C6.1.8 Creep The three shrinkage models discussed in C6.1.7 apply also to creep.
Pure creep occurs under constant stress conditions. The additional strain occurring after
initial elastic strain is the creep strain, and the ratio between that additional strain and the
initial strain is the pure creep factor.
Note that many situations do not cause pure creep. Dead load on an uncracked section is
pure creep; creep due to prestress effects is nearly pure creep as only small changes in the
stress field occur. However stresses induced by settlement, lack of fit or an increment of
differential shrinkage do not produce pure creep because the initial stress is caused by an
imposed strain. The stress loss at that same level of strain, can be derived numerically
from the creep function. This phenomenon is termed relaxation, and a simple
mathematical formulation for it is given by Troist (Ref. 13). Creep is assumed to be
proportional to stress at all levels of stress, but when microcracking begins to occur at
about 40% of compressive strength, creep becomes disproportionately larger at higher
stress levels. For similar reasons, tension creep factors are generally larger than normal
compression creep factors.

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 50

The basic creep factor determined from Standard tests must be extrapolated to a final test
value before using the curves provided. The remarks made in C6.1.7 concerning
application and materials factors apply equally to creep strain. The corresponding
Figure C6.1.8 from Reference 9 and Table C6.1.8 in support of this are given below.
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NOTE: Creep given is for concretes of fixed proport ions but made with diff erent aggregates, loaded at the age of 28 days,
and stored in air at 21C and a relati ve humidit y of 50 percent.


TABLE C6.1.8

Location Range of basic creep factor (cc.b )

Brisbane 1.5 to 2.2
Sydney 1.2 to 2.2
Melbourne 1.5 to 2.5
Adelaide 1.8 to 3.0
Perth 1.5 to 2.8
* Insufficient data is available on creep characteristics on concretes of
lower strength grades to provide indicative values.

51 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

The design creep strain is obtained from the basic creep factor ( cc.b ) using the modifying
factors k 2 and k 3 . The k 2 factor depends on the effective thickness, the environment
(i.e. humidity) and the load duration, whereas the k 3 factor depends on the ratio of the
average strength of the concrete at the time of initial loading (fcm ) to the 28-day
characteristic strength (f c).
The curves for k 2 given in Figure (A) are based on the CEB-FIP 1970 model
(Ref. 8), although there have been some problems in reconciling the predictions of the
model with the very small amount of Australian data available. In general, the reduction
in creep with increasing size and humidity is not reflected in measured results to the
degree that the model predicts. In fact, measured creep factors on structures with
hypothetical thicknesses from 200 mm to 500 mm vary in the range 1.5 to 2.2 (Ref. 14).
Therefore, in using this or any other model, the designer should consider the possibility
that creep may be higher than predicted. A number of recent laboratory and field creep
measurements in Australia indicate that early loading has little influence on creep. This
could be caused by the relatively high early strength of concretes used in recent years.
For a structure loaded at an age of more than one year, some reduction in the value of k 3
may be appropriate.
There is a lack of coherent creep data for large members under long-term load, especially
in Australia, and there is much less Australian data of any kind for creep of lower
strength concretes. When using creep factors in calculations, a realistic local value of
elastic modulus should be adopted (e.g. in South Australia the value of E is relatively low
(Ref. 15)).
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The limitations on sulfate content, particularly at the lower end, come from doubts raised
by Alexander and others (Ref. 15). The error range of 20% comes from uncertainty in
interpretation of limited test data, as well as probability factors. Muller and Hilsdorf
(Ref. 16) show a variance of 20% to 30% for all models against a set of real data.


C6.2.1 Strength The maximum strength of reinforcement, to be used in design
equations, is the minimum yield strength (fsy ) as defined in the appropriate Standard. Note
that the values prescribed for bars, viz. Grade 400Y and Grade 250R are ISO values and
are different from those in AS 1480.
Throughout the Standard, the design parameters for stress development, lapping
dimensions, minimum reinforcement calculations, and so on, are based on the values of f sy
given in Table 6.2.1.
Acceptance of imported steel should be conditional on compliance with AS 1302,
AS 1303 and AS 1304 (Refs. 21, 21a and 21b) which require all reinforcement to be
weldable. This is generally not a requirement of overseas Standards unless specifically
stated. AS 1302 limits carbon content to 0.22% maximum, and carbon equivalent to
0.39% maximum. AS 1303 limits carbon content to 0.25%. Carbon-equivalent limits in
overseas Standards range from 0.49% upwards to no limit at all.
C6.2.3 Stress-strain curves It is generally accepted that the stress-strain curve for
steel is a straight line from zero-strain to the yield-strain at a slope defined by the
modulus of elasticity. For design purposes other than earthquake, the strain is assumed to
increase thereafter at constant stress (the yield-stress) (see Figure C6.2.3). The yield-stress
and yield-strain are assumed to be identical for both the tensile and compressive cases;
that is 400 MPa and 0.002 mm/mm (0.2%) respectively for Grade 400Y.

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 52

Australian hot-rolled, low-carbon, micro-alloyed bars have a straight-line stress-strain

curve to the yield point. The curve for hot-rolled, mill heat-treated and tempered bars has
a straight line to approximately 80% of the yield point, and a reduced slope from 0.8 fsy to
1.0 f sy at approximately 0.2% non-proportional elongation (see Figure C6.2.3). There is no
yield plateau for wire.



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C6.3.1 Strength The values of fp in Table 6.3.1 are reproduced from the applicable
Standard (Refs. 22 and 23). For wire, fp is the minimum of a range; for strand, f p is
calculated from the minimum breaking force (load in AS 3600). For bar, fp is the
specified minimum tensile strength (Ref. 24). The quoted figures are lower-bound values.
For the purposes of Clause 8.1.5 more realistic values, based on actual test data, should be
C6.3.2 Modulus of elasticity See References 22, 23 and 24.
C6.3.3 Stress-strain curves For design and construction purposes, the jacking and
other forces are obtained from manufacturers literature. The actual stress-strain curve of
the material supplied should be used to calculate the elongation during jacking.
C6.3.4 Relaxation of tendons A reasonably accurate estimate of the prestressing force
in a tendon is required for serviceability design. If the force is different from that
calculated, deflections may be quite different from those calculated. Relaxation values
given in AS 1311 are the maximum permissible values for the material. Actual values are
usually less than these maximum values.
Values for relaxation in Clause are derived from unpublished test results supplied
by Australian Wire Industries and from recommendations of Pritchard and Koretsky
(Ref. 19).
The coefficients k 4 and k 5 are best fit curves from experimental data. The coefficient k6,
for the effect of temperature, is adapted from Reference 20.
Pritchard and Koretsky have two results which show that the relaxation at 0.5fp is not
zero. The value of zero for k 5 at 0.40f p has been adopted to reflect this experimental
Typical values for Low Relaxation (LR) wire, strand and bars are given in
Figure C6.3.4(A). Typical values for Normal Relaxation (NR) wire and strand are given in
Figure C6.3.4(B) and Table C6.3.4.

53 AS 3600 Supp1 1994
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1. Wire, p = 0.7 fp
2. Wire, p = 0.8 fp
3. Strand, p = 0.7 fp
4. Strand, p = 0.8 fp
5. Alloy steel bar, p = 0.7 fp
6. Alloy steel bar, p = 0.8 fp


TABLE C6.3.4

Rb R (see Notes)
Tendon type Stress level
% %
NR 7-wire strand to AS 1310 0.70fp 6 19
0.80fp 8 22
NR wire to AS 1310 0.70fp 5 18
0.80fp 7 21

1 R is taken as the relaxation at 240,000 h (equal to 27.4 years).
2 Values at other times may be calculated by using a linear log-log relationship between R and time.

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 54
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C6.4.1 General Unlike AS 1481, this Standard separates the relevant material
properties from the loss of prestress thus simplifying the calculation of losses. The
accuracy required of the calculation should be assessed and, if necessary, a check made of
the effect of one loss on others and the stage at which each loss occurs.
C6.4.2 Immediate loss of prestress
C6.4.2.2 Loss of prestress due to elastic deformation of concrete In the estimation of
the loss due to elastic deformation of the concrete, it will usually be sufficient to assume
that a group of tendons is located at its centroid. In cases where tendons are widely
divergent, calculations for individual tendons, or small groups of tendons, may be
For pretensioned members, the loss of stress in the tendons at transfer may be taken as the
product of the modular ratio (Es/E c) and the stress in the adjacent concrete.
For post-tensioned members, stressing of a tendon causes loss in all previously stressed
tendons. For most cases, the loss of stress in the tendons at transfer may be taken as half
the product of the modular ratio and the resulting stress in the adjacent concrete. More
accurately, the average loss of stress may be taken as (n-1)/2n times the product of the
modular ratio (E s/Ec ) times the average concrete compressive stress, n being the number of
tendons. If required, the loss in individual tendons may be calculated by considering the
sequence of stressing.
C6.4.2.3 Loss of prestress due to friction Two sources of friction loss have to be
calculated, viz:
(a) Friction in the jack and anchorage This loss is directly proportional to jack
pressure but the value depends on the jacking systems.
(b) Friction along the tendon The coefficient of friction depends basically on the
condition of the surfaces in contact, their structure and their preparation. Frictional

55 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

forces do not depend on the anchorage, but only on the way in which the
prestressing tendon is formed and housed.
The value of the friction curvature coefficient () may vary appreciably with the
amount of rust and the method of construction. With tendons showing a high but
still acceptable amount of rusting, the value may increase by 20% for bright and
zinc-coated metal sheathing and 10% for lead-coated metal sheathing.
If the wires or strand in contact in the one duct are stressed separately, may be
greater than given above and should be checked by tests.
For external tendons passing over machined cast-steel saddles, may increase
markedly for large movements of tendons across the saddles.
The wobble effects in the straight or curved parts depend on the rigidity of the
sheaths, on the spacing and fixing of their supports, on the care taken in placing the
prestressing tendons, on the clearance of tendons in the duct, on the stiffness of the
tendons, and on the precautions taken during concreting. The most important
parameter affecting the rigidity of the sheaths is their diameter.
In segmental construction, the angular deviation per metre (p ) may be greater in the
event of mismatching of ducts and the designer should allow for this possibility.
In the absence of other data, the following values of p are suggested for unlined
ducts formed by
bars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.008; and
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inflatable tubes . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.024.

C6.4.2.4 Loss of prestress during anchoring For post-tensioned members, assuming
that the prestress force P varies linearly with length along the tendon and that the friction
values are the same for tensioning and detensioning, the loss of force due to anchorage
slip and draw-in (P) may be calculated from the following equation:
P = 2Ztan w

Z =

tan w = friction loss per unit length

l = anchorage slip plus draw-in
and E p and A p are as defined in the Standard.
Figure C6.4.2.4 illustrates the various symbols used in the equations for a post-tensioned
beam stressed from one end only. It also shows the interrelation between P o and P j.
C6.4.3 Time-dependent losses of prestress
C6.4.3.1 General The subclauses under Clause 6.4.3 relate specifically to the
calculation of losses in the prestressing tendon, using the relevant material properties
already specified. The consequent loss of stress in the concrete can then be calculated.
For members which contain only tendons, the loss in tensile force in the tendons is simply
equal to the loss in compressive force in the concrete. Where the member contains a
significant amount of longitudinal non-prestressed reinforcement, loss of compressive
stress in the concrete is accompanied by an increase in compressive force in the
reinforcing steel, caused by the effects of creep and shrinkage of the concrete. The loss in
compressive force in the concrete therefore may be considerably greater than the loss in
tensile force in the tendon.

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 56

The time-dependent losses also interact with each other, and this interaction may have to
be considered when the sum of all the losses is determined. For example, the loss in
tendon force due to creep and shrinkage decreases the average force in the tendon, and
thereby reduces the relaxation loss (Ref. 26).
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Calibrati on curves for jacks allow the direct reading of the jacking force, P j , from jack pressures. If this inform ation
is not available, P j may be calculated as jack pressure tim es ram area less the loss due to jack fric tion.


C6.4.3.3 Loss of prestress due to creep of the concrete This Clause allows the loss in
tendon force due to creep to be calculated for a member which does not contain a
significant amount of reinforcing steel.
To allow for the presence of reinforcing steel, an appropriate analysis may be required.

1 RAPHAEL J.M., Tensile Strength of Concrete, ACI Journal, Proceedings, Vol. 81
No. 2, MarchApril 1984, pp. 15865.
2 ACI 318-83, Building Code Requirements for Reinforced Concrete , American
Concrete Institute, 1983.
3 PAUW A, Static Modulus of Elasticity of Concrete as Affected by Density, ACI
Journal, Proceedings, Vol. 57, No. 6, December 1960, pp. 67987.
4 CARSE A. AND BEHAN J.E., Static Chord Modulus of Elasticity of High Strength
Concrete in Uniform Compression and Flexure, Proceedings, Tenth ARRB
Conference, Sydney, Vol. 10, Part 3, August 1980, pp. 4656.
5 COMITE EUROPEAN DU BETON, Deformability of Concrete Structures Basic
Assumptions, Bulletin DInformation No. 90, 1973.

57 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

6 WANG P.T., SHAH S.P. AND NAAMAN A.E., High-Strength Concrete in

Ultimate Strength Design, Journal of the Structural Division, ASCE. Vol. 104, No.
ST11, November 1978, pp. 176173.
7 WARNER R.F. AND BRETTLE H.J., Strength of Reinforced Concrete in Bi-axial
Bending and Compression, UNICIV Report No. R-24.
7(a) ENV 1992-1-1 Eurocode 2: Design of concrete structures, Part 1: General rules and
rules for buildings , British Standards Institution, London, 1992.
LA PRECONTRAINTE, CEB-FIP Model Code for Concrete Structures, 1978.
9 NEVILLE A.M., Creep of Concrete: Plain, Reinforced, and Prestressed, North
Holland (Amsterdam), 1970.
LA PRECONTRAINTE, International System of Unified Codes of Practice for
Structures, Vols 1 and 2, 3rd Edition, 1978.
11 BAZANT Z.P. AND PANULA L., Creep and Shrinkage Characterization for
Analyzing Prestressed Concrete Structures, PCI Journal, MayJune (1980).
Bridge Design Specification , NAASRA, Sydney, 1976.
13 TROIST H., The Consequences of the Principle of Superposition on Creep and
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Relation Problems in Concrete and Pre-stressed Concrete, Beton v Stahlbetonbau,

Oct.Nov. 1967, Translated by J.G. Marsh. (Available MRD (W.A.) Library.)
14 WYCHE P.J., Creep and Shrinkage Measurements in Western Australia, Including
Full Scale Bridge Results, MRD (W.A.) Technical Report No. 0032T, 1983, Main
Roads Department, Perth, Western Australia.
Content of Portland Cement on the Creep and Other Physical Properties of
Concrete, Cement and Concrete Research, Bo. 1 9m, 1979, pp. 4519.
16 MULLER H.S. AND HILSDORF H.K., Comparison of Prediction Methods for
Creep Coefficients of Structural Concrete with Experimental Data, reproduced in
WITTMAN F.H., Fundamental Research on Creep and Shrinkage of Concrete ,
Martinus Nijhoff (The Hague, Boston, London), 1982, pp. 26978.
17 NEVILLE A.M., Hardened Concrete: Physical and Mechanical Aspects, American
Concrete Institute, Detroit, Monograph No. 6, 1971, pp. 1269 for shrinkage;
pp. 14852 for creep.
18 AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF METEOROLOGY, Climatic Averages for Australia.
19 PRITCHARD R.W. AND KORETSKY A.V., A Review of Australian Code
Estimates of Strand Relaxation, Civ. Eng. Trans., I.E. Aust., Vol. CE 25, No. 4,
Nov. 1983, pp. 2806.
20 BATE S.C.C. AND CARSON R.A., Effect of Temperature on Prestressing Wires,
Conference on Prestressed Concrete Pressure Vessels, I.C.E., London, March 1967.
21 AS 1302, Steel reinforcing bars for concrete, SAA, 1982.
21a AS 1303, Hard-drawn steel reinforcing wire for concrete, SAA, 1984.
21b AS 1304, Welded wire-reinforcing fabric for concrete. SAA, 1984.
22 AS 1310, Steel wire for tendons in prestressed concrete , SAA, 1987.
23 AS 1311, 7-wire stress-relieved steel strand for tendons in prestressed concrete,
SAA, 1987.

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 58

24 AS 1313, Cold-worked high-tensile alloy steel bars in prestressed concrete, SAA,

25 BRYAND H.A., WOOD J.A. AND FENWICH R.C., Creep and Shrinkage in
Concrete Buildings , RRU Bulletin No. 70, National Roads Board, NZ, 1984.
26 WARNER R.F. AND FAULKES K.A., Prestressed Concrete, 2nd Edition,
Appendix A: Creep and shrinkage in a prestressed section with reinforcing steel,
Pitman, 1986.
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59 AS 3600 Supp1 1994


C7.1 METHODS OF ANALYSIS In the design of a structure, action effects such as

bending moment, shear force and axial force must be determined at critical sections under
the load combinations for both the strength and serviceability limit states, as specified in
Clauses 3.3 and 3.4, respectively.
In this Section, methods of analysis for the determination of action effects at the strength
limit state and under service conditions are described. The Section is generally arranged in
order of increasing accuracy, from simplified, approximate methods (Clauses 7.2, 7.3 and
7.4) to more accurate elastic analysis techniques (Clauses 7.5, 7.6 and 7.7) and finally to
rigorous analysis including both material and geometric non-linearities (Clause 7.8).
Plastic collapse methods of analysis for slabs, continuous beams and frames are included
also (Clauses 7.9 and 7.10).
C7.1.2 Definitions
Design strip, column strip and middle strip The definitions together with Figure 7.1.2(A)
embody all the rules necessary for laying out the various strips used for the design and
detailing of two-way slab systems. Note that if the support grid is not rectangular
throughout (i.e. one or more columns are offset), the transverse widths of the strips will
vary along the affected spans, as shown in Figure C7.1.2. This will affect both the load
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and the stiffness of those spans.

1. L 1 = L 2 = L 3 = L 4; L 4 < L 6 < L5
2. Widths of column stri ps would have to be rati onalized for detail ing of top reinforcement.


AS 3600 Supp1 1994 60

Span support This is used for determining the critical section for negative moment
(Clause 7.6.10) and defining the design span to be used in the simplified method of
Clause 7.4.


ONE-WAY SLABS This Clause provides a simple, approximate and conservative
method for evaluating the moments and shears in certain continuous reinforced beams and
one-way slabs (Ref. 1). The moment coefficients are the same as those specified in
AS 1480, but expressed in fractional form.
If moment reversals occur during construction caused by temporary propping or similar
actions, a separate analysis will be required.
Note that these moment values are not statically compatible and so should not be used for
deflection calculations.


SUPPORTED ON FOUR SIDES The design bending moments for strength can be
determined using the simple moment coefficients given for certain two-way slabs
supported on four sides by beams or walls.
The positive moment coefficients specified in Table 7.3.2 are derived from yield-line
theory and are obtained from the following equations:

y =
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x = (L x/Ly )y + 2 [1 (L x/Ly )]/3(y )2

x = 2.0 if both short edges are discontinuous
= 2.5 if one short edge is discontinuous
= 3.1 if both short edges are continuous
y = values as for x but referred to the continuity of the long edges.
The negative design moment at a continuous edge, or at a restrained discontinuous edge,
is taken as a factored value of the positive moment.
These values should not be used for deflection calculations (see Clause


INTRODUCTION Two-way slab systems can be analyzed for bending moments and
shear forces either by the simplified method given in Clause 7.4 or by the idealized frame
method described in Clause 7.5. The simplified method is similar to the Direct Design
Method given in Clause 21.4 of AS 1480. The idealized frame method is a simplified
version of the equivalent frame method described in Clause 21.5 of AS 1480.
Two-way slab systems are statically indeterminate to a large degree and can exhibit
considerable variation in redistribution of moments from the uncracked state to final
maximum capacity (Refs 2 and 3). Recent tests on edge panels (Refs 4 and 5) have not
only confirmed this but have indicated that when approaching maximum load capacity, the
distribution of moments is controlled largely by the distribution of steel in the slab.
Thus in the analysis stage, there is no unique moment field which the designer needs to
determine. Within wide limits, whatever moment the designer adopts should be acceptable
for determining the flexural strength of the slab, provided that equilibrium is satisfied.

61 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

Furthermore, the flexural strength of the slab is enhanced significantly by the

development of very large in-plane forces (membrane action) as the slab approaches
failure. In the case of slab-beam systems, this increased flexural strength is many times
larger than the value calculated by ignoring the effect of in-plane forces. Recent tests
(Ref. 4) have shown that even in the case of a flat-plate floor, the in-plane forces
significantly increase the flexural strength of the slab.
All these facts suggest that in the design process, any analysis involving a high degree of
refinement is quite unnecessary and bears no relation to reality. For this reason, the
requirements given in Clauses 7.4 and 7.5 are simpler than those given in AS 1480. Also,
within the specified limits, the simplified method given in Clause 7.4 will yield results as
satisfactory as the idealized frame method described in Clause 7.5.
The designer is reminded that a more important consideration in the safety of a flat-slab
system is the transfer of forces from the slab to the support by a combination of flexure,
shear and torsion (Ref. 27) (see Clause 9.2.).


C7.4.1 Application The limitations on the use of the simplified method given in this
Clause are not as stringent with respect to number of spans, as those given in AS 1480
but the method is now applicable only to braced frames.
C7.4.2 Total static moment for a span Because the calculation is now based on an
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effective span (L o) rather than on the clear span (L n), for consistency with the more
refined methods given in Clause 7.5, the total static moment (M o), will be slightly larger
than the corresponding value given in AS 1480.
C7.4.3 Design moments Design moments are obtained by multiplying M o by the
factors given in this Clause. The factors given for an end span in Table 7.4.3(A), have
been adapted from similar values given in the ACI code (Ref. 6) and are supported by
tests conducted at the University of New South Wales (Ref. 5). The factors for an interior
span, given in Table 7.4.3(B), are identical to the values given in AS 1480.
C7.4.4 Transverse distribution of the design bending moment The design moments
determined by Clause 7.4.3 are distributed across the transverse width into a column-strip
and middle-strips, using the factors given in Table 7.5.5. These factors are simpler than
those given in AS 1480.
C7.4.5 Moment transfer for shear in flat slabs The shear forces and unbalanced slab
moments, at a support, are transferred to the support by a combined shear and torsion
mechanism as explained in C9.2.4. For an interior support, the unbalanced moment is
based on the assumption that one-half of the design live load acts on the longer span and
none on the shorter span. The formula was obtained by simplifying the factors given in
AS 1480 and is similar to that given in the ACI Code.
C7.4.7 Openings in slabs The requirements are similar to those previously in AS 1480
except that, now, no openings are allowed near a column.


TWO-WAY SLAB SYSTEMS The idealized frame method is a simplified form of the
equivalent frame method given in AS 1480. One of the important simplifications is the
elimination of the concept of equivalent column. The designer performs a linear elastic
analysis of the idealized frame and is given a free choice in the assumptions made in the
calculation of the relative stiffness of members.
C7.5.3 Arrangements of vertical load for buildings The use of only three-quarters of
the full-factored live load for maximum-moment loading patterns is based on the fact that
maximum negative and maximum positive live load moments cannot occur simultaneously

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 62

and that redistribution of maximum moments is thus possible before failure occurs. This
procedure, in effect, permits some local overstress under the full-factored live load if it is
distributed in the prescribed manner, but still ensures that the ultimate capacity of the slab
system after redistribution of moment is no less than that required to carry the full-
factored dead and live loads on all panels.
C7.5.6 Torsional moments In the case of beam-and-slab construction, test results
(Ref. 4) have shown that most of the moment is transferred directly to the column and the
spandrel (edge) beams are subjected to very little torsion. However, for serviceability
reasons, the Standard requires at least minimum torsional reinforcement (i.e. both closed
hoops and at least one longitudinal bar at each corner of the hoop) to be provided in the


INTRODUCTION Concrete structures behave in a linear elastic manner only under
small, short-term loads. With increasing load, behaviour diverges from linear as cracks
develop in the peak moment regions, and the moment distribution departs more and more
from the initial linear elastic distribution. Nevertheless, Clause 7.6 allows the use of linear
elastic methods to determine the moments, shears, etc. at both the serviceability and
strength limit states.
Overall elastic behaviour was also assumed in AS 1480 to determine moments in the
structure as the basis for ultimate strength design. Local inelastic action was at the same
time assumed in order to carry out the strength design of individual cross-sections. The
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same approach is in effect being retained in the new Standard for design for the strength
limit states. Provided the structure is ductile, this design approach is justified by the lower
bound theorem of plasticity. Design experience confirms that the approach is safe and
conservative for strength design. Nevertheless, it should be noted that some redistribution
of moments has to be relied on when strength design is based on elastic analysis. For this
reason, a limit of 0.4 is specified for the neutral axis parameter (k u) in Clause 8.1.3.
With regard to design for the serviceability limit states, Clause 7.6.6 draws attention to
various non-linear effects which need to be taken into account when the elastic method of
analysis is used for deflection calculations.
C7.6.2 General This Clause allows for regular structures to be replaced by simpler
subassemblages for purposes of elastic analysis. According to Clause 7.6.2(a), the
three-dimensional structure can be treated as two-dimensional frames running in two
directions at right angles. It is an equilibrium requirement that the design load be
considered to act on the frames in each direction separately. Clause 7.6.2(b) allows for
smaller subassemblages to be used to determine the moments and shears when the frames
are subjected to vertical load only. The simplification is justified because of the sharp
attenuation of moments which occurs in regions of the structure remote from an applied
The column subframe has been added because of the importance of the ratio of column
end-moments in Section 10 (see Figure C7.6.2).
C7.6.3 Span length The centre-to-centre span is used in the analysis for equilibrium
and static compatibility reasons. The finite size of supporting members is taken into
account by Clauses 7.6.10 and 8.2.4, which define the critical section for strength design.
C7.6.4 Arrangement of loads for buildings The load arrangements specified in this
Clause should be sufficient for normal structures. A more extensive investigation should
be undertaken for unusual structures.

63 AS 3600 Supp1 1994


C7.6.5 Stiffness The actual effective stiffnesses for a strength limit state can be
determined only from a more rigorous analysis as detailed in Clause 7.8. Reasonable
assumptions will therefore have to be made by the designer to avoid this. In an analysis
for strength, a stiffness of 0.8E cI c for columns and 0.4E cIf for flexural members will
usually be satisfactory. However, using I (the gross inertia) for both columns and flexural
members would also be acceptable for most structures.
C7.6.7 Secondary bending moments and shear resulting from prestress When
prestress is applied to an indeterminate structure, the restraint of the supports is likely to
induce hyperstatic (parasitic) reactions, internal moments and other stress resultants.
These secondary effects must be taken into account in designing the structure for
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strength and serviceability. At service load, fully prestressed concrete structures are
uncracked, and partially prestressed members are subject usually to only slight cracking.
For serviceability design purposes therefore, the hyperstatic reactions and secondary
moments and shears may be determined by elastic analysis of the uncracked structure.
C7.6.8 Moment redistribution in reinforced concrete members for strength design
If the load on a statically indeterminate structure is increased progressively from a low
value to a relatively high value, the member behaviour changes from elastic to inelastic
and there is a corresponding change in the relative magnitude of the moments at critical
sections, i.e. a redistribution of internal moments occurs. If the structure is ductile, the
moments change from an initial linear elastic distribution to a fully plastic distribution,
with plastic hinges forming in the peak moment regions eventually producing a
The extent to which moment redistribution can occur depends on the ductility, or potential
for plastic deformation, in peak-moment regions. The Standard adopts the neutral axis
parameter (k u) as an approximate measure of section ductility, because the larger the value
of k u, the less potential there is for the section to deform plastically. However, for low ku
values the elongation properties of the reinforcement can also affect section ductility.
Following a recent survey of the ductility of Australian hard-drawn and cold-rolled
reinforcing steels conforming to AS 1303, it has been found that the uniform elongation
(i.e. strain at maximum force) of samples of fabric, which conform to AS 1304 and
incorporate these steels, can fall below 1.5%. It has therefore been considered prudent to
limit the type of reinforcement permitted when moment redistribution is assumed. Further
research in Australia and overseas is currently in progress to determine appropriate
ductility limits for reinforcing steels in relation to rotation capacity and design moment
For design purposes, moment redistribution is taken as a percentage increase or decrease
in the elastically determined bending moment at a particular cross-section, with an
appropriate adjustment of the bending moment at all other sections so that the resulting
bending moments and shear forces are in equilibrium with the external loads.
Up to 30% redistribution is allowed by Clause 7.6.8 provided k u is not greater than 0.2 in
the peak-moment regions. However in practice, a 30% change may result in undesirable

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 64

For k u values in excess of 0.4, no moment redistribution is permitted, therefore, the

affected member must be designed for the elastic distribution of moments.
For intermediate values of k u, the moment redistribution is interpolated between 15% at
k u = 0.2 and zero at k u = 0.4.
The above limiting values of k u were obtained from theoretical analyses of the collapse
behaviour of continuous reinforced concrete and prestressed concrete members and
frames. Details of these analyses are given in References 8, 9 and 10.
The ductility requirements of various Standards are compared in Figure C7.6.8. This
shows that the requirements of this Clause are in broad agreement with the Canadian and
ACI Standards for values of k u between 0.2 and 0.4. For values of k u less than 0.2, the
provisions are more liberal than North American Standards.
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C7.6.9 Moment redistribution in prestressed concrete members for strength

design In the design of indeterminate prestressed concrete members, secondary moments
have to be included in the bending moments prior to any redistribution.
C7.6.10 Critical section for negative moments This Clause takes account of the finite
size of supports, supporting columns and the like. In most cases, these provisions are
more stringent than those in AS 1480. They are based on experience gained from the
application of AS 1480 to actual structures and are considered to be more realistic.
C7.6.11 Minimum transverse shear These requirements allow for variations in the
location of nominal uniformly distributed loads. They could also be applied to designs
based on other methods of analysis.


C7.7.1 Application Under lateral or asymmetrical loading, unbraced (sway) frames
undergo a change in geometry which causes secondary moments. A second-order elastic
analysis can be used to determine the moments due to the resultant lateral translation of
the frame members. As such analyses are generally iterative in nature, a solution by
computer (Ref. 11) would be advantageous. For buildings which may be modelled as a set

65 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

of rectangular equivalent frames, a direct solution has been developed by Smith

(Ref. 12), using a modified stiffness matrix in the conventional first-order elastic analyses.
Clause 10.2.2 provides a strength-design method for columns in frames analysed in
accordance with this Clause. For sway deflections greater than L u/250, the columns in the
frame may fail by instability before the cross-sections reach ultimate strength (Ref. 13),
hence the limitation on relative displacement.
C7.7.2 General In a second-order elastic analysis, the designer should use member
stiffnesses appropriate to the strength limit state. MacGregor and Hage (1 3) found that a
reasonable estimate for the cross-sectional stiffness in a second-order analysis would be
0.4E c If for the flexural members and 0.8E cIc for the columns. Alternatively, values
determined from Clause may be used for beam stiffness.
The stiffness of a member can be reduced by axial compression, particularly for very
slender members. This reduction can be determined using the traditional stability
functions C and S (Ref. 14), or approximations to these using the effective length factor
(K) for the members (Ref. 15). For most practical frames, reasonable results can still be
obtained if this reduction in stiffness is neglected.

C7.8 RIGOROUS STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS A rigorous analysis requires accurate

mathematical modelling of both material properties and structural behaviour. In practice,
the analysis of structural behaviour at this level of complexity would be undertaken using
an appropriate computer facility and program. At the present time, use of this method
would be restricted to exceptional structures. As more refined computer programs and
more powerful and cheaper computer facilities become available, use of rigorous methods
of analysis may increase.
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When this method is applied to the analysis of columns, allowance should be made for an
initial eccentricity (crookedness).


relatively small proportions of reinforcement (k u ^< 0.2), the moment curvature graph for a
typical slab segment has a long, almost flat plateau. In addition, one-way continuous and
two-way slabs are statically indeterminate and are capable of undergoing significant
redistribution of moments. Plastic methods of analysis therefore are eminently suitable for
slabs. An important practical advantage is that the methods can be applied to slabs of
irregular and complex shapes. Thus they can be used to analyse slabs which could not be
analysed by the methods given in Clauses 7.4 and 7.5.
For more detailed information on the various methods of plastic analysis for slabs, see
References 16 to 25.
Following concerns regarding low ductility steel products expressed in Paragraph C7.6.8,
it has been considered prudent to limit the type of reinforcement that may generally be
used when slabs are designed plastically.
1 REESE R.C., ACI Journal, June 1960, pp. 13024.
2 NETH V.W., de PAIVA H.A.R. AND LONG A.E., Behaviour of Models of a
Reinforced Concrete Flat Plate Edge-Column Connection, ACI Journal,
Proceedings, Vol. 78, No. 4, JulyAugust 1981, pp. 26975.
3 WIESINGER F.P., Design of Flat Plates with Irregular Column Layout, ACI
Journal, Proceedings Vol. 70, No. 2, Feb. 1973, pp. 11723.
4 RANGAN B.V. AND HALL A.S., Forces in the Vicinity of Edge Columns in
Flat Plate Floors, Volume 1 Tests on R.C. Models, UNICIV Report No. R-203,
The University of New South Wales, Kensington, Jan. 1983, 240 pp.
5 RANGAN B.V. AND HALL A.S. Moment Redistribution in Flat Plate Floors,
ACI Journal, Proceedings, Vol. 81, No. 6, Nov.Dec. 1984, pp. 6018.
6 ACI Committee 318, Building Code Requirements for Reinforced Concrete
(ACI 318-83) , American Concrete Institute, Detroit, Mich., 1983, 111 pp.

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 66

7 HATCHER D.S., SOZEN M.A. AND SIESS C.P., A Study of Tests on a Flat Plate
and a Flat Slab, Structural Research Series No. 217, Civil Engineering Studies,
University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, July 1961, 143 pp.
8 WARNER R.F. AND YEO M.F., Ductility Requirements for Partially Prestressed
Concrete, Proceedings, NATO Advanced Research Workshop, Partial Prestressing,
from Theory to Practice, St-Rejy-les-Cheureuse, Nijhoff (1984), pp. 31526. (Also
available as Research Report No. R61, Department Civil Engineering, University of
9 WARNER R.F., Computer Simulation of the Collapse Behaviour of Concrete
Structures with Limited Ductility, Proc. of the Int. Conf. on Computer Aided
Analysis and Design of Concrete Structures, Split, Yugoslavia, 1721 September
1984, pp. 125770.
10 WONG K.W., YEO M.F. AND WARNER R.F., Analysis of Non-linear Concrete
Structures by Deformation Control, First National Structural Engineering
Conference, Melbourne, I.E. Aust., August 1987, pp. 1815.
11 HARRISON H.B., Computer Methods in Structural Analysis, Prentice-Hall Inc.,
New Jersey, 1973.
12 SMITH R.G., Simplified Analysis of the P- Effect in Slender Buildings,
Top-Tier Design Methods in the Draft Unified Code, Lecture 6, Postgraduate
Course, University of Sydney, 1984, pp. 6.16.49.
13 MACGREGOR J.G. AND HAGE S.E., Stability Analysis and Design of Concrete
Frames, Journal of the Structural Division, ASCE, Vol. 103, No. ST10, 1977,
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pp. 195371.
14 HORNE M.R. AND MERCHANT W., Stability of Frames, Pergamon Press, Oxford,
15 FRASER D.J., Evaluation of Effective Length Factors in Braced Frames,
Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering, Vol. 10, 1983, pp. 1826.
16 JOHANSEN K.W., Yield-Line Theory, C & CA, London, 1962.
17 JOHANSEN K.W., Yield-Line Formulae for Slabs, Cement and Concrete
Association, London, 1972.
18 JONES L.L. AND WOOD R.H., Yield Line Analysis of Slabs, Thames and Hudson,
and Chatto & Windus, London, 1967.
19 HILLERBORG A., A Plastic Theory for the Design of Reinforced Concrete Slabs,
Preliminary Publication, 6th Congress, IABSE, Lisbon, 1960.
20 WOOD R.H. AND ARMER G.S.T., The Theory of the Strip Method for Design of
Slabs, Proc. Int. Civil Engineers (London), Vol. 41, Oct. 1968, pp. 285311.
21 KEMP K.O., A Strip Method of Slab Design with Concentrated Loads or
Supports, The Structural Engineer, Vol. 49, No. 12, Dec. 1971, pp. 5438.
22 HILLERBORG A., Strip Method of Design, A Viewpoint Publication, Cement and
Concrete Association, London, 1975.
23 RANGAN B.V., Limit States Design of Slabs Using Lower-Bound Approach,
Journal of the Structural Division, ASCE, Vol. 100, Feb. 1974, pp. 373-89.
24 RANGAN B.V., Limit States Design of Flat Plates and Slabs, IABSE Proceedings,
Zurich, 1977, pp. 277.
25 WARNER R.F., RANGAN B.V. AND HALL A.S., Reinforced Concrete, Longman,
Australia, 3rd Edition, 1988.
26 WHITTING A., Some more notes on slab to edge column connections, Journal of
the American Concrete Institute, April 1962, pp. 60912.

67 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

S E C T I O N C 8 D E S I G N O F B E A MS F O R


C8.1.2 Basic principles
C8.1.2.1 Combined bending and axial force The two basic conditions of static
equilibrium and strain compatibility must be satisfied.
Tests have confirmed that the strain distribution, on average, is essentially linear over the
cross-section. The strain in both the reinforcement and the concrete are assumed to be
directly proportional to the distance from the neutral axis. This assumption enables the
strain distribution to be defined. The stress distribution (and hence actions) for the
cross-section can be determined from the strain distribution with the use of appropriate
stress-strain relationships for the steel and concrete.
The concrete tensile strength has little influence on the ultimate capacity in combined
bending and axial compression.
While it is theoretically possible to develop concrete strains greater than 0.003,
particularly for the lower concrete grades it is prudent to limit the maximum compressive
steel strain to this value.
C8.1.2.2 Rectangular stress block See C10.6.2.
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C8.1.2.3 Effective depth See C1.6.3.

C8.1.3 Design strength in bending There is general agreement that a structure should
be as ductile as possible so that adequate warning of incipient collapse is given by large
deflections and crack widths. Furthermore, ductility also enables a redundant structure to
redistribute the bending moments under external actions to the greatest advantage as well
as providing a safer structure under blast or earthquake loading. Ductility in a beam can
be directly related to the quantity of tensile reinforcement in the cross-section and hence
the neutral axis depth (k u d). The concept of a ductile (under-reinforced) beam where the
steel is at yield and an over-reinforced beam where the steel is below yield under
ultimate strength conditions is familiar and is shown in (b) of Figure C8.1.3(A). The
moment-curvature behaviour of typical beams is shown in (a) of Figure C8.1.3(A). It can
be seen that the curvature capacity educes as the amount of tensile steel, and hence k u,
increases (Ref. 1).
The limit of k u = 0.4 can be considered as the ductility limit. For k u values less than this
limit, moment redistribution is permitted under the provisions of Clause 7.6.8. This limit
is similar to the value of k u = 0.45 permitted by AS 1480 using grade 400 reinforcement,
i.e. 0.75 times the depth of the neutral axis for the balanced failure condition.
Cross-sections with k u > 0.4 cannot always be avoided with certain types of structural
elements such as columns and arches. If such members are to be used, the following
points should be borne in mind:
(a) Simplified methods of analysis should not be used to determine the action effects on
the members as designs based on such simple methods may rely on redistribution of
moments in the structure.
(b) The curvature capacity of cross-sections is enhanced by the addition of compression
reinforcement and it is prudent to provide a minimum amount to reduce the
likelihood of the brittle mode of failure usually associated with over-reinforced

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 68
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(c) For cross-sections containing both tendons and tensile reinforcement where the
depth to the tensile reinforcement (d s) is greater than the depth to the tendons (dp ), it
is found that with large amounts of prestress, the ultimate strength in bending,
(M uo), may actually decrease as the area of tendons (A p ), is increased as shown in (a)
of Figure C8.1.3(B), taken from Reference 1. This occurs when the reinforcement is
below yield. To prevent this reduction in strength, the cross-section should be
proportioned so that the strain in the tensile reinforcement is greater than the yield
For members in which k u > 0.4, the value of the strength reduction factor is reduced
below 0.8 in accordance with (b) (ii) of Table 2.3 to account for the reduction in ductility.
This is illustrated in (b) of Figure C8.1.3(B)) for a reinforced concrete beam in which ku
is increased by increasing the percentage of tensile steel from zero to 10%. For k u > 0.4,
the value of depends on the value of a limiting ductility moment M ud . In determining
M ud, the excess of tensile steel is essentially ignored thereby effectively reducing the
tensile force in the steel to balance the compressive force associated with k u = 0.4. The
value of has a lower limit of 0.6 which is the same as that for concrete in pure
C8.1.4 Minimum strength requirements
C8.1.4.1 General The ultimate strength in bending (M uo), is calculated assuming a fully
cracked section. For small percentages of steel, this moment could be less than the
moment M cr to cause first cracking. Failure of such a member would be quite sudden. To
prevent such a failure, Muo must be greater than M cr and a value of M uo > 1.2M cr has been
adopted. This requirement can be deemed to be satisfied if A st /bd 1.4/fsy . The latter
approach is conservative and is identical to that used previously in AS 1480.

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(b) Reinforced beam
(a) Prestressed beams


AS 3600 Supp1 1994
AS 3600 Supp1 1994 70

The intention of this Clause is to ensure overall ductile failure of the member and this can
be achieved without satisfying the requirement for minimum reinforcement at every cross-
section. In particular, in the negative moment regions of beams in which changes of
overall depth occur (haunches or crossing band beams), it is only necessary to check the
weakest section. This is the section for which M u /M* is least and therefore the section at
which failure is likely to be initiated. At deeper sections the value of M u/M* is usually
higher and therefore minimum reinforcement is not a consideration there.
C8.1.4.2 Prestressed beams at transfer It is possible for a prestressed section to fail at
the transfer stage by over-prestressing until the concrete surrounding the cable crushes.
This ultimate limit state therefore needs to be checked. Procedures for calculating the
magnitude of the prestressing force which will produce this type of failure are discussed
in detail in Reference 54.
The strength reduction factor of 0.6 is consistent with that used for columns failing in
compression, with a load factor of 1.15 applied to the prestressing force, and a factor of
0.8 normally applied to the self-weight moment. The overall factor of safety implicit in
this rule exceeds 1.9, which may be over-conservative. Designers should however be
aware that the type of failure involved is particularly violent and likely to have
catastrophic consequences.
The second Paragraph provides that the strength may be deemed to be adequate without
calculation if the extreme fibre compressive stress does not exceed 0.5f cp. Some studies
(Ref. 55) have shown that this provision is less conservative than the strength calculation,
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and may give factors of safety of 1.5 or less. Safety factors of this order may be
considered to be adequate, but since there is no direct connection between elastically
calculated stresses and the strength against concrete crushing, where any doubt exists the
strength should be calculated directly.
C8.1.5 Stress in reinforcement and bonded tendons at ultimate strength The
equation for pu has been changed from that in AS 1481 and is taken from the revision
made in the ACI Code in 1983 (Ref. 2). The revision is based on the recommendations
made by Mattock (Ref. 3) and gives a consistently better estimate of the maximum stress
in the tendons than the equation in AS 1481, for varying concrete strengths with or
without additional non-prestressed tensile and compressive reinforcement.
The equation is an approximation to the more accurate calculation based on strain
compatibility and equilibrium. The equation is valid only if the effective prestress, after
all losses ( p.ef ), is not less than 0.5fp .
C8.1.6 Stress in tendons not yet bonded The single expression for pu in AS 1481
has been replaced by two values of pu taken from the ACI Code (Ref. 2). The formula for
pu in Item (a) is a conservative estimate based on test results (Ref. 4) and
recommendations made by ACI-ASCE (Ref. 5). More recent test results (Ref. 6) indicate
that the stress in unbonded tendons at ultimate conditions is overestimated by the equation
in Item (a) for members with a span-to-depth ratio greater than 35 (one-way slabs and
two-way slabs) and the equation in Item (b) is a better estimate for pu for such members.
The value for pu should not be taken to be greater than fpy.
C8.1.7 Spacing of reinforcement and tendons As a performance specification, this
Standard allows the designer to decide on the minimum distance between bars. This
Clause replaces Clauses 6.7.1 and 6.7.2 of AS 1480.
C8.1.8 Detailing of flexural reinforcement As far as possible, each of the member
design sections are self-contained. Because stress development is common to most
members, it is located separately in Section 13. Reinforcement and tendons in prestressed
beams should comply with the principles of this Clause as appropriate.

71 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

C8.1.8.1 Distribution The width and distribution of flexural cracks in the top flange of
a beam subjected to negative bending moment is greatly influenced by the distribution of
the tensile reinforcement. It has been shown to be undesirable to concentrate all of the
tensile reinforcement within the web as illustrated in Figure C8.1.8.1(a) as the cracks in
the flanges will be larger. Furthermore, compaction of the concrete within the web may be
impeded by lack of clearance for a vibrator. A better arrangement is illustrated in
Figure C8.1.8.1(b) where a proportion of the flexural reinforcement is spread into the
flange. However, if heavy shear reinforcement is required, it is desirable to place the
major part of the flexural reinforcement within the web, in which case additional bars
should be placed in the flanges to control the flexural cracking.


C8.1.8.2 General procedure for arrangement The requirement to displace the bending
moment diagram a distance (D) is related to the truss analogy for shear strength.
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Once the bending moment diagram has been displaced a distance (D) as specified (see
Figure below), reinforcement not required to resist the (displaced) bending moment at a
section may be terminated at that section. The reinforcement required to resist the
(displaced) bending moment must have anchorage beyond that section.
The point of contraflexure referred to in the second paragraph of the Clause is the original
undisplaced point of contraflexure.


C8.1.8.3 Anchorage of positive-moment reinforcement Anchored reinforcement or

tendons sufficient to develop a tensile force of 1.5 V * at the face of the support is related
to shear failure mechanism. The shear, V * , is generally calculated at a distance (d) from
the face of the support, or at the face of the support where diagonal cracking can take
place at the support or extend into it.
At a simple support the requirement of one-half extending past the face of the support for
a length of 12 db, has an alternative of equivalent anchorage. Extending all the
reinforcement 6db past the face of the support would satisfy this alternative.

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 72

Note that the extension of L st in (a) implies that it is not necessary to develop the full
yield strength of the reinforcement at the face of the support. Furthermore, for slabs
subject to one-way shear (beam shear) and where no shear reinforcement is required, the
minimum extension may be reduced below 12 d b (see Clause
C8.1.8.4 Shear strength requirements near terminated flexural reinforcement Test
results show that when the tensile reinforcement is terminated, the shear strength reduces
and there is some loss of ductility. The deemed-to-comply provisions of this
Clause approximately compensate for these unfavourable effects caused when bars are
curtailed in a tensile zone. These provisions are similar to those given in the previous
Standard, AS 1480 and in ACI 318-83.
C8.1.8.5 Deemed-to-comply arrangement The deemed-to-comply arrangements are
illustrated in Figure C8.1.8.5 below.
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(a) Restr ained and conti nuous supports

(b) Simple and continuous support



73 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

C8.1.8.6 Restraint of compression reinforcement This Clause parallels the requirements

of Clause 10.7.3 for columns, to limit the possibility that longitudinal bars in compression
will buckle outwards. The restriction of 16 db on tie spacing will generally be less than
the spacing needed for shear reinforcement at midspan. If compression reinforcement is
required for strength, then all the restraint requirements for columns apply.


C8.2.1 Application As shear without torsion is by far the most common design
situation, the requirements have been written for that situation. This simplifies the
procedure for shear design. Where torsion is present, separate requirements, which interact
with the shear requirements, have to be taken into account.
These requirements also cover one-way action for shear in slabs.
C8.2.2 Design shear strength of a beam The traditional approach, namely the sum of
the concrete and steel components, deals efficiently with reinforced, partially
prestressed and fully prestressed beams.
A more refined method of calculating the shear strength of a section is to use the variable
angle, truss-analogy method (Refs 7, 8, and 18).
C8.2.4 Maximum transverse shear near a support This Clause limits the position at
which the shear force is determined, normally to a distance, (d), from the support
(Figure C8.2.4(a) and (b)); this means that any forces closer to the support can be
disregarded. In some circumstances, where a failure surface can develop within the
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support area, the critical section must be taken at the face of the support. A typical case is
illustrated in Figure C8.2.4(c).


C8.2.5 Requirements for shear reinforcement Concrete beams can possess

considerable strength without shear reinforcement. However, this strength will be reduced
if cracking occurs. Cracking resulting from restrained shrinkage and restrained thermal
deformations have been responsible for a number of shear failures in members without
shear reinforcement. Since shear failure can be quite sudden, the Standard adopts a
conservative approach to the utilization of the strength of beams without shear

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 74

The value of V u.min calculated in accordance with Clause 8.2.9, is simply an assessment of
the strength of a beam containing minimum shear reinforcement.
C8.2.6 Shear strength limited by web crushing This Clause relates to the maximum
shear capacity independent of the amount of reinforcement. This limit is needed to avoid
the possibility of a web crushing failure prior to yield of the reinforcement (Ref. 23).
A reduction in the width of the stem, to allow for grouted ducts, is included. This was
proposed by Leonhardt (Ref. 9) and supported by tests by Clark and Taylor (Ref. 10). For
ungrouted ducts, the reduction should be for the full diameter.
C8.2.7 Shear strength of a beam excluding shear reinforcement
C8.2.7.1 Reinforced beams This empirical equation is similar to that developed by
Zsutty (Ref. 11) and has been appropriately modified to suit this Standard. It gives results
similar to those determined from AS 1480.
The formula was checked against, and found to agree with, the experimental data
(Ref. 12). On the basis of 179 test results from 24 different sources it was found that, for
those tests with span to depth ratios greater than 3.5 and within other code limits on
reinforcement, the mean value of experimental load over predicted load was 1.15 with a
coefficient of variation of 12.5% (Ref. 13).
The formula takes account of the following parameters that influence the strength of a
beam without shear reinforcement:
(a) Proportion of tension steel (A st /b vdo ). This parameter has been shown by many
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investigations to be of major importance in the shear strength of beams. The

designer should be aware that it is the tension steel provided in the shear zone that

FIGURE C8.2.7(A) EFFECT OF (A st /b v do) ON THE SHEAR


75 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

is critical and this steel must be properly anchored to be considered. The effect of this
parameter on the strength is shown in Figure C8.2.7(A).
(b) Concrete strength (f c) The variation with concrete strength is better represented
by a cube root rule (Ref. 11) rather than the previous approximation of a square root
(c) Depth factor ( 1) The influence of the depth of the beam on the strength has
been recognized for many years and is even mentioned in the commentary on
ACI 318-71. An example is given by Chana (Ref. 14) which is illustrated in
Figure C8.2.7(B).
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Despite the importance of this parameter, it is not usually included directly in

design methods. It was included indirectly in AS 1480 as a special allowance of
0.17f c for slabs, which was apparently justified on the basis of experimental data.
However, a better explanation of the data is given by relating the shear strength to
the absolute depth, as in these rules. This removes the artificial discontinuity
between slabs, wide beams and beams.
The format of the AS 3600 1988 factor was based on the CEB Model Code
(Ref.17) and the coefficients based on a very conservative analysis of test data. This
factor has been found to reduce the strength of shallow flexural members (mainly
slabs in one-way action) unnecessarily. Consequently, the less conservative factor
from the recently published Eurocode (EN2) has now been adopted. (The 1.1 term is
part of the empirical fit of the V uc formula and is additional to the size effect).
The effect of the change will be marginal on beams but will increase the strength of
slabs. The method now reflects more accurately the influence of steel proportion and
depth on the shear strength.
For slabs of 120 mm overall depth containing 0.5% reinforcement, the results are
similar to those obtained by using the approximation of 0.17 f c previously given
in AS 1480.

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 76

(d) Axial force (2) The factor is normally unity, but for members subject to
significant axial tension, it reduces in line with ACI recommendations. This factor
replaces the previous Clause in AS 1480 related to restrained beams. Beams
restrained by shear walls or infill structures may need special consideration of the
likely restraint forces. If in doubt, Vuc should be taken as zero.
(e) Shear-span to depth effect ( 3) The factor is usually unity but may increase up to a
maximum of 2. It is an established parameter for the influence of proximity of the
load to the support. This is a conservative factor and can be related to test results as
shown in Figure C8.2.7(C). Note that for loads within a distance D from the
support, the factor becomes large. Alternatively a deep beam situation may be
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C8.2.7.2 Prestressed beams The equation for V uc for flexure-shear cracking in

prestressed beams has been kept similar to that for reinforced beams for simplicity. For
prestressed beams, the AS 1481 approach of flexure-shear and web-shear is retained,
except that the flexure-shear strength is derived using the shear strength formula given for
reinforced beams, increased by the decompression shear, V o. The equation has been
checked against experimental data (Ref. 15).
It should be noted that this Clause can give markedly higher values for the flexure-shear
cracking load than did AS 1481. This arises from
(i) the new empirical equation which takes account of the effect of longitudinal
reinforcement; and
(ii) the inclusion in the Standard, but not in AS 1481, of Pv as a component of
the shear resistance.

77 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

C8.2.7.3 Secondary effects on V uc This is a warning about the possible influence of

secondary effects. If the magnitude of the tensile forces can be estimated, the 2 factor
may be used. If in doubt, the value of V uc should be taken as zero.
C8.2.8 Minimum shear reinforcement The area of minimum shear reinforcement,
comes from ACI 318 practice.
C8.2.9 Shear strength of a beam with minimum reinforcement In many
circumstances minimum shear reinforcement must be provided. The existence of this
minimum reinforcement is utilized to simplify the range over which shear reinforcement
needs to be calculated. Although not stated, nominal top longitudinal bars would also be
required in the corners of the shear reinforcement. The strength stated is consistent with
Clause 8.2.10(a).
C8.2.10 Contribution to shear strength by the shear reinforcement The strength of
a beam with shear reinforcement has been the subject of extensive research (Ref. 16). The
increase in strength with shear reinforcement ratio is shown in Figure C8.2.10, where the
AS 1480 approach is seen to be very conservative. The main difficulty is that with low
amounts of shear reinforcement, the strengths are much greater than a simple 45 truss
predicts. Partly to compensate for this inadequacy, it is traditional to add a concrete
component to the steel component of the resistance.
From a design convenience point of view, the sum of steel and concrete contribution has
practical advantages particularly in eliminating any discontinuity in the design. In reality,
the concrete contribution decreases with higher shear forces and this effect is included in
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the CEB-FIP method (Ref. 17).

Truss theories (e.g. Ref. 7) usually give a range for the truss angle which becomes more
restricted with higher shear forces, and in the more severe cases is limited to about 45 so
that the general concept is consistent with truss theory. The SAA committee selected a
procedure where V uc is taken as constant but the truss angle is explicitly stated and
increases with increasing shear.
The method is clearly a hybrid but gives reasonable results as shown in Figure C8.2.10
and does allow small increases in shear strength above that previously allowed in
AS 1480. Experimental results were obtained from Reference 12.
It is noted that the inclination of the compressive strut v is expressed as a function of the
design shear V*. This is most convenient in a design situation when the amount of shear
reinforcement A sv is being calculated. If, on the other hand, the shear strength of an
existing beam with known transverse reinforcement quantities is to be calculated, the
following expression may be more useful:


AS 3600 Supp1 1994 78
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C8.2.11 Suspension reinforcement The standard theories for shear in beams are
derived on the basis of beams loaded on their top surfaces and supported on the bottom.
Where the load is introduced by corbels or nibs or other methods into the lower portion of
the beam, suitable transverse reinforcement must be provided to transfer the force into the
compression zone of the beam; similarly, for supports in the upper portion of a beam. Full
depth loading and support by intersecting members also requires suspension
reinforcement. (See also Clause 12.1.2.)
C8.2.12 Detailing of shear reinforcement
C8.2.12.1 Types The types of reinforcement that may be used are more restricted in
this Clause than in AS 1480. Specifically, bent up bars are not allowed because of
difficulties in anchorage and the likelihood of the concrete splitting in the plane of the
bends (Ref. 9).
Welded wire fabric has been strongly recommended by Leonhardt (Ref. 9) as a form of
shear reinforcement. Rectangular helices can provide a solution to the problem of
anchorage in shallow beams.
C8.2.12.2 Spacing The requirement for maximum spacing ensures that a potential
failure surface intersects one or more stirrups and reduces the concentration of
compressive forces in the web strut. For lower shears, the failure surface is flatter
(Ref. 8), and the compressive forces are more moderate, thus a relaxation of the limit to
0.75D or 500 mm is permitted for shears of Vu.min or less.

79 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

C8.2.12.3 Extent The Clause provides in part for possible inaccuracies in analysis and
non-typical failure mechanisms, as well as considerations arising from truss-analogy
theory (see also C8.1.8.4).
C8.2.12.4 and C8.2.12.5 End anchorage It is essential that shear reinforcement be
adequately anchored. These Clauses state the minimum requirements for this purpose.
Lapping fitments in the manner illustrated in Figure C8.2.12.4 should be avoided.



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C8.3.1 Application This Clause has been written to include the combination of shear
and torsion where the appropriate shear strengths without torsion are calculated by
Clause 8.2.
C8.3.2 Torsion redistribution The concept behind this Clause has been derived from
compatibility torsion proposed by Collins (Ref. 7) and incorporated in the ACI 318 Code.
In a statically indeterminate structure, where alternative load paths exist and the torsional
strength of a member is not required for equilibrium (i.e. compatibility torsion), the
torsional stiffness of the members may be disregarded in analysis and torsion may be
ignored in design.
However, minimum torsional reinforcement in accordance with Clause 8.3.7 must still be
provided to avoid serviceability problems. A spandrel beam in a building structure is a
common example of a member subjected to compatibility torsion (Refs 19 and 20).
C8.3.3 Torsional strength limited by web crushing A simple upper limit, consistent
with the shear limit, is placed on the torsional moment to avoid web crushing. This limit
is still conservative. For combined shear and torsion, a linear interaction is assumed.
C8.3.4 Requirements for torsional reinforcement The terms Tuc and T us are the
strengths of the member in torsion without any shear force. Likewise, V uc and V us are the
strengths of the member in shear without any torsion. The values are obtained from
Clause 8.2 for Vuc and V us and from Clause 8.3.5 for T uc and Tu depending on the absence
or presence of torsional reinforcement as follows:
(a) Where torsional reinforcement is not required The linear interaction given is more
conservative than other theories.
(b) Where torsional reinforcement is required The linear interaction in this Clause is a
conservative assumption as shown in Figure C8.3.4 and expresses the committees
concern that torsional cracking could substantially reduce the contribution of the
concrete to the shear strength. Although this would occur, there is some doubt about
whether V uc is truly a concrete contribution or an empirical correction. ACI 318 has
been far less conservative and even permits a significant amount of torsion without
any reduction in shear strength. This is shown diagrammatically in Figure C8.3.4.

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 80


Note that the implications of Clause 8.3.4(b) are that if any torsion is present and
the shear is such that fitments are required, then V uc must be taken as zero; a
substantial increase in the shear reinforcement is required, and additional
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reinforcement is needed to resist the torsion.

C8.3.5 Torsional strength of a beam (Refs 13, 21, 22, and 23).
(a) Without torsion reinforcement The torsional strength of a concrete beam without
torsional reinforcement is largely related to a maximum principal tensile stress
failure of the concrete, with the stress being determined more accurately by the
plastic stress distribution than the elastic. The Standard has a simplified version of
the torsional modulus (e.g. 0.4x 2y for a rectangular section) (Ref. 23). The last term
in the equation allows for the influence of prestress on the maximum principal
(b) With torsion reinforcement The method given is a variable angle truss formulation
with the value of t restricted to the value given in Clause 8.3.5(b). For further
details, see Reference 13.
C8.3.6 Longitudinal torsional reinforcement The expressions given in this Clause are
once again obtained from variable angle truss formulation (see Refs 7 and 13).
Longitudinal torsional reinforcement, including minimum reinforcement, is additional to
the longitudinal flexural reinforcement required for the load case of simultaneous flexure
and torsion. The torsional reinforcement does not have to be added to the longitudinal
flexural reinforcement provided, if any, for the load case of flexure without torsion.
C8.3.7 Minimal torsional reinforcement The minimum quantity of closed ties and
longitudinal reinforcement is provided on the basis of maintaining the torsional capacity
of the uncracked concrete section.
The amended Clause fulfils this purpose, is simpler than the original version and is
consistent with similar requirements in other Standards such as the Canadian Code and
Eurocode 2.


C8.4.1 Application This Clause covers the design for interface shear in composite
concrete flexural members and also the requirements for transverse reinforcement in the
flanges of monolithic T and L-beams.

81 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

The Clauses are different from those previously provided in AS 1480 and AS 1481 and
the approach now adopted follows closely the FIP Guide to Good Practice (Ref. 24).
C8.4.2 Design shear forces The longitudinal shear force per unit length (v) along a
shear plane can be related directly to the vertical shear force (V *) and the lever arm (jd)
between the tensile and compressive forces resulting from the bending moment, as
indicated in Figure C8.4.2. For moment equilibrium
V *(L) = (C)jd = (T)jd
and for horizontal equilibrium along a shear plane through the web
v w = C/L = T/L = V */jd
For shear planes through the flanges, only a portion of the out-of-balance compression
force C (or tension force T) has to be transmitted across the shear plane, this
proportion being directly related to the area in compression A 1 (or tension) outstanding
beyond the shear plane to the total area A 2 in compression (or tension). Hence
v f = (V * /jd) (A1 /A2 )
For the purposes of this Clause, the design longitudinal shear force acting on the shear
plane is taken as Vjd hence eliminating the need to calculate the lever arm jd. The
longitudinal shear strength (V uf) in Clause 9.4.3 is expressed in a similar manner so that
V * or V *A 1/A 2 can be directly compared to the design strength V uf.
C8.4.3 Design strength The equation for design strength is composed of two parts, a
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strength related to the amount and yield strength of the transverse steel crossing the shear
plane; and a strength related to the indirect tensile strength of the concrete. This format is
consistent with that in Reference 25 for the design of composite structural steel and
concrete members, which was based on the shear-friction concept. For shear planes
through monolithic construction, there is close agreement between the equations in both
C8.4.4 Shear planes surface coefficients The coefficients 4 and 5 account for the
surface condition at the shear plane. The coefficient 4 is closely related to the coefficient
of friction for the shear plane and 5 accounts for concrete-related factors, such as
aggregate interlock, which are sensitive to changes in the surface condition. The values
have been obtained from an extensive test program (Ref. 24).
C8.4.5 Shear plane reinforcement The minimum requirements are identical to those
required for conventional vertical shear reinforcement given in Clause 9.2.5 except that
A sv.min is the area of shear reinforcement at a spacing, s, that crosses the shear plane. This
reinforcement must be anchored both sides of the shear plane to develop its full yield
Where conventional shear reinforcement, as provided in Clause 8.2.10, also crosses a
shear plane, it can be counted as shear plane reinforcement for the purpose of determining
the design strength in accordance with Clause 8.4.3.
C8.4.6 Minimum thickness of structural components This Clause is particularly
important for toppings. Thin toppings require careful curing and variations in thickness
should be minimized. Conventional methods of achieving full anchorage of the
reinforcement crossing the shear plane or interface may not be possible and alternative
proven methods should be considered.

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 82

(a) Flange in compression

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(b) Flange in tension



INTRODUCTION Design and construction for deflection control is far more complex
than strength design and there is no simple mathematical solution to the problem. The
loading, both in magnitude and time of application and duration, is highly variable. The
effects of creep and shrinkage and early age cracking are also difficult to predict.
Moreover, the approach of making a conservative assessment of each of these parameters
can lead to an overly conservative design (Refs 27 and 28). To design effectively for
serviceability, the designer must have an understanding of the non-linear behaviour of
concrete structures.
C8.5.1 General Serviceability problems, arising from shortcomings in the information
given in Section 10 of AS 1480, created a need to revise this part of the Standard.
Changes have been made in the span-to-depth ratios and in deflection limitations given in
Clause 2.4.2 to reduce the likelihood of excessive deflections of flexural members.
However, the use of these procedures without a critical assessment of the variables used
may not eliminate serviceability problems.
C8.5.2 Beam deflection by refined calculation This Clause provides for refined
methods, based on estimated creep and shrinkage properties and the integration of
curvatures, to obtain the deflection. The designer is free to choose suitable procedures.

83 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

(a) The expected shrinkage and creep properties of concrete (Refs 44 and 45). The
effect of the environment on creep and shrinkage is often difficult to predict.
However, guidance is given in Section 6 as to the expected shrinkage and creep
properties of concrete for a range of environmental conditions.
(b) Loading and loading history The loading used in the analysis should receive
careful consideration (Refs 29, 30, 31, and 33). Certain provisions are made for this
aspect of serviceability loads in Clause 3.4.
If a partition is built on top of a member, the long-term deflection may cause the
member to creep away from the partition. The partition may be left spanning as a
self-supporting deep beam which will apply significant loads to the supporting
member only at its ends. Thus, if a partition wall is built over the whole span of a
member with no major openings near its centre, some of its weight may be ignored
in calculating long-term deflections.
A further aspect of the loading that must be considered is the history or time
sequence of loads. For the purpose of calculating the extent of cracking and hence
tension stiffening, construction loading and early temperature and shrinkage stresses
may be important. In general, the earlier the structure is loaded the greater will be
the long-term deflection.
Two other load history factors which influence the deflection are the duration of the
load and the age at first loading. Simple assumptions here may lead to very
conservative results.
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(c) The effects of cracking and tension stiffening Cracking of reinforced and partially
prestressed concrete reduces the stiffness of the section. However, the onset and
extent of cracking is difficult to predict. Construction loads may be applied on
flexural members at a time when the concrete strength is below design requirements
and cracking may result. In the application of the design methods, it is therefore
recommended that unless better information exists, the effective moment of inertia
should be based on the assumption that the member has been loaded to its maximum
short-term service load or design construction load whichever is greater.
There is also the possibility that significant cracking may be caused by factors that
are not load dependent such as shrinkage and temperature. Severe cracking problems
caused by excessive early shrinkage associated with inadequate curing and rapid
drying have been observed even where the laboratory tests showed that the concrete
did not have a high ultimate shrinkage.
Cracking resulting from a combination of shrinkage and temperature changes is not
an uncommon phenomenon in roof slabs which are exposed to direct sunlight. A
sudden drop in temperature can add to the tensile strain caused by shrinkage and
produce cracking during the construction at a time when the tensile strength of the
concrete is low.
In the design process, it is recommended that due allowance be made for shrinkage,
particularly for lightly reinforced sections which would otherwise be uncracked at
service loads.
Tension stiffening (Refs 37, 38 and 46) is the phenomenon whereby the concrete
between cracks contributes significantly to the stiffness of the section and any
model for reinforced concrete must allow for this effect.
Other secondary factors influencing deflection have been discussed by Beeby
(Ref. 47). These are related to partial fixity of nominally simply supported
members, increase in modulus of elasticity over calculated values, and similar

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 84

C8.5.3 Beam deflection by simplified calculation

C8.5.3.1 Immediate deflection The simplified rules for calculating deflections follow
ACI and AS 1480 precedents in recommending the Branson equation (Ref. 36) for
effective second moment of area.
The effect of this equation on the calculated deflection of beams is illustrated in
Figure C8.5.3.1 where typical moment deflection curves for reinforced and partially
prestressed beams are given. Below the cracking moment, the gross transformed section
properties govern the deflection and, for simplicity, the Standard permits use of the gross
concrete section properties in this range.
For moments greater than the cracking moment, an empirical transition for I ef is given by
the Branson equation where Ief approaches I cr as the service moment increases.
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This approach has been found to give reasonable predictions of immediate deflections.
The scatter of results is quite high (standard deviation of 40%) (Ref. 51), but considering
the complexity of the tension stiffening problem, this may be regarded as satisfactory.
Conveniently, the Branson equation may conservatively be used for partially prestressed
concrete (Ref. 45). The extra stiffness of this form of construction is reflected in the
higher cracking moment.
The value of I ef used in this Clause should relate to the section of the member that most
influences the deflections. The refinement of the approach given in AS 1480 did not seem
warranted and a simplified procedure is given.
A further problem exists with the value of M s to be used in the calculation of I ef. In the
simple laboratory tests on which this formula was based, M s represented the service load
at which the deflection was calculated. In practice, loads higher than the short-term
service load may have been encountered during the structures history. This is quite likely
during construction. Consequently, the new Clauses specify that M s be calculated using
the short-term service load or design construction load whichever is greater.

85 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

The basis of calculating the cracking moment (M cr) for reinforced sections, using the
section modulus and a nominal tensile strength, remains unchanged from AS 1480. For
partially prestressed concrete, an allowance is made for the effect of prestress on M cr . In
addition, it seems prudent to make some allowance for restrained shrinkage on the
cracking moment. This allowance obviates the inconsistency of lightly reinforced sections
being regarded as uncracked for deflection computations, whereas the combination of
flexural and shrinkage stresses could induce cracking, thus significantly reducing the
stiffness of such sections.
For heavily reinforced sections, the problem is not so significant, as the service loads are
usually well in excess of the cracking load and the cracked stiffness is closer to the gross
stiffness. Therefore, for lightly reinforced sections, some allowance should be made for
the effect of shrinkage on the cracking moment. This approach may be conservative as an
allowance for shrinkage is already included in the long-term deflection multiplier.
However, experience has indicated initial cracking may be a more serious problem than
would have been encountered in laboratory tests. Thus an upper limit on I ef of 0.6I is
recommended for lightly reinforced sections (Ref. 41). As a further simplification, Icr may
be approximated by 5 to 6 times A std 2.
For reinforced members an alternative simplified expression for calculating I ef is given.
For rectangular sections the value of I ef is approximately equal to 0.5Ig , which is
considered to be very conservative for beams but a good approximation for slabs.
For T and L sections an extra multiplier, (0.7 + 0.3bw/bef )3, is introduced. This is a crude
allowance for the decreased tension stiffening due to the smaller amount of material
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below the neutral axis when compared with a rectangular beam.

C8.5.3.2 Long-term deflection For reinforced concrete it is convenient to use the
simple deflection multiplier given in Clause but this is not appropriate for beams
with stressed tendons. For such cases, shrinkage, warping and creep must be calculated
separately in accordance with the laws of mechanics and realistic assumed shrinkage and
creep behaviour.
C8.5.3.3 Multiplier method for long-term deflection of reinforced beams The long-term
deflection multiplier for creep and shrinkage in a reinforced beam, (k cs), is essentially the
same as in AS 1480 with a simplification in the calculation of the ratio A sc/A st .
The long-term deflection multiplier is derived from laboratory tests and although an
adequate but crude predictor of the long-term deflection (Ref.51) it has some short-



AS 3600 Supp1 1994 86

Laboratory tests for deflections are often conducted under constant load and
environmental conditions. For the long-term deflection, the usual approach is to use a
multiplier, based on the experimentally observed ratio of long-term to initial deflection.
While this approach may give fair agreement with test data it does not reflect the variable
conditions to which structures are exposed in service. The simple multiplier technique
should, therefore, only be seen as an approximate predictor of final deflection and not as a
complete guide to actual behaviour. Where local conditions indicate that severe creep or
shrinkage effects exist, a larger value of k cs than that given above should be used, or the
more general method of Clause 8.5.2 should be employed.
C8.5.4 Deemed-to-comply span-to-depth ratios for reinforced beams This is a new
approach (Refs 41 and 42) based on a model proposed by Rangan (Ref. 43).
The maximum deflection of a beam under the action of a uniformly distributed load is
usually expressed in the form:

where F d.ef is in N/mm, Lef is in millimetres and k 2 is the appropriate deflection constant
derived from elementary principles. For example, for a simply supported beam k 2 is 5/384.
For a continuous beam k 2 depends on the relative stiffness of the spans and on the loading
pattern but for more or less uniform spans and where the loading is reasonably uniform,
the values are assumed to be:
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k 2 = 1/185 in an end span (propped cantilever).

k 2 = 1/384 in an interior span (fully fixed ends).
The Standard permits these values to be used where the live load does not exceed the
dead load and where the ratio of longer to shorter spans does not exceed 1.2. For other
situations, an elastic analysis will produce the required coefficient.
In the above equation, if the effective moment of inertia is replaced by
Ief = k 1 b ef d 3
then the design form of the equation becomes
Lef /d = [k 1(/Lef ) befE c/(k 2 F d.ef)] 1/3.
Thus this equation involves no approximations other than those implicit in the values
selected for k 1 and k 2.
Values for k 2 can be obtained from an elastic analysis as noted above and values of k 1 can
be obtained from Clause Thus the accuracy of the estimate of Le /d given by the
equation depends only upon the accuracy adopted in determining k 1 and k 2 . It should be
noted that the designer nominates a suitable value of for the member.
The effective design load, Fd.ef , is given for calculating both the total deflection and the
deflection which occurs after the attachment of partitions (incremental deflection) taking
into account the short-term and long-term serviceability loads given in Clause 3.4 and the
long-term deflection multiplier given in Clause The effective design load for
incremental deflection assumes that the total long-term deflection due to creep and
shrinkage under dead load occurs after the attachment of the partitions. This is a
conservative assumption as part of this long-term deflection is likely to have occurred
prior to the fixing of the partitions. Figure C8.5.3.3 and ACI 318 (Ref. 2) give an
indication of the time dependency of the multiplier k cs.

C8.6 CRACK CONTROL OF BEAMS The Standard only gives specific detailing
rules as a means of controlling cracking in beams. However, using the provision of
Clause 1.3 of the Standard, the calculation of crack widths can be used as an alternative

87 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

procedure in controlling cracking. Accepted procedures would include the Gergely-Lutz

equation adopted by the ACI 318 Code (Ref. 2) and the method given in BS 8110:Part 2
(Ref. 56).
The width of the flexural crack depends primarily on three factors: the proximity to the
point considered of reinforcing bars perpendicular to the cracks; the surface strain at the
point; and the proximity of the neutral axis to the point. The designer should therefore
aim to minimize the cover and distance between bars to control flexural crack widths.
C8.6.1 Crack control for flexure in reinforced beams This Clause comes from
AS 1480 which was based on BS CP110 and in turn on the work of Beeby (Ref. 47).
Some discrepancy occurred in the transfer and the values in AS 1480 were too high. This
has now been remedied and the centre-to-centre spacing is restricted to 200 mm while the
distance from the bottom or side face to the centre of the bar is limited to 100 mm.
C8.6.2 Crack control for flexure in prestressed beams This Clause makes provision
for both prestressed and partially prestressed beams and includes simple alternatives.
If the tensile stress in the concrete is less than 0.25f c, the section is considered
uncracked and no further check is needed. The tensile stress limit is taken from the
working stress provisions of AS 1481.
If the stress is above 0.25f c then bonded reinforcement, which can include tendons,
must be provided near the tensile face. Since crack control is proportional to cover and
spacing, the smaller the cover and closer the spacing of such reinforcement the better the
control, although the Standard provides no specific rule.
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Further control of crack widths relies on limiting the concrete or steel stress. It is
considered that a concrete tensile stress of 0.6f c, based on the uncracked section, is the
lower limit for significant cracks. This is approximately equivalent to a strain of
100 10-6.
An alternative provision allows for a stress of 200 MPa resulting from an increment of
moment from the decompression moment. This requires that the decompression moment
for zero tensile stress be calculated. The steel stress caused by the excess of the service
moment over this decompression moment is then limited to 200 MPa. This gives rise to
tensile strains at the level of the steel of 1000 10 6 and clearly requires a higher level of
crack control. This is provided by the requirement that the reinforcement spacing be
limited to that for a non-prestressed beam, thus giving cover controlled cracks.
C8.6.3 Crack control in the side face of beams Flexural cracks may become
excessively wide on the side faces of beams in the mid-depth regions away from the
longitudinal tensile reinforcement. The additional longitudinal reinforcement together with
the minimum transverse shear reinforcement is considered adequate for flexural crack
control on the side faces of beams. It will also limit the width of any shrinkage induced
cracking in regions of low moment.
C8.6.5 Crack control at openings and discontinuities Openings and discontinuities
can be the cause of stress concentrations that may result in diagonal cracks emanating
from re-entrant corners. Often, only nominal reinforcement will be needed. A suitable
method of estimating the size of the bars is to postulate a possible crack and to provide
reinforcement at least equivalent to the area of the crack multiplied by the tensile strength
of the concrete (Ref. 47).
Openings in the shear zone of beams should be treated with caution, as any contribution
by the concrete to the shear capacity may be considered dubious if openings exist. Some
guidance for reinforcement patterns may be found from the force patterns of the truss

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 88

C8.7 VIBRATION OF BEAMS Vibration can usually be controlled by limiting the

frequency of the fundamental mode of vibration of the structure to a value markedly
different from the frequency of the source of vibration. Alternatively, the structure and the
source should be dynamically isolated from one another if possible, or one or both
suitably damped to reduce the magnitude of the structural vibrations to acceptable levels
(Ref. 48).
The susceptibility of a beam to excessive levels of vibration depends on its physical
properties, such as mass and frequency, and also upon the nature of the dynamic forces
applied. For example, long-span lightweight floors are much more likely to experience
excessive vibrations from pedestrian traffic than short-span relatively thick floors. On the
other hand, machinery placed on short-span floors may have an operational frequency
close to the natural frequency of the slab, resulting in excessive vibration, while the same
machine on a long-span floor may result in minimal vibration.
As a consequence no simple design rules can be formulated. The designer, is therefore
referred to the list of references noted in Clause C2.4.5.

C8.8 T-BEAMS AND L-BEAMS The equations for the calculation of effective width
of flange for strength and serviceability have been adopted from the CEB Model Code
(Ref. 17). The effective widths calculated by the formulas are smaller than the values
given in Clause 9.7.2 of AS 1480. For the flexural strength of a T-beam or L-beam, the
concrete in the flange has no effect when the flange is in tension (negative moment
regions) and has little effect when the flange is in compression (positive moment regions).
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On the other hand, the flange width has a significant influence on the flexural stiffness of
the beam and hence on deflections. Test results available (Refs 49 and 50) have shown
that the effective width of flange as given in AS 1480 may be too large for use in
stiffness calculations. For this reason, smaller values are given. It should be noted that,
unlike flexural strength, the concrete in a tensile flange will increase the cracking moment
and therefore affect the overall bending stiffness of a T-beam or L-beam.

C8.9 SLENDERNESS LIMITS FOR BEAMS The limits on the distance between
points of lateral restraint are provided to guard against lateral buckling and consequent
premature failure. Lateral eccentricity of loading causing torsion in slender laterally
unbraced beams may be a problem. However, tests (Refs 52 and 53) indicate that lateral
buckling is unlikely to be a problem in beams loaded with no lateral eccentricity.

1 SMITH R.G. AND BRIDGE R.Q., The Design of Concrete Columns, Lecture 2,
Post-graduate Course, School of Civil and Mining Engineering, University of
Sydney, 1984, pp. 2.32.95.
2 ACI COMMITTEE 318, Building Code Requirements for Reinforced Concrete (ACI
318-83) , American Concrete Institute, Detroit, 1983.
3 MATTOCK A.H., Modification of ACI Code Equation for Stress in Bonded
Prestressed Reinforcement at Flexural Ultimate, ACI Journal, JulyAugust 1984.
4 YAMAZAKI J., KATTULA B.T. AND MATTOCK A.H., A Comparison of the
Behaviour of Post-Tensioned Prestressed Concrete Beams With and Without Bond,
Report SM69-3, University of Washington, College of Engineering, Structures and
Mechanics, Dec. 1969.
5 ACI-ASCE COMMITTEE 423, Tentative Recommendations for Concrete Members
Prestressed with Unbonded Tendons, (ACI 423.1R-69), ACI Journal, Proceedings,
Vol. 66, No. 2, Feb. 1969.

89 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

6 MOTAHEDI S. AND GAMBLE W.L., Ultimate Steel Stresses in Unbonded

Prestressed Concrete, Proceedings, ASCE, Vol. 104, ST7, July 1978.
7 COLLINS M.P. AND MITCHELL D., Shear and Torsion Design of Prestressed and
Non-Prestressed Concrete Beams, Prestressed Concrete Institute Journal, Vol. 25,
No. 5, Sept./Oct. 1980.
Plasticity , Danish Society for Structural Science and Engineering, Tech. Uni. of
Denmark, Special Publication, October 1978.
9 LEONHARDT F., Das Bewehren von Stahlbetontragwerken , Beton-kalender,
W. Ernst and Sohn, Berlin, Part II, 1971 pp. 30898.
10 CLARKE J.L. AND TAYLOR H.P.J., Web crushing Review of research,
Technical Report 42.509, Cement and Concrete Association, London, 1975.
11 ZSUTTY T.C., Beam Shear Strength Prediction by Analysis of Existing Data, ACI
Journal, Vol. 65, Nov. 1968, pp. 94351.
12 WALSH P.F., The Analysis of Concrete Beam Shear Test Data, CSIRO Australia,
Division of Building Research, Report 9, 1973.
13 WALSH P.F., Shear and Torsion Design, Civil Eng. Trans., I.E. Aust., Vol. CE 26,
No. 4, 1984, pp. 31418.
14 CHANA P.S., Some Aspects of Modelling the Behaviour of Reinforcement
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Concrete Under Shear Loading, Cement and Concrete Assoc., Tech. Report 543,
July 1981.
15 RANGAN B.V., Shear Strength of Partially and Fully Prestressed Concrete Beams,
Civ. Eng. Trans., I.E. Aust., Vol. CE21, No. 2, Sept. 1979, pp. 927.
16 ACI-ASCE COMMITTEE 426, The Shear Strength of Reinforced Concrete
Members, ASCE, Journal of the Structural Division, Vol. 99, June 1973,
pp. 1091187.
17 CEB/FIP, Model Code for Concrete Structures, Comite Internationale du Beton,
Bulletin dInformation N124/125E, April 1978.
18 MARTI P., Truss models in detailing, Concrete International: Design and
Construction, Vol. 7, No. 12, December 1985, pp. 6773, American Concrete
19 HSU T.T.C. AND HWANG C., Torsional Limit Design of Spandrel Beams, ACI
Journal, Vol. 74, Feb. 1977, pp. 719.
20 MANSUR M.A. AND RANGAN B.V., Limit Design of Spandrel Beams, Civil
Eng. Trans. I.E. Aust., Vol. CE23, No. 1, Jan. 1981, pp. 713.
21 LAMPERT P., Torsion and Bending in Reinforced and Prestressed Concrete
Members, The Institution of Engineers (London), Proceedings, Vol. 50, Dec. 1971,
pp. 487505.
22 LAMPERT P. AND COLLINS M.P., Torsion, Bending, and ConfusionAn
Attempt to Establish the Facts, Journal of the American Concrete Institute ,
Proceedings, Vol. 69, Aug. 1972, pp. 5004.
23 RANGAN B.V. AND HALL A.S., Shear and Torsion Rules in the SAA Concrete
Code, Paper presented at the Biennial Conference, Concrete Institute of Australia,
Adelaide, June 1981.
24 FIP, Guide to Good Practice Shear at the Interface of Precast and In-Situ
Concrete , Federation Internationale de la Precontrainte, 1982.

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 90

25 AS 2327.1, SAA Composite Structures Code, Part I: Simply Supported Beams,

Standards Association of Australia, Sydney, 1980.
26 CEB, Deformability of Concrete Structures Basic Assumptions, Bulletin
DInformation, No. 90, 1973.
27 HEIMAN J.L., Long-Term Deformations in the Tower Building, Australia Square,
Sydney, ACI Journal, Proceedings, Vol. 70, No. 4, April 1973.
28 HEIMAN J.L., A Comparison of Measured and Calculated Deflections of Flexural
Members in Four Reinforced Concrete Buildings, ACI Publication SP43,
Deflections of Concrete Structures, April 1974.
29 DAYEH R.A., Live Loads in Office Buildings A Pilot Study, Institution of
Engineers Conference on Applications of Probability Theory to Structural Design,
Melbourne, November 1977.
30 DAYEH R.A., Review of Live Load Surveys in Office Buildings, Technical
Report 446, Experimental Building Station, August 1978.
31 MITCHELL G.R. AND WOODGATE R.W., Floor Loadings in Office Buildings
The Results of a Survey, CP3/71, Building Research Station, Garston, UK, January
32 SALMON C.G., SHAIKH F. AND MIRZO M.S., Computation of Deflections for
Beams and One Way Slabs, ACI Publication SP43, Deflections of Concrete
Structures, April 1974.
Licensed to E.S.SURESH on 04 Jun 2002. Single user licence only. Storage, distribution or use on network prohibited.

33 MCGUIRE R.K. AND CORNELL C.A., Live Load Effects in Office Buildings,
Journal ASCE, Vol. 100(ST7), July 1974.
34 ACI COMMITTEE 435, Deflections of Reinforced Concrete Flexural Members,
ACI Journal, Proceedings, Vol. 63, No. 6, June 1966, pp. 63774.
35 BRANSON D.E., Instantaneous and Time-Dependent Deflections of Simple and
Continuous Reinforced Concrete Beams, Report No. 7, Alabama Highway Research
Report, Bureau of Public Roads, August 1963, pp. 178.
36 BRANSON D.E., Design Procedures for Computing Deflections, ACI Journal,
Proceedings, Vol. 65, No. 9, Sept. 1968, pp. 73042.
37 BRIDGE R.Q. AND SMITH R.G., Tension Stiffening Model for Reinforced
Concrete Members, 8th Australasian Conference on the Mechanics of Structures
and Materials, University of Newcastle, August 1982, pp. 4.14.6.
38 CLARK L.A. AND SPEIRS D.M., Tension Stiffening In Reinforced Concrete
Beams and Slabs under Short-Term Loads, Technical Report No. 42.521, C & CA,
London, 1978, 19 pp.
39 GILBERT R.I., Allowable Span to Depth Ratios for Reinforced Concrete Slabs,
Proceedings of the Seventh Australasian Conference on the Mechanics of Structures
and Materials, Perth, May 1980, pp. 1039.
40 GILBERT R.I., Deflection Calculations for Reinforced Concrete Beams, Civil
Engineering Transactions, IE Australia, Vol. CE25, No. 2, May 1983, pp. 12834.
41 GILBERT R.I., Deflection Control of Reinforced Concrete Slabs, Civil
Engineering Transactions, IE Australia, Vol. CE25, No. 4, November 1983,
pp. 2749.
42 RANGAN B.V., Deflections of Reinforced Concrete Beams, Civil Engineering
Transactions, IE Australia, Vol. CE27, No. 2, May 1985, pp. 21624.

91 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

43 RANGAN B.V., Maximum Allowable Span/Depth Ratios for Reinforced Concrete

Beams, Civil Engineering Transactions, IE Australia, Vol. CE24, No. 4, 1982,
pp. 31217.
44 WARNER R.F., Simplified Model of Creep and Shrinkage Effects in Reinforced
Concrete Flexural Members, Civil Engineering Transactions, IE Australia,
Vol. CE15, Nos 1 and 2, 1973, pp. 6973.
45 WARNER R.F., Service Load Behaviour of Reinforced Concrete Members, Short
Course on Design of Concrete Structures for Serviceability, University of NSW and
Concrete Institute of Australia, July 1978.
46 GILBERT R.I. AND WARNER R.F., Tension Stiffening in Reinforced Concrete
Slabs, Journal of the Struct. Division, ASCE, Vol. 104, No. ST12, Dec. 1978.
47 BEEBY A.W., An Investigation of Cracking in Slabs Spanning One Way, Cement
and Concrete Association, London, TRA 433, 1970.
48 IRWIN A.W., Human Response to Dynamic Motion of Structures, The Structural
Engineer, Vol. 56A, No. 9, Sept. 1978, pp. 23744.
49 GAMBLE W.L., SOZEN M.A. AND SIESS C.P., An Experimental Study of a
Reinforced Concrete Two-Way Floor Slab, Structural Research Series No. 211,
University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, June 1961, 167 pp.
50 RANGAN B.V. AND HALL A.S., Forces in the Vicinity of Edge Columns in Flat
Plate Floors, Volume 1 Tests on R C Models, UNICIV Report No. R-203, The
Licensed to E.S.SURESH on 04 Jun 2002. Single user licence only. Storage, distribution or use on network prohibited.

University of NSW, Jan. 1983, 240 pp.

51 WALSH P.F., Reinforced Concrete Deflection Design, CSIRO Division of
Building Research, Report No. 39, 1975.
52 HANSELL W. AND WINTER G., Lateral Stability of Reinforced Concrete Beams,
ACI Journal, Proceedings, Vol. 56, No. 3, Sept. 1959, pp. 193214.
53 SANT J.K. AND BLETZACKER R.W., Experimental Study of Lateral Stability of
Reinforced Concrete Beams, ACI Journal , Proceedings, Vol. 58, No. 6, Dec. 1961,
pp. 71336.
54 WARNER R.F. AND FAULKES K.A., Prestressed Concrete, Second Edition,
Longman Cheshire, 1988.
55 FAULKES K.A., Strength at Transfer of Prestressed Concrete Beams, Structural
Seminar Series for Design Engineers, New South Wales Institute of Technology,
No. 9, Oct. 1987.
56 BS 8110, Part 2: 1985, Structural use of concrete. Code of practice for special
circumstances, British Standards Institution, London, 1985.

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 92

S E C T I O N C 9 D E S I G N O F S L AB S F O R


C9.1.1 General The strength of slabs in bending generally follows the equivalent
clauses in Strength of beams in bending but there are concessions for minimum tensile
reinforcement which relate to two-way action. For the case of isolated slab footings, the
lack of restraint which might cause tension, and the fact that there cannot be a sudden
catastrophic collapse, combine to allow the reduced tensile reinforcement.
C9.1.2 Reinforcement and tendon distribution in two-way flat slabs This
requirement is similar to that provided in AS 1481. A note in AS 1480 drew attention to
the advantages of concentrating the negative reinforcement near the column as test data
indicated that this practice increased the stiffness of the slab column connection. This
reinforcement is also required to ensure adequate shear strength of the slab in the vicinity
of the column in accordance with Clause 9.2.
C9.1.3 Detailing of tensile reinforcement in slabs The clauses are different from
those in Section 11 of AS 1480. The deemed-to-comply Clauses to are
subdivided into one-way slabs, two-way slabs supported on beams or walls, and two-way
flat slabs. It should be noted that the arrangements for one-way slabs require that the live
load be not greater than twice the dead load, and that the ratio of the longer to the shorter
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of any two adjacent spans does not exceed 1.2. In each case the extensions are related to
the clear span between supports.
Figure has been introduced as a simplified detailing requirement to correspond
with the simplified method of analysis in Clause 7.2.1.
For two-way slabs supported by beams or walls, the bending moments are based on the
shorter span and the selection of this span for reinforcement extensions can sometimes be
complicated. Figures C9.1.3(a) and (b) illustrate the choices available.

(a) Negative reinforcement (b) Posit ive reinforcement



93 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

For two-way flat slabs, bending moments are related to the longer span. For extensions,
the clear span in the direction of the applicable reinforcement is to be used. Figure
is obtained from Figure 21.7.4 of AS 1480 but the arrangement has been simplified.
C9.1.3.1 General procedure for arrangement (See C8.1.8.2 for displacement of
bending moment envelopes). At a simple support the requirement of one-half extending
past the face of the support, for a length 12 d b, has an alternative of equivalent anchorage.
Extending all the reinforcement 6 db past the face of the support would satisfy this
A reduction in anchorage requirements at discontinuous edges is allowed, provided the
slab at that support is lightly stressed in shear. In this case, the anchorage of the positive
moment reinforcement may be reduced to an extension past the face of 8d b if 50% is
extended, or to 4db if all the reinforcement is extended.
C9.1.3.2 Deemed-to-comply arrangement for two-way flat slabs It should be noted that
the negative reinforcement need not be cogged if adequate anchorage can be otherwise
C9.1.4 Spacing of reinforcement and tendons The prescription method used in
Clause 6.7 of AS 1480 is replaced and adequate spacing now has to be specified by the


C9.2.1 General When calculating the value of dom , the geometry of the assumed
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critical shear surface needs to be taken into account. In many cases it will be easier to
calculate the effective area of the critical shear surface, (u.dom ), as the sum of a number of
simple rectangular areas ([u i.doi ]) rather than calculating u and dom separately.
For example, in the Figure C9.2.1 below, which represents an edge column in a flat slab
with spandrel beams, the critical shear area around the column would be the sum of the
shaded areas. This value can be used directly in the calculation of V uo from Clause 9.2.3.


C9.2.2 Application Shear failure can occur in two different modes. Firstly, a slab
could act as a wide beam and fail in beam-type shear. In such cases Clause 8.2 applies
and in particular the waiver given in Clause 8.2.5(b), since the width of the slab is usually
greater than twice the overall depth. Secondly, a slab subject to two-way action could fail
by punching along a truncated cone or pyramid around the support or loaded area. In the
second mode of failure, the extent of bending moment transferred from the slab to the
support has an influence on the design.

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 94

C9.2.3 Ultimate shear strength where Mv * is zero When no moment is transferred to

the support, the shear strength (V uo ) is given by the equation in this Clause. This equation
has been adopted from the current ACI Code (Ref. 1) and it is similar to the one used in
AS 1480. It implies that the shear stresses are distributed uniformly around a critical
perimeter and that failure occurs when these stresses reach a value equal to (f cv + 0.3 cp ).
Where shear reinforcement, in the form of shear-studs, shear-heads and the like, is
provided, the value of fcv is taken as 0.5f c . The upper limit on V uo in this case avoids
web crushing failure.
C9.2.4 Ultimate shear strength where M*v is not zero Where the moment transfer to
the support is not zero, the punching shear strength is given by the equations in this
Clause. These equations are based on a physical model shown in Figure C9.2.4, as well as
on the results obtained from large scale tests conducted at the University of New South
Wales (Refs 2 to 5). The model shown in Figure C9.2.4 illustrates the situation in the
vicinity of an edge column with a spandrel beam. To be consistent with the model used in
the calculation of Vuo , it is assumed that the critical section for failure is at a distance d/2
away from the face of the column. Here M*v and V* are respectively the bending moment
and the shear force transferred to the column centre at the collapse limit state. The shear
force is transferred partly by V 2 at the front face and the remainder by V 1 at each side
face. The moment transfer occurs partly as the yield moment, M 2, of the slab
reinforcement at the front face of the critical section, some due to the eccentricity of the
shear force V 2, and the remainder as torsional moments T 1 at each side face. At an interior
column, transfer of forces also occurs at a back face of the critical section. At a corner
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column, there is only one side face. At an edge column where M*v acts parallel to the
edge of the floor, there are front and back faces and one side face.


A punching shear failure is caused either by the failure of the torsion strip (or the
spandrel beam if any) at the side face in combined torsion and shear, or by the failure of
the slab strip at the front face (and the back face, if any) in shear.
The strength of the torsion strip (or the spandrel beam) at the side face in combined
torsion and shear is many times the value calculated for isolated beams (Refs 2 to 5).
When subjected to torsion, an isolated beam undergoes an increase in length due to the
warping of the cross-section and opening of inclined cracks. When such a beam is part of
a floor system, the monolithic slab provides considerable resistance to the beam
expansion. The torsion strip at the side face is in a situation similar to a beam in an

95 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

integrated floor system. The tests conducted at the University of New South Wales
(Refs 3 and 4) showed that, because of the slab restraint, the measured cracking torque of
the torsion strip at the side face of the critical section was approximately six times the
value obtained for an isolated beam. At failure, the measured strength in combined torsion
and shear of the torsion strip at the side face which contained closed ties was about four
times that of a similar isolated beam. These beneficial effects of slab restraint are
included in the strength equations given in this Clause. The development of these
equations is given in Reference 2.
From the failure mechanism discussed above, it must be clear that one of the most
important factors that governs the punching shear strength is how the torsion strip (or the
spandrel beam) resists the combined effects of torsion and shear acting on it. Where there
are no closed ties in this torsion strip (or the spandrel beam), the torsion and shear must
be resisted by the concrete alone. On the other hand, where torsion strip (or the spandrel
beam) contains closed ties, the load-carrying mechanism and hence the strength equations
are different. Strength equations are therefore given for four different cases.
The strength equations have been compared with test results (Ref. 2). The correlation
between the test and the predicated strengths has been found to be conservative and
significantly influenced by the boundary conditions of the test specimens.
C9.2.5 Minimum area of closed ties The expression for the minimum area of closed
ties is identical to that given in Clause 8.3.7.


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C9.3.1 General A three-tiered approach is adopted for deflection control of slabs.

Deflections may be calculated by either refined or simplified methods and compared with
the deflection limits specified in Clause 2.4.2. Alternatively, deflections of reinforced
concrete slabs may be controlled by satisfying deemed-to-comply span-to-depth ratios.
C9.3.2 Slab deflection by refined calculations Methods for the calculation of slab
deflection by refined methods range from complex, non-linear, finite element models
(Refs 7, 8 and 9) to more approximate methods (Refs 10, 11 and 12).
Irrespective of the analysis technique, account must be taken of two-way action, the
expected load history, and the various sources of material non-linearity including
cracking, tension stiffening, and the time-dependent effects of creep and shrinkage (see
also Paragraph C8.5).
C9.3.3 Slab deflection by simplified calculation For rectangular two-way slab panels
supported on four sides, the equivalent beam may be a 1 m-wide slab strip of span L x (the
shorter effective span), with the same support conditions as the slab. Part of the transverse
load on a two-way edge-supported slab is carried by bending in the x and y directions and
part is carried by twisting. If twisting is ignored and the deflections of a pair of beams at
right angles through the centre of the slab panel are equated, the proportion of the total
load carried in the short-span direction by the equivalent beam is given by the expression
in Item (b) of the Clause.
Because torsional stiffness of the slab is ignored, deflection of the equivalent beam will
usually be a conservative estimate of slab deflection. The method assumes unyielding
edge supports. If this is not the case, deflection of the supporting members must be added
to the slab deflection to obtain overall deflections.
Techniques have been developed for the inclusion of the torsional stiffness of
edge-support slabs (Refs 13, 14 and 15) if greater accuracy is required.
For continuous two-way flat slabs, the equivalent beam spans in the long-span direction
and is the full width of the idealized frame. The moment diagram used for deflection
calculations at service loads may be obtained from the idealized frame method
(Clause 7.5). The procedure was formalized by Nilson and Walters (Ref. 10). The entire

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 96

load on the panel is carried by the equivalent beam. Because the moments in the real slab
vary across the equivalent beam and are largest on the centre-line, the average deflection
of the equivalent beam will be smaller than the corresponding deflection on the column
line in the real slab. A 20% increase in deflection of the equivalent beam to account for
this effect is suggested.
The thickness of the equivalent beam near the supports should be increased to model the
stiffening effect of drop panels or column capitals, if any.
C9.3.4 Deemed-to-comply span-to-depth ratio for reinforced slabs The span-to-
depth ratios for slabs in this Clause were developed by Gilbert (Ref. 15) as an extension
of Rangans equation for beams (Ref. 16). The procedure has been calibrated to provide
agreement with the deflection calculations of Clause 9.3.3.
The values of k 4 for continuous slabs have been reduced to 2.0 for end spans and 2.4 for
interior spans, to be consistent with the procedures given in Clause 9.3.3.
The maximum span-to-depth ratio may be calculated for any desired deflection limit
(selected in accordance with Clause 2.4.2(a)) and for any expected service load
combination. Note that both E c and Fd.ef must be expressed in millimetre units.
For slabs supported on four sides, the torsional stiffness of the slab has been included in
the calibration of the multiplier k 4. The parameters k3 and k4 were calibrated using a
non-linear, finite-element, slab-simulation model which is described in Reference 15.
Cantilevers cannot be treated in this way because of their sensitivity to rotation at the
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C9.4 CRACK CONTROL OF SLABS The Standard gives only specific detailing
rules as a means of controlling cracking in slabs. However using provisions of Clause 1.3
of the Standard, the calculations of crack widths can be used as an alternative procedure
in controlling cracking (see also Paragraph C8.6).
The rules apply also to slabs designed under Section 16. This differs from AS 1480 about
which there was a body of opinion that that Standard did not apply to slabs on the ground
at all.
C9.4.1 Crack control for flexure in reinforced slabs The maximum spacing of bars
is a simplification of the requirements of AS 1480.
C9.4.2 Crack control for flexure in prestressed slabs (see Paragraph C8.6.2). Note
that in Item (a) the limit on flexural tensile stress in concrete for slabs is 0.5f c compared
with 0.6f c for beams, and in Item (b) the limit on increment in steel stress is 150 MPa
for slabs compared with 200 MPa for beams. The more stringent requirements for slabs
reflects the different bond resistance of slab ducts and beam ducts.
C9.4.3 Crack control for shrinkage and temperature effects In general the
reinforcement requirements are more stringent than those in AS 1480 and AS 1481 and
reflect the consensus view that the requirements in the previous Standards were not
always adequate to control cracking due to shrinkage and temperature effects.
The Clause recognizes that shrinkage and thermal effects in thick members are a surface
phenomenon by restricting the maximum thickness used in calculating the reinforcement
requirements to 250 mm.
C9.4.3.2 Reinforcement in the primary direction A concession of 25% is made in the
minimum reinforcement requirements in a primary direction of bending, compared with
the requirements in the secondary direction, to take account of the beneficial effect of part
of the cross-section being in compression due to flexure in a primary direction of bending.
C9.4.3.3 Reinforcement in the secondary direction in restrained slabs The exemption
for slabs of width less than 2.5 m is based on satisfactory in-service performance of
precast panels of such widths without reinforcement in the secondary direction.

97 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

C9.4.3.4 Reinforcement in the secondary direction in restrained slabs In exposure

classifications A1 and A2, the amount of reinforcement required is defined in terms of the
degree of crack control required. For most applications a minor degree of crack control is
adequate for durability. However, other considerations may dictate a greater degree of
crack control.
The degree of control should be interpreted as follows:
(a) Minor control Where cracks are aesthetically inconsequential or hidden from view.
(b) Moderate control Where cracks will be seen but can be tolerated.
(c) Strong control Where the appearance of obvious cracks is unacceptable, or where
cracks may reflect through finishes.
C9.4.3.5 Reinforcement in the secondary direction in partially restrained slabs In
one-way spanning slabs of large width, the central area of the slabs will be almost fully
restrained irrespective of the edge restraints.
C9.4.4 Crack control in the vicinity of restraints Proper account has to be taken of
the stress distribution in the vicinity of restraints. Consideration should be given to strain
compatibility to ensure adequate reinforcement is provided to control cracking to the
desired degree, based on exposure classification and functional requirements.
C 9 . 4. 5 C r a ck c o nt r o l a t o p e ni n g s a nd d is c o nt i n ui t i es S ee Co m me nt a r y
Clause C8.6.5.
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C9.5 VIBRATION OF SLABS (see Paragraph C8.7) Suggested maximum

span-to-depth ratios for two-way slabs, to minimize vibrations due to pedestrian traffic,
are given in Reference 17.


POINT LOADS This is a simplified version of the corresponding AS 1480 Clause.

1 ACI COMMITTEE 318, Building Code Requirements for Reinforced Concrete (ACI
318-83) , American Concrete Institute, Detroit, Michigan, 1983.
2 RANGAN B.V., Punching Shear Strength of Reinforced Concrete Slabs, Civil
Engineering Transaction, IE Australia, Vol. CE29, No. 2, April 1987, pp. 718.
3 RANGAN B.V. AND HALL A.S., Forces in the Vicinity of Edge Columns in Flat
Plate Floors (V1Tests on R.C. Models), UNICIV Report No. R-203, University of
NSW, Jan. 1983, 240 pp.
4 RANGAN B.V. AND HALL A.S., Moment and Shear Transfer Between Slab and
Edge Column, ACI Journal, Proceedings, Vol. 80 No. 3, May/June 1983,
pp. 18391.
5 HALL A.S. AND RANGAN B.V., Forces in the Vicinity of Edge Columns in Flat
Slab Floors, Magazine of Concrete Research (London), Vol. 35, No. 122, March
1983, pp. 1926.
6 Not used.
7 GILBERT R.I. AND WARNER R.F., Time-dependent Behaviour of Reinforced
Concrete Slabs, Proceedings, International Association for Bridge and Structural
Engineering, pp. 1278, Feb. 1978.
8 GILBERT R.I. Time-Dependent Analysis of Reinforced and Prestressed Concrete
Slabs, Proceedings of the Third International Conference in Australia on Finite
Element Methods, University of New South Wales, July 1979, pp. 21530.

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 98

9 SCANLON A. AND MURRAY D.W., Time-dependent Reinforced Concrete Slab

Deflections, Journal of the Structural Division, ASCE, Vol. 100, Sept. 1984,
pp. 191124.
10 NILSON A.H. AND WALTERS D.B., Deflection of Two-way Floor Systems by
the Equivalent Frame Method, ACI Journal, Vol. 72, No. 5, May 1975, pp. 21018.
11 VANDERBILT M.D., SOZEN M.A. AND SIESS C.P., Deflections of Reinforced
Concrete Floor Slabs, Structural Research Series No. 263, Dept of Civil
Engineering, University of Illinois, April 1963.
12 RANGAN B.V., Prediction of Long-term Deflections of Flat Plates and Slabs, ACI
Journal, Vol. 73, No. 4, April 1976, pp. 2239.
13 EWELL W.W., OKUBA S. AND ABRAMS J.I., Deflections in Gridworks and
Slabs, Transactions, ASCE, Vol. 117, 1952, p. 869.
14 FURR W.L., Numerical Method for Approximate Analysis of Building Slabs, ACI
Journal, Vol. 3, No. 6, Dec. 1959, p. 511.
15 GILBERT R.I., Deflection Control of Reinforced Concrete Slabs, Civil
Engineering Transactions, Institution of Engineers, Aust., Vol. CE2S, No. 4, Nov.
1983, pp. 2748.
16 RANGAN B.V., Maximum Allowable Span/Depth Ratios for Reinforced Concrete
Beams, Civil Engineering Transactions , IE Australia, Vol. CE24, No. 4, 1982,
pp. 31217.
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17 MICKLEBOROUGH N.C. AND GILBERT R.I., Vibration Control of Two-way

Suspended Concrete Slabs, UNICIV Report R-223, School of Civil Engineering,
University of New South Wales, 1985.

99 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

S E C T I O N C 1 0 D E S I G N O F C O L U M NS F O R

C10.1.1 Design strength It is customary to determine the primary bending moments in
a structure by a linear elastic analysis. For slender structures, additional secondary
bending moments result from both the change in geometry of the structure, particularly
for unbraced frames of the type shown in Figure C10.1.1(A), and the action of the axial
force on the lateral deflections between the ends of the columns (for both braced or
unbraced columns). These moments must be included in the total moment to be resisted
by the column at any section along its length.
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A simple example of a braced column loaded at a constant eccentricity is shown in

Figure C10.1.1(B). If the column is short and deflections negligible, the critical section at
the centre of the column is subject to an axial force N and a moment N.e. Maximum value
of the axial force, N, is reached at point A on the interaction diagram defining the

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 100

strength of the column section. For a slender column, the additional deflections and
moments are significant and the critical section at the mid-height of the column is subject
to the axial force N and a moment of N(e + ). The value of the maximum axial force is
therefore reached at point B on the interaction diagram. The reduction in load capacity
from A to B (or the increase in moment from A to B) is referred to as the slenderness
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(a) Forces in a deflected column (b) Eff ect of N - moment on column strength


C10.1.2 Minimum bending moment This requirement is for a minimum eccentricity

of 0.05D and not an additional eccentricity as previously provided in AS 1480. The
minimum eccentricity concept is used in both BS 8110 (Ref. 11) and ACI 318-83 (Ref. 3),
the value of 0.05D coming directly from CP110. The minimum eccentricity provides for
imperfections in straightness during construction. It is required for the determination of
the strength of an axially loaded member with very small, or zero, end moments.
C10.1.3 Definitions
Braced columns For a braced frame of the type shown in Figure C10.1.1(A), the change
in overall geometry (e.g. horizontal deflection of the floors) is negligible and secondary
moments, due only to lateral deflection between the ends of columns, need to be taken
into account.
Short columns Depending on the column length, distribution of bending moment and
level of axial force, there is a considerable range of columns for which additional bending
moments due to slenderness effects are negligible and can be taken as zero. These
columns are deemed to be short (see Clause 10.3.1).

C10.2 DESIGN PROCEDURES The flow-chart of Figure C10.2 is provided to assist

designers in following the requirements of this Section.
C10.2.1 Design procedure using linear elastic analysis The majority of framed
structures in reinforced and prestressed concrete are analysed by first-order linear elastic
analysis. In such analyses, the change in geometry of the frame under loading is assumed
to have a negligible effect on the magnitude and distribution of axial forces, shear forces
and primary bending moments.
For the simple portal frame loaded as shown in Figure C10.2.1 the principle of
superposition may be used and the lateral deflection calculated as 1.

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AS 3600 Supp1 1994
AS 3600 Supp1 1994 102

(a) First- order analysis

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N bending moment = V R2 ( 1 + 2)

(b) Second order: N


However, additional moments are induced by the action of the vertical forces acting on
the actual lateral displacement ( 1 + 2), e.g. the maximum secondary moment due to
slenderness at the top of column CD is given by V R2 (1 + 2).
The design procedure to be adopted is as follows, depending on the relative slenderness of
the column:
(a) For stubby columns, as defined in Clause 10.3, the secondary displacement effects
are negligible and hence the columns can be designed on the basis of primary
moments alone. Many columns will fall into this category.
(b) For slender columns, the additional bending moments resulting from the
deformations are taken into account by multiplying the design primary bending
moments by a moment magnifier. Moment magnification is based on an elastic
buckling analysis, using the effective length concept (e.g. the equivalent pin-ended
column CD shown in Figure C10.2.1) given in Clauses 10.4 and 10.5.
C10.2.2 Design procedure incorporating secondary bending moments A second-
order elastic analysis in accordance with Clause 7.7, often referred to as a P analysis,
can be carried out to determine the secondary bending moments due to changes in frame
geometry. Most second-order analyses are iterative in nature and require a computer
program. For buildings which can be modelled by a set of rectangular equivalent frames,
Smith (Ref. 24) has devised a simple non-iterative analysis which requires only minor
modification to the stiffness matrix used in conventional first-order elastic analyses. The
method is ideally suited for microcomputers.

103 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

Second-order methods determine the secondary moments at the ends of the column.
Secondary moments arising from the action of the axial force on the lateral deflection
between the ends of the column still have to be accounted for using the moment magnifier
(b), determined in accordance with Clause 10.4.3(a).
C10.2.3 Design procedure using rigorous structural analysis A rigorous structural
analysis is required to take into account all non-linear material properties and non-linear
geometric effects including initial crookedness. While such analyses enable the axial force
and bending moment, caused by the design loading for the appropriate limit state, to be
determined for every section of the column, they are complex in nature and suitable
computer programs are not generally available except for a very limited range of
structures. Nevertheless, for slender columns in major structures, the use of such methods
should be considered.


C10.3.1 General For short columns, no moment magnification due to slenderness is
assumed to occur and the interaction diagram defining the strength of a section may be
used directly. Many reinforced columns used in current practice will come into this
category. Depending on the ratio of the end bending moments, a slenderness ratio (l/r) as
high as 120 is valid (Ref. 7b). For braced columns bent in single curvature (M *1/M *2 = 1),
or for unbraced columns, there is always some magnification irrespective of the column
slenderness. The slenderness limit of 25 ensures that the additional bending moments are
less than 10% (i.e. ^<1.10) and can be neglected. Similar slenderness limits are used in
ACI 318-83 (Ref. 3).
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For columns with small bending moments, for which the minimum value of 0.05DN* has
to be taken, a column bent in nominal double curvature can snap through into the single
curvature mode. It is conservative to assume the column is initially bent in single
curvature by taking M *1/M *2 = 1.
C10.3.2 Short column with small axial force It is generally conservative to ignore the
small axial force of 0.1fcA g and design the column for bending only (i.e. as a beam) as
small axial forces usually increase the moment capacity of reinforced concrete sections.
C10.3.3 Short column with small bending moments The requirements are similar to
those in BS 8110 (Ref. 11). The reduction in axial load capacity to 0.75N uo is to account
for moments (which have been neglected) that arise from asymmetrical loading on the
adjacent beams of similar length. It should not be used for edge columns unless the only
flexural members loading the column run parallel to the edge.


C10.4.1 General The moment magnifier method is similar to the approach used in ACI
318-77 (Ref. 1) and modified in ACI 318-83 (Ref. 3). An alternative method, in terms of
additional eccentricity, is proposed by the FIP Recommendations (Ref. 14). This Clause is
a complete departure from the R-factor method used in AS 1480 and AS 1481 for
assessing slenderness effects. The R-factor method treats the effect of slenderness by
increasing both the axial force (N *) and corresponding bending moment (M *) to
hypothetical short column actions. The moment magnifier method, on the other hand, does
not increase the axial force (N*) but does magnify the bending moment to account for the
increase in bending moment due to slenderness effects. It is a more rational procedure and
more closely reflects the actual behaviour of a column.
C10.4.2 Moment magnifier for a braced column The value of the braced moment
magnifier (b) depends on the ratio of the axial load (N *) to the buckling load (N c ) of the
braced column and to the ratio of the end moments (M *1/M *2 ). This procedure is similar to
that used for the design of structural steel columns in AS 1250 1982 (Ref. 5) except that
it is expressed in limit state rather than working stress format. Note that the largest
bending moment is multiplied by the magnifier to obtain the design moment.

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 104

(a) Single curvature (b) Double curvature


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Moment magnification for a pin-ended column is shown in Figure C10.4.2. If the value of
k m/(l-N */N c ) is less than unity, the maximum moment occurs at the end of the column and
b = 1.0 (i.e. no magnification). The lower limit of 0.4 for k m is to account for the
unwinding, under high axial loads, of columns bent in double curvature where
0.5 ^<M 1/M 2 1.0. Where the maximum moment due to transverse loading occurs
* *

between the ends of the column, this moment will be amplified by the axial force. In the
absence of more accurate calculations, k m can be taken as unity (Ref. 9b).
The accuracy of the moment magnifier method has been checked by Smith and Bridge
(Ref. 24) and the reliability checked by Pham and Bridge (Ref. 18b). The method is
accurate for columns with a slenderness ratio L/r 40, which would cover most practical
cases of braced columns. For L/r ratios above this limit, the method becomes increasingly
conservative particularly for columns with small end moments. In the study by Smith and
Bridge, the columns were taken as pin-ended with end eccentricity of loading. In reality,
the boundary conditions at the ends of the columns will not be fixed moments but rather
moments acting in conjunction with rotational end-restraints. This can affect significantly
the pattern of moments. However, the accuracy of the effective length of an equivalent
pin-ended column, to account for the effects of end restraints has been closely examined
by Lai, MacGregor and Hellesland (Ref. 18). The effective length method gives
reasonable predictions of magnified moments provided conservative estimates of the
effective length are made.
C10.4.3 Moment magnifier for an unbraced column As the columns in a building
are normally tied together by the floor slabs and beams, failure of a structure in the
sideway mode, as shown in Figure C10.4.3, can only occur by the relative translation of
each floor as a whole in the horizontal plane. In the case of a rectilinear building frame,
the relative horizontal displacement must be the same between the ends of all the vertical
members within a storey, provided that the floors are not subjected to significant rotation
on plan view.
The value of the sway moment magnifier (s) for all columns within a storey depends on
the ratio of the sum of the axial forces (N *) and the sum of the elastic critical buckling

105 AS 3600 Supp1 1994

loads (N c) for all columns within the storey as one column cannot sway unless they all
sway. However, an individual column within a storey may be very slender and highly
loaded, in which case the braced mode of buckling may be critical. It is therefore
necessary to calculate the braced moment magnifier (b ) for each individual column. The
larger of the values s and b is taken as the moment magnifier.
The above procedure requires a storey-by-storey check to evaluate s. An alternative
procedure is to use a frame magnifier (s) based on the elastic critical buckling load factor
(uc ) of the entire frame. Hence, s is taken as a constant value for all columns in the
frame. In calculating uc, the stiffness of the members should be appropriate to the limit
state being considered. MacGregor and Hage (Ref. 19) have proposed values of 0.4 E cI f
and 0.8 E cIc for the flexural members and columns respectively. While computer methods
are generally required to establish elastic critical buckling loads for frames, reasonable
estimates for rectangular frames can be obtained using manual methods (Ref. 7a), or a
simple adaptation of a linear elastic frame analysis (Ref. 16).
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The accuracy of moment magnifier methods for this case has been checked by Lai and
MacGregor (Ref. 17) and by Smith (Ref. 24). The use of a storey-by-storey magnifier
gave more accurate predictions than the frame magnifier, which was conservative for most
of the columns. However, the frame magnifier may be particularly useful for frames with
a mixture of elements, as the stabilizing effect of the stiffer elements on the more slender
elements is taken into account. Structures with partial restraint against sway can also be
The moment magnifier method should only be used where s^<1.5. Above this value, the
failure mode may be one of instability before the strength of the section at the point of
maximum moment is reached (Ref. 19). In such cases, the design should be revised, or a
rigorous analysis used.
C10.4.4 Buckling load The buckling load (N c) of a column can be expressed in terms
of the effective length (Le ) and the stiffness (EI) by
N c = 2 EI/Le2

AS 3600 Supp1 1994 106

The stiffness is affected by the non-linearity of the stress-strain relationships for the
concrete and reinforcement, the distribution of flexural cracking, the tension stiffening
between cracks, creep effects and the level of axial load and moment applied to the
column. The value of EI directly affects the moment magnifiers s and b and any
assessment should also give a good fit to experimental results at ultimate strength, for
both reinforced and prestressed concrete members.
The secant stiffness (EI) at ultimate strength can be determined for any point on the
load-moment interaction diagram using the elementary equation
EI = M u /(l/R u)
where l/R u is the curvature at ultimate strength of the cross-section and is given by
l/R u = cu/(k uo do)
where cu is the maximum concrete strain at ultimate strength and k uodo is the neutral axis
depth. Values of EI for a reinforced concrete cross-section are given in Figure C10.4.4 for
both the rectangular stress block approximation of Clause 10.6.2 and the more accurate
CEB (Ref. 10) stress-strain relationship for the concrete.
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Studies by MacGregor, Oelhafen and Hage (Ref. 20), Menn (Ref. 21) and Oelhafen
(Ref. 22) have suggested that a single representative value of EI might be calculated at the