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10/1/2017 Restrictions on the strength of reinforcement in ACI 318-11

Restrictions on the strength of reinforcement in ACI 318-11

Posted on 2016-06-23

Topics: ACI 318

This blog post first appeared, based on the 2008 edition of ACI 318, as a Code Simple article in the December 2011 issue of the Structural
Engineer magazine. The article has now been updated to ACI 318-11 and republished here.

The restrictions on the strength of reinforcement in ACI 318-11, Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete, adopted by the 2012
IBC, are not clear to many engineers. This blog post presents a table to clearly point out and discuss the restrictions. In the table, fy is the
specified yield strength of reinforcement and fyt is the specified yield strength of transverse reinforcement.

ACI 318-11
Provision Commentary
Section Deformed reinforcing bars shall conform to one of the ASTM This section was introduced in ACI 318-71. In general, ACI 318 does not
specifications listed in except that for bars with fy less than override ASTM specifications. But the committee felt, for bars with fy equal
60,000 psi, the yield strength shall be taken as the stress corresponding to 60,000 psi or more, it was necessary to limit the yield strength fy to that at
to a strain of 0.5 percent, and for bars with fy at least 60,000 psi, the a strain of 0.35 percent, instead of 0.5 percent as then specified in ASTM. At
yield strength shall be taken as the stress corresponding to a strain of that time, there was little use of Grade 75 reinforcement. There was concern
0.35 percent. See 9.4. that the concrete in a column would crush at levels around 0.3 percent
compressive strain and thus, the steel strength based on an fy at 0.5 percent
strain would not be fully additive to the concrete strength. The limiting strain
of 0.35 percent was chosen as a compromise, considering that the concrete
would have some long-term strain from creep and shrinkage, in addition to
the short-term crushing strain of 0.3 percent.

9.4 The values of fy and fyt used in design calculations shall not exceed The reason for the 80,000 psi limit in Section 9.4, also introduced in ACI
80,000 psi, except for prestressing steel and for transverse 318-71, was explained in the Commentary to ACI 318-71 as follows: "An
reinforcement in 10.9.3 and upper limit of 80,000 psi is placed on reinforcing yield strength (other than
prestressing tendons) in Section 9.4.2. Committee 318 did not choose to
recommend any strength above 80,000 psi without adding other restrictions,
since this steel strength is about equal to the ultimate strain in concrete
multiplied by the modulus of elasticity of steel. At present the highest yield
strength covered by ASTM standards is 75,000 psi, and this grade is not
widely used." It should be noted that ASTM A615-09b and ASTM A706-
09b, referenced by ACI 318-11, have both added a Grade 80 steel having a
yield strength of 80,000 psi. The upper limit of 80,000 psi remains

10.9.3 Volumetric spiral reinforcement ratio, ρs, shall be not less than the Sections 9.4 and 10.9.3 were modified for the first time in ACI 318-05 to
value given by allow the use of spiral reinforcement with specified yield strength of up to
100,000 psi. This was done to address the concern that confinement
ρs = 0.45 (Ag/Ach - 1) f'c/fyt (10-5) reinforcement often creates congestion in reinforced concrete members.
Research has shown that reinforcement with yield strength up to 100,000 psi
can be used for confinement, without any detriment to member performance.
where the value of fyt used in Eq. (10-5) shall not exceed 100,000 psi.
Note that Section in effect requires such reinforcement to conform to
For fyt greater than 60,000 psi, lap splices according to ASTM A1035. The way that one knows that is by reading and
shall not be used. Section requires deformed reinforcing bars to conform to one
of the specifications listed in that section, except as permitted by Section The specifications listed are: (a) Plain carbon steel: ASTM A615; (b)
Low alloy steel: ASTM A706; (c) Stainless steel: ASTM A955; (d) Rail steel
and axle steel ASTM A996 (rail-steel is required to be Type R). None of the
above standards provides for a yield strength exceeding 80,000 psi.

11.4.2 The values of fy and fyt used in design of shear reinforcement shall not The upper limit on the yield strength of transverse reinforcement is imposed
exceed 60,000 psi, except the value shall not exceed 80,000 psi for to limit the width of possible shear cracks to acceptable levels. It should be
welded deformed wire reinforcement. noted that this restriction does not mean that higher-strength bars may not be

This is the intellectual property of S.K.Ghosh Associates Inc.

https://skghoshassociates.com/SKGAblog/viewpost.php?id=82 1/2
10/1/2017 Restrictions on the strength of reinforcement in ACI 318-11
used as transverse reinforcement. It simply means that a higher yield strength
may not be used for the calculation of shear strength. Requirements of 21.1.5 apply to special moment frames, special It is important to note that the four restrictions in through
structural walls, and all components of special structural walls do not apply to anything other than special moment frames and special shear
including coupling beams and wall piers. walls (including coupling beams and wall piers, if any). Special detailing is
required for structures assigned to Seismic Design Category (SDC) D, E, or
F; it may be used in structures assigned to lower SDCs. Deformed reinforcement resisting earthquake-induced flexure, axial Restrictions (a) and (b) are part of ASTM A706, but not ASTM A615. If
force, or both, shall comply with ASTM A706, Grade 60. ASTM actual yield strength of reinforcement is much higher than specified, that
A615 Grades 40 and 60 reinforcement shall be permitted if: reinforcement in tension will make a structural member extra-strong in
flexure. That member, then, will attract higher shear forces to itself in an
(a) The actual yield strength based on mill tests does not actual earthquake situation. If its shear strength is not correspondingly
exceed fy by more than 18,000 psi; and increased, which typically is not done, brittle shear failure may result. Thus,
restriction (a) is extremely important. Restriction (b) ensures that
(b) The ratio of the actual tensile strength to the actual reinforcement will gain or at least retain strength over a large range of
yield strength is not less than 1.25. inelastic deformations; a structural member with that reinforcement in
tension, then, will also not lose strength over a significant range of inelastic
displacements. This is very important in seismic applications. Prestressing steel resisting earthquake-induced flexural and axial loads The 2008 edition is the first edition of ACI 318 to permit a special moment
in frame members and in precast structural walls shall comply with frame beam to be prestressed, provided the four conditions set forth in
ASTM A416 or A722. Section are satisfied. It is also allowed in special precast shear walls.
The prestressing steel in such members is required to comply with ASTM
A416 or A722. The value of fyt used to compute the amount of confinement Two of the functions of transverse reinforcement in a reinforced concrete
reinforcement in shall not exceed 100,000 psi. member are to confine the concrete and to act as shear reinforcement. For
confinement purposes, the upper limit on fyt is 100,000 psi. The values of fy or fyt used in design of shear reinforcement shall For purposes of shear strength computation, the upper limit on fyt remains
conform to 11.4.2. 60,000 psi, except for welded deformed wire reinforcement, which is 80,000
psi. It should again be noted that this restriction does not mean that higher-
strength bars may not be used as transverse reinforcement.

This is the intellectual property of S.K.Ghosh Associates Inc.

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