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title: Small Scale Modelling of Concrete Structures

author: Noor, F. A.; Boswell, L. F.
publisher: Taylor & Francis Routledge
isbn10 | asin: 1851666710
print isbn13: 9781851666713
ebook isbn13: 9780203974742
language: English
subject Concrete construction--Models, Structural design,
Concrete structures
publication date: 1992
lcc: TA681.5.S63 1991eb
ddc: 624.1/834
subject: Concrete construction--Models, Structural design,
Concrete structures

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Edited by
Department of Civil Engineering, Polytechnic of East London, Dagenham, UK
Department of Civil Engineering,
City University, London, UK



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Crown House, Linton Road, Barking, Essex IG11 8JU, England
This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2005.

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British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
Small scale modelling of concrete structures.
I. Noor, F.A. II. Boswell, L.F.
ISBN 0-203-97474-3 Master e-book ISBN
ISBN 1-85166-671-0 (Print Edition)
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Small scale modelling of concrete structures/edited by F.A.Noor and
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 1-85166-671-0
1. Concrete construction—Models. 2. Structural design.
I. Noor, F.A. II. Boswell, L.F.
TA681.5.S63 1991
624.1′834–dc20 91–20239
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Photoset by Interprint Ltd, Malta.
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List of Contributors vii

1 Introduction to Modelling of Concrete StructuresR.K.Müller 1

2 Model Analysis and Similitude Requirements 13
3 Size Effects in Plain and Structural Concrete 41
M.Saeed Mirza
4 Recent Developments in Modelling Materials 89
5 Useful Techniques for the Fabrication and Testing of Microconcrete Models 119
6 Fabrication and Testing of Model Pre-stressed Concrete Structures 147
7 Model Analysis of Slabs 183
8 Multi-story Frames Subject to Static Loading 209
W.Gene Corley
9 Modelling of Structures Subjected to Seismic Loading 229
10 Modelling Structures Subjected to Impact 273
11 Future Applications of Physical Models 311

Index 341

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List of Contributors
Department of Civil Engineering, City University, Northampton Square, London, ECIV 0HB,
School of Civil Engineering, The University of Birmingham, PO Box 363, Birmingham, B15
Construction Technology Laboratories, 5420 Old Orchard Road, Skokie, Illinois 60077–4321,
1405 King's Avenue, West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V7T 2C7
Department of Civil Engineering, City University, Northampton Square, London, ECIV 0HB,
Department of Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics, McGill University, Macdonald
Engineering Building, 817 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, Canada H3A 2KG
Institute for Structural Model Analysis, University of Stuttgart, Institute Nr 0212, Postfach
1140, 7000 Stuttgart 80, Germany
Department of Civil Engineering, Polytechnic of East London, Longbridge Road, Dagenham,
Essex, RM8 2AS, UK
Laboratory of Reinforced Concrete, National Technical University of Athens, 42 Patission
Street, GR-106 82 Athens, Greece

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Schumannstr. 13a, 7000 Stuttgart 1, Germany
Depatment of Civil Engineering, University of Bristol, Queen’s Building, University Walk,
Bristol, BS8 ITR, UK

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1Introduction to Modelling of Concrete Structures
Institute for Structural Model Analysis, University of Stuttgart, Germany
In order to determine the behaviour of engineering processes, components or structures,
numerical or physical modelling is usually undertaken. The physical modelling of a reinforced
concrete structure is a typical example in which the model represents a complete structure or
part of a structure. The scale of a model should be as large as possible but practical laboratory
constraints will dictate the model size.
No particular problems up to a scale ratio of approximately 1:4 are likely, but if for technical
reason, it becomes necessary to reduce the scale ratio further, it may be possible to use a scale
of 1:8, by using fine-grain concrete and smallest possible diameter reinforcing bars, without
introducing unpredictable size effects. When an entire prototype is the object of investigation,
however, scales of 1:10 or smaller must be used. It is models of this type that are the theme of
the present book. Which kind of experimental method is followed or which model size is chosen,
depends in the specific case mainly on the problems under consideration at the time. This also
sets the framework for the requirements of accuracy of the test results. These requirements are
very different and may show great variations. Where model tests are part of a general research
programme on the behaviour of different designs of a construction component or where the effect
of structural details has to be assessed,

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higher demands must be made than in those cases where the model test is only carried out in
order to solve a construction problem that happens to be on hand.
A literature search will demonstrate that the most relevant references do not date back more than
15 or perhaps 20 years. This means that very often developments prior to this are not taken into
consideration and that previously published results must be obtained again with a high
investment of time and effort. Frequently, therefore, previous mistakes are repeated, although it
is also possible that new and improved knowledge is obtained with the aid of modern measuring
devices. Thus, we know a great deal today about the significant influence of the strain gradient
on the model-test results. Furthermore, a fair amount of knowledge has been gained about the
effects caused by the methods of production and construction of reinforced concrete models.
This led to the development of new model techniques. Elastic models were almost exclusively
used until the end of the 1960s (Figs 1 and 2) to predict the behaviour of structures up to the
elastic limit. Nowadays, such models are replaced by computer technology with its extensive
numerical programme systems.1 However, neither the numerical nor the physical elastic models
enable the research engineer to obtain the real failure load and load-bearing capacity of pre-
stressed reinforced concrete structures. This is only possible with real models.
In addition, the purpose which a model analysis serves, has also altered. It has now become
usual to employ models rather as part of a general research and development programme than
with the mere aim of solving specific problems of construction in a given case.2–5 Here, the
question of how far test results achieved with individual models are applicable in general
practice, is of particular relevance. It is important to realize that models are used for the
construction of prototypes made of reinforced concrete, which is a material whose
characteristics are usually subject to great variation in actual practice. This remains
unavoidable, since reinforced concrete is largely produced by manual labour on the building
site. The test results obtained with real models are transferred to structures which may possibly
differ greatly from the prototypes assumed during the test evaluation. To a certain degree, the
characteristics of the concrete used for models also show variations.

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Fig. 1. Perspex model of the roof of an indoor swimming-bath in Hamburg, FRG, without
loading and measuring devices.1 Scale factor, 1:26·7. Main span of the model, 4·0 m. Thickness
of the model, 3·0 mm. The investigation was completed in 1964 by the Institute of Structural
Model Analysis, Stuttgart, FRG.

Fig. 2. The model in Fig. 1 during investigation with loading weights and measuring equipment;
100-channel data logger in the background.

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When employing mathematical or numerical models, with which it is possible to obtain a much
higher accuracy of calculation results, it should be realized that these results are transferred to
structures with characteristics that cannot be predicted with the same accuracy.
In addition to the above, it must be pointed out that the actual behaviour of a reinforced concrete
structure with regard to cracking loads and failure, is very strongly influenced by the bond
between concrete and reinforcement, and this cannot be reproduced by numerical models, not
even by very elaborate ones Therefore, the development in reinforced concrete construction still
depends on the use of real models where, above all, the bond can be reproduced under realistic
conditions. With such models it is also possible to investigate dynamic effects, whilst taking into
account that the rate of strain may affect the test results. The knowledge and experience gained
by working with small-scale models are of crucial importance, together with other research
findings, for the setting up of generally valid rules of analysis and design. For this reason, small-
scale models will not only continue to be used in the research of reinforced .concrete, but it will
also be essential to promote the development of model techniques with a view to safer and
transferrable results.
When carrying out model tests for load-bearing structures of reinforced concrete, the influence
of the scale ratio must always be considered. In modelling, this problem is known as scale error.
Examples have been reported of models on a 1:3 scale up to 1:6, which were used for analysing
the interaction between columns and plates. Figure 3 shows the crack distribution of a
microconcrete model after test with a scale factor of 1:6. When analysing construction
components which failed in bending, it was found that the scale had no influence. A strong
influence, however, was noted when punching through, which is essentially caused by shear
failure. The models on a 1:3 scale were sufficiently large and provided the best results
regarding similarity with real structures.
In addition to the scale effect, the so-called size effect has to be considered and a clear
distinction must be made between the two. The size effect can occur with all scales, when the
smallest model dimensions (usually the thickness of shells, slabs or beams) are of the same
order of magnitude as the diameter of the largest aggregate. This is contrary to the fundamental
principles of the mechanics of similarity which demand

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Fig. 3. Crack distribution on a microconcrete model after a punch-through test. (Circular plate
supported on the edge and column in the middle.) Scale factor, 1:6.
that the material structure must always be small in comparison to the smallest model dimensions.
In the case of concrete models, this means that the behaviour of thin parts of a model is
influenced more than that of the thicker parts.
In construction engineering today, model-test techniques have become an indispensable aid to
research. They used to be a means for understanding the load-bearing behaviour of complex
structures—not always taken entirely seriously by theorists—and because of their undisputed
short-comings were usually only called upon as at last resort. Recently, as various conferences,
especially in the UK, have demonstrated, model analysis has developed in close connection with
digital computers into a full-fledged scientific tool, which can no longer be dispensed with in the
work of the research engineer. For a long time scholars held the opinion

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that the fundamental laws of our physical world could be recognized solely by thought and
logical conclusions, without observation of nature. They believed it would be sufficient to
explore the human mind and the laws of logic in order to perceive the mathematical
interrelationships of nature. Kant, with his philosophy of pure reason, is probably the best
known representative of this school of thought. Today, we are aware that this concept of the
world founded entirely on pure reason no longer carries validity. Natural processes can only be
understood with the help of thought models derived from experience and observation. From time
to time, however, these must be renewed and replaced by improved thought models on the basis
of added experience. Our analytical models of nature mostly prove to be very imperfect when
they have to be applied to actual tasks. When following these thought models, it is important to
be aware of the limits within which they can be of assistance. An increase in knowledge is only
possible with the aid of experiments resulting in analogous measured values, which are more
realistic even though they are subject to a certain amount of variation. All values obtained from
experiment contain some error. An analytical study, by contrast, can be carried out with apparent
accuracy up to any desired point and, therefore simulate a reliability and accuracy which it does
not, in fact, possess. An analytical or a numerical calculation can only be accurate as far as the
underlying thought model corresponds to reality. Unfortunately, this is often forgotten by a large
computer-worshipping congregation of engineers.
Besides all the reasons in favour of experimental analyses or tests on physically real models,
there are also a number of disadvantages to be considered. The accuracy of the measured results
is often inadequate and dependent on chance during the carrying out of the tests. Reliable
experimental results are usually only obtainable with a great deal of time and effort. Every
experimental analysis demands a test set-up and the carrying out and evaluation of
measurements. With model tests, in addition, the making of a model becomes necessary. All this
requires a lot of time and a high input of technical resources. Therefore model tests or
experimental analyses for determining the load-bearing behaviour of medium-sized or small
objects generally cannot be justified from the economic point of view.
The civil engineer Hossdorf at Basle consequently presents in his book6 a comparison between
the field of application of model tests and other methods customary in construction engineering
(see Fig. 4). With the classical methods of calculation, simple problems of structural analysis

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Fig. 4. Relative effort in different methods of structural design. Taken from: Hossdorf, H.,
Modellversuchstechnik des entwerfenden Bauingenieurs Schweiz. Bauz. 81, 1963, p. 283.
can easily be solved with a pocket calculator or electronic desk calculator. The input of time and
effort increases steadily with the degree of difficulty; when trying to solve complex problems for
the determination of strength, however the required input reaches the bounds of feasibility on the
one hand, and on the other increases steeply and asymptotically near the impassable borderline
of what is analytically still describable. Generally today, the situation has shifted towards the
use of the computer. The very reasonably priced and efficient small computers, together with
their extensive software systems, can very conveniently and quickly provide the calculated
results for most problems in civil engineering and building construction. But as soon as the
degree of difficulty of a given problem reaches the limits of what can be described in theory, the
computer too, despite its extensive software systems, soon faces its limits. Here, only a model
test can bring further progress. The amount of time and effort involved remains on the whole
relatively moderate, if one considers that reliable results corresponding to reality are obtained.
Only a model test can help to overcome the imperfections of the concepts about nature and can
supply a realistic picture of the behaviour of any possible structure, however complex this may
be. In modern architecture these are found frequently, since reinforced-concrete construction
imposes hardly any limits to the creative expression. In the field of special structures, the model
test is as justified as ever, and is often the only

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means to evaluate and guarantee the safety of a structure. This applies especially to large man-
made structures, such as theatres, large sports halls and bridges etc. Figure 5 shows a test of a
micro-concrete model of a pile cap for the design of Lower Yarra Bridge, Melbourne, Australia,
1971. Another application is in the sector of energy supply, where dams or reactor safety tanks
are constructed which show a behaviour different to that usually calculated with analytical

Fig. 5. Model of a pile cap for the foundation of a major bridge. The 18 piles are replaced by
special springs with similar stiffness as the piles.
Apart from determining the behaviour of individual construction components, the use of physical
models is becoming more and more important for understanding the interaction of the elements
within a system, not only for construction practice but also in research. Although the numerical
methods for mathematical models are constantly improving and getting easier to handle due to
the use of large digital computers, they are often unable to reproduce the behaviour of complex

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as a whole, particularly where complicated boundary conditions and stress concentrations occur.
These cannot be determined with the conventional theory of elasticity. Against the background to
today’s strong tendency to take into account during the design stage the real inelastic behaviour
of a structure made of a given material, it is obvious that reliable model-test methods will also,
in future, play an important role in the study of the inelastic behaviour of reinforced concrete
In order to draw the greatest benefit from the various advantages of model-test methods which
here are understood as the alternative to experimental investigations of the prototype
components, the models should be made of readily available materials. For achieving reliable
results, well-tried techniques should be applied, which must be easy to document and can
guarantee sufficient repeatibility of results. Furthermore, it should be possible to carry out the
model test in a fairly short space of time. The model scale must be sufficiently reduced, so that
the tests can take place without large and heavy loading devices and so that the models are easy
to handle.
Models of reinforced concrete structures must accurately reproduce the behaviour of the
prototype through all the stages of loading up to the point of rupture including the type of failure.
In the case of reinforced concrete, failure means the occurrence of large, wide cracks, yielding
or fracture of the reinforcement, large deflections, inelastic bulges, failure of the concrete under
pressure, or similar effects suitable for characterizing the failure of the structure. Whenever
possible, material and geometric non-linear effects should be accounted for. Up to now
relatively little has been done to reproduce the creep of reinforced concrete structures,
especially because the underlying mechanism of the creep in reinforced concrete has not yet
been fully understood.
It is obvious that it is extremely difficult with models of reinforced concrete structures, to satisfy
all the requirements on the model material which follow from the laws of similarity. Generally,
this is only possible when using a model concrete specially adapted for this purpose. Thus, it is
easy to keep Poisson’s model law that requires equal strain coefficients for model and full-scale
structure. One difficulty, however, exists with regard to Young’s modulus of the model material.
The multi-compound

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model law demands that Young’s modulus has equal scale factors for steel as well as for
concrete. Yet, when using steel as model reinforcement, the scale for Young’s modulus is equal
to one. Since the scale for Young’s modulus of concrete would therefore also have to be one,
difficulties arise; with smaller aggregates—as known—it is not possible to obtain a Young’s
modulus of the same magnitude as with reinforced concrete structures. This obstacle can be
overcome by reducing the area of the model reinforcement correspondingly, so that the force in
the model reinforcement is reduced. By making this adjustment, it is then possible to arrive at an
equal scale for the stiffness of the model reinforcement and for the model concrete. The
disadvantage with this procedure is that the change in area of model reinforcement will influence
bond, which is also affected by the properties of model concrete. The similarity of bond
behaviour of reinforced concrete models is, however, extremely important, since otherwise no
similarity of cracking and failure behaviour can be achieved. It is therefore necessary to take
appropriate measures, such as the squeezing of a suitable profile on the model reinforcement, in
order to ensure that the bond behaviour of the model again becomes similar to that of the
prototype. Good progress on the above problems has been made and the reader is referred to
later chapters for further information.
The demands, briefly referred to above, on the building material for models of reinforced
concrete structures, usually entail extensive preliminary tests and accordingly a high input of
time and effort. However, once these tests have been carried out and once it is established which
materials are suitable for making real models—fulfilling all the conditions of the similarity laws
—of reinforced concrete structures, then such model tests can supply reliable results largely
corresponding to reality. Hence, the model test is in its essence a kind of analog computer for the
solution of problems in construction engineering: it fulfills automatically the conditions of
equilibrium and compatibility, and it is only necessary to ensure that the geometric and static
similarities are observed and that the loading or the internal forces can be determined with
sufficient accuracy by a suitable measuring method. The model itself will not produce any
errors; merely the correctness of the measurement results has to be controlled, which should not
be too difficult when the test programme has been well planned. Today’s electronic measurement
techniques are so far advanced that the possibilities offered by a model test are usually only
restricted by the conditions of similarity which the model material has to fulfill. As
demonstrated by the following contributions, the difficulties originally caused by this are
nowadays largely overcome. Consequently,

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small-scale models remain a valuable aid, not only for the design of reinforced concrete
structures but also in research work.
1. Müller, R.K. & Kayser, R., Das Hyparschalen-Dach des Hallenbades Hamburg
Sechslingspforte (The hyperbolic paraboloid shell of the indoor swimming-bath at Hamburg
Sechslingspforte), Part II: Model investigation. Beton und Stahlbetonbau 10 (1970) 245–9.
2. Preece, B.W. & Davies, J.D., Models for Structural Concrete. E.J.Parson, London, Hastings,
Folkestone, 1964.
3. ‘Small scale direct models of reinforced and pre-stressed concrete structures’. National
Science Foundation Grant GP-2622, 1966.
4. ‘Models for Concrete Structures’, American Concrete Institute, Detroit, MI, Publication SP-
24, 1970.
5. Müller, R.K., ‘Handbook of Structural Model Analysis’, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, New
York, 1971.
6. Hossdorf, H., ‘Modellstatik’, Bauverlag, Wiesbaden, FRG, 1971.

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2Model Analysis and Similitude Requirements
Department of Civil Engineering, City University, London, UK
In general, structural models may be used for two main purposes. On the one hand they may be
constructed and the experimental information provided by testing may then be used to confirm
theoretical structural analysis. This analysis may then be utilised to analyse and hence provide
calculations for the design of a prototype structure.
In certain cases, however, where within the current limits of structural behaviour, analysis
proves impossible then model analysis may be directly used to design the prototype. In this case
the experimental evidence gained from the model test may, by using suitable scaling factors,
provide directly the stresses and deflections in the prototype and hence enable its design. Thus
the modelling technique provides a direct method of design.
The fundamental physical laws and scaling factors involved in establishing relationships
between model and prototype structures will now be examined.
The dimensions of a physical quantity may be defined by relating them to the fundamental
physical quantities, namely mass M, length L and

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time T. Further physical relationships may then be defined in terms of products of these, for
example since area is defined say as length× breadth, then it has the dimensions L2. Similarly
volume has the dimensions L3. Continuing in this manner a series of relationships for such
quantities may be easily derived. Such a list is given in Table 1.
Table 1
Dimensions of physical quantities
Quantity Relationship Absolute system Engineering system
Length L L
Mass M M FL−1T2
Velocity Displacement/time LT−1 LT−1
Acceleration Velocity/Time LT−2 LT−2
Force F Mass×acceleration MLT−2 F
Stress Force/area ML−1T−2 FL−2
Strain =u/L — —
Modulus of elasticity E Force/area ML−1T−2 FL−2
Poisson’s ratio — —
It should be observed that any mathematical relationship of such quantities must be
dimensionally homogeneous, i.e. the equations must be valid regardless of the choice of
dimensional units. Thus the elementary bending equations for a beam, namely

are correct no matter which units (i.e. newtons, metres or pounds, inches) are used.
In Table 1 it is to be noted that the dimensions are given for two systems, the first, termed the
‘absolute system’, involves M, L and T as the fundamental dimensions as used in physics.
However, in structural engineering it is more usual to use force F, length L and time T as the
fundamental dimensions as force is more commonly used in engineering practice and will be
used throughout the remainder of this chapter. Obviously the relationship M=FL−1T2 or F=MLT
−2is self-explicit.
Considerable investigations were carried out in the past into the relationship between physical
quantities and fundamental dimensions, notably by Buckingham who derived the following
theorem relating to physical quantities. An excellent, more detailed, account may be found in a
work by Sàbnis, Harris, White & Mirza1 and an excellent introduction to the subject is due to

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2.1 Buckingham’s pi theorem
The theory involved in the relationship between physical quantities was stated by Buckingham in
the following manner.
If X1, X2…, Xn are physical quantities related by some functional form, which may be stated as
this form may be further expressed as
in which the pi terms (i.e. π1, etc.), are dimensionless products of the physical variables X1 to
Subsequently Buckingham showed that by selecting say the physical variable X1, then X1 could
be expressed as a multiple product of the others, i.e.
in which K is a constant and a, b, c are to be determined.
Then by introducing the relevant dimensions of X1 to Xn on either side of (3) a sufficient number
of equations is generated to allow meaningful relationships between the constants a, b, c, etc. to
be determined.
In utilising this theorem it is usual to
(a) Select the fundamental dimensions, i.e. force F, length L and time T.
(b) Form the m, π terms, where m=n−r, by grouping them with the r fundamental quantities such
that all groups are dimensionless.
Thus consider the following example. The displacement u of a beam or cantilever will
obviously involve the length l, Elastic Modulus E and point load Q in some functional form such
or, following Buckingham,
in which a, b and c are constants to be determined.

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Now introducing the dimensions for these quantities as listed in Table 1,

For this to be dimensionally homogeneous, equating coefficients of indices on either side,
index for F is a+c=0 whence c=−a
index for L is b−2c=1 whence b=1+2c=1−2a
Substituting these in (6),


where π1=u/l and π2=Q/El2.
Observe that n=4, r (involving F and L, i.e. two fundamental quantities)=2, and thus the π terms
are n−r=4–2=2 terms, π1 and π2 as above.
As a further example in the above elastic system if the moment M′ is also involved then the
functional equation will be
i.e. n=5 and M′ is a moment or
and introducing relevant dimensions,

equating coefficients on either side in eqn (13) yields
for F, a+c+d=0 whence c=−a−d−d
for L, b−2c+d=1 whence b=1+2c−d=1−2a−3d

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and thus




Again n=5, r=2 and m=n−r=5−2=3. The above operations form the basis of dimensional
At this stage it will be opportune to introduce the effects of similitude and scaling factors. The
treatment adopted is similar to that given by others.1
2.2 Similitude
It will now be necessary to investigate the similitude requirements that relate the model to the
prototype structure.
Following Buckingham, since
then, in terms of model and prototype,

where p refers to prototype dimensionless terms and m to model π terms.
Now if so-called complete similarity exists then all dimensionless pi terms are the same in both
model and prototype. Hence


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It is usual in model analysis to define the scaling factor for a given quantity i (i may be length,
stress, E, etc.), as the ratio of the prototype value ip to the model value im, namely
Thus in the case of length l, S is defined as
This obviously controls the geometrical similitude to prototype.
A second requirement, as far as structural investigations are concerned, is that of the modulus of
elasticity so, utilising this as a scaling factor,
This obviously controls the material similitude.
Now it may be shown that all the necessary scaling factors for the physical quantities involved
in static structural problems may be determined as functions of Sl and SE
The group of physical quantities u, Q, l, E, M′ as defined by eqn (10) obviously forms some of
the major quantities in structural engineering. In this group the scaling factors for l and E have
already been defined by eqns (23) and (24), respectively. Using these in eqn (16(b)) for π2, we
then have



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Again, from eqn (16(c)) for π3,


From eqns (23), (24), (26) and (27) and previous equations, a listing of quantities, their
dimensions and scaling factors may be readily determined. These are given in Table 2, where the
independent scaling factors chosen are the Modulus of Elasticity SE and the length Sl. All other
scale factors are unity or functions of SE and Sl.
Table 2
Dimensions and scaling factors of physical quantities
Quantities Dimensions Scaling factors
Modulus of elasticity E FL−2 SE
Stress σ FL−2 SE
Strain ε — 1
Poissons ratio v — 1
Length l L Sl
Displacement u L Sl
Angular displacement α — 1
Area A L2
2nd moment of area I L4
Concentrated load Q F SE
Line load W FL−1 SESl
Pressure p FL−2 SE
Moment M FL SE
Shear V F SE
If the loadings applied to the model are as given in Table 2 then the model stresses σm will be
σp/SE and the model and prototype strains will be equal.
These relationships are normally sufficient for modelling in the elastic range using materials
such as celluloid, Perspex and Araldite. Many complex plane frames in the past have been
designed using models to

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provide experimental data which on applying the outlined scaling factors provide the necessary
prototype stresses and deflections.
Over the last 20–30 years many complex reinforced concrete structures have been designed on
the basis of model experiments, but much greater care has to be used in the application of model
laws; because of the complex nature of the material, a conglomerate of sand, cement, fine and
coarse aggregate and of course steel. Suitable materials and scaling laws for reinforced concrete
will now be examined.
3.1 Reinforced concrete models
The concrete modelling of all the physical properties of reinforced concrete presents many
difficulties mainly because it is extremely inelastic in both compression and tension but more so
because it is a two component material of steel and concrete and the exact modelling to produce
the required bond stress characteristics, shear strength and cracking patterns is difficult to
A considerable amount of research has been conducted into the choice of suitable model
materials and all problems of the correct representation of stress-strain relationships, ultimate
failure and bond stresses have not as yet been completely resolved. Nevertheless fine-aggregate
cement mortars, suitably reinforced with steel wire, have produced reinforced concrete
The specific requirements are:
(i) Geometric similitude is essential.
(ii) That the stress-strain curves for model and prototype materials are similar both in
compression and tension.
(iii) That strains in the model and prototype at failure are identical.
This latter condition is a necessary requirement when ultimate loading conditions are being
In order to establish the scaling factors recourse must again be made to dimensional analysis. In
the case of reinforced concrete it is useful to use stress Sσ and length Sl as the necessary scaling
3.2 Scale factors for reinforced concrete
Again it will be convenient to restrict the physical quantities involved for the purpose of this
analysis to u, σ, Q, l, M′ and ρ where ρ is the mass density (FL−3) of concrete. Thus the
governing equation may be written

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and introducing the relevant dimensions into the equation,

Equating like coefficients,


Introducing b and c from the above into eqn (28),

and rearranging,

which, dividing by l, may be written as

or as
in which

Now for complete similarity,

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Similarly it may be shown that

The above formulae are sufficient to allow the following summary of scaling factors for
reinforced concrete to be made. These scaling factors are given in Table 3 under the heading,
Scale factor.
However, since both prototype and model consist of two distinctive types of material, namely
concrete and steel, it is found that for practical modelling steel is the only feasible material for
microconcrete models thus Sσ=1 and introducing this condition in Table 3 leads to the final
column, headed Practical scale factor.
The present author has been concerned with the use of microconcrete models for either
confirming theoretical analysis or predicting structural behaviour of prototype structures for a
considerable period. The first investigation was concerned with the use of a model
microconcrete cylindrical shell to confirm the validity of shell theory.
Then in 1957 a detailed investigation of various reinforced concrete frameworks including
simply supported and continuous beams and portal frames was conducted by M.Laycock under
the author’s supervision.
The literature was searched for completely detailed experimental investigations of full-scale
simply supported and continuous reinforced concrete beams. The information on simply
supported full-scale beams was considerable whilst that on continuous beams was rather limited
and only one major investigation giving complete experimental results for a full-scale test on
portal frames was found. Nevertheless the information was sufficient to allow a series of
microconcrete models to be constructed of these full-scale prototype structures and to verify
whether their structural behaviour could be predicted.

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Table 3
Summary of scaling factors for reinforced concrete models
Quantity Dimensions Scale factor Practical scale factor (Sσ=1)
Concrete stress σc FL−2 Sσ 1
Concrete strain εc — 1 1
Modulus of elasticity Ec FL−2 Sσ 1
Poissons ratio vc — 1 1
Steel stress σs FL−2 Sσ 1
Steel strain εs — 1 1
Length l L Sl Sl
Displacement u L Sl Sl
Area As L2
Concentrated load Q F Sσ·
Line load FL−1 Sσ·Sl Sl
Pressure p FL−2 Sσ 1
Moment M′ FL Sσ
Shear V F Sσ·
Density ρ FL−3 Sσ/Sl 1/Sl
The investigation of simply supported beams covered a detailed examination of the physical
properties of microconcrete and the steel reinforcement used. The beams were cast in an
accurately machined steel mould which allowed four beams to be manufactured at one pour. The
mix was accurately proportioned using fine and graded course sand and cement with a suitable
water cement ratio. For each microconcrete mix 1-in diameter cylinders and standard briquettes
were cast to determine the compressive and tensile properties of the microconcrete. Further, a
special mould was prepared that allowed a pull-out specimen to be formed. This was tested in a
Hounsfield Tensometer to determine the bond stress for the particular reinforcement being used.
A shear test was also devised that gave information on the shear properties of the mix.
These subsidiary tests provided sufficient information on the physical properties of the
microconcrete and steel reinforcement to allow theoretical analysis to be carried out.
Each beam was simply supported at its ends on roller bearings and a central point was applied
by a lever loading mechanism. The central

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deflection was recorded by an extremely sensitive dial gauge and thus a load deflection curve
could be plotted up to complete failure, the critical failure load Wc being that which caused
excessive deflection and cracking.
Only one complete investigation will be described herein.
4.1 Initial tests on prototype and model beams
In this initial experiment a prototype reinforced concrete beam 9 ft in length with a cross-section
of breadth 4 in† and depth 8 in reinforced with two -in diameter standard mild steel bars was
constructed. This was simply supported over an 8 ft span and a central point load was applied.
The central deflection was measured with each increment of load allowing a load deflection
curve to be obtained and collapse occurred with the steel yielding at a load of 2·38 tons. The
ultimate concrete stress was determined as fcu=5936 lb/in2 and the yield stress for the steel was
fy=51000 lb/in2, d=8−(1+0·25)=6·75 in.
An analysis of the section was conducted on the assumption that the steel would yield and that
the concrete stress distribution would be rectangular and equal to the ultimate stress fc. Then
obviously using standard notation in which fy is the yield stress for steel, then
(i) T=Asfy where T is total tension force, As is steel area.
(ii) C=fcb·nd where b is breadth of section nd is depth of neutral axis.
(iii) For equilibrium T=C whence n=T/fc·bd.
(iv) Lever arm a=d−nd/2=d(1−n/2).
(v) Ms=Ta=As fyd(l−n/2).
Finally if Wc is the collapse load then
(vi) Ms=WcL/4 whence Wc=4Ms/L
Using the information for fcu, fy, As, b and d then T is determined from (i) and n from (iii) and,
using (iv), (v) and (vi), Wc is found to be 2·36 tons. The agreement with the experimental value
of 2·38 tons is fortuitous.
The next stage in the investigation was to construct a 1:8 scale model from microconcrete using
1/16 in welding rod as the reinforcement. Thus a beam of section 0·5 in by 1·0 in was
constructed, the material properties were fcu=5040 lb/in2 and fy=64 800 lb/in2. In actual fact
four such beams were made and simply supported over a span of 12 in. The load
†1 in=25·4mm; 1 ft=0·3048 m; 1 lb=4·448 N; 1 kip=1000 lb; 1 lb/in2=6·895× 10−3 N/mm2; 1
ton=9·964 kN.

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deflection curves were obtained and an average value of the collapse load for the four beams
yielded Wc=116 lb.
Using the same analysis as that for the prototype the calculated collapse load was 108·5 lb,
somewhat lower than the experimental value.
Having now obtained sufficient information about the prototype and model beams the validity of
using the model collapse load to predict that of the prototype may now be examined.
If the scaling laws as given in Table 2 are used then from this table concentrated loads Q are
related by a factor , i.e. replacing Q by W,

and therefore

Observe, however, that though geometrical similitude has been preserved stress similitude for
the steel is not achieved namely fy is 64800 lb/in2 as against a value of 51000 lb/in2 for the
In this case use may be made of eqn (32); namely

as follows. In the case of a simply supported beam of length L carrying a central point load the
central moment is

Whence in the case of model and prototype,

which on division yields

which on equating to eqn (32) and dividing by Sl gives

Introducing the model quantities as calculated above,

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this being a much more acceptable predicted value for collapse of the prototype.
4.2 Bridges
The author has been concerned with the application of various theories to the design of both
single and multicell box bridges for a number of years. Numerous models of such types of box
bridges have been constructed in Perspex and reasonable agreement between experimental and
theoretical stresses and deflections in the elastic range has been established. The theoretical
values were computed using closed shell theory3 and also the finite strip method.4
In order to establish the structural behaviour of such reinforced concrete bridges at higher
loading conditions and indeed up to collapse a variety of microconcrete models were
constructed and tested.
One typical microconcrete model was for a single cell box bridge with side cantilevers. The
span length was some 2920 mm and the main box section was 210 mm wide and 125 mm deep,
the two side cantilevers each being 75 mm wide, the thicknesses of these sections were all 13
mm. The microconcrete mix was such that it had an average cube strength of 32 N/mm2 at 28
To simplify the construction of the model a standard mesh 75 by 25 mm constructed from 3·0 mm
diameter steel wire formed the reinforcement.
Loading was applied to the deck of the bridge by means of a pressure bag and the resulting
strains at the transverse mid-section were measured by electric resistance foil gauges using a
standard data logging system. Deflections at this section and at other parts of the model were
measured by suitably located dial gauges. Certainly in the lower elastic range the experimental
values so obtained agreed with computed values using closed shell theory and also the finite
strip method.
However, as the main interest in the test was in the collapse load of the structure, rather than use
the pressure bag loading for this case it was decided to use a central line loading. With this
method of loading the mechanism of collapse is, of course, immediately obvious, being the
formation of a yield line across the lower plate section immediately under the line load, as
shown in Fig. 1.
The method of analysis for this type of collapse in reinforced concrete cellular bridges is as
follows. Initially a tension crack occurs in the bottom slab, on further loading this opens up and
yielding of the steel in

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Fig. 1. Collapse of single-cell simply supported box bridge.

the bottom slab occurs. Further cracking occurs and spreads upwards into the webs causing
yielding of the web steel, final failure occurring when the cracks in the web have almost reached
to the top slab. Much more detailed information is to be found in Ref. 7.
This collapse mechanism is shown in Fig. 1. Now if Fb is the total force in the steel in the
bottom slab at yield then

in which n1 is the number of bars in the bottom slab, As is the area per bar, fy is the yield stress
of the reinforcement. If Fw is the total force in the steel in the web then

and n2 is the number of bars in the web.

Examining Fig. 1 the internal work for the steel is Ws given by

The external work WE of the load is given by

where P is point load on each web.

Whence equating Ws and WE and dividing throughout by L,

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which determines the collapse loading of the bridge.
Using the previous values with fy=370 N/mm2 (as determined by test) and with n1=9 (number of
bars in base slab) and n2=3, it is easily shown that

The experimental value in this case was 3058 N, some 3% greater than predicted by theory.
However, this is sufficiently close to justify the use of the theory certainly for preliminary
In this case model analysis has been used to confirm theoretical analysis.
Further investigations of single cell box bridges continuous over two spans and double cell box
bridges both simply supported and continuous over two spans all constructed from
microconcrete and reinforced with steel mesh were carried out. Again the experimental results
for collapse of these structures provided further justification for an extended form of this
collapse theory. Finally, the present author continued this investigation with the testing of a
model of a prototype four celled box bridge continuous over two spans, which will now be
4.3 Continuous box bridges
In 1971 Bouwkamp, Scordelis and Wasti gave a detailed account of the testing of two span
reinforced concrete box girder bridges at Berkley. This bridge was continuous over two spans
and had an overall length of 72 ft. The cross-section consisted of four cells with cantilever
walkways on either side, each cell was 2 ft 6 in wide and 1 ft 9 in deep, the top and bottom
slabs being approximately 2·25 and 2·0 in thick respectively. The internal vertical diaphragms
were 2·8 in thick and the width of the top slab including the two short cantilevers was 12 ft
overall. The ends were simply supported whilst the structure were supported at mid-span by a
circular column of 18 in o.d., mounted on a 4 ft 6 in square footing.
This bridge was constructed to be a model of a typical prototype bridge commonly used across
motorways in the USA, to a scale of 1:2·82, i.e. actual bridge span 200 ft.
The main longitudinal reinforcement in the top slab over the column consisted of 82 1/2-in-
diameter bars whilst at the centres of the two spans there were 55, 1/2-in-diameter bars in the
bottom slab of the boxes, transverse steel was nominal.
The two simply supported ends were mounted on load cells as was the

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footing under the central column. This allowed the overall reactions at the supports under line
loading to be measured. Numerous loading conditions were carried out with strains and
deflections being recorded—these are clearly presented in the three excellent volumes.
The methods whereby the model was analysed are discussed in detail, but of more immediate
interest were the collapse loads of the bridge under point loading. To carry out this final test the
bridge deck was loaded by what amounted to two line loads at the quarter points. In actual fact
the line load was in reality two jacks in each case that were located at the quarter points bearing
on the second and fourth longitudinal web diaphragms.
The mechanism of collapse is relatively easy to analyse if one postulates that a yield line
mechanism forms as shown in Fig. 2.

Fig. 2. Continuous bridge with point loads.

It is assumed that the bridge is simply supported at the ends E and S and is centrally supported
by a column at Z. Two point loads W act at X and Y distant L1 from the ends as shown. The
bridge assumed to collapse by two transverse yield lines forming in the lower slab at X and Y
directly under the applied loads W and a yield line forming in the top slab at Z directly above the
column support. This is the most elementary form of failure that can be visualised and the
possibility of two yield lines forming in the top slab on either side of the column should not be

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out but, however, will not be considered here as its analysis is identical to the following.
If W is the load in either span causing the line hinge mechanism or yield line as shown then the
external work done by these loads will be
The deflection δ is given by δ=L1 θ1=L2θ2 and thus reduces to
If M1 is the yield moment at X and Y then
in which fy is the yield stress of the steel, AB is the area of the steel in the bottom slab and a is
the distance between the centres of the reinforcement in the top and bottom slabs. Similarly for
the yield moment over the column at Z, i.e.
where AT is now area of steel in the top slab. Thus the internal work E2 will be given by
and observing that δ=L1θ1=L2θ2 then θ2=L1θ1/L2 and hence, on substituting for θ2 in eqn (39),
Hence equating external and internal work, i.e. eqns (35) and (40) after reduction,

This equation may now be applied to the Scordelis test to determine a quick approximate
collapse load for the prototype bridge.
4.3.1 Application to prototype
The various quantities appertaining to the Scordelis bridge are as follows: L1=L2=18 ft=216 in,
the yield stress fy=60000 lb/in2, approximately. The reinforcement for the bottom slab central
zones was 55 -in-diameter bars giving AB=10·78 in2, whilst in the top slab over the column
there were some 82 -in-diameter bars giving AT=16·07 in2.

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As the overall depth was 20 in and the slabs were approximately 2 in thick, then the depth
between centres of reinforcement in the top and bottom slab was a=20−2=18 in. All quantities in
eqn (41) may now be determined since M1 and M2, as given by eqns (37) and (38) respectively,

In this case, since L1=L2 eqn (41) reduces to

and this is the theoretical approximate collapse load of the prototype, the experiment applied
collapse being some 170kips.
It was decided by the present author that this being a very large-scale model could serve as an
ideal prototype to observe the accuracy with which a model test could predict its actual
structural behaviour and its collapse load.
To this end a microconcrete model to one quarter scale was constructed from a standard
microconcrete mix: 1 cement:2·8 fine aggregate:0·48 w/c. This gave a uniaxial compressive
stress of 6000 lb/in2 at 28 days.
4.3.2 Model test and predictions
The scaling factor of 4 was selected as it produced a model 72/4 or 18 ft in length and 12/4 or 3
ft in width which could be readily housed in the laboratory. Preserving geometrical similitude in
the cross-section allowed the top and bottom slabs to be of the order of 0·5 in and the internal
diaphragms 0·7 in thick. Further, since 0·5-in-diameter reinforcement bars were used in the
prototype these readily scaled to 0·125 in for the model.
The reinforcement was of 3 in by 1 in rectangular steel mesh manufactured from 0·125-in-
diameter high tensile wires with a yield strength fy of some 60 000 lb/in2. To make up the
reinforcement in the bottom slab some 30 extra 0·125 in rods were placed between the 1-in
pitch mesh giving in all some 60/0·125-in-diameter bars. A similar amount of reinforcement was
used in the top slab over the column. Thus the bottom slab of the model was 9% over-reinforced
compared to the prototype and the top slab over the column 25% under-reinforced in an attempt
to get more definite yield line formations over the column.
Using the above information in eqn (37) on observing that now the area of steel AB is equal to
60/0·125-in-diameter bars, giving 0·7363 n2,

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and with a=(5−0·5)=4·5 in,

With M1=M2 and L1=L2=54 in, eqn (41) becomes

The experimental model failure gave an identical yield line pattern but the actual collapse load
was 10·94 kips.
Summarising the prototype (Scordelis model) collapse load using the elementary theory
developed yielded a value of 188 kips and the experimental collapse load was 170 kips,
indicating that the elementary calculation was sufficiently accurate for preliminary design.
On the other hand the calculated value for the collapse load of the quarter scale model was
11·04 kips whilst the corresponding experimental value was 10·94 kips.
Apart from establishing the accuracy of the elementary yield line theory to predict collapse
loads the above summary may be used to examine the validity of the previously developed
model laws as follows.
If say in the absence of any accurate theory the collapse load of the prototype bridge was
required to be checked then a pure model method might be used, a model scale of 4 being used
for the reasons previously given. Geometrical similitude was essential and the model
reinforcement was to be of high tensile steel with the same yield stress as that of the prototype.
Moreover, the stress-strain characteristics of the concrete and microconcrete were to be the
same, then with these conditions the model scaling laws previously developed should be
applicable. Thus the relationship between prototype collapse load Wp and model load Wm is
given by

Hence the collapse load Wp as predicted by the model test should be

The close agreement between the predicted collapse load of 175 kips and the actual
experimental collapse load of 170kips certainly verifies the method in this particular case.
4.4 National Westminster Bank Tower, London
4.4.1 Construction of model
In this section an account will be given of the testing of a microconcrete model at the request of
the consulting engineers to confirm certain

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aspects of their design. The National Westminster Bank Office Tower in London is some 200m
in height, has 45 storeys and has as its main structural element a central core extending
throughout the building. The office floors cantilever out from this core and are supported at their
extremities by surrounding steel mullions. The outer steel mullions which extend the height of the
building are themselves supported on three reinforced concrete lobes which cantilever out from
the base of the core.
The structure is unusual in that the cross-section of the concrete core consists of 12 sides
arranged round an approximately overall triangular shape and that the three cantilever lobes are
attached to the core at different levels. The lobes themselves consist of outer peripheral vertical
slabs connected to sloping base slabs and the top slab of each lobe is supported by internal
diaphragm or deep beam.
The structural behaviour is such that the vertical central core is the main strength element and is
designed to resist wind loading, live loading and total dead loading of the whole structure. As
the inner parts of the office floors are cantilevered from it then a certain amount of live loading
from these floors is also transferred to it. Again the outer edges of the office floors are supported
by the steel mullions which in turn are supported by the three base concrete cantilever lobes.
Thus live and dead load from the floors are transferred through the mullions to the edge of the
lobes and then to the base of the central core. Thus the base of the tower consisting of the core
and the three cantilever lobes is an extremely complicated structure and the consulting engineers
requested that a microconcrete model of the lower third of the prototype should be constructed
and tested to provide additional design information.
The information from this test was urgently required. It was decided therefore to use an existing
testing frame and the dimensions of this frame determined the scale of the model to be 1:30.
The consulting engineers provided their proposed working drawings for the structure from
which all dimensions were scaled down to produce an identically similar model. Furthermore,
the microconcrete mix for the model was selected as 1 cement:2·8 graded fine aggregate with a
water cement ratio of 0·48, producing a cube compressive strength of 6000 lb/in2 at 28 days.
All steel reinforcement drawings and schedules were also produced so that the diameters of the
model bars could be selected to the required scale. In the case of internal diaphragm bars,
special anchorages had to be provided to generate sufficient bond, this was also emulated in the
model using special end plates.
Thus within the model geometrical similarity was provided for all thicknesses, height and
widths, the same quality of steel was used so that

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the yield stresses were the same. The microconcrete mix was so selected to give the same
compressive strength as requested in the prototype design.
Loading of the model
The cross-section shape of the core is shown in Fig. 3 as a thick line in which the 12 sides are
clearly visible—the three cantilever lobes are marked (A), (B) and (C). Load was applied to the
core by means of six hollow testing cylinders mounted on top of the model on a base plate as
shown in Fig. 3. Six MacAlloy bars each of 30 ton capacity and some 2600 mm in length
extended from the base of the model up through the hollow testing cylinders. They were
anchored top and bottom by hexag-

Fig. 3. Plan of testing frame, loading devices and instrumentation.

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onal nuts bearing against special end blocks which in turn were attached to base plates on the
top and bottom of the model. The six testing cylinders marked (F) in Fig. 3 were interconnected
in series as shown and pressurised by an electric oil pumping system marked EP that accurately
maintained load. Oil pressure in the system was accurately measured by extremely sensitive
Budenberg gauges. The testing cylinders had been calibrated previously against a standard
proving ring. This system thus allowed load to be applied reasonably uniformly to the core.
The three cantilever lobes at the base of the model are (A), (B) and (C) and were loaded by
means of 5 ton testing cylinders. These cylinders were linked up in sets of 7 to emulate the 14
structural mullions that were supported by each cantilever lobe in the prototype. Each set was
connected to a pair of Budenberg test gauges, one gauge being graduated from 0 to 3000 psi and
the other from 0 to 10000 psi when higher loads were required.
Control of each set of cylinders was by hand pumps marked P1, P2 and P3. These three sets of
cylinders thus allowed the three cantilevers (A), (B) and (C) to be loaded individually or in any
desired combination.
4.4.3 Instrumentation of the model
The investigation was carried out in order to determine the nature of the stress distribution at
certain points in the structure selected by the consulting engineers. To this end some 500 strain
gauges were located on the model, of these some 360 were on the core and of these 56 were
shear rosettes.
In the main the gauges were arranged in the following groups:
(a) Shear rosettes on three walls of the core below the three cantilevers.
(b) Gauge pairs on the inside and outside around complete sections of the core.
(c) Gauge pairs around those perforations considered critical by the consulting engineers.
(d) The lower cantilever lobe was extensively strain gauged at the tops and bottoms of the
internal vertical diaphragms and also on the steel reinforcement bars in the diaphragms.
The gauges were wired up to a data logger that recorded the strain gauge values for each loading
condition and this information was then reduced by a computer program to yield principal
stresses from strain rosettes and bending and axial stresses from gauge pairs.

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4.4.4 Nature of investigation
The nature of the investigation was twofold. First, to determine:
(I) The stress distribution in the elastic range of selected points in the core and cantilever lobes
due to:
(a) symmetrical loading of core;
(b) asymmetrical loading due to combinations of loads acting on the cantilevers (A), (B) and
(c) combinations of (a) and (b) above to give maximum total design loads;
(d) the effect of wind loading.
(II) The effect of 50% overload and to determine the ultimate loading capacity of cantilever lobe
(A) by steadily increasing the mullion load on it.
In order to achieve the above information, it was necessary for the consulting engineers to
supply all the loads that they calculated would act on the prototype. These loads were then
suitably scaled down to values which were applied to the model and the resulting model strain
values at the selected points could then be determined. Scaling laws could then be applied to
estimate strains in the prototype.
On the receipt of this loading information the tests covering (I) above were carried out.
The experimental values obtained from the first part of the investigation confirmed that within
the loading range applied, the model behaved in a linear elastic fashion.
Perhaps of more interest was the second part of the investigation, namely the loading of the
cantilever lobe A (see Fig. 3) to collapse. The load was applied to some six 10-ton hydraulic
rams. When the loads on each ram reach 7 tons each, tension cracks at the top of the lobe-core
junction appeared. Up to this stage deflections and strains were recorded at selected points in
the model. However, as the load on each of the rams approached 8 tons the deflections of the
lobe increased rapidly and precise values could not be recorded. The length of the cracks on the
lobe core junction increased to about two thirds of the roof depth and the structure was deemed
unsafe. The total load on the lobe was then 6×8=48 tons and this gave a load factor of 2·5.
Space does not permit the inclusion of the investigations of numerous microconcrete models of
cylindrical shells, folded plates and complicated multi-shell structures conducted by the author.
These can be found

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elsewhere in the literature. These model investigations were of two main types, one in which
theoretical analysis had to be confirmed by experimental evidence and the other in which (for
lack of sufficient theoretical anaysis) the experimental results from a model investigation were
scaled up to produce direct information for the design of the prototype.
In the first category the author first used microconcrete models of single cylindrical shells and
then a microconcrete model of a triple bay shell to confirm computer theoretical values.5 Further
investigations of microconcrete folded plate structures were carried out to verify not only the
design analysis but also the use of computer programs for analysing multi-cylindrical shells by
modifying the input data.3, 6
In the direct application of model results for the design of shell and plate structures of interest is
a market hall at Accrington5 in which the structure consisted of a series of linked cylindrical
shell surfaces. These surfaces consisted of triangular and diamond shapes in plan linked at
different levels and supported by edges carried on columns. Vibrating wire gauges mounted on
the edge beams, columns and shell surfaces of the microconcrete models provided experimental
stress values which then scaled allowed the prototype to be designed.
A segmental folded plate dome model for a council chamber at Durham was constructed in
microconcrete.5 The main elements were two folded rectangular plates supported along the main
two edges by pairs of plates. Again using vibrating wire gauges sufficient stress information was
obtained to allow the prototype to be designed.
In conclusion it may be added that in the author’s opinion the use of microconcrete models in the
design of complicated concrete structures either in a direct mode or in confirming proposed
theory is absolutely invaluable.
1. Sabnis, Harris, White & Mirza, Structural Modelling and Experimental Techniques.
Prentice Hall Jnr, 1983.
2. Charlton, T.M., Model Analysis of Plane Structures. Pergamon Press, London, 1966.
3. Gibson, J.E., Shell and plate investigations. In Computing in Structural Engineering.
Applied Science Publishers, Barking, UK, 1975 Chapter 13.
4. Gibson, J.E. & Mitwally, M., An experimental and theoretical investigation of model box
beams in Perspex and microconcrete. The Structural Engineer, 54 (1976).

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5. Gibson, J.E., The design of shell roofs. Model Investigations, E & F.N.Spon, 1968, Chapter
14, p. 261.
6. Gibson, J.E., Experimental investigation of shells. In Thin Shells. Pergamon Press, Oxford,
1980, Chapter 10.
7. Spence, R.J.S. & Morley, C.T. The strength of single-cell concrete box girders of deformable
cross section. In Proceedings Institution of Civil Eng. Part 2, 59 (1975) 743–62.
American Concrete Institution, Models for Concrete Structures. Detroit, MI, Chairman
R.N.White, 1972.
Best, C.C., Testing Micro-concrete Structural Models. British Committee for Stress Analysis,
University College, London, 1967.
Boswell, L.F. & D’Mello, C., Model analysis of grouted connections for use in construction and
repair of offshore structures. BRE, November 1984.
Bouwkamp, Scordelis & Wasti, Structural behaviour of a two span reinforced concrete box
girder bridge model, Vols. I-III. UC-SESM Report No. 71–5, University of California, Berkeley,
Ca, 1971.
Clarke, J.L. & Evans, D.J., Vertical shear strength of composite beams. C & CA Technical
Report 556, London, 1983.
Corley, W.G., Russell, H.G. & Hognestad, E., Ultimate load test of 1/10—scale microconcrete
model of new Potomac river crossing I–266. J. Prestressed Conc. Inst, (1971) 70–84.
El-Demirdash, M.A., An investigation of multi-cell bridges. PhD thesis, City University,
London, 1981.
Elliott, G., Clark, L.A. & Symmons, R.M., Test of quarter-scale reinforced concrete voided slab.
C & CA Technical Report 527, London, 1979.
Evans, D.J. & Clarke, J.L., A comparison between the flexural behaviour of small scale micro-
concrete beams and that of prototype beams. C & CA Technical Report 542, London, 1981.
Frischmann, Lippard and Steger, National Westminster Tower: design. In Proc. Inst. of Civil
Eng. Part 1. Design and Construction, August 1983, Vol. 74, pp. 415–20.
Fumagalli, E. & Verdelli, G., Research on PCPY for BWR—physical model as design tool—
main results. Report No. 86, ISMES, Bergamo, Italy, September 1976.
Garas, F.K., Examples of the application of microconcrete model results to design problems. In
Reinforced and Prestressed Concrete Models. The Construction Press, London, 1980.
Gibson, J.E., Wind stresses in closed cantilever shells and core walls. In Proceedings of IASS
Symposium. University of Calgary, Alberta, 1972.
Gibson, J.E., Model investigations in microconcrete with particular reference to the National
Westminster Bank offices. In Reinforced and Prestressed Microconcrete Models, ed. Garas &
Armer. The Construction Press, London, 1980.
Gibson, J.E., Comparison between reinforced concrete prototypes and microcon-

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crete models. Seminar—Model Analysis as a Design Tool, BRE, November 1984.
Harris, H.G., The inelastic analysis of concrete cylindrical shells and Itc verification using
small scale models’. PhD thesis, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 1967.
Ho, C.L., Model investigation of stresses and deflections in a composite box bridge. MSc thesis,
City University, London, 1971.
Laycock, M., The use of micro concrete for scale model structural tests. MSc thesis, University
of Manchester, UK, 1958.
Maisel, B.I. & Roll, F., Methods of analysis and design of concrete box beams with side
cantilever. C & CA Technical Report, 42.494, November 1974.
Mirza, M.S., Reliability of structural concrete models. In Reinforced and Prestressed Concrete
Models. The Construction Press, London, 1980.
Mitwally, M., A theoretical and experimental investigation of box girder bridges. PhD thesis,
City University, London, 1974.
Mirza, M.S., White, R.N. & Roll, F., Materials for structural models. In Proc. of the ACI
Symposium on Models of Concrete Structures, Dallas. Am. Conc. Inst., Detroit, MI, 1972, pp.
Noor, F.A. & Wijayasri, S., Modelling the stress strain relationships of structural concrete.
Magazine of Concrete Research, 34 (1982).
Noor, F.A., Raveendran, S. & Evans, W., Production and use of high yield model reinforcement.
Design of Concrete Structures—the Use of Model Analysis, BRE, November 1984.
Oberti, G. & Fumagalli, E., Criteria for the choice and use of model materials for reinforced
concrete structures. In Reinforced and Prestressed Concrete Models. The Construction Press,
London, 1980.
Ryall, M.J., The behaviour of a reinforced concrete box beam. MSc thesis, City University,
London, 1980.
Sabnis, G.M. & Mirza, M.S., Size effects in model concretes. ASCE J. Struct Div. 105, No.
ST6, June 1979, pp. 1007–20.
Somerville, G., Roll, F. & Caldwell, J.A.D., Tests on one-twelfth scale model of the Mancunian
Way. C.&C.A. Technical Report TRA/394, December 1965.
Subedi, N.K. & Garas, F.K., Bond characteristics of small diameter bars used in micro concrete
models. In Reinforced and Prestressed Concrete Models. The Construction Press, London,
Thoma, W. & Müller, R.K., Impact testing on micro-concrete models. In The Use of Model
Analysis. Elsevier Applied Science Publishers, London, 1985.
Tang, C.S., Finite element analysis of curved box bridge. MSc thesis, City University, London,
Waldron, P. & Perry, S.H., Small scale micro concrete control specimens. In Reinforced and
Prestressed Concrete Models. The Construction Press, London, 1980.
White, S.G. & Clark, L.A., Bond similitude in reinforced micro concrete models. In Reinforced
and Prestressed Concrete Models. The Construction Press, London, 1980.
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3Size Effects in Plain and Structural Concrete
M.Saeed Mirza
Department of Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics, McGill University, Montreal,
The phenomenon of ‘size effects’ in physical properties of concrete and other materials, has been
observed by several investigators. It is defined as the change in the indicated unit strength due to
a change in the specimen size. Normally, this is reflected in an increase in the observed nominal
strength with a decrease in the specimen size, especially in heterogeneous material systems. In
small-scale reinforced and prestressed concrete models, heterogeneity of concrete results in
significant size effects in its properties as the model size decreases. This is complicated further
by the presence of reinforcing bars or pre-stressing tendons resulting in the complex phenomena
of bond and dowel actions. This chapter deals with the size effects in plain concrete subjected to
compression and tension, bond or pull-out action at the steel-concrete interface and in structural
concrete elements subjected to various combinations of axial and shearing forces and bending
and twisting moments. Direct modeling of a 9-panel slab constructed and tested at different
scales, is reviewed as a case study of a structure. The influence of dynamic loading on size
effects in compression is also discussed.

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Three state-of-the-art reports provide summaries of recent studies on size effects in concrete.
Sabnis1 conducted an extensive study of the theoretical investigations into the size effects
phenomenon, including the work by Weibull,2 Tucker,3 Nielsen,4 Pahl & Soosaar,5 and
Glucklich & Cohen.6 Sabnis & Aroni7 and Sabnis & Mirza8 have summarized the various
experimental investigations into the size effects phenomenon. Despite the significant effort, the
phenomenon of size effects is not well understood.
2.1 Parameters influencing size effects in concrete
Variations in the strength of concrete specimens of similar shape but different size can result
from one or more of the following factors:9
1. Compaction and density. With uniform compaction, size effects are minimal.10 Compaction
cannot be scaled. Smaller specimens are better compacted, and therefore, they have a higher
density and consequently a higher strength. Larger specimens have more flaws—internal voids,
entrapped air, and therefore they exhibit lower strengths.
2. Loss of water through forms or moulds during concreting normally depends on the specimen
size and it influences the water-cement ratio of the concrete cast and consequently its strength.
3. Water gain during casting in top layers of deep members can similarly change the quality of
the concrete cast.
4. Aggregate grading. A constant cement-aggregate ratio provides inadequate paste to cover the
lower surface area of the finer aggregates, therefore, the strength of the model concrete
decreases with an increase in the fineness of sand.11
5. Curing and age. Because of the larger surface area—volume ratio and the shorter moisture
migration path in smaller specimens, they cure faster than the larger specimens. Consequently,
the compressive strength exhibited increases with a decrease in the specimen size. Because of
the lack of uniformity of hydration, the concrete strength normally varies from the specimen
surface towards its centre. It follows that smaller-scale model concrete attains its compressive
strength at an earlier age than a larger-scale model concrete.11
6. Drying of a specimen also depends on its surface area—volume ratio and causes an increase
in the strength with a decrease in the

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specimen size. A similar size effect is manifested under sustained loadings.
7. Strain rates. Higher strain or loading rates, especially those during dynamic loadings, result
in higher strengths.
It would be useful to note that the following parameters influence the strength of specimens of
different sizes. In some cases, they may have a more pronounced effect on the strength of smaller
size specimens.
1. Stress state. The specimen strength is strongly influenced by the state of stress and the strain
gradient across the specimen cross-section. All of these strengths have been shown to increase
with a decrease in the specimen size and with an increase in the strain gradient.
2. End conditions of compression specimens (flatness and parallel ends) influence the strength.
Higher accuracy of capping in smaller specimens leads to higher observed strengths.
3. Testing machines. The stiffness characteristics of the testing machine and the loading platens
have a strong influence on the measured strengths and the accompanying stress-strain curves.
Stiffer loading platens tend to induce more uniform strains than thinner flexible platen which
cause application of more uniform stress. These end platens restrain lateral movement resulting
in lateral stresses at both ends. An increase in the lateral restraint causes an increase in the
observed strength along with a change in the mode of failure.
Sabnis & Mirza reviewed the experimental work of several investigators on size effects in plain
concrete.8 A summary of the highlights follows:
The earliest studies on size effects in concrete were reported by Gonnerman,12 who conducted
an extensive study into the compressive strength of different size cylinders, with a height-
diameter ratio of 2 and diameter varying from 37 mm (1·5 in) to 250mm (10 in). The influence
of age, cement-aggregate ratio, relative consistency and aggregate fineness were examined. Each
point in Fig. 1 is an average of 5 to 30 test results. The aggregate size used was less than 0·4
times the cylinder diameter.
The effect of scaling the aggregates for concrete mixes suitable for models of concrete structures
was investigated by Johnson.13 He used high early strength cement, natural sand and four
different maximum size

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Fig. 1. Effect of size on compressive strength.12 *Ease of flow of concrete. **Sum of the
cumulative percentages retained on the standard sieve series.
aggregates: 20mm ( in) for prototype concrete, 5 mm ( in) for -scale model concrete, 4 mm (
in) for -scale model concrete. He tested 38×75 mm (1·5×3 in) and 150×300 mm (6×12 in)
cylindrical specimens and 75 mm (3 in) cubes for each series. Figure 2 shows the influence of

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Fig. 2. Compressive tests on 1:4 and 1:8 scale mixes at 7 days.13

the water-cement ratio and the specimen size for the prototype, -scaleand -scale model
concretes. For both and scale mixes, the 150 mm diameter cylinders exhibited 75–85% of
the strength of the 38 mm diameter cylinder.

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Several series of model cylinders were tested by Harris et al.11,14 to examine the variation of
concrete compressive strength with the specimen age and volume. The model concrete was
prepared using high early strength cement, ordinary fine sand and tap-water. Smaller size
cylinder 6×12 mm( × in), 13×25 mm( ×1 in) and 25×50 mm (1×2 in) were cast in Plexiglas
moulds, while standard metal moulds were used for 50×100 mm (2×4 in) and 75×150 mm (3×6
in) cylinders. The cylinders were moist-cured at a temperature of 23°C (75°F) and a relative
humidity of more than 95%. They showed from the observations of strength of 6×12 mm( × in)
cylinders at earlier ages that part of the size effect was due to ‘differential’ curing in the various
size specimens. The influence of the volume of compressed concrete on the unconfined
compressive strength is shown in Fig. 3 which shows that the curves flatten out with volume.
Another series of tests using different gradings of sands with larger percentage of fines showed
no significant size effect. They noted that the larger surface area—volume ratio did not influence
the distribution of flaws and the observed size effects were attributed to the differential curing

Fig. 3. Unconfined compressive strength versus stressed volume at various ages.11

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3.1 Statistical variations
The strength of concrete cast and cured under laboratory conditions is known to be better
controlled, and therefore, it exhibits lower values of standard deviation than the concrete cast
and cured at the job site. Neville noted that both the average strength and the standard deviation
increase with a decrease in the model size.15 He analysed the experimental results from 12
different investigations on several different types of concretes, cured using different techniques
and tested at varying ages. He ignored the influence of aggregates, Poisson’s ratio and the
aggregate—cement ratio, and considered the concrete strength (P) to be a function of the volume
(V), the maximum lateral dimension (d), and the height—lateral dimension ratio (h/d), and
derived the following equation to represent the statistical variation in concrete strength (Fig. 4):
where the subscript 6 refers to a 6-in (150 mm) cube made of the same concrete and used as a
standard for comparison purposes.
Sabnis,1 and Pahl & Soosaar5 considered concrete and mortar to be fairly brittle materials.
They suggested that there are a number of flaws

Fig. 4. Relation between P/P6 and d/[(V/6h)+h].15

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distributed randomly in the concrete and that there are a smaller number of flaws in a small size
specimen than in a larger size specimen, where failure can initiate. Therefore, the strength of
smaller size specimens is larger than that of the larger size specimen. This variation of size
effect can be represented by the equation
where =concrete compressive strength, V=specimen volume and a, b and c are positive
constants depending on the experimental data from a given mix.
3.2 Sealing of specimens
Size effects observed in different types of tests on different concretes have been shown to
decrease if the specimens are sealed properly.8 Investigation by Fuss16 on carefully sealed
solid and hollow cylinders varying in size from 6×12 mm (0·25×0·5 in) to 25×50 mm (1×2 in),
showed that with proper sealing and no loss of moisture, cylinder size had no significant effect
on the compressive strength. Sabnis & White arrived at similar conclusions.17
A detailed investigation of size effects in the compressive strength of concrete was undertaken at
McGill University with emphasis on curing and compaction techniques.18 Over 500 cylinders
ranging in size from 25×50 mm (1×2 in) to 150×300 mm (6×12 in) were tested at ages of 3, 7
and 14 days. Continuous moist curing was observed to be more effective than coating
procedures and air drying. A comparatively more rapid moisture loss from smaller cylinders
during air drying resulted in lower strengths compared with continuous moist curing. Exchange
of moisture with the environment could not be prevented entirely when the cylinders were spray
painted with lacquer or polyurethane. Strength increases of approximately 5–15% were
observed for 75 mm (3 in) and 100 mm (4 in) diameter cylinders compared with the 150 mm (6
in) diameter cylinders, while the strength increase for the 50 mm (2 in) diameter cylinders was
about 40%.
Tests on cores 50 mm (2in), 100 mm (4 in) and 150 mm (6 in) in diameter from a slab and from a
wall, each 400 mm (16 in) thick and moist-cured for 3 months indicated no size effects in the
strength of the cores with height-diameter ratio of 2.19 Half of the cores were soaked in water
for 28 days prior to testing, while the other half were immersed in water for 40–44 h prior to
testing. All of these cores had similar moisture condition, which was equivalent to that obtained
by sealing of specimens.

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3.3 Evaluation of data on size effects in compression
Sabnis et al. evaluated the available data on size effects in compression in concrete and
concluded that size effect does not influence the selection of a prototype cylinder size since the
strength results for cylinders larger than 75×150mm (3×6 in) fall on the flat portion of the curve
(Fig. 5).9

Fig. 5. Relative strengths of different size cylinders with 6-in cylinder as a unit.
Note: all cylinders have height=twice the diameter.9
However, the cylinder size selected for evaluating the strength of model concrete can have a
significant influence on the observed compressive strength. The relative strengths of the various
cylinder sizes with typical curing and drying histories and no surface sealing are shown in Fig.
5. Although it is generally accepted that the cylinder scale for evaluation of the concrete strength
in the model structure should be consistent with the

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model scale, the ACI Committee 444-Models for Concrete Structures (1979) recommended that
50×100 mm (2×4 in) cylinders be accepted as a standard for comparing different model concrete
mixes. The ACI Committee 444 cautioned that for models with very small characteristic
dimensions, say 13 mm (0.5 in) or less, the apparent strength of the control cylinder may not be
representative of the strength of the concrete in the model structure. They recommended
additional tests on model cylinders with height-diameter ratio of 2 and with the cylinder
diameter equal to the characteristic dimension of the model. The following suggestions by Pahl
& Soosaar can be useful:5
1. The model cylinder diameter should be equal to the minimum dimension of the model
structure in the region of failure, e.g. the shell thickness or the beam width.
2. The size of the largest model aggregate particle should be less than or equal to of the
cylinder diameter, nor larger than 80% of the clear distance between the bars.

Fig. 6. Comparison of standard compressive stress-strain curves for various concretes.9

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3.4 Stress-strain relationships in compression
The stress-strain response of prototype and model concretes is extremely important in
correlating material similitude between the prototype structure and its model, especially, when
the response and the mode of failure are controlled by the concrete properties. The stress-strain
characteristics and the ultimate strength of prototype and model concretes of identically cast
specimens of similar shape are dependent on the specimen size and shape, the states of stress or
strain, moisture conditions within the specimen and the method and rate of loading.14
The stress-strain behaviour of small size concrete cylinders with height-diameter ratio of 2 has
been studied by several investigators. They observed that the response of the model cylinders
was similar to that of

Fig. 7. Comparison of standard stress-strain behaviour of actual concrete and model concrete at
about 1:10 scale.7

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the standard 150×300mm (6×12 in) cylinder.8 A typical comparison of the stress-strain curves
for model and prototype concrete from the work at the University of Illinois is shown in Fig. 6.
The agreement between the stress-strain curves for both the model and the prototype concretes
with ultimate strengths of approximately 30 MPa (4600 psi) is quite acceptable. Sabnis &
White17 compared the stress-strain curves for model concrete, model gypsum concrete and
prototype concretes tested at Cornell University with similar work at the Massachussets Institute
of Technology and the University of Illinois using non-dimensional bases for both stress and
strain (Fig. 7). The agreement obtained is excellent. Syamal conducted compression tests on
several 150×300mm cyliners, using different model concrete mixes and their , , and scale
models and obtained good agreement for the non-dimensional stress-strain curves obtained from
this study.20
It should be noted that some recent research does not support the above findings. Maisel21 and
Noor & Wijayasri22 decided to alter the bond between the aggregate and cement paste, with the
aim of modelling the Young’s Modulus and the strain at peak stress more closely. Further
information is given in Chapter 4.
Several important phenomena in reinforced concrete such as the bond strength of deformed bars
and the shear strength of beams, columns and slabs are strongly dependent on the tensile strength
of concrete which also influences the cracking load and the crack pattern and the non-linear
deformation response resulting from the changes in the stiffness due to cracking. Three different
types of tests are available to evaluate the tensile strength of concrete and the choice of the test
is normally made on the anticipated strain gradient in the element. For members carrying uniform
tension, direct tension test is recommended, while for members with compressive and tensile
strains of the same order, the indirect tension (split cylinder test) or the torsion test can be used.
For members subjected to strain gradients such as reinforced and prestressed concrete beams
and pavements, the flexure or the modulus of rupture test is more appropriate. Harris et al.14
noted that as for the compressive strength, the indirect tensile and flexural tensile strengths are
dependent on the following parameters: method and rate of loading, specimen size, maximum
aggregate size, water-cement and cement-aggregate ratios, the

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method of casting, differential curing, workmanship, strain gradient and statistical volume
4.1 Flexure tests
Blackman et al. studied the effect of strain gradient using identical specimens with the strain
gradients varying from pure axial tension to pure flexure.23 They noted that the ultimate tensile
strength and strain increased with the applied strain gradient. Wright & Garwood noted from
flexural tests on beams that the flexural tensile strength increased with an increase in the strain
gradient.24 Using the results of a large number of flexural tests on beams with depths varying
from 100 mm (4 in) to 250mm (10 in), Abrams showed that deeper beams exhibited lower
flexural strength which varied by about 10% from shallower to deeper beams.25
Harris et al.11 tested beams with cross-sections 6×12 mm ( × in), 13×25 mm ( ×1 in), 19×37
mm ( ×1 in) and 25×50 mm (1×2 in) over spans of 75, 150, 225 and 300mm (3, 6, 9 and 12
in), respectively. The flexural tensile strength was observed to increase with a decrease in the
beam size—width, cross-sectional area and volume (Fig. 8). Harris et al.14 investigated the
influence of strain gradient on the flexural strength using tests under third-point loading on beams
ranging in size from 6×9 mm ( × in) to 100×150 mm (4×6 in). For each beam, the depth-width
and the span-depth ratio were maintained constant at 1·5 and 4, respectively. The loading set-up
and the support details were also modeled to the-same scale as the test beams. The higher strain
gradients in smaller beams resulted in higher observed flexural strengths in the smaller beams.
White & Sabnis showed the existence of size effects in flexural strength in horizontally and
vertically cast gypsum and model concrete beams.26 The horizontally cast beams exhibited a
higher flexural strength (Fig. 9), because the material on the tension face was cast at different
depths resulting in an increased heterogeneity and an observed higher flexural strength.
4.2 Indirect tension and other tests
Mirza conducted a series of indirect tension tests on cylinders ranging in size from 25×50 mm
(1×2 in) to 150×300 mm (6×12 in) and flexural tests on square beams ranging in size from
25×25×100 mm (1×1×4 in) to 100×100×400mm (4×4×16 16 in).27 The results of both test

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Fig. 8. Variation of extreme fibre tensile stress with size of specimen.14

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Fig. 9. Variation of modulus of rupture with size for gypsum mortar.26

Fig. 10. Variation of splitting tensile strength with cylinder diameter (L/D=2).27

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showed that the mean strength and standard deviation decreased as the specimen size increased
(Fig. 10). The measured values of the principal tensile and compressive strains on the circular
faces of the different size test specimens used for the split cylinder tests at a load value equal to
half of the ultimate load and at one load stage just before failure were of the same order.
Using direct tension, ring tension and indirect tension tests, with 21 different concretes, Malhotra
showed that for each test, the concrete tensile strength increased with a decrease in the specimen
size.28 The strength increase was larger for the ring tests than the other two tests.
From an extensive series of tests, Mirza et al. observed that the indirect tensile strength of model
concrete was about 10% of the compressive strength.29 They proposed the following empirical
relationship between the indirect tensile strength fct and the compressive strength, :
where fct and are in MPa units.
4.3 Analytical studies
Kadlecek & Spetla30 proposed the following equation to reflect size effects in cylinder and
prism tests in direct tension
where ft =tensile strength in kg/cm2
V=volume of test specimen in cm3×10−3
A, B=constants for best fit and data with values in the range 23·32–29·56, and 0·021–0·041,
This equation implies that the tensile strength decreases indefinitely as the specimen size
increases. Rao proposed a correction with a finite limitation as31
where ft=minimum tensile strength
flimit=strength of standard specimen in the investigation
C, D=experimental constants
The tensile strength variation with size using the two equations is shown in Fig. 11.

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Cylinders Kadlecek and Spetla (1967) C.V.S.K.Rao(1972)

H/D=2 A 23.32 V−0·041 D 21(1+0.16 V−1.08)
H/D=3 B 24.78 V−0.021 E 23(1+0.085 V−0.5)
H/D=3 C 29.56 V−0.03 F 27(1+0.118 V−0·72)
Fig. 11. Relationship between tensile strength and specimen size.31
4.4 Evaluation of data on size effects in tension
Sabnis et al. evaluated the experimental data from tension tests conducted by several
investigators and concluded that the tensile strength increases with a decrease in specimen size.9
For various strength con-

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cretes, 14–42 MPa (2000–6000 psi), the indirect tensile strength for 50×100 mm (2×4 in)
cylinder was observed to vary between 10 and 12% of the results from 150×300mm cylinders
and between 11 and 12% for 25×50mm (1×2 in) cylinders. The direct tension tests for the same
concretes showed increases of 9–11% for the 50×100mm cylinders and 11–12% for the
25×50mm cylinders compared with the results for 150×300mm (6×12 in) cylinders. Similarly,
the flexure tests showed increases of 17–20% for the 50×100mm size beams compared with the
150×300 mm (6×12 in) cross-section beams. It must be remembered that the tensile strength
influences cracking, short-and long-term deflections and the strength of the member, therefore,
careful effort must be made to model the tensile strength of the prototype concrete, although this
is an extremely difficult task. More research is needed in this area.
4.5 Stress-strain relationship in tension
Compared with the studies of the stress-strain characteristics in compression, considerably little
attention has been paid to the stress-strain characteristics of model concrete in tension. Mirza
reported compression and indirect tension stress-strain curves from tests on 20 instrumented
cylinders (14 in compression and 6 in indirect tension) prepared from a model concrete mix
with water-cement-aggregate ratio of 0·8:1:3·25.25 He reported results from 588 compression
tests and 197 indirect tension

Fig. 12. Standard concrete stress-strain curves.29

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tests on 75×150mm (3×6 in) cylinders from the same model concrete mix. Typical stress-strain
curves for the model concrete in compression and indirect tension are shown in Fig. 12.
Recent reports on the use of structural models in studying the dynamic response of structural
systems are presented by Mirza et al.,32 Harris33 and Sabnis et al.,9 which include the
similitude requirements for successful implementation of the dynamic modeling process. These
similitude relationships can be generalized to non-linear behaviour of model and prototype
structures, if the stress-strain relationships of the model and the prototype materials are similar.
The model can be studied until failure and at such state of cracking or damage where it is
necessary to study the influence of this distress on the frequency ranges from the model to the
prototype. The following three sets of similitude requirements are presented in the above three
(i) For true replica models for which the inertial, gravitational and restoring forces are correctly
duplicated. These requirements are difficult to satisfy because of the severe restrictions on the
model material properties, especially the mass density.
(ii) With artificial mass simulation based on the assumption that the inertial force/gravitational
force ratio is constant (due to Froude).
(iii) With the gravity forces neglected based on the assumption that the inertial force/elastic
restoring force ratio is constant (due to Cauchy).
Considerable success has been achieved in dynamic testing of small-scale structures and
structural components on shake tables where additional material of a non-structural nature has
been added to simulate the required scale density of the model.
5.1 Effect of strain rate
Although the static properties of model concrete have been studied by several investigators,9
little work has been undertaken on the dynamic properties of model concretes. Effects of the
various strain rates on the strength of concrete have been reported for dynamic studies involving
blast and impact loadings.11,34 A series of 50×100 mm (2×4 in) cylinders

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Table 1
Strain rate effects on unconfined compressive strength 50×100 mm (2×4 in) cylinders9
Average strain Head speed of
rate, (mm/mm per Instron machine No. of No. of No. of
s.) (min/min) specimens specimens specimens
1×10−5 0·5 5 1·040 7 1·023 2 0·968 1·021
1×10−4 5 4 1·109 7 1·116 3 1·153 1·122
1×10−3 50 4 1·206 3 1·199 3 1·160 1·187
1×10−2 500 3 1·367 0 — 3 1·303 1·335

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of model concrete with a water:cement:aggregate ratio of 0·9:1:4·5 was tested by Harris et al.
at increasing strain rates in unconfined compression.11 A total of 44 specimens were tested at
four rates of strain ranging from 10−5 in/in per s to 10−2 in/in per s. The results are shown in
Table 1 as the ratio of dynamic unconfined compressive strength, , to the static strength, .
The average values of / are plotted in Fig. 13 for the average rate of strain. A comparison
of the results with similar results of ordinary concrete shows a higher rate of increase for the
ratio / for the model concrete over the range tested. This is partly due to the size effects
involved in the smaller specimens of model concrete.

Fig. 13. Effect of increased strain rate on the unconfined compressive strength.11
5.2 Dynamic elastic modulus and damping characteristics
Pereira & Priestley present the influence of the frequency of vibration on the modulus of
elasticity and the damping characteristics of model concrete (Figs 14 and 15).35 It can be noted
that for uncracked model concrete, the dynamic modulus of elasticity at a frequency of 150 Hz is
about 15% higher than the static modulus. Internal damping of model concrete increases with
frequency (Fig. 15), and a local peak was observed at a frequency of 19 Hz, however Pereira &
Priestley attributed this to the properties of the base of the test set-up rather than those of the

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Fig. 14. Modulus of elasticity versus frequency for model concrete.35

Fig. 15. Damping versus frequency for model concrete.35

concrete, thereby obscuring the experimental results.35 More experimental research is needed in
this area.
Besides the size effects in the properties of model concrete and model reinforcement, knowledge
of the overall size effects in the reinforced and

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pre-stressed concrete models is important in the prediction of the prototype behaviour from the
observed response of the model. Sabnis et al. stressed three phenomena in comparing the
responses of the model and the prototype reinforced and pre-stressed concrete structures:9
1. bond characteristics at the steel-concrete interface;
2. cracking simlitude at the service load level;
3. strength and deformations at the ultimate load level.
The basic similitude requirement for bond between the concrete and the steel reinforcement
requires that the bond stresses developed by the model reinforcement be identical to those
developed by the prototype steel reinforcement.36 They observed that the available equations to
calculate the bond stress are empirical relationships, derived from experimental studies on
specimens reinforced with prototype bar sizes only. Moreover, these equations are
dimensionally inhomogeneous, and therefore, it is not possible to form dimensionless products
and similitude relationships based on these equations. Improved modeling of prototype bond
characteristics can be achieved by a more detailed knowledge of the bond behaviour of model
reinforcement. The bond strength of a certain combination of prototype bars can then be
simulated by providing the proper number and size of model bars, thus providing the ‘correct
amount’ of ‘total bond strength’ instead of being concerned with scaling the ‘unit bond stress’.
7.1 Model reinforcement bond characteristics
Sabnis et al. suggest that because of the differences in bond strength and response of small-size
bars and wires and large-size bars, it is difficult to ensure true modeling of bond which is further
handicapped by the limited knowledge of bond in prototype members.9 The measured bond
stress distribution bears little resemblance to the calculated unit bond stress; the modeling of
such a poorly defined quantity is extremely difficult. This situation is further complicated by the
influence of the cover thickness and stirrups on the concrete splitting mechanism which governs
7.2 Model bond tests
Different tests have been used to evaluate the bond strength of prototype steel reinforcement.
These include the concentric and eccentric pullout

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tests, the embedded bar tension test and the various flexural tests, e.g. the University of Texas
beam, the National Bureau of Standards beam and the McGill doubly symmetric bond beam.
Each of the above tests has been used by the different investigators to study the bond
characteristics of model reinforcement. Details of these tests and their advantages and
disadvantages have been discussed by Hsu37 and Mirza.38
7.3 Model bond investigations
Bond between plain wires and model concrete was first studied by Harris et al.,11 Taher,39
Aldridge,40 and Lim et al.41 They found that an embedment length-wire diameter ratio of about
20–25 was adequate to cause the black annealed wires to yield. The smaller diameter wires
displayed better bond characteristics than larger diameter wires. Also, rusting the wires
improved bond characteristics.11,38
Smooth or rusted wires are inadequate for investigating bond failures involving number, size and
distribution of cracks, post cracking deformations, effects of reversed or repeated loads or
redistribution of internal stresses. For true modeling of bond characteristics, it is essential that
model reinforcement has surface characteristics similar to those of the prototype reinforcement.
7.4 Cornell University bond studies
Harris et al.42 conducted a comprehensive bond investigation at Cornell University on plain
wires, commercially available deformed wires, threaded rods and laboratory-deformed steel
wires with cement and gypsum-based model concretes using concentric pull-out, tension, and
flexure tests and compared the results with similar tests conducted on prototype specimens. They
could develop the yield strength of a 1 mm (0·04 in) diameter deformed steel wire with a length-
diameter (L/D) ratio of 15 and of a 1·5 mm (0·06 in) diameter deformed steel wire with an L/D
ratio of 8. Harris et al. used 25×50 mm (1×2 in) cylindrical specimens to study the bond
characteristics of the various model reinforcing wires.42 Some of this test data is plotted in Fig.
16 along with the other model and prototype data. It can be noted that the deformed model wires
can develop an ultimate bond stress comparable with that of prototype large bars, especially at
the lower L/D ratios. This comparison suggests that suitably deformed wires have pull-out bond
strengths fairly close to those

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Fig. 16. Average ultimate bond stress versus L/D ratio from pull-out tests, comparison of
prototype and model results.9
measured for prototype bars. Plain wires exhibit lower average ultimate bond stress with
increasing L/D ratios.
7.5 McGill University studies
The results of a detailed investigation at McGill University on the influence of concrete strength,
clear cover thickness, end anchorage, vertical stirrups, and rust on bond between plain and
deformed wires and model concrete was reported by Hsu37 and Mirza.38 They compared the
average ultimate bond stress values obtained for plain and deformed wires using the different
bond tests described earlier. As for the prototype reinforcement, the average ultimate bond stress
was approximately proportional to , and it increased with an increase in the concrete
compressive strength. This average ultimate bond stress increased with the embedment length-
diameter (L/D) ratio up to 15, after which the average ultimate bond stress decreased gradually.
For D-2 and D-4 size deformed wires and a 21 MPa (3000 psi) concrete, an L/D ratio of 15
caused the wires to yield at stresses between 440 and 530 MPa (64–76 ksi), while an L/D ratio
between 25 and 30 was needed to fracture the steel

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wire. As the concrete compressive strength was increased from 21 MPa (3000 psi) to 35 MPa
(5000 psi), the L/D ratio required to fracture the wire decreased from approximately 25 to about
12 (Fig. 17). The conclusions from this detailed investigation show that deformed wires display
bond characteristics comparable to those of the prototype steel bars, reinforcing the Cornell
University findings.

Fig. 17. Variation of steel stress developed with L/D ratio.37

7.6 Cement and Concrete Association studies
White & Clark investigated the bond characteristics of knurled and rolled wires using concentric
pull-out tests.43 Similar specimens reinforced with plain wires and threaded rods were tested to
obtain data for comparison with the results from the deformed wires.
The pull-out specimen was instrumented with a transducer and a load cell which enabled a
direct plot of the bond stress-slip relationship. Some of the resulting bond stress-slip
relationships are shown in Fig. 18.

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*Bond stress calculations are based on an average diameter of 2 mm.

Fig. 18. Bond stress distribution.43

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Deformed wires developed higher average ultimate bond strengths with the knurled wire
exhibiting a stiffer bond stress-slip relationship. The failure mechanisms for these deformed
wires were significantly different from those observed for the prototype reinforcement.
Specimens with coarser aggregates exhibited higher bond strengths and stiffer bond behaviour
than with fine aggregate model concrete, however, the shape of the aggregate did not have any
significant influence on the bond characteristics. The aggregate size was observed to have a
greater influence on the bond response of deformed wires compared with plain wires.
Some of the specimens were sawn carefully after the test. It was observed that in many
specimens, the concrete cast under the reinforcement was badly compacted because of air
entrapment. To overcome this problem, some of the specimens were cast vertically, however, no
significant difference was observed in the bond behaviour of horizontally and vertically cast
specimens. This was in sharp contrast with Rehm’s observation that bond stress values obtained
for horizontally cast specimens were as low as 25% of the values obtained for the vertically cast
specimens.44 The Cement and Concrete Association† investigation concluded that compaction
was a significant factor influencing the bond response and that use of less workable mixes with
long vibration times and heavier moulds could lead to an improvement in the bond
7.7 Studies on laboratory-deformed wires
Noor & Khalid developed a method of forming raised ribs into the surface of mild steel wire.45
Mild steel wires with a diameter of 3·18 mm had an effective diameter of 2·8 mm after rolling;
the rib height, width and spacing varied between 0·03 and 0·44 mm, 0·66 mm and 0·79 and
between 2·6 and 4·4 mm, respectively, depending on the type of the die used and the method of
drawing the wires. It was observed that the wire should have an appropriate carbon content and
that it should be lightly annealed and drawn before rolling. Subsequent heat treatment of the
wires provided the desired ductility and stress-strain relationships. Experimental work using
pull-out tests showed that the deformed wires developed very high bond strengths and required
an anchorage length of less than 5 diameters to yield the wire. Some of these wires were used in
† Now known as the British Cement Association.

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small-scale beams to study the similitude of moment-curvature relationships; the results were
quite encouraging.
Subedi & Garas presented the results of simple pull-out tests conducted on four different types
of model reinforcing bars.46 A plot of the maximum pull-out force with different embedment
length-diameter (L/D) ratios is shown in Fig. 19. A linear relationship was proposed for design
purposes. The best bond characteristics were obtained for the threaded bars, followed by
laboratory-crimped, deformed and plain wires in order of decreasing bond strengths. An
embedment length of 12 diameters was found to be adequate for threaded bars, while a length of
about 16 diameters provided adequate anchorage for the crimped bars, which exhibited some
strain hardening effects after crimping. The deformed and plain bars required anchorage lengths
of 28 and 50 diameters, respectively. They concluded that the threaded and deformed bars can
be used to model large diameter ribbed and square twisted bars, respectively.
7.8 Bond similitude studies
Although the bond characteristics of plain and commercially available and laboratory-deformed
steel wires have been studied in several laboratories around the world, experimental data on
bond similitude between model and prototype reinforcing bars is scarce.
Harris et al.14 constructed 1/8·33-scale models of two prototype tension specimens, 1·67
m×285 mm×64 mm (66×11·25×2·5 in) in size, reinforced with one No. 8 deformed steel bar
pulled at both ends, to study the effect of wire deformation on bond and cracking in small-scale
reinforced concrete models. They noted excellent correlation for the primary cracks in the model
and the prototype, predicted using Broms’ formulation.47 The secondary and tertiary cracks in
the models reinforced with deformed wires were very similar with respect to the secondary and
tertiary cracks in the prototype specimens. However, because of the lower bond strengths of the
plain wires, relatively fewer cracks (25–50% of the cracks in the prototypes) were observed in
the model reinforced with plain wires.
Stafiej48 and Mirza38 reported the results of tests on 23 direct models of the prototype beam
end specimens, reinforced with a single steel bar, tested by Gergely to study the interaction
between the pull-out and dowel forces in the end zones of reinforced concrete beams.49 The
splitting cracks caused by these forces along the main reinforcing bars were also studied. The
No. 6, No. 8 and No. 10 deformed bars used in the prototype specimens were modeled using
commercially available deformed steel

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Fig. 19. Pull-out force versus L/D ratio.46

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wires giving length scale factors of 1/5·95, 1/4·83 and 1/4·03. These wires had indentations
projecting inwards instead of outward projections or protrusions as in deformed bars. The
model specimens were subjected to combinations of the pull-out and dowel forces used in the
prototype tests using the model test set-up shown in Fig. 20.

Fig. 20. Bond similitude test arrangement.48

Excellent correlation was observed between the cracking patterns in the models and the
prototypes with the specimens failing in one of the following five modes of failure: steel
yielding and fracture, concrete splitting at the bottom and/or the sides or a complete pullout of
the bar without splitting. Most of the values predicted for the prototype pull-out forces were
within ±15% of the experimental values, with a mean value for the experimental strength ratio of
1·04 and a standard deviation of 0·128. The results of this bond similitude investigation were
quite encouraging and showed that there is a 90% probability that the predicted results will be
within ±15% of the experimental results, thus exhibiting a reasonable degree of reliability in the
bond modeling process.
White & Clark43 developed small-scale steel reinforcement using a knurling machine to model
the standard 12·7 mm (0·5 in) diameter GK 60 deformed steel bar to approximately one-sixth
scale. Standard pull-out tests were conducted on specimens using the above -scale model
reinforcement and the results were compared with the data from the pull-out tests on specimens
reinforced with the prototype bars previously

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tested at the Cement and Concrete Association, UK. Contrary to the findings of Stafiej,48 Mirza
& McCutcheon50 and Mirza,38 they noted that linear scaling of a prototype reinforcing bar did
not result in bond similitude. The concrete mix design, aggregate type and compaction were
observed to have a significant effect on the bond in the model specimens.
It is well established that initiation of cracking in a structural concrete member is a function of
the tensile strength of the concrete. Since the tensile strength of concrete increases with a
decrease in the size of the model, the first appearance of cracks in the model can be expected to
be at a slightly higher level. The degree and pattern of cracking in reinforced or partially pre-
stressed concrete systems have a strong influence on the load-deflection response, behaviour
under repeated or reversed loads, force redistribution in indeterminate systems and the overall
response at the serviceability and the ultimate limit states. Size effects in cracking are
manifested in the variation of the crack width with the model size along with a reduction in the
number of cracks.
Bond characteristics between the reinforcing steel and the concrete govern the width and spacing
of the cracks in the prototype and the model. Therefore, in models reinforced with small-size
deformed bars or wires, the cracks are more evenly distributed depending on the deformations
on the bar surface. Plain wires have inadequate bond properties, therefore, in models reinforced
with plain wires, there are relatively fewer and wider cracks. The cracking phenomenon is also
influenced by the strain gradient across the cross-section, however, very little research has been
undertaken in this area.
8.1 Flexural cracking similitude studies
Clark investigated the flexural cracking similitude in one-way slabs with tests on prototypes and
their 1/3·7 and scale models.51,52 The prototype and 1/3·7 scale slabs were reinforced with
commercially available prototype deformed reinforcing bars, while the scale slab models
were reinforced with three different types of model reinforcement—plain wires, deformed wires
and threaded rods. The six prototype slabs were 457 mm wide and reinforced with two 22-mm-
diameter deformed bars at a spacing of 300 mm centres. The overall depth and the bottom cover

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to the steel bars was varied from 114 to 380mm, and 13 to 89mm, respectively. The maximum
aggregate size used in the prototype mix was 19mm and the average indirect tensile strength
obtained from 150×300 mm cylinders was 3·4 MPa.
The 1/3·7 scale models were reinforced with the smallest available deformed reinforcing bars,
while the model concrete mix had a maximum aggregate size of 4·77 mm and was designed to
give the same tensile strength obtained from prototype cylinders (150×300mm) as the prototype
mix. The scale models were reinforced with three different types of model reinforcement—
2·06 mm diameter plain wire, 1·96 mm diameter deformed wire obtained by drawing plain wire
through the knurling machine developed at Cornell University14 and two different model
concrete mixes with a maximum aggregate size of 2 mm. One mix was designed to give the
prototype tensile strength from scaled cylinders, while the second mix was designed to give the
same prototype tensile strength from prototype cylinders.
The experimental results in Fig. 21 show that the best similitude of cracking moment was
obtained when scaled cylinders were used as control specimens. The cracking strains in the
models were larger than those in the prototype. It was also observed that the cracking strain

Fig. 21. Moment-curvature relations—prototype slab R2, 1:3·7 model and 1:10 models with
deformed wire.53

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Fig. 22. Cracking strains.53

increased with a decrease in the specimen depth and consequently with an increase in the
imposed strain gradient (Fig. 22). Clark points out that this is a size, rather than a scale effect.53
Analysis of the experimental data showed that the crack spacings are relatively larger for the
models than for the prototypes. It was observed that the crack pattern developed in the scale
models reinforced with threaded rods was qualitatively very similar to the prototype crack
pattern, and the cracking similutude was better than that achieved with the 1/3·7 scale model
reinforced with deformed bars. The cracking behaviour of the specimens reinforced with plain
wires was very different because of the inferior bond characteristics of the plain wires. These
observations are in general agreement with the findings of the various investigations on
modeling of bond and bond similitude undertaken at Cornell and McGill Universities and the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
8.2 Crack width and number of cracks
Clark observed that the crack widths are strongly influenced by the model scale, reinforcement
type and the model concrete strength.53 The model crack widths can be relatively larger or
smaller than the prototype crack widths, because of ‘the different amounts of premature failure
which occur’. Clark noted from the results of another study that the mechanism of internal
cracking was predominantly local slip for plain and deformed wires, and predominantly internal
cracking for prototype deformed bars and threaded bar reinforcement.51,52
Several tests conducted by investigators around the world on small-scale reinforced concrete
slab and beam elements have clearly shown that the total number of cracks which can be seen by
the naked eye decreases with a decrease in the model size. However, the overall or global crack

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patterns and the load-deflection response were observed to be similar in the prototype and the
various-scale models. Sabnis et al. noted that ‘only a small size effect is associated with
cracking in scaled models, provided that other conditions of similitude (mainly the properties of
materials and bond strength) are satisfied.9
Reliability of structural models can be established by correlation of the experimental data on
relatively complex prototype structures with suitable data from tests on different scale
models.54 Such data from carefully controlled load tests of full-scale structures to collapse for
the purpose of correlating model-to-prototype responses are quite expensive and very few
examples are available for model correlations. Consequently, there is a distinct need for full-
scale prototype and companion model studies to establish model-prototype correlations.
A convenient alternative would be to have available, for each combination of structure type (e.g.
beam, plate, shell, etc.), and mode of behaviour (e.g. shear, flexure, bond, combined bending and
torsion, etc.), sets of experimental results for different scale models and for different techniques
employed. Litle et al.,54 Fialho,55 Cohen & Dobbs,56 Mirza et al.,57 Evans & Clarke58 and
Mirza59 have summarized the available studies to assist the model researcher to establish
model-prototype correlation by comparing the complete behaviour (strength, stiffness, cracking
patterns, ultimate load, mode of failure, etc.), of prototype structures or members with their
models constructed using different length scale factors and subjected to similar loading
conditions. It was noted that reasonably accurate correlation can be obtained for a wide variety
of structures subjected to different type of loadings. These include under- and over-reinforced
beams, beam-columns, frames, slabs, slab-beam and slab-column floor systems, folded plates
and shells. In each case, good similitude was achieved for load-deformation characteristics,
cracking and ultimate load strengths, overall cracking patterns and modes of failure, provided
that the model scale was not too small, i.e. not less than – scale.
There are several excellent studies on the use of models to predict the static and dynamic
responses of different kinds of structures through both the linear and non-linear ranges up to
failure of the structure (e.g. Sabnis et al.).9 The results of only some of the studies, which
involve direct

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modeling of prototype structures tested to failure are presented in the following sections.
9.1 Diagonal tension in reinforced pipes
Lynn60 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology tested to destruction a 1830mm (72 in)
inside diameter, 178mm (7 in) wall thickness, concrete pipe reinforced with welded wire fabric
along with its scale wire reinforced mortar model. Both pipes were loaded in a standard
procedure, known in the pipe industry as the three edge bearing test. In nine model tests which
failed in diagonal tension, the failure load on the average was 11% higher than would have been
predicted. There was excellent reproduction of the prototype failure mode in the models.
9.2 Direct models in combined stress investigations
A total of 56 specimens tested by Syamal included 11 prototypes and their 45 direct models at
different scales (11 at half-scale, 23 at quarter-scale and 11 at -scale) (Table 2).20 All
prototype and their half-scale models were reinforced with deformed bars as longitudinal
reinforcement. Thirteen quarter-scale and three -scale models were similarly reinforced with
deformed steel wires. Plain galvanized steel wires were used for all other and -scale
The prototype concrete mix used for this investigation was designed for a strength of 21 MPa
(3000 psi) using a maximum aggregate size of 19 mm (0·75 in). Concrete mix for the model
specimens was also designed for a compressive strength of 21 MPa (3000 psi) using five grades
of crushed quartz sand passing sieve No. 8 and high early strength cement.27
The column series Cl was tested under combined bending and axial compression while series
B1 was subjected to pure compression. All beams in series B2 through B7 were tested over a
simple span with a concentrated mid-span load. Beam series B8 was subjected to pure torsion,
while the series B9 and B10 were tested under combined flexure and torsion with bending
moment-torque ratios of 0·5 and 1·0, respectively. Details of the testing techniques have been
reported by Syamal.20 The load-deformation similitude achieved for some typical combined
loading tests is shown in Figs 23 and 24.
Syamal concluded that crack patterns, modes of failure, ultimate strengths and the deformation
characteristics of reinforced concrete

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Table 2
Number of specimens tested with different scales
Specimen Types Full-scale No. of half No. of quarter scale No. of one-sixth Remarks
no. of specimen scale models scale models
loading numbers models Made of Made of Made of Made of
deformed plain deformed plain
bars bars bars bars
Cl P+M 1 1 1 — 1 —
B1 P 1a 1a,b — 1a — 1a P=axial
B2 M+V 1a 1a 1 1 — 1a M=bending
B3 M+V 1a 1a 1 1 — 1a T=twisting
B4 M+V 1a 1 1 1 — 1a V=shear
B5 M+V 1a 1a 1 1 — 1a
B6 M+V 1 1 3 1 1 —
B7 M+V 1 1 2 1 1 —
B8 T 1 1 1 1 — 1
B9 M+T 1 1 1 1 — 1
B10 M+T 1 1 1 1 — 1
a Tested by Labonte
b Test could not be completed as the column strength exceeded the testing machine capacity.

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Fig. 23. Moment deflection characteristics—series B5.20

Fig. 24. Torque-twist characteristics—series B8 (M/T=0).20

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elements subjected to various combinations of axial and shear forces and bending and twisting
moments can be modeled adequately using direct models. Also, the size effects in structural
models can be accounted for by using the strength of the control cylinder with diameter equal to
the minimum dimension of the structural element in the failure zone or equal to five to eight times
the diameter of the largest aggregate.
9.3 Pre-stressed concrete beams
Pang61 tested two identical series of pre-stressed concrete T-beams consisting of prototype
specimens which were manufactured by a local pre-casting firm, and their and scale models
which were cast in the McGill Structures Laboratory. Details of the quarter-scale model are
shown in Fig. 25. All specimens were tested under third-point loads.
The average 28-day compressive strength of concrete in the prototype specimens was 34 MPa
(4900 psi). The microconcrete mix for the scale and the scale models consisted of a mixture
of locally available sand and high early strength Portland cement. The average compressive
strength of the microconcrete mix at the time of the test (10 days) was 37 MPa (5400 psi) for the
scale models [from 38×75mm (1 ×3 in) ×3 in) cylinders] and 37 MPa (5380 psi) for the
scale models [from 19×38 mm ( ×1 in) cylinders].

Fig. 25. Sectional evaluation of B3 and B4 1:4 scale models.61,62

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The pre-stressing tendons used for the prototype beams consisted of in diameter 7-wire
uncoated stress-relieved strands [0·2% offset yield point=1683 MPa (244 ksi), ultimate tensile
strength=1938 MPa (281 ksi)]. The scale model pre-stressed reinforcement consisted of 2·8
mm (0·11 in) diameter high tensile steel wire [yield strength=1262 MPa (183 ksi), ultimate
tensile strength=1414 MPa (205 ksi)]. All beams were under-reinforced, and therefore, the
strength and behaviour of the prototypes and the models depended on the yield point and the
ultimate strengths of the wires.
Details of the test set-up, the testing procedure, the strains in prestressing steel and concrete and
vertical deflections at selected stations are reported by Pang61 and Mirza & McCutcheon.62
Excellent correlation was noted between the model and the prototype loads at cracking and at
ultimate load. The agreement between the deflections in the prototype and the models was
excellent throughout the entire loading range (Fig. 26). There was good agreement in the
concrete compressive strains in the prototype and the models at cracking and at ultimate load.
Good cracking similitude was also noted between the prototype and the models.
The results of the above and several other studies indicate that direct

Fig. 26. Comparison of load deflection curves of prototype and model beams.61,62

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models are feasible, time-saving and an inexpensive means of investigating the basic phenomena
and behaviour of reinforced and pre-stressed concrete elements subjected to any loading
10.1 Model studies of flat plate systems
An investigation was undertaken by Guedelhoffer63 to fabricate and to test to collapse a 1/11·52
scale model of a reinforced concrete flat plate tested by Hatcher et al.64 at the University of
Illinois at scale. Additional investigations (1965) were undertaken by Litle65 at scale,
Elstner66 at scale (elastic) and at the Portland Cement Association (PCA) by Guralnick &
LaFraugh at scale.67 Observations and correlations have been drawn from all these models of
the same prototype structure. The prototype structure was designed by DiStasio and Van Buren,
Consulting Engineers, New York City, as a typical floor of a multi-story building according to
the empirical method of the 1956 ACI Building Code. The layout of the structure was of nine 6.1
m (20 ft) square panels, arranged 3 by 3 in each direction.
The prototype slab was 178mm (7 in) thick and was supported at its discontinuous edges by two
different types of spandrel beams: one deep and the other shallow. Details of the structure are
provided by Guralnick & LaFraugh67 and Sozen & Siess.68 Since the PCA -scale model was
fabricated using normal field-construction materials and techniques, it is considered as the
prototype or full-scale structure.
Table 3 compares the pertinent values from all four models and the prototype structure, the
agreement of all significant data is strikingly
Table 3
Flat plate model-prototype comparison
Model Ultimate load Load cracking Maximum panel deflection (in.)
scale PSF PSF Service load 156 ACI–318–56 test 226
3/4 369 130 0·122 0·250
1/4 360 101 0·151 0·359
1/11·52 350 120 0·134 0·390
1/28 370 — 0·170 —

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similar. Figure 27 compares the deflections of typical bays in which all of the investigations are
projected through the use of standard similitude relationships to the -scale terms. It is apparent
from Fig. 27 that the smaller-scale models depict a load-deflection response of slightly higher
stiffness than that of the prototype. The apparent increase in the stiffness of the small-scale
physical models over the larger-scale ones is due to the fewer cracks in the smaller-scale
model. The fewer number of cracks or increased crack spacing is related to the presence of
steeper strain gradients across the section in the small scale models.66 However, caution should
be employed in the use of a blanket, general statement that crack simulation does not exist in
plate-type responses. With a linear scale factor of , visible prototype crack width of 0·05 mm
(0·002 in) becomes 0·005 mm (0·0002 in), which are not visible to the naked eye and must be
observed under magnification. It should be noted that width and spacing of cracks in a reinforced
concrete members depends on several parameters, including the concrete tensile strength, the
geometry of the reinforcing steel-bar (type, geometry and spacing of bar deformations)

Fig. 27. Comparison of deflection at panel centre points between various models.57

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and its stress-strain and bond stress-slip characteristics, the thickness of the concrete cover,
cross-section geometry, boundary conditions and the applied loading. These are extremely
complex phenomena and their interaction and influence on crack width and spacing is not well
understood even for the prototype steel bars. For small-scale models reinforced with small-size
deformed steel wires, the situation is far more complicated. However, despite the foregoing
discussion, visible crack comparisons between the various models are quite good, as a general
indication of crack pattern.
Research results have shown that the compressive, and the indirect and flexural tensile strengths
of prototype or model concrete increase with a decrease in the test specimen size. However, this
size effect has been observed not to occur in model specimens when compaction of model
concrete and its curing are controlled. The mean strengths and the coefficients of variation of
these concretes also increase with a decrease in the specimen size. These increases became
more pronounced for specimen sizes below 50×100mm (2×4 in). The stress-strain
characteristics in compression are reproduced adequately and the non-dimensional stress-strain
curves are homologous for the various specimen sizes. The influence of the various parameters
on size effects in concrete is reviewed; however, more research is needed.
Experimental results show that despite the differences in the deformation characteristics of the
prototype and the model reinforcing bars, bond characteristics of deformed steel wires (model
reinforcement) are comparable with those of the prototype deformed bars. As expected, the bond
characteristics improve with an increase in the concrete strength, the cover thickness, rusting of
bars and provision of stirrups. It has also been shown that certain phenomena involving bond as
the primary cause of failure can be modeled with reasonable reliability, if appropriate care is
exercised in the construction and testing of the model. More experimental research is needed to
examine the bond characteristics of the various types of deformed wires and on bond similitude
and crack correlation between the prototype and the models using these wires. Also, the various
available methods of bond testing need to be evaluated for studying bond in small-scale models.
Results of tests on one-sixth to one-eighth scale models have shown

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that the cracking and the ultimate strength of prototype reinforced or pre-stressed concrete
models subjected to any loading combination can be predicted with a reasonable degree of
accuracy (±15%). Also, for models reinforced with deformed steel wires, the crack patterns,
modes of failure and the load-deformation characteristics can be modeled with reasonable
accuracy for any loading combination.
Several researchers have investigated the complete response of structural subsystems or small
structures (e.g. the nine panel slab) using small-scale models. Good similitude can be achieved
for cracking and ultimate strengths, load-deformation characteristics, and modes of failure,
provided that the model scale is not too small (not less than to scale). Good agreement can
also be achieved between the general crack patterns in the prototype and the models reinforced
with deformed steel wire. More research is needed in modeling the responses of structural
subsystems and in modeling of creep and shrinkage effects.
This paper presents a summary of the material and ideas in the papers cited as references. Some
of the material on size effects is based on the reports and theses from Cornell and McGill
Universities and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The author would like to thank
Prentice-Hall, Inc. for permission to reproduce some figures and Table 1.
1. Sabnis, G.M., Size effects in material systems and their impact on model studies: a theoretical
approach. In Proc. of SECTAM X Conference, Knoxville, 1980, pp. 649–68.
2. Weibull, W., A statistical theory of the strength of materials. Proceedings of the Royal
Swedish Society, Vols 151–152, Stockholm, Sweden, 1939.
3. Tucker, J. Jr., Statistical theory of the effect of dimensions and method of loading on the
modulus of rupture of beams. Proceedings of the American Society for Testing and Materials,
41 (1941) 1072–88.
4. Nielsen, K.E.C., Effect of various factors on the flexural strength of concrete test beams.
Magazine of Concrete Research, London, 15 (1954). 105–14.
5. Pahl, P.J. & Soosaar, K, Structural models for architectural and engineering education. Report
No. R64–3, Department of Civil Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge,
MA., 1964.
6. Glucklich, J. & Cohen, L.J., Strain energy and size effects in a brittle material. In Materials
Research Standards, No. 8. 1968, pp. 17–22.

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7. Sabnis, G.M. & Aroni, S., Size effects in material systems, the state-of-the-art. Paper No. 12
in Structure, Solid Mechanics and Engineering Design, The Proceedings of the Southhampton
1969 Civil Engineering Materials Conference, ed. M.Te’eni. Wiley-Interscience, New York,
1971, pp. 131−42.
8. Sabnis, G.M. & Mirza, M.S., Size effects in model concretes? Journal of the Structural
Division, American Society of Civil Engineers, 105 (ST6) (1979) 1007–20.
9. Sabnis, G.M., Harris, H.G., White, R.N. & Mirza, M.S., Structural Modeling and
Experimental Techniques. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1983.
10. Loh, G., Factors influencing the size effects in gypsum mortar. MS thesis, Cornell University,
Ithaca, NY, 1969.
11. Harris, H.G., Schwindt, R., Taher, I. & Werner, S., Techniques and materials in the modeling
of reinforced concrete structures under dynamic loads. Report R63–54, Department of Civil
Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 1963; also NCEL-NBY-
3228, US Naval Civil Engineering Laboratory, Port Hueneme, CA., 1963.
12. Gonnerman, H.F., Effects of size and shape of test specimen on compressive strength of
concrete. Proceedings of the American Society for Testing and Materials, 25 (1925) pp. 237–
13. Johnson, R.P., Strength tests on scaled-down concretes suitable for models, with a note on
mix design. Magazine of Concrete Research, 15 (40) (1962).
14. Harris, H.G., Sabnis, G.M. & White, R.N., Small scale direct model of reinforced and
prestressed concrete structures. Report No. 326, Department of Structural Engineering, Cornell
University, Ithaca, NY, 1966.
15. Neville, A.M., A general relation for strengths of concrete specimens of different shapes and
sizes. Proceedings of the American Concrete Institute, 63 (1966), 1095–110.
16. Fuss, D.S., Mix design for small scale models of concrete structures. Report No. R-564,
Naval Civil Engineering Laboratory, Port Hueneme, CA, 1968.
17. Sabnis, G.M. & White, R.N., A gypsum mortar for small-scale models. Proceedings of the
American Concrete Institute, 64 (1967), 767–74.
18. Mirza, M.S., White, R.N, Roll, F. & Batchelor, B. de V. Materials for direct and indirect
structural models. In Structural Concrete Models, A State-of-the-Art Report. Department of
Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics, McGill University, Montreal, 1972, pp. 1–78.
19. Meininger, R.C., Effect of core diameter on measured concrete strength. Journal of
Materials, 3 (1968), 320–36.
20. Syamal, P.K., Direct models in combined stress investigations. M. Eng. thesis, McGill
University, Montreal.
21. Maisel, E., Reinforced and Prestressed Microconcrete Models, ed. F.K.Garas &
G.S.T.Armer. The Construction Press, London, 1980.
22. Noor, F.A. & Wijayasri, S., Modelling the stress-strain relationship of structural concrete.
Magazine of Concrete Research, 34 (1982) 25–34.
23. Blackman, J.S., Smith, D.M. & Young, L.E., Stress distribution affects ultimate tensile
strength. Journal of the American Concrete Institute, 55 (1958), 675–84.
24. Wright, P.J.F. & Garwood, F., the effect of the method of test on the flexural strength of
concrete. Magazine of Concrete Research,. 11 (1952) 67–76.

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25. Abrams, D.A., Flexural strength of plain concrete. Proceedings of the American Concrete
Institute, 18 (1922), 20–50.
26. White, R.N. & Sabnis, G.M., Size effects in gypsum mortar. Journal of Materials, ASTM, 3
(1) (1968) 163–77.
27. Mirza, M.S., An investigation of combined stresses in reinforced concrete beams. PhD
thesis, McGill University, Montreal, 1967.
28. Malhotra, V.M., Effect of specimen size on tensile strength of concrete. Report of Dept. of
Energy, Mines and Resources, Ottawa, Canada, 1969.
29. Mirza, M.S., Labonte, L.R.S. & McCutcheon, J.O., Size effect in model concrete mixes.
Presented at the ASCE National Convention, Cleveland, April 1972.
30. Kadlecek, V. & Spetla, Z., How size and shape of specimens affect the direct tensile strength
of concrete. Tech. Dig. (Prague), 9 (1977), 865–72.
31. Rao, C.V.S.K., Some studies on statistical aspects of size effects on strength and fracture
behaviour of materials and fracture resistant design. PhD thesis, Indian Institute of Technology,
Kanpur, India, 1972.
32. Mirza, M.S., Harris, H.G., & Sabnis, G.M., Structural Models in Earthquake Engineering. In
Proceedings of the Third Canadian Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Montreal, 1979,
Vol. 1, pp. 511–49.
33. Harris, H.G. (Ed.), Dynamic Modelling of Concrete Structures. ACI Special Publication SP-
73, ACI SpecialAmerican Concrete Institute, Detroit, MI, 1982.
34. Ferrito, J., Dynamic tests of model concretes. Technical Report R-650, Naval Civil
Engineering Laboratory, Port Hueneme, CA, 1969.
35. Pereira, J. & Priestley, M.J.N., Materials and Testing Techniques for Seismic Studies.
Laboratorio Nacional de Engenharia Civil, Lisbon, Portugal, 1969.
36. Zia, P., White, R.N. & Van Horn, D.A., Principles of model analysis. In Models for Concrete
Structures. ACI Special Publication SP-24, Detroit, MI, 1970, pp. 19–39.
37. Hsu, C.T., Investigation of bond in reinforced concrete models. M. Eng. thesis, McGill
University, Montreal, Canada, 1969.
38. Mirza, M.S., Bond in reinforced concrete models. In Reinforced and Prestressed
Microconcrete Models, ed. F.K.Garas & G.S.T.Armer. The Construction Press, London, 1980,
pp. 85–101.
39. Taher, I., A study of bond characteristics in wire reinforced specimens. MS Thesis,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 1963.
40. Aldridge, W.W., Ultimate strength tests of model reinforced concrete folded plate structures.
PhD thesis, The University of Texas, Austin, 1966.
41. Lim, S.N., Syamal, P.K., Khan, A.Q. & Nemec, J., Development length in pullout tests.
Research Report, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, 1968.
42. Harris, H.G., Sabnis, G.M. & White, R.N., Reinforcement for small scale direct models of
concrete structures. In Models for Concrete Structures. ACI Special Publication SP-24, Detroit,
MI, 1970, pp. 141–58.
43. White, I.G. & Clark, L.A., Bond similitude in reinforced microconcrete models. In
Reinforced and Prestressed Microconcrete Models, ed. F.K.Garas & G.S.T.Armer. The
Construction Press, London, 1980, pp. 67–75.
44. Rehm, G., Uber die Grundlagen des Verbundes Zwischen Stahl und Beton. Heft 138, D.A.f.
Stb, W.Ernst u. Sohn, Berlin, 1961.
45. Noor, F.A. & Khalid, M., Deformed wire reinforcement for microconcrete

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models. In Reinforced and Prestressed Concrete Models, ed. F.K.Garas & G.S.T.Armer. The
Construction Press, London, 1980, pp. 103–18.
46. Subedi, N.K. & Garas, F.K., Bond characteristics of small diameter bars used in
microconcrete models. In Reinforced and Prestressed Microconcrete Models, ed. F.K.Garas &
G.S.T.Armer. The Construction Press, London, 1980, pp. 53–66.
47. Broms, B.B., Crack width and crack spacing in reinforced concrete members. Proceedings
of the American Concrete Institute, 62 (1965), 1237–55.
48. Stafiej, A.P., Bond similitude in reinforced concrete models. BSc (Hon.) thesis, McGill
University, Montreal, 1970.
49. Gergely, P., Splitting cracks along the main reinforcement in concrete members. Cornell
University Report to the Bureau of Public Roads, US Department of Transportation, 1969.
50. Mizra, M.S. & McCutcheon, J.O., Bond similitude in reinforced concrete models. Paper
presented to the National Structural Engineering Meeting of the ASCE, Baltimore, April 1971.
51. Clark, L.A., Crack similitude in 1:3·7 scale models of slabs spanning one way. Technical
report no. 42.455, Cement and Concrete Association, London, 1971.
52. Clark, L.A., Flexural crack similitude in slabs spanning one-way. Cement and Concrete
Association, Technical Report No. 42.496, London, 1974.
53. Clark, L.A., Crack similitude in reinforced microconcrete. In Reinforced and Prestressed
Concrete Models, ed. F.K.Garas & G.S.T.Armer. The Construction Press, London, 1980, pp.
54. Litle, W.A., Cohen, E. & Sommerville, G., Accuracy of structural models. In Models for
Concrete Structures. ACI Special Publication SP-24, Detroit, MI, 1970, pp. 65–124.
55. Fialho, J.F.Lobo, Static model studies for designing reinforced concrete structures. In
Models for Concrete Structures. ACI Special Publication SP-24, Detroit, MI, 1970, pp. 215–
56. Cohen, E. & Dobbs, N., Model techniques and response tests of reinforced concrete
structures subjected to blast loads. In Models for Concrete Structures. ACI Special Publication
SP-24, Detroit, MI, 1970, pp. 407–47.
57. Mirza, M.S., Guedelhoffer, O.C. & Janney, J.R., Correlation of models and prototype
structural elements and complete structures. In Structural Concrete Models, A State-of-the-Art
Report. Department of Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics, McGill University, Montreal,
1972, pp. 99–232.
58. Evans, D.J. & Clarke, J.L., A comparison between the flexural behaviour of small-scale
microconcrete beams and that of prototype beams. Cement and Concrete Association, Technical
Report 542, London, 1982.
59. Mirza, M.S., Reliability of structural concrete models. In Reinforced and Prestressed
Microconcrete Models, ed. F.K.Garas & G.S.T.Armer. The Construction Press, London, 1980,
pp. 183–204.
60. Lynn, J.H., A model study of diagonal tension failure in reinforced concrete pipe. MSc
thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 1964.
61. Pang, C.L., Reliability of models in the analysis of prestressed concrete beams in flexure. M.
Eng. thesis, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, 1965.
62. Mirza, M.S. & McCutcheon, J.O., Direct models of prestressed concrete

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beams in bending and shear. In Reinforced and Prestressed Concrete Models, ed. F.K.Garas &
G.S.T.Armer. The Construction Press, London, 1980, pp. 299–315.
63. Guedelhoffer, O.C., Deformation criteria for yield line analysis of reinforced microconcrete
slabs, system phase I.MEng thesis, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, 1968.
64. Hatcher, D.S., Sozen, M.A. & Siess, C.P., Test of a reinforced concrete flat plate. Journal of
the Structural Division, American Society of Civil Engineers, 91 (ST5) (1965), 205–31.
65. Litle, W.A., Discussion of Test of a reinforced concrete flat plate by D.S. Hatcher,
M.A.Sozen, & C.P.Siess. Journal of the Structural Division, American Society of Civil
Engineers, 92 (ST2) (1966) 438–43.
66. Elstner, R.C., Tests of elastic models of flat plate and flat slab floor system. In Models for
Concrete Structures. ACI Special Publication SP-24, Detroit, MI, 1970, pp. 289–320.
67. Guralnick, S.A. & LaFraugh, R.W., Laboratory study of a 45-foot square flat plate structure.
Journal of the American Concrete Institute, 60 (1963) 1107–85.
68. Sozen, M.A. & Siess, C.P., Investigation of multiple-panel reinforced concrete floor slabs—
design methods their evolution & comparison. Journal of the American Concrete Institute, 60
(1963) 999–1028.

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4Recent Developments in Modelling Materials
Department of Civil Engineering, Polytechnic of East London, Dagenham, UK
Accurate simulation of both service and ultimate load behaviour of structural concrete requires
the use of a concrete mix with a reduced aggregate size (microconcrete). Other materials, such
as Perspex and aluminium, may be useful for modelling the elastic behaviour of planar
structures, but are unsuitable for modelling three-dimensional structures, and inelastic effects.
The Poisson’s ratio of metals and plastics is much greater than that of prototype concrete, and
these materials cannot possibly simulate the cracking at service loads, and ultimate load
A strain factor, Sε=εp/εm, of unity is required in realistic models, because small strains are
difficult to measure, whilst large deformations, resulting from a strain factor of less than unity,
may affect the mode of failure. From considerations of yield strength and bond, small-scale steel
bars are the only practical forms of model reinforcement. As the modulus of elasticity of steel
cannot be varied, the scale factors for stress and modulus of elasticity, of both concrete and
reinforcement, should also be unity. It is, therefore, essential that the stress-strain relationship, f
− ε, of the concrete in compression and steel in tension, is simulated at both the elastic and
inelastic stages of loading. Neither the complete curve, nor the tensile strength of concrete can
always be modelled. The latter is important in simulating both cracking and shear strength.

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Table 3 of Chapter 2 shows that, for similitude of self weight stresses, the density of
microconcrete should increase with the scale factor: ρm=Slρp.
This condition is not easy to satisfy, but could be ignored in most structures subject to static
loading, where the self weight stresses are small. In the case of large span bridges, and
structures subject to dynamic loading, it is necessary to provide artificial mass simulation.1 This
is carried out by attaching additional masses at a sufficient number of points, whilst taking care
to avoid significant increases in either the stiffness of the structure, or the local stress
The effects of strain rate on f − ε curves and the frequency of loading cycles, on strength of
materials in dynamic modelling, could be important and need to be considered carefully.2
Quantitative changes in behaviour, not predicted by dimensional analysis, may be termed as size
effects. These have been observed in both plain and reinforced concrete specimens, and have
been the subject of a number of theoretical studies. Weibulls volumetric theory,3 sometimes
called the Weakest Link Theory, states that the probability of failure zones in a brittle material
increases with the size of specimen. A more recent approach by Hillerborg4 uses the concept of
a fictitious crack, which is able to transfer stresses. Figure 1 shows the assumed relationship

Fig. 1. Assumed variation of tensile stress with crack width (fictitious crack model).

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the tensile stresses and the crack width, where ft is the maximum tensile stress, which reduces
linearly to zero when the crack width is wc.
As structural concrete is ductile in both tension and compression, and its strength is affected by a
number of factors such as compaction and the curing regime, the validity of Volumetric Theory is
doubtful. The Fictitious Crack Model appears to be promising but it needs to be developed
further, with the aid of additional experimental data. Unfortunately, the results of tests available
in the literature are not always useful, because there are significant differences in fabrication and
testing techniques in different laboratories.5
The determination of a suitable microconcrete mix has been the subject of many studies.6–10
Whilst the required cube strength may be obtained by the normal method of varying the
aggregate-cement, a/c, and water– cement, w/c, ratios, the similitude of other mechanical
properties cannot be obtained so easily. It is generally agreed that accurate scaling of aggregate
is likely to lead to an excessive tensile strength, and it is necessary to keep the fine sand
particles to a minimum. It is also agreed that the maximum aggregate size in the prototype mix
need not be reduced by the scale factor, but depends on thickness of the model section, and the
spacing of the model reinforcing bars.
Even if the particle sizes are kept as large as possible, a well graded microconcrete is unlikely
to simulate the essential properties of normal concrete. Figure 211 shows the stress-strain
characteristics of prototype and microconcrete mixes. It can be seen that the secant modulus of
elasticity, Ec, of microconcrete is lower whilst the strains at peak stress, εo, and at 10%
reduction of peak stress, εu, are significantly greater. The compressive to tensile strength ratio
also tends to be lower. These effects have been observed by a number of researchers.2,12
It has been shown8,13,14 that the tensile strengthandthestrain at peak stress are affected by the
increase in bond strength between the aggregate and the cement paste, due to a greater surface
area to weight ratio of a smaller aggregate size. This effect is enhanced by the use of either
angular, rough or absorbent sand particles. These considerations have led researchers at
Stuttgart12 to reduce the cement-aggregate bond, by coating the sand particles with a silicon
resin. Both the modulus of elasticity and tensile strength were modelled, but the similitude of
strain at peak stress and ultimate strain did not appear to have been considered.

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Fig. 2. Stress-strain characteristics of prototype and microconcrete mixes.

3.1 Fabrication and testing of control specimens
Recent research15 has shown that the strength of control specimens is affected more by the
methods of fabrication and testing than the size. When adequate precautions are taken the
increase in strength with a reduction in size is negligible, and the scatter of results16 associated
with small specimens is similar to that of prototype specimens. Past experience has shown that
for repeatable results, the aggregate should be closely graded, washed and dried before use.
Standardized procedures for mixing and compacting the microconcrete are required. The results
also show that it is better to let the wet microconcrete stand for two or three minutes before
checking the workability, and more uniform compaction is obtained with rigid steel gang moulds
clamped to the vibrating table. In addition, it is necessary to seal the moulds to prevent leakage
of water during casting.
Differential loss of moisture and shrinkage of different sized specimens are considered to be
important causes of size effects. These may be minimized by curing under water, at a constant
temperature, and testing the specimens soon after removal from the curing tank. Figure 3 shows a
lockable spherical seating required for testing model cubes. It is locked manually at about 5% of
the load capacity of specimen, beyond which uniform strain is maintained across the section,
until failure.
A convenient size of cube has been suggested as 50 mm,15 because it is sufficiently small for
minimizing the size effect, but not so small that the

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Fig. 3. Lockable semi-spherical seating.

coefficient of variation of strength is significantly greater than that of prototype mixes. This is
consistent with the recommendations of ACI Committee 444.17
3.2 Modelling of compressive and tensile strengths
A study18 of the influence of particle size distribution, shape and texture of sand in
microconcrete confirmed the earlier findings.8 In addition, the compressive to tensile strength
ratio, of a single sized aggregate mix, appeared to be higher than that of a well-graded mix. A
possible reason

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for this could be that the compressive strength is given by the coarse sand particles bearing
directly upon each other, whilst the tensile strength is affected by the reduction in bond between
the cement paste and aggregate, with a reduced surface area to volume ratio. These results led to
the use of a gap graded microconcrete with some of the coarse sand being replaced by glass
beads. The effects of the following variables on both the cube strength, fcu and the cube splitting
strength, ft, were then examined.19
Variable Range
1Aggregate-cement ratio a/c 3·5, 4·5, 6, 7
2Coarse aggregate as a fraction of total aggregate by weight Fc 60%, 70%, 85%
3Glass beads as a fraction of total aggregate by weight Fcg 30%, 45%, 60%
4Workability medium, high
5Size of sand particles (nominal 0·5 mm, 2 mm)
6Size of glass beads (nominal 0·5 mm, 2 mm, 3 mm)
The above ranges of variables investigated were determined by a number of exploratory tests,
and their significance is discussed elsewhere.19 The workability was measured by a flow
measurement technique described earlier.18 A disc of microconcrete, 80mm in diameter, was
formed as shown in Fig. 4. The workability was related to the spread of microconcrete, when
subjected to a given amount of vibration.
The sand used was obtained from Leighton Buzzard, with the nominal size of 0·5 mm (0·3–0·6
mm) and 2 mm (1·7–2·36 mm) regarded as fine and coarse aggregates, respectively. Either the
fine aggregate was replaced by nominal 0·5 mm glass beads or the coarse aggregate replaced by
2 mm (1·5–2 mm) glass beads.
Nine 50-mm cubes were cast for each of the 48 mixes investigated. Four of the specimens were
tested in compression and five split to obtain the tensile strength. Cylinders are often used for
tensile splitting tests, but in order to avoid possible differences in the compaction of
microconcrete, it is better to use the same type of specimen, both for tensile and compressive
3.3 Modelling of stress-strain relationships
There appears to be a shortage of data on the factors which influence the f − ε relationship of
microconcrete. Some of the important characteristics

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Fig. 4. Equipment for measuring the workability of microconcrete.

of f − ε curves are illustrated in Fig. 2. Ruiz7 suggested a method of simulating the modulus of
elasticity, Ec, and the strain at 95% of peak stress. The main variables used to design the mix
were the volume of aggregate and the water-cement ratio. Others10,11 have taken the view that
the type of aggregate and grading are also important. Raveendran followed his work on
modelling of compressive and tensile strengths, by studying the influence of the following
variables on microconcrete mixes with a constant workability.19
1 Cube strength, fcu.
2 Aggregate-cement ratio, a/c.
3 Fraction by weight of 2 mm glass beads, Fcg.
In order to limit the tensile strength, all mixes were gap graded with the coarse and fine
aggregate sizes as stated above. The f − ε relationship of each mix was obtained by testing two
50×50×150 mm prisms. A strain rate of 1μs/s was maintained by a servo-hydraulic machine
using displacement transducers on opposite faces of the prism. A lockable spherical seating,
similar to that in Fig. 3 ensured that the load was uniaxial.
The properties of 34 mixes, with a similar workability, have been examined and the influences
of various parameters are given below.
Cube strength, fcu. The effects of cube strength in mixes, with and without glass beads, are
illustrated in Fig. 5. For a given type of mix, the variation

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Fig. 5. Influence of cube strength on stress-strain relationship of microconcrete a/c=4·5.

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Fig. 6. Influence of glass beads on stress-strain relationship of microconcrete a/c=6·0.

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of strain at peak stress εo with the cube strength, fcu, is small, and this is in agreement with
published data on prototype mixes.20
Aggregate-cement ratio, a/c. For a given cube strength, there is a reduction in εo and the strain
at 10% reduction in peak stress, εu, with the a/c ratio. This appears to be in agreement with the
relationship of ultimate strain and percentage volume of aggregate, given in the literature.7
Fraction of glass beads, Fcg. Figure 6 illustrates the effect of glass beads on, f − ε, curves in
mixes with the aggregate-cement ratio of 6. The replacement of angular sand by glass beads
shows a clear reduction in the εo value, when the fraction of 2 mm glass beads, Fcg, is 30%.
Further increases in the fraction of glass beads reduces both the cube strength, fcu and εo, but the
effect on modulus of elasticity is small.
3.4 Microconcrete mix design procedure
For a given cube strength, fcu, the prototype f − ε curve, shown in Fig. 2, may be modelled by
simulating either the secant modulus, Ec, or the strain at peak stress, εo, or the ultimate strain, εu.
The first approach does not require the curve beyond the stress of 0.45fcu but it is felt that,
whenever possible, the curve should be plotted beyond εo. The ultimate strain, εu, however,
cannot be evaluated accurately, because the descending part of the curve is affected by the
restraint due to the platens, and the ability of the loading system to respond to a rapid reduction
in strength with increasing strain.21
In the following mix design procedure, the main parameters simulated are, therefore, selected as
fcu and εo. The basis of the method is the control of strain at peak stress, by limiting the amount
of fine sand in a gap graded mix, in which some of the coarse aggregate is replaced by glass
Step 1. Determine the required a/c ratio from Table 1.
Table 1
The variation of cube strength with a/c ratio
Design cube strength (N/mm2) Microconcrete a/c ratio
15–35 6·0
30–45 4·5

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The reasons for the above limits are that a mix with an a/c ratio of 6 becomes unworkable if its
w/c ratio is reduced sufficiently to obtain a cube strength greater than 35 N/mm2. In addition, a
mix with an a/c ratio of 4·5 cannot be used to obtain a cube strength below 30 N/mm2, because
the increase in water content required gives it excessive workability.
Step 2. Limit the amount of fine sand by selecting a coarse aggregate fraction, Fc, within the
range of 50–70%. The optimum value Fc for strength is 70%, but this may be reduced to 50% if
the workability needs to be improved. As a reduction in Fc value and an increase in the amount
of fine aggregate tends to increase εo, the value of Fcg needs to be modified accordingly.
Step 3. Estimate the percentage of 2 mm glass beads required for a given value of strain at peak
stress, by the aid of Table 2.
Table 2
Variation of strain at peak stress with percentage of glass beads
a/c Ratio εo Glass beads (%)
0·0013–0·0019 20
4·5 0·0011–0·0013 20–45
<0·0011 >45
0·0011–0·0015 20
6·0 0·0009–0·0011 20–45
<0·0009 >45
Step 4. The w/c ratio required reduces with the quantity of glass beads and may be determined
from Fig. 7. The design curves shown have been obtained by using a regression analysis and are
applicable to all coarse aggregate fractions within the range of 50–70%.
It is quite likely that the desired stress-strain characteristics are not achieved, due to the
materials varying from one source to another, and other factors such as the curing regime. If this
occurs, then a number of trial mixes may be used to modify the data given in the above
3.5 Examples of mix design procedure
In order to illustrate the above procedure, the prototype mixes, given in Table 3, were modelled
by those given in Table 4. For a cube strength of

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Table 3
Details of prototype mixes
Mix a/c w/c Percentage of aggregate fcu(N/mm2)fcu/ftfp/fcuEc(kN/mm2) εo εu
No. 20–10 10–5 Sharp
mm mm sand
P1 5·250·60 – 66 34 41·9 18 0·59 25·3 0·00140·0022
P2 6·500·71 – 53 47 32·23 14·4 0·67 25·0 0·00150·0024
Table 4
Details of trial model microconcrete mixes (fp=peak stress on f − ε curve)
Mix No. a/c w/c Fc Fcg fcu fcu/ft fp/fcu Ec εo εu
M1 4·50·5 30 20 40·9 15·4 0·6326·6 0·0015 0·0020
M2 4·50·55 30 20 31·8 14·0 0·7026·06 0·0014 0·0020

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Fig. 7. Influence of w/c ratio on cube strength.

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Fig. 8. Stress-strain relationships of grade 40 prototype and microconcrete mixes.

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Fig. 9. Stress-strain relationships of grade 30 prototype and microconcrete mixes.

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41·9 N/mm2, Table 1 shows that the a/c ratio should be 4·5. The fraction of coarse aggregate
was chosen as 70% in the first instance, but later reduced to 50% to improve the workability. As
regards the percentage of glass beads required, Table 2 shows that 20% glass beads should give
the desired strain at peak stress, when the Fc value is 50%. This leaves the decision on w/c
ratio, which was determined by the aid of Fig. 7, as 0·5. The stress-strain relationships of both
prototype mix, P1, and the model mix, M1, are given in Fig. 8, and a close agreement between
the curves of these two mixes is apparent.
Regarding the prototype mix P2, the above procedure gives the mix M2, which is similar to M1
except for the w/c ratio. Figure 9 shows that the ductility of the model mix needs to be increased,
and Table 2 shows that this can easily be achieved, by reducing the quantity of glass beads to
about 10%.
It has been shown that the reinforcement for microconcrete models needs to be selected with
care.22 Plain wire has inadequate bond strength and suitable reinforcement for modelling plain
and deformed prototype bars is not readily available. Threaded rod is one of the materials
which could be considered, but this is likely to be too heavily deformed to model both the bond
strength and effective diameter at the same time. In the absence of suitable commercially
available model reinforcement, various research centres23−27 have tried producing their own
material, by cold rolling ribs onto the surface of easily deformable low carbon steel wire. The
use of the latter material is not satisfactory for simulating the high strength bars, because if its
yield strength is maintained above 400 N/mm2, then the partial annealing required causes a
partial recrystallization of ferrite grains, which may result in a considerable reduction in
ductility, and an unacceptable variation in strength.
The stress-strain relationship of hot rolled high yield prototype bars is illustrated in Fig. 10.
This shows a sharp yield point and a yield plateau, which would be helpful in identifying the
initial yielding of the reinforcement in a model structure. Any subsequent increase in strength due
to a secondary effect, such as membrane action in restrained slabs, would then be more easily
The essential requirements of high yield strength model reinforcement

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Fig. 10. Typical stress-strain relationship of hot rolled high yield reinforcement.
may be stated:
1. Straight lengths of bars with a yield strength, fy, in the range of 460–650 N/mm2.
2. An adequate length of yield plateau and elongation at failure.
3. An adequate bond strength.
4. A sufficiently small variation in yield strength within a batch.
4.1 Stress-strain relationships
A possible solution to the problem of meeting the above requirements is to soften a medium
carbon steel wire before and after cold rolling. It has been shown that the duration of initial and
subsequent heat treatment required varies with the desired yield strength, the carbon content, the
diameter of wire, the initial hardness and the amount of work hardening caused by rolling
deformations on the wire surface.
Figure 11 shows typical stress-strain relationships of 2·4 mm nominal diameter reinforcement,
with different yield strengths, fy.28 It can been seen that with fy in the range of 475–650 N/mm2
there is a sharp yield point, a yield plateau extending beyond εos of 0·035, a strain-hardening
effect and an elongation in excess of 0·1. These properties are close to those of high yield
prototype reinforcement, manufactured in accordance with British Standard 4449. The variations
in the length of yield plateau and the strain-hardening effect are not significant and are usually
neglected but they could be taken into account, if required.

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Fig. 11. Stress-strain relationships of 2·4 and 12·0 mm diameter reinforcing bars.
4.2 Geometry of surface deformations
The details of model deformations are shown in Fig. 12 and Table 5.19 Similar information is
provided for prototype bars in Table 6. The width of rib was kept constant at 0·5 mm for all
diameter bars, which is greater than the scaled rib width of the prototype bars. This was
controlled by the ability of the medium carbon steel to flow into the narrow slots, and the
equipment available to cut the narrow slots.
The ribs produced by cold rolling have sharp edges, as opposed to

Fig. 12. Typical cross-section and pattern of ribs of model reinforcement.

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Table 5
Properties of model reinforcement
Deformation Original a b c Rib height Eff.dia Rib height Rib spacing Ap/Sp
Dia. (mm) (mm)(mm)(mm) (mm) (mm) eff.dia. eff.dia. ea
Light 2·0 2·14 1·92 1·78 0.070 1.96 0.036 1.35 0.045
Medium 2·0 2·14 1·96 1·75 0·105 1·95 0·053 1·36 0·068
Heavy 2·0 2·12 1·96 1·70 0·130 1·93 0·067 1·37 0·085
Light 2·5 2·57 2·47 2·33 0·070 2·43 0·029 1·09 0·044
Medium 2·5 2·57 2·45 2·22 0·115 2·40 0·048 1·10 0·066
Heavy 2·5 2·60 2·48 2·17 0·155 2·34 0·066 1·13 0·102
Light 3·0 3·20 2·89 2·73 0·080 2·92 0·027 0·91 0·052
Medium 3·0 3·20 2·77 2·50 0·135 2·87 0·047 0·92 0·089
Heavy 3·0 3·27 2·71 2·31 0·200 2·82 0·070 0·94 0·138
Medium 3·5 4·03 2·98 2·60 0·190 3·40 0·055 0·78 0·133
Heavy 3·5 4·12 2·99 2·53 0·230 3·30 0·069 0·80 0·170
Medium 4·4 5·02 3·70 3·28 0·210 4·21 0·050 0·77 0·121
Heavy 4·4 5·02 3·70 3·13 0·285 4·14 0·069 0·78 0·167
aAp is projected area of the rib on a plan perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the
reinforcement. Ap=πa(b−c)/4.

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Table 6
Properties of prototype reinforcing bars
Diameter a b c Rib height Thickness of rib Rib height Rib spacing Ap/Sp
(mm) (mm) (mm) (mm) (mm) (mm) Eff.dia. Eff.dia. e
6·0 7·13 7·33 6·47 0·43 2·00 0·071 1·35 0·100
8·0 8·51 9·17 7·77 0·70 1·68 0·087 0·576 0·254
12·012·6913·5411·65 0·95 2·20 0·078 0·610 0·218
16·016·3017·7015·60 1·05 3·20 0·065 0·569 0·185
25·026·7026·6824·00 1·34 4·60 0·053 0·587 0·153
32·032·3636·2831·78 2·25 8·20 0·070 0·569 0·196

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those on prototype bars which have a rounded profile. This was not considered to be important
and research carried out by others supports this view.29
The bond strength of model bars may be related to either the rib height to effective diameter
ratio, hr/ , or the non-dimensional parameter, Ap/(Sp ), where:
Ap=Area of rib projected on a plane perpendicular to the longitudinal axis, πa(b−c)/4.
hr=Maximum height of ribs, (b−c)/2.
Sp=Spacing of ribs.
=Effective diameter, .
k=Constant, determined by weighing plain and deformed bars.
An elliptical cross-section is assumed in calculating the values of Ap and . A comparison of
hr/ ratio shows model values close to those of most prototype bars, whilst the Ap/(Sp ) ratio
is a little lower in model bars. Researchers have used a variety of different techniques for
assessing the bond strength of model reinforcement.30 Not all of these simulate the cover to the
longitudinal reinforcement, and the restraint provided by the transverse links. It was, therefore,
decided to assess the performance of model bars when used as the main reinforcement in simply
supported microconcrete beams, subject to two-point loading. The results of these tests show
that the medium deformations given in Table 5 are quite adequate. However, the value of Ap/(Sp
) ratio could have been increased, if required, by either reducing the rib spacing or increasing
the height of the rib.
The percentage reduction in the initial diameter of wire may be determined for various hr/
ratios. It is then possible to obtain model bars, for a given scale ratio, by adjusting the initial
diameter. For example, for an effective diameter of 2·4 mm heavily deformed model bar, an
initial diameter of 2·5×2·4/2·34 mm is required.
4.3 The production process
4.3.1 Rolling
Inclined ribs on the surface of medium carbon steel may be rolled with the aid of the dies shown
in Fig. 13. These produce the pattern of ribs and the oval cross-section of model reinforcement
shown in Fig. 12. The maximum height of ribs is important, and may be varied by changing the
pressure on the bearings of the rolls incorporating the dies. As the

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Fig. 13. Dies for rolling ribs on medium carbon steel.

pressure required on the 50-mm-diameter dies is considerable, it is necessary to support the side
of the cutting teeth as shown in Fig. 14. These rolls have been used in a modified strip rolling
mill powered by a variable speed electric motor. In order to keep the slots in the dies clear, and
to prevent excess wear of the dies, it is necessary to grease the wire slightly before rolling.
Straight lengths of the deformed material may be obtained by passing it through straightening
rolls, immediately after rolling.

Fig. 14. Rolls for deforming wire.

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Another method of restraining the sides of dies, with a larger diameter of about 100mm, is
shown in Fig. 15. The rolls shown have been used successfully in a more sophisticated Hille 25
rolling mill.
4.3.2 Heat treatment
A tube furnace suitable for treating small quantities of model reinforcement is shown in Fig. 16.
It consists of a central tube, 1·5 m long, and 100 mm in diameter. A uniform temperature in the
tube is maintained by three heating coils, all controlled automatically by thermocouples. In order
to prevent the scaling of wire due to oxidation, a nitrogen gas atmosphere is provided during the
heat treatment. If an oxidized wire is

Fig. 15. Assembly of rolls for Hille 25 rolling mill.

Fig. 16. A controlled environment tube furnace.

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used for rolling then the efficiency of the rolls may be impaired by the scale being trapped in the
die slots.
4.4 Tensile testing
The arrangement of loading and the method of strain measurement are illustrated in Fig. 17. This
shows a 50 mm gauge length extensometer incorporating a displacement transducer. It was
possible to apply a constant rate of strain of 20 μs/s by controlling the servo-hydraulic loading
system, with the aid of the transducer shown. Recent tests, using the above method19 have
shown a coefficient of variation in yield

Fig. 17. Tensile testing of model reinforcement.

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strength of less than 1·5%. At least 10 specimens were checked in each of the diameters in the
range of 1·9−4·2 mm.
5.1 Deflections and cracking of beams at service loads
A large number of microconcrete beams, 25, 60 and 95 mm in depth and some prototype beams,
200, 400 and 600 mm in depth have been used to test the performance of the new materials.19
The results show no size effects in deflection, provided sufficient care is taken in fabrication,
curing and testing. It is possible to use a beam as small as 25 mm in depth to predict the
deflections of a 600 mm-deep prototype beam.
Although the pattern of cracking was simulated by all models, the width of cracks in the 25 mm-
deep beams was affected by the increased tensile strain capacity of the microconcrete in
between cracks. Figure 18

Fig. 18. Variation of flexural tensile strength with depth for plain microconcrete beams.

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shows that there is a size effect in plain microconcrete beams.31 It appears that the use of a glass
bead mix can be expected to improve the similitude of cracking but the size effect related to the
strain gradient across the section, cannot be totally eliminated. The smallest depth of beam
which may be used to model crack widths, with sufficient accuracy, has been shown to be about
60 mm. If a model size needs to be made smaller, then both the tensile strength and the strain at
peak stress of microconcrete need to be lower than those of the prototype mix.
An investigation into the effects of surface deformations of model reinforcing bars19 has shown
that a rib height to effective diameter ratio of 0·05 is adequate.
5.2 Ultimate strength in bending and shear
Simply supported model beams, tested in a number of experimental programmes,11,24 have
shown that the flexural strength of an under-reinforced beam is not significantly affected by the
greater ultimate strain capacity in the compressive zone of small beams. There was, however, a
small increase in strength of 25-mm-deep beams, as the reinforcing index (Asfy/(bd2fcu))
increased from 0·18 to 0·42. The flexural strength of the more heavily reinforced models is
more likely to be affected by the properties of the microconcrete, and there was an increase of
about 10%. The size effect in flexural strength may, therefore, be regarded as negligible but this
is not the case with the shear strength.
The strength in shear increases significantly with a reduction in beam size, and this has been
shown by tests of beams 20, 50, and 80 mm in depth.31 These beams had a shear span to
effective depth ratio of 3, and their ratios of experimental to theoretical shear strength varied
from 1·09 in 80-mm-deep beams, to 1·95 in beams 20mm in depth. It has also been shown that
the type of mix has a significant influence on shear strength and, in order to limit the size effect in
shear, it is necessary to simulate the tensile strength of prototype concrete.
5.3 Inelastic deformation of beams
There is a considerable increase in inelastic deformations with a reduction in depth, in both
model and prototype beams. This effect is pronounced when the model depth decreases from 60
to 25 mm. Inelastic deformations are also affected by the type of mix, and it is important to
simulate the strain at peak stress, εo, of prototype concrete.

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It would be possible for 30-mm-deep models to simulate the behaviour of 200-mm-deep
prototypes, but for larger prototype beams it is necessary to reduce the ductility of
microconcrete, by reducing the εo value below that of normal concrete.
5.4 Continuous beams and frames
A number of tests on one fifth scale models of 150-mm-deep, two-span prototype beams have
been carried out.18,32 These showed good simlitude in deflections and cracking patterns, as
illustrated in Fig. 19. There were, however, fewer inclined shear cracks in the model beams,
around the points of contraflexure, than in the prototype beams. The inelastic rotational capacity
was quite adequate for complete redistribution of moments. There is some danger, however, that
the models are too ductile and the mode of failure under seismic loading would not be simulated.
Although some tests of beams subject to dynamic loading have been completed, further research
is required in this area.
Some researchers9 have tested beam-column joints of frames, subject to reversing loads. Whilst
the f − ε relationship of the mix used does not appear to have been modelled, the compressive to
tensile strength ratio was simulated, and the results were reported as excellent.
A comprehensive study of model slender columns33 is in progress, and the results obtained so
far are encouraging. Further tests are also required on model beam-column joints and complete
frames, with and

Fig. 19. Model and prototype beam patterns of cracking.

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without slender columns, before the techniques of small scale modelling can be used with
complete confidence.
A method of modelling the stress-strain relationship of most concrete mixes, with a cube strength
in the range of 25–50 N/mm2, is described. Both the tensile strength and the strain at peak stress
may be reduced to the required value, by increasing the aggregate-cement ratio, and replacing
some of the coarse aggregate in a gap graded mix by glass beads.
It is possible to model both the strength and bond characteristics of high yield model
reinforcement by cold rolling ribs onto the surface of medium carbon steel wire. The model bars
may be in the range of 1·6–4·2 mm in diameter with a yield strength in the range of 460–650
N/mm2. The material has a small variation in strength, a sharp yield point, an adequate length of
yield plateau and over 10% elongation.
A large number of model beams, subject to both static and dynamic loading have shown that both
the deflections at service loads and flexural strength may be modelled accurately, with the aid of
the materials developed. Some care is, however, required in selecting the size of the model,
when simulating other effects such as the strength in shear and inelastic deformations.
1. Krawinkler, H. & Moncarz, P.D., Similitude Requirements for Dynamic Models. Publication
SP-73, American Concrete Institute, Detroit, 1982.
2. Feritto, J., Dynamic Tests of Model Concrete. Publication SP-73, American Concrete
Institute, Detroit, 1982.
3. Weibull, W., A statistical theory of the strength of materials. Royal Swedish Proceedings, Vols
151–152, Stockholm, 1939.
4. Hillerborg, A., Modeer, M. & Petersson, P.E., Analysis of crack formation and crack growth
in concrete by means of fracture mechanics and finite elements. Cement and Concrete Research,
6 (1976) 773–82.
5. Bazant, Z.P. & Cao, Z., Size effects of shear failure in prestressed concrete beams. Journal of
American Concrete Institute, March (1986) 260–68.
6. Johnson, R.P., Strength tests on scaled-down concretes suitable for models with a note on mix
design. Magazine of Concrete Research, 14 (1962) 47–53.
7. Ruiz, W., Effect of volume of aggregate on the elastic and inelastic properties of concrete. MS
thesis, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 1966.

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8. Hughes, B.P. & Chapman, G.P., The deformation of concrete and microconcrete in
compression and tension with particular reference to aggregate size. Magazine of Concrete
Research, 18 (1966) 19–24.
9. Chowdhury, A.H. & White, R.N., Materials and modelling techniques for reinforced concrete
frames. Proceedings of American Concrete Institute (1977) 546–51.
10. Muller, R.K. Microconcrete for structural model analysis. In Design of Concrete Structures-
The Use of Model Analysis. Elsevier Science Publishers, London, 1985.
11. Noor, F.A. & Wijayasri, S., Modelling the stress-strain relationship of structural concrete.
Magazine of Concrete Research 34 (1982) 25–34.
12. Maisel, E., Reinforced and Prestressed Microconcrete Models, ed. F.K.Garas &
G.S.T.Armer. The Construction Press, London, 1980.
13. Jones, R. & Kaplan, M.F., The effect of coarse aggregate on the mode of failure of concrete
in compression and flexure. Magazine of Concrete Research, August 1957.
14. Alford, N.M. & Poole, A.B. The effect of shape and surface texure on the fracture toughness
of mortars. Cement and Concrete Research, 9 (1979) 583–9.
15. Majlessi, S., Noor, F.A. & Newman, J.B. Size effects in microconcrete beams and control
specimens. In Design of Concrete Structures-The Use of Model Analysis. Elsevier Science
Publishers, London, 1985.
16. Waldron, P. & Perry, S.H., Small scale microconcrete control specimens. In Reinforced and
Prestressed Micronconcrete Models. The Construction Press, London, 1980.
17. American Concrete Institute Committee 444, Models of concrete structures, state-of-the-art.
Concrete Institute Design and Construction, 1 (1979) 77–95.
18. Wijayasri, S., Modelling of concrete structures. PhD thesis, North East London Polytechnic,
19. Raveendran, S., Modelling of reinforced concrete beams, subject to both static and dynamic
loading. PhD thesis, North East London Polytechnic, 1988.
20. Wang, P.T., Shah, S.P. & Naaman, A.E., Stress-strain curves of normal and lightweight
concrete in compression. Journal of the American Concrete Institute (1978) 603–11.
21. Kotsovas, M.D. & Cheong, H.K., Applicability of test specimen results to the description of
the behaviour of concrete in a structure. Journal of the American Concrete Institute (1984)
22. Harris, H.G., Sabnis, G.M. & White, R.N, Reinforcement for Small Scale Direct Models of
Concrete Structures. Publication SP24, American Concrete Institute, 1970.
23. Evans, D.J. & Clark, L.A., A machine for cold-rolling deformed reinforcing bars for model
tests. Magazine of Concrete Research, 30 (1978) 31–4.
24. Noor, F.A. & Khalid, M., Deformed wire reinforcement for microconcrete models. In
Proceedings of Conference on Reinforced and Prestressed Microconcrete Models, Building
Research Establishment, May 1978.
25. Subedi, N.K. & Garas, F.K., Bond characteristics of small diameter bars used in
microconcrete models. In Proceedings of Conference on Reinforced and
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Prestressed Microconcrete Models. Building Research Establishment, May 1978.
26. Maisel, E., Microconcrete for Model Structures. University of Stuttgart, FRG, 1978.
27. Murayama, Y. & Noda, S., Study on small scale model tests for reinforced concrete
structures—small scale model tests by using 3 mm diameter deformed re-bars. Kajima Institute
of Construction Technology, Japan, 1983.
28. Noor, F.A., Raveendran, S. & Evans, W. Production and use of high yield model
reinforcement. In Design of Concrete Structures-The Use of Model Analysis. Elsevier Science
Publishers, London, 1985.
29. Skorobogatov, S.M. & Edwards, A.D., The influence of the geometry of deformed steel bars
on their bond strength in concrete. In Proceedings of Institution of Civil Engineers, Part 2, June
1979, pp. 327–39.
30. Mirza, M.S., Bond in reinforced concrete models. In Reinforced and Prestressed
Micronconcrete Models. The Construction Press, London, 1980.
31. Majlessi, S., Size effects in plain and reinforced concrete models. PhD thesis, North East
London Polytechnic, 1987.
32. Georghiou, A., Continuous microconcrete beams. Project Report, North East London
Polytechnic, 1981.
33. Ioannou, C.S., An analytical and experimental investigation into the behaviour of reinforced
concrete columns subjected to biaxial bending and thrust. PhD programme of research. North
East London Polytechnic, 1991.

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5Useful Techniques for the Fabrication and Testing of Microconcrete Models
Department of Civil Engineering, City University, London, UK
Models can have an important role to play in the design of concrete structures. In general the
performance of models may be divided into elastic, inelastic, static or dynamic phases. This
chapter is concerned with the elastic, inelastic and static behaviour of microconcrete models.
The analytical basis and similitude requirements for microconcrete models are well established
and might well be regarded as a science, whereas microconcrete model making might be
regarded as an art. The various testing procedures associated with microconcrete models should
be subject to good laboratory practice in order to ensure that the experimental results are as
accurate as possible.
Reinforced concrete is a very complex material with elastic and inelastic behaviour; the latter
being associated with the cracking and crushing of the concrete. In addition, should the
magnitude of the applied loading on the structure be great enough, then the steel reinforcement
may yield. To reproduce accurately these effects in a microconcrete model of a prototype
structure is not easy and the modelling engineer must be certain, therefore, that the model
behaviour can be related to the prototype as much as possible.
There are still areas which give rise to difficulties with regard to the properties of the
microconcrete used in model construction. These areas

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are topics of current research and include the scaling of aggregate and the most suitable method
of scaling tensile strength and minimising size effects. They are particularly relevant in
reproducing the characteristics of the shear strength of reinforced and pre-stressed concrete
Despite accepted uncertainties, microconcrete models will produce results of engineering
significance. The objectives of this chapter are to provide some practical details for the
fabrication and testing of models. The information provided is based upon the author’s
experience in attempting to solve specific problems. Since it has already been stated that model
making is considered to be an art, laboratory techniques may vary to achieve similar results.
What is proposed in this chapter should provide a basis for good practice in microconcrete
model making.
2.1 Introduction
It is extremely unlikely that every aspect of the full scale properties and physical behaviour of
reinforced concrete structures can be produced accurately in a scale model. Problems associated
with elastic behaviour provide fewer difficulties than those associated with inelastic behaviour.
If a macroscopic view of modelling is taken, however, then useful results of engineering
significance may be obtained from a scale model of an actual structure or structural element.
Other chapters within this book consider important topics such as size effects, similitude
requirements, limitations of model experiments and available materials. These topics must be
understood before a microconcrete model is designed. Further chapters relate to specific
applications of microconcrete modelling and will prove extremely useful should a modelling
requirement coincide with a particular application which has been discussed.
The purpose of this current section is to provide some practical information on the production of
microconcrete structural models or structural elements. Thus, it will be assumed that a model
has been designed correctly for a particular application and it is the practical details of
construction which are required.
Particular types of problem pose specific difficulties for the model maker. For many years the
Structures Laboratory at City University has been involved in the microconcrete modelling of
various structures. It is

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the author’s opinion that the most difficult models to construct are thin-walled structures. Such
structures can have very thin webs and flanges forming hollow sections and they may also be
curved. Pre- or post-tensioning such sections provides additional difficulties.
The model making techniques associated with the construction of a two-span, continuous post-
tensioned twin box will, therefore, be described as an example. Much of the information
provided will be associated with good model making practice and should have a general
application to other structural models.
2.2 Construction of the mould
The important dimensions of the twin box and the details of the post-tensioning and
reinforcement arrangement are shown in Figs 1 and 2. It can be seen that the wall thickness is
either 25 or 30mm. Diaphragms have been provided only over the supports, thus allowing
deformation of the cross-section between the supports. The mould for the twin box must be
constructed as accurately as possible since dimensional errors will be proportional to the scale
The technique developed in the City University Structures Laboratory will be described with
reference to the schematic diagrams and photograph of Fig. 3. For simplicity, the figure shows
only one hollow cell, but the procedure is identical for twin or multicell boxes. In the latter
cases a vertical web being provided between the hollow sections.
An adjustable steel cradle to support the vertical outside walls of the box was prepared. This
system allows single, double or multicell boxes to be made by varying the distance between the
outside walls. The steel cradle rested upon a soffit of 15 mm thick plywood which in turn rested
upon rubber mounted supports. The rubber mounting provided isolation for the externally
mounted vibrator during the casting and compaction of the microconcrete. Steel formwork was
fitted inside the steel cradle to form the outside dimensions of the box. The steel formwork
consisted of modular sections which could be fitted together to provide the required dimensions
of the outside of the box [Fig. 3(a)].
Metal formers with rectangular cut-outs were fitted to each end of the mould. The dimensions of
the formers corresponded to the wall thickness of the box. Holes were provided in the formers
which corresponded to the positions of post-tensioning ducts [Fig. 3(b)].
The reinforcement cage was placed very carefully into position using spacers [Fig. 3(c)]. A
rectangular membrane tube whose dimensions were

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Fig. 1. Dimensions of two-span continuous post-tensioned box beam microconcrete model (in

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Fig. 2. Continuous box beam reinforcement details.

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Fig. 3. Fabrication details for the hollow core of a microconcrete box beam.

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identical to those of the internal core was passed through the end plates and reinforcement cage.
The tube was cut from thin gauge polythene sheet and provided a membrane surface to the inner
core thus retaining water in the microconcrete mix and facilitating the stripping of the internal
formwork forming the hollow core.
The four sides of the core forming the internal hollow section were made from 15-mm-thick
plywood. These pieces were chamfered to give a 15×15 mm fillet at each corner to enable easy
removal after curing [Fig. 3(d)]. The four sides of the timber formwork making up the hollow
core were positioned inside the polythene membrane and rested at each end on the rectangular
metal formers.
Adjustable wooden wedges were inserted into the open end of the core at 100-mm intervals, to
support the internal walls of the core formwork and to act as spacers to keep the core cross-
sectional dimensions constant. Figure 3(e) shows a photograph of the wooden wedges. It was
possible to position the wedges by tapping them lightly into the core.
Prior to the placement of the reinforcement the internal surfaces of the steel formwork were
coated in mould oil release agent. Extreme care was taken throughout the construction of the
mould in order to reduce the effect of dimensional errors.
The box was to be cast in two identical longitudinal sections to be joined by the 200mm centre
diaphragm. For each section, permanent timber forms were used for the internal face of the
100mm end diaphragms. These were tied to the external formwork with spacer blocks to ensure
a constant thickness. These forms did not affect the structural action of the box since they formed
part of the stiff diaphragms.
The internal wooden wedges were removed after the casting and 3 days of curing of the model.
The shape of the wedges enabled them to be removed easily, the polythene sheeting having
provided a very smooth internal surface. The adjustable steel formwork was removed from the
outside walls of the model which was ready for placement in the loading rig. Figures 4 and 5
show the double cell box being prepared and details of the reinforcement.
Since the model was post-tensioned it was required to form appropriate ducts for the wire. The
procedure adopted used plastic tubing of the required diameter, through which wire was
threaded. The tubing and wire were then placed according to the required profile in the mould
and passed through the metal end formers. The wire was removed by pulling it through the
plastic tubing after curing. The plastic tubes were removed in a similar manner, the Poisson ratio
effect causing a loss of contact with

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Fig. 4. Fabrication of the continuous double cell box beam.

Fig. 5. Continuous box beam reinforcement details.

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the microconcrete to form the post-tensioning ducts. The tubes were greased before the
miroconcrete was poured into one side only of the mould, thus allowing the mix to flow with
minimum air entrapment.
2.3 Microconcrete mix
Details of good practice for microconcrete mix design have been given in Chapter 4. For the
continuous box, a 4 mm cover to the reinforcing mesh was a requirement which influenced the
maximum aggregate size. A zone 2 sand was used as the basis for the aggregate with the particles
retained on the No. 7 sieve being discarded. Thus, the maximum size of the graded sand was
2·36 mm. A plasticiser was used to improve workability without increasing the water cement
ratio. The mix properties for the microconcrete were as follows:
Aggregate-cement ratio 2·8
Water-cement ratio 0·48
Workability high
Cement ordinary Portland
Aggregate Sieved zone % Sand
7–14 sieve 11
14–25 25
25–52 46
52–100 15
100+ 3
Plasticiser Celloplast 2–8 ml/kg cement
Average moisture content 3%
This mix would be referred to as being ‘rich’ for which the ratio of the tensile strength to the
compressive strength would be greater than for an actual concrete mix.
The concrete compressive strength was determined from 100mm cubes and the split cylinder
indirect tensile strength from 150mm diameter by 300 mm cylinders. The information provided
in Chapter 3 suggests that, in order to avoid unnecessary size effects in microconcrete models,
smaller control specimens could be used such as 50 mm cubes and 50 mm diameter by 100mm
The reader is referred to the information provided in Chapter 4 for recent developments in
microconcrete mix design.

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2.4 Reinforcement
The basic reinforcing requirement was provided by a 50×50 mm square mesh with a 3 mm plain
diameter wire, Fig. 2, in the flanges and web. The mesh was bent around a metal former to
produce the cage. Additional reinforcement, in this case No. 28 4-mm-diameter wire, was
provided in the bottom flange. The stress-strain characteristics of the reinforcement was
obtained using standard tension testing procedures. Since it is more appropriate to determine
total yield force in ultimate load analysis, this quantity, therefore, was also obtained from the
tension test.
Techniques for developing ribbed reinforcement have been given in Chapter 4.
2.5 Casting, compacting and curing
Sufficient volume of the microconcrete was mixed and placed into the mould. The mix was
introduced in one side only of the mould and allowed to flow uninterrupted into the webs and
flanges. The material was lightly tamped into the webs and flanges, extreme care being taken not
to disturb the positions of reinforcement and post-tensioning ducts. Compaction was achieved by
the vibrator fitted externally to the formwork.
Uniform compaction was assumed to have been achieved when air bubbles stopped coming to
the surface of the mix. However, due regard was given to avoid separation of the different
particle sizes. This method proved satisfactory and was demonstrated by the uniform distribution
of particles in the model which was noted at the end of the experiment.
The model was covered with wet hessian cloth after casting and allowed to cure at room
temperature for 3 days. The model was also kept damp by cloth after demoulding to reduce
unnecessary loss of moisture. The control specimens were cast at the same time as the model and
cured in an identical manner.
2.6 Strain gauges and pre-stressing
Prior to casting the mix, electrical resistance strain gauges were fixed to the reinforcement at
pre-determined positions. These positions corresponded to the location of plastic hinges so that
the gauges indicated the onset of the yielding of the reinforcement. The gauges were suitably
protected (see Section 3) to prevent mechanical damage and the ingress of moisture.

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Fifty per cent of the main tension reinforcement in the bottom flanges and top reinforcement over
the central support were substituted by 9 No. 5 mm post-tensioned wires. Figure 2 shows the
position of the post-tensioned ducts which were formed in each web. This was done to enable
the centre of the stressing force to vary with the bending moment diagram. The post-tensioned
wires were greased and wrapped with tapes to achieve an unbonded condition. Since the two
spans were cast individually and then joined at the centre support to form the 200 mm
diaphragm, the post-tensioned wires were joined by couplers before the diaphragm was cast.
The model did not represent a particular structure, therefore, tensioning losses such as
relaxation, creep, shrinkage and friction were not directly modelled, although allowance was
made for these effects.
The 5-mm-diameter high strength wires were stretched after 21 days to 75% of their ultimate
strength. The presence of the centre diaphragm meant that stressing was carried out at both ends
of the model. The wires were stressed in turn by a hydraulic jack, the anchorages being provided
by barrels and wedges. The 12 mm anchor plate, see Fig. 2, provided sufficient bearing at each
end of the model. A pre-load was applied to take up ‘pull in’, etc. During the stressing
operation, the jacking load was continuously monitored using a load cell until a maximum post-
tensioned force of 22·6 kN was achieved.
Since the post-tensioning operation took place in the loading rig, the model was now ready to be
prepared for instrumentation and subsequent testing.
3.1 Introduction
The particular properties and experimental characteristics of microconcrete give rise to specific
instrumentation to measure and record the behaviour of a model when subjected to a static
loading regime.
The selection of appropriate instrumentation will depend upon the objectives of the experiment.
In what follows, however, it will be assumed that the microconcrete model is subjected to an
applied load which induces initially elastic strains in both model concrete and reinforcement to
be followed by cracking in the microconcrete and yielding of the reinforcement.
During the elastic and inelastic stages of behaviour it is usual to

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measure strains, crack widths, deflections, rotations, applied loading and reactions. From the
information thus obtained, it should be possible to interpret the structural behaviour of the model
under investigation.
Many aspects of modern experimental stress analysis techniques are directly applicable to
microconcrete models. These techniques and the associated instrumentation have been presented
elsewhere.1 This section of the current chapter relates specifically to applications to
microconcrete models and contains information about relevant instrumentation that the author has
found useful.
3.2 The measurement of strain
It is common to use electrical resistance strain gauges to measure surface strain on
microconcrete. These gauges may also be bonded to model reinforcement providing the diameter
of the bar is large enough to allow bonding. For this latter purpose the gauges are used to
indicate the onset of material yield for the bars as well as the elastic strains.
Surface strains may also be measured by fixing small discs or studs at predetermined intervals
and accurately measuring the change in interval under loading. Such arrangements of studs are
referred to as Demec points. Mechanical Demec gauges will provide a direct reading of strain
between the studs. Alternatively, demountable strain transducers may be used with the Demec
The theory of electrical resistance strain gauges is well established and will not be dealt with.
Only those aspects of electrical resistance strain gauges which are specific to applications in
microconcrete modelling and which the author has found useful will be considered.
It is commonplace to use gauges of just a few millimetres in length. Microconcrete presents
particular problems in bonding gauges to its surface and some experience is needed in this
respect. The surface should be dry and the area to be bonded should be as smooth as possible.
This may be achieved by the use of abrasive paper. It is also good practice to wash the area to
be bonded with distilled water to remove the presence of alkali which may impair
polymerisation of the adhesive. The surface should be dry after such treatment and a pre-coat of
adhesive applied as a sealant to prevent the ingress of moisture at a later time.
Bonding to model reinforcement is relatively straightforward; the bonded area is smoothed using
very fine abrasive cloth and cleaned with a solvent such as trichloroethylene. Once the steel and
concrete surfaces have been prepared the gauges are bonded using standard adhesives.

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Gauges bonded to model reinforcement require protection, which is normally provided by a
coating material with the appropriate hardness and flexibility.
Strain gauge manufacturers provide guidance regarding the selection of adhesives and coating.
Polyester-based adhesives are the most suitable for concrete both as a pre-base and adhesive.
Reference should be made to the manufacturer’s directions if special conditions are known to
exist such as high temperature applications or chemically aggressive environments, for example.
Often gauges are required to be fixed on vertical surfaces. In order to prevent any likelihood of
vertical movement of the gauges soon after bonding and before the adhesive has hardened
sufficiently, the author has found the use of the current ‘superglues’, (cyanolacrilate) to be very
The finite size of a strain gauge implies that an average value of the strain will be measured over
the gauge length. The length of the gauge should, therefore, be as small as possible. The
particulated nature of a microconcrete surface, however, causes very local microstrain
concentrations. Thus an average value of strain measured over several aggregate particles is
likely to provide a more realistic value of strain variation. Carpenter et al.3 have suggested a
minimum gauge length of three times the maximum aggregate size in the microconcrete mix for
uncracked material. A gauge would cover some aggregate particles and element matrix.
Once cracking has occurred the interpretation of strain gauge measurements is difficult due to
rapid strain rate changes. Cope et al.4 and Beeby5 give some guidance regarding the selection
of suitable gauge lengths. In order to obtain smooth variations of surface strain for cracked
microconcrete the strain gauge length should be increased when compared with the uncracked
material. In the cracked case the use of Demec points will provide acceptable gauge lengths
rather than direct surface measurement from electrical resistance strain gauges.
During the elastic behaviour of a microconcrete model, it is possible that the directions of the
principal strain will be known. Thus uniaxial or biaxial gauges may be used. Once the onset of
cracking has begun the complex nature of the model material makes it extremely unlikely that the
principal strain directions will be known in advance. For ultimate load tests, therefore, in which
the direction of principal strains is not known, the strain should be measured in three directions
from which the principal values may be determined.

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A useful example which may be cited to illustrate the behaviour of microconcrete around a crack
and how the behaviour is to be measured occurs in the Mattock shear test.6 The author7 has
conducted a series of such tests to investigate the shear behaviour of microconcrete.
An unsymmetrically reinforced Mattock shear specimen is shown in Fig. 6. Application of the
load induces normal, shear and moment stress resultants on the shear plane. A shear crack or
yield line eventually forms. Around the crack there will be normal and shear displacements. In
addition, the width of the crack on the face with the least area of reinforcement will be greater
than the width of the crack on the face corresponding to the greatest area of reinforcement. This
gives rise to normal twisting and curvature along the cracked plane.

Fig. 6. Mattock shear test specimen.

The onset of yielding in the shear reinforcement was measured using electrical resistance strain
gauges. The average normal and shear displacement along the crack were measured using dial
gauges. The principal strains and curvatures across the shear crack were measured from Demec
points using the demountable strain transducers previously mentioned.2 The arrangement of
Demec points enabled the strains and

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curvatures to be obtained in three directions. The Demec points, demountable gauges, and the
dial gauges can be seen in Fig. 6.
Andra & Leonhardt8 and Mehmel & Weise9 discuss instrumentation suitable for the
measurement of curvature.
3.3 The measurement of the onset and propagation of cracks
The simplest and most practical method of crack detection in microconcrete structures is by
visual inspection using a magnifying glass or a crack-detecting microscope. The latter instrument
is capable of measuring crack widths to within ±0·01 mm.
The normal procedure for crack detecting is to paint the microconcrete surface to be inspected
with a thin coat of whitewash (lime and water mixture) before the specimen is loaded. The
surface is then inspected for cracks during subsequent loading. The presence of a crack can be
indicative of a local breakdown of bond between the model reinforcement and microconcrete.
Observed values of crack width may be related to surface strain measurements.
Cracks may also be observed using crack detection coating or acoustic emission techniques.
Such applications require special experimental procedures.
3.4 The measurement of deflection and rotation
It is a necessary requirement to measure deflections as accurately as possible since they are
reduced in direct proportion to the scale factor. It is usual for both elastic and inelastic
deflections to be measured. Various methods of measurement may be employed using
mechanical, optical and electrical instrumentation. The researcher must ensure that whatever the
method being used, the deflection is measured to the required accuracy.
If it is required to measure the deflection at just a few points then mechanical dial gauges should
prove satisfactory. Dial gauges graduated in units of 0–002 mm should provide sufficient
accuracy. If more extensive measurement of deflection is required then potentiometer transducers
connected to four arm full bridge circuits in an automatic data logger are to be recommended.
The author has found the Angle-Dekkor Mark III optical instrument manufactured by Hilger and
Watts to be satisfactory for the direct measurement of rotation. The Angle-Dekkor is essentially
an auto-collimating telescope fitted with measuring graticules to measure, simul-

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taneously, angular displacements of up to 60×60 min in two planes. When the telescope is
accurately set vertical to the clean surface plate, the reflected cross-lines of the target graticule
appear superimposed on the scales of the measuring graticule, and in focus with them. The
movement of the cross-lines of the reflected image gives a direct angular reading.
Mechanical dial gauges are relatively inexpensive and easy to set up, but must be read directly.
Transducer deflection gauges (Linear Variable Differential Transducer, LVDT) have the
advantage of recording the deflection on an automatic data logger. Whatever the system of
deflection measurement to be used, care must be taken to ensure that the gauge contact does not
exert an unnecessary force on the model structure.
3.5 The measurement of forces
The forces applied to a microconcrete model should be known and monitored as accurately as
possible throughout an experiment. In addition to the applied forces it is important to measure
structural reactions so that, although seemingly trivial, appropriate static checks can be made.
Load cells corresponding to the points of application of forces and the positions of the reactions
will record the magnitude of a force. Readings may be obtained directly or transmitted to a data
It is important to ensure that the stiffness of a reaction frame around a model be significantly
greater than that of the model. The frame should not interact with the structural performance of
the model.
Various types of load cell are discussed by Sabnis et al.10 Infact, this reference provides further
information on available instrumentation for microconcrete model experiments.
3.6 Data acquisition
Whatever instrumentation is used to monitor structural behaviour it is extremely convenient to
collect a permanent record of data as the experiment proceeds.
Before the experimental procedure begins the measurement instrumentation should be calibrated
and connected to a central facility referred to as a data logger. The logger will record the
electrical signals produced by the measurement devices, but it may also include a computing
facility that controls the experiment or produces results. For instance, load deflection curves
may be produced as the experiment proceeds and be of

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considerable use in the displacement control of the loads. The particular advantage of using a
data logger is that a permanent record of the results of the test is obtained as the test proceeds.
3.7 The calculation of stress from measured strains
The following procedure,11 which enables the calculation of stress from measured strains, will
be useful. In this procedure the accuracy of the stress measurement depends only on the strain
gauge readings; the cross-sensitivity, gauge factor and elastic constants of the specimen and
compensating bars are not required.
Consider a microconcrete thin-walled model structure. The stresses σz and σs on each surface at
a point can be calculated from orthogonal strains εz and εs according to the relationships


in which E and v are the modulus of elasticity and Poisson's ratio, respectively, of the
microconcrete. The subscripts Z and S denote the longitudinal and transverse directions,
It is normal practice to fix to a corresponding cantilever beam individual gauges or rosettes that
are identical to those attached to the microconcrete model. These are commonly known as
'dummy gauges'. The corresponding cantilever is subjected to known stress and should be made
from the same batch of microconcrete mix as the model.
The following analysis shows that the required stresses may be obtained directly in terms of the
known compensating stress and the measured strain gauge resistance changes. Thus, inaccurate
assumptions of cross-sensitivity, gauge factor and elasticity constants may be avoided.
The reading of a strain gauge is related to the strains in the test-piece by

where R is the resistance of the strain gauge, F is the gauge factor, n is the cross-sensitivity
factor, vo is the calibration value of Poisson's ratio.

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Two gauges are fixed in any Z, S directions to the microconcrete model surface and two further
gauges are fixed in a similar manner in the L, C directions to a compensating bar. The L, C
directions correspond to the Z, S directions. If the separate gauge signals or their sums and
differences are indicated by appropriate bridge circuits, then from eqn (3) and using Hooke’s
law the following is obtained:



or, if the compensating bar is of the same material as the test-piece:



where E is the Young’s modulus of the test-pice, E′ is the Young’s modulus of the compensating
bar and v, v′ are the Poisson’s ratio of the model and compensating bar, respectively.
The required stresses are thus completely defined by the strain gauge readings and the known
compensating stress; the five constants F, n, v0, E and v having been eliminated.
Good experimental technique is required during the testing of microconcrete models. Time spent
in organising the appropriate procedures for a particular experiment is worthwhile. Due to the
unique nature of different microconcrete experiments, the associated procedures are likely to
vary between models.

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The continuous, two-span post-tensioned twin box bridge model will, once again, be used as a
reference. Figure 1 shows the longitudinal elevation and cross-section of the box beam model.
Also shown are the points of application of the load.
Although the procedures to be discussed with respect to the box beam model will not be
necessarily the same as the readers requirements they will have general applications and should
encourage the reader to consider his own problems in some detail.
4.1 Purpose of the experiment
In order to define the sequence and importance of the laboratory procedures it is necessary to
define the purpose of the experiment and what physical quantities are to be measured. The
experimenter should be in no doubt about the objectives of his test and how they are to be
The box bridge model will behave as a thin-walled structure. The behaviour of such structures
involves consideration of secondary effects such as warping and cross-sectional distortion.
Thus, it is likely that the structural behaviour of thin-walled microconcrete models may be
complicated involving both warping and distortion of the cross-section.
The objectives of the two-span continuous box beam experiment were to investigate the torsion
and distortion of the box sections, the cross-sectional distributions of the longitudinal and
transverse bending stresses and the deflections in the elastic range. A theoretical analysis had
been developed and some experimental comparison was required.12
In addition, it was necessary to determine the collapse load for the beam. The imposed loads
were applied at two positions along one edge of the box to cause cross-sectional distortion (Fig.
1). The box bridge was designed in such a way that sufficient plastic hinges would occur at the
junctions between the webs and flanges to cause collapse. For this collapse to be possible,
significant transverse shear displacement would occur along the junction of the web and flange
beneath the load. Thus the model was required to collapse in a specific manner and the
experimental procedure was planned accordingly.
4.2 Reaction frames and loading systems
Generally, reaction frames are positioned around a microconcrete model and enable the loads to
be applied. The frames form part of the loading system which must be carefully designed. Loads
may be applied directly

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or uniformly. It is usual to employ hydraulic actuators which react against the frames. A useful
discussion about alternative loading systems has been given by Sabnis et al.10
Figures 1 and 7 illustrate the loading system used during the investigation of the continuous box
bridge. The reaction frame was designed to be rigid since the box was required to deform in a
particular manner. Reaction frame deformation may impair the required failure mode from
developing. In complicated loading systems, interaction between the reaction frames and model
being tested should be avoided.

Fig. 7. Experimental arrangement for the continuous box beam microconcrete model.
For the experimental arrangement shown in Fig. 7 the frame can be seen as two vertical heavy
duty I stanchions interconnected by a heavy duty cross I beam to form a portal frame. The frame
was bolted to the laboratory strong floor using high tensile bolts. The loads were applied to the
model using hydraulic actuators which reacted against the frame.
If very large loads are to be applied it may be desirable to place mechanical dial gauges against
the frame to determine if the frame remains rigid during the test. Frame slip is undesirable.

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4.3 Supports and boundary conditions
The supports used during a model experiment and the boundary conditions chosen depend upon
the particular model characteristics and objectives of the test. Since most complex models are
highly redundant systems the choice of support and boundary conditions is critical. It has been
mentioned already in chapter 7 that the distribution of reactions and moments in slabs are
extremely sensitive to support stiffness.
If the modelling of only part of a structure is considered, great care should be given to the
truncated part of the model. In general, the boundary compatibility and equilibrium conditions
must be identical to the model and prototype. If they are not the same, the structural actions will
not be identical and the measured results obtained from the model will be in error.
For the continuous box shown in Fig. 7 the ends of the box and the middle support were simply
supported. The support reactions were instrumented using load cells so that the reactions and
changes in reaction could be measured. The reactions rested on rigid concrete piers. The piers
provided sufficient clearance between the model and the laboratory strong floor to enable the
underside of the box to be inspected during the cracking phase.
4.4 Method of applying loads, displacement control
The control of the application of loads and displacements to a model is critical. In general terms,
it is necessary to apply structural loading in such a way that the performance of the model is
determined through the elastic and inelastic ranges. Here it is assumed that the behaviour of a
model is required through its servicability state to its collapse or ultimate state.
A typical load-displacement curve for a microconcrete element is shown in Fig. 8. Moment-
curvature relationships would be similar in appearance.
The experimenter must decide how the load is to be applied to the structure. For this purpose the
experiment might be divided into elastic and inelastic parts. A well-designed test will consist of
an appropriate set of gauges and transducers to monitor strains and deflections in and around the
model. Modern data logging facilities allow for the immediate plotting of the information
received from the model instrumentation. This might be in the form of hard copy X–Y plot or a
display on a computer screen. Thus, the typical curve shown in Fig. 8 may be obtained as the

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Fig. 8. Typical load-displacement curve for a microconcrete structural element.

test proceeds and may be used to control the applied loading and displacement.
The following procedure has been found to be successful during elastic experimentation.
Initially a small load should be applied to the model in order to check the satisfactory operation
of the system of loading and instrumentation. The application of this load, which is normally
about 5% of the expected maximum elastic load, allows the model and the loading frame to ‘bed
down’. This load is then removed and the model and the loading system return to their initial
The procedure that follows depends somewhat on the objectives of the experiment, but the
information provided here should prove useful.
During the elastic part of the load-displacement behaviour, portion A–B, Fig. 8, the load may be
applied and removed with the model behaviour following portion A-B of the curve. It is
suggested that during the elastic part of the model behaviour, the increments of load be applied
in the following sequence:

where 0 represents one set of readings at zero load and L represents one set of readings with the
load applied to the model. The sequence is

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repeated for different loads to give repeated loading cycles, thus allowing duplicate readings to
be taken.
It should be noted, however, that it may not be easy to define the elastic part of a microconcrete
stress-strain curve. Indeed, microcracking may prevent the repeated loading procedures that are
being suggested. It is obvious that great care should be taken to define whether the structural
behaviour is elastic or inelastic.
It may be that the elastic portion of the load displacement behaviour of the model is not so
important as the inelastic behaviour. In this case the experimenter must decide if portion A–B,
Fig. 8, should be followed in continuously increasing increments of displacement without
returning to the initial zero condition.
Once the elastic limit of the microconcrete model has been reached, assumed to be point B,
displacements will increase more rapidly. At this stage, the progress of the experiment should be
monitored so that the experimenter is aware of the progress of the model with respect to the
load-displacement curve. Sufficient displacement increments should be selected to allow the
portion BC of the curve to be defined accurately. Usually 10 points will be sufficient and control
is achieved using these displacement increments.
Just how far the experiment should be taken along the C–D portion of the load-displacement
curve depends upon experimental objectives. A controlled collapse of yield of a model can be
obtained with care by allowing appropriate parts of the structure to form plastic hinges, for
example. Thus the portion C–D would be significant if large rotations were required around a
structure to form a collapse mechanism. In any case, an experiment can only be successfully
conducted in the region B–C–D if displacement control of the loading actuators is carried out,
the corresponding loads at the point of application of the actuators being obtained from load
4.5 Testing the continuous, two-span post-tensioned twin box bridge
The twin box bridge, Figs. 1, 2 and 7, was tested following good laboratory practice. A
hydraulic jack having a maximum capacity of 300 kN (30t) was used to apply the two point
loads by a steel distribution beam. The jack and pressure gauges were calibrated by proving
rings before the tests were carried out. The loading system and instrumentation were checked
prior to a test.
During the elastic part of the test, two complete loading cycles were

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applied enabling duplicate readings to be taken. Displacement control of the applied loading
was carried out after the elastic limit had been reached.
Biaxial rosette gauges of gauge length 6 mm and gauge factor 2·095 were fixed to the model. The
rosettes were bonded in most locations to both surfaces of the box in order to separate the
membrane and flexural components of the stress. Thirty-eight rosette gauges were bonded to the
twin box model to obtain orthogonal strains.
Deflections were recorded electronically using potentiometer transducers connected to four arm
full bridge circuits. Transducer positions for the continuous box beam model at midspan cross-
section of the loaded span are shown in Fig. 9. A 200–channel Compulog IV system was used to
record the data obtained from the test.

Fig. 9. Transducer positions at midspan of the loaded span.

The modulus of elasticity for the concrete model was 29 kN/mm2 and was obtained from
compressive and bending tests. Poisson’s ratio for the concrete, obtained from the measurement
of longitudinal and transverse strains of a cube specimen, was 0·18.
Some typical results from the experiment are shown in Figs. 10 and 11 where they are compared
with the results of alternative finite element analyses.12 Figure 12 shows the crack pattern of the
box which has undergone failure, the box having been turned on its side.
This chapter has been concerned with the fabrication and testing of microconcrete models of
reinforced and pre-stressed concrete structures.

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Fig. 10. Transverse distribution of vertical deflection at midspan of the loaded span.

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Fig. 11. Distribution of vertical deflection along the span.

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Fig. 12. The cracked underside of the box beam.

In particular, the fabrication of structures involving hollow sections has been described. The
difficulties in manufacturing such models should be obvious. Some practical techniques which
have proven successful with respect to thin-walled structures have been described.
The methods of testing microconcrete models which have been discussed have a general
application to different types of model structures and structural elements, although some
emphasis has been given to inelastic behaviour.
Physical models are widely used for the design of unconventional structures. They are also used
to complement the results of numerical analysis. It is intended that the information provided in
this chapter will contribute to the further development of the use of microconcrete models to
predict prototype structural behaviour.
1. Holman, J.P., Experimental Methods for Engineers, 3rd edn. McGraw-Hill, New York,
2. Cook, C.F., Demountable portable strain transducers. Cement and Concrete

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Association (now British Cement Association) Internal Literature Ref. DR/INST/6.
3. Carpenter, J.E., Roll, F. & Zelman, M.I., Techniques and materials for structural models. In:
Models for Concrete Structures. ACI Publication No. 24, 1970, pp. 41–63.
4. Cope, R.J., Rao, P.V., Clark, L.A. & Norris, P., Modelling of reinforced concrete behaviour
for finite element analysis of bridge slabs. In Numerical Methods for Nonlinear Problems.
Pineridge Press, Swansea, UK, 1980, Vol. 1, pp. 457–70.
5. Beeby, A.W., An investigation of cracking in slabs spanning one way. Cement and Concrete
Association (now British Cement Association) Internal Report, 42.433, 1970.
6. Mattock, A.H. & Hawkins, N.M., Shear transfer in reinforced concrete. Recent research, PCI
Journal, 1972, March/April.
7. Boswell, L.F. & Wong, S.S., The shear behaviour of micro-concrete and its inclusion in a
proposed yield criterion. Proceedings of Cement and concrete Association (now British
Cement Association) Seminar, 1981, pp. 217–27.
8. Andra, W. & Leonhardt, F., Influence of the spacing of the bearings on bending moments and
reactions in single-span skew slabs. Beton-und Stahlbetonau, 55 (1960) 151–62.
9. Mehmel, A. & Weise, H., Model Investigations on Skew Slabs on Elastically Yielding Point
Supports. Institut fur Manivbau an der Technisehen Hockschule, Darmstadt, 1963, Heft 4.
10. Sabnis, G.M., Harris, H.G., White, R.N. & Mirza, M.S., Structural Modelling and
Experimental Techniques. Prentice-Hall Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics Series,
Prentice-Hall, New Jersey, USA, 1983.
11. Meyer, M.L., On a general method of compensation in strain gauge work. Strain, 4 (1)
(1968), 3–8.
12. Boswell, L.F. & Zhang, S.H., A box beam finite element for the elastic analysis of thin-
walled structures. Int. J. Thin-Walled Structures, 1 (4) (1983), 353–83.

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6Fabrication and Testing of Model Pre-stressed Concrete Structures
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Bristol, UK
Pre-stressing has been described as a method of imparting a more favourable distribution of
internal stress within a structure, counteracting, to some degree, the effects of self-weight and
superimposed external loading. Like reinforced concrete, pre-stressed concrete is a composite
material combining the excellent compressive characteristics of concrete with the high tensile
capacity of steel. However, unlike reinforced concrete, where the reinforcement acts passively
to resist the internal tensile stresses, the steel is now actively stressed prior to loading. This
subjects the concrete in the flexural tension zone, which may otherwise have cracked, to a level
of pre-compression, greatly extending the efficiency of the composite.
Although the principles of pre-stressed concrete have been established for over a century, the
technique was slow to develop due to the absence of concretes and steels with suitable physical
properties at that time. Only over the last 40 years, as materials with the necessary high strengths
and low creep and relaxation properties became available, has the method found increasing
application. The many advantages associated with pre-stressed concrete, such as crack and
deflection control, improved durability, longer spans, reduction in self-weight, etc., have
encouraged its widespread use in all types of engineering structures from simple floor beams to
major bridges and pressure vessels.

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Because of the innovative nature of many pre-stressed concrete structures, models containing
pre-stressing have been used extensively for many years. For example, Figs 1 and 2 show an
early investigation (1965) of a pre-stressed concrete bridge in which the then novel form of
segmental construction was modelled to a 1/16th scale using pre-cast units. The model was first
tested under various critical working load conditions and, eventually, loaded to failure.1 In a
subsidiary test, the effects of transverse prestress were determined by loading a 1/10th scale
Perspex slice of the model in the elastic range.

Fig. 1. Transversely pre-stressed microconcrete bridge segment.

Fig. 2. Segmental bridge model prior to ultimate load test.

Types of pre-stressed concrete
Various pre-stressing techniques have been developed to match the particular circumstances and
requirements of many alternative prototype applications. In general, these techniques may be
modelled directly.

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1.1.1 Pre-tensioned and post-tensioned concrete
Pre-stressed concrete structures may be considered to be either pre-tensioned or post-tensioned.
As the former classification implies, pre-tensioning requires the pre-stressing tendons to be
stressed before casting of the concrete. They must then be maintained at that stress level until
sufficient bond has developed between tendon and concrete before load is transferred. Tendons
are invariably straight, often consisting of a large number of small diameter single wires in order
to maximise bond area. Since external reaction frames are needed for the stressing operation, the
technique is used extensively in practice for the repetitive production of floor, roof and bridge
beams up to 30 m long under factory conditions. Although pre-tensioning is used predominantly
for flexural members, compression elements, such as piles, also employ this production method
since a degree of pre-stressing reduces damage due to handling and improves resistance to
impact loads during installation.
In post-tensioned concrete, the pre-stressing operation takes place only after the concrete has
been cast and has attained sufficient strength. The tendons are usually located internally within
the concrete in profiled steel duct tubes built into the element during construction. Subsequent to
stressing, these tubes are usually grouted for protection against corrosion and to provide some
measure of bond between tendon and concrete at ultimate load. In flexural members, post-
tensioning often permits longer spans than pre-tensioning and is highly suited to one-off
applications on site.
1.1.2 Unbonded tendons
By definition, wires or strands employed in pre-tensioned concrete are fully bonded to the
concrete. Indeed, the size and arrangement of the pre-stressing steel is often selected in order to
increase effective bond, thereby reducing anchorage lengths to a minimum. The large majority of
post-tensioned concrete structures also employ bonded tendons, provided the subsequent
grouting process has been fully effective. Unbonded tendons are finding increasing use, however,
and may either take the form of large external tendons or single strands in greased sheaths cast
inside the concrete. The former have been used in large box girder bridges to a limited extent;
the latter in thin-walled elements, such as slabs, where there is insufficient room for the
relatively large ducts required for grouted tendons. There are disadvantages associated with
unbonded tendons, particularly at higher loads, since cracks in the concrete are not controlled by
local increases in tendon stress as they would be with

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bonded tendons. The primary attractions of using unbonded tendons therefore are either (i) for
deflection control before cracking, or (ii) where inspection of tendons for corrosion is required,
such as in nuclear pressure vessels.
Very recently (1986), model studies have been used to investigate methods for the demolition of
structures containing unbonded prestressing tendons. Large scale models were constructed, 3
and 6 m long, which made use of proprietary unbonded tendons and end anchorages (Fig. 3). The
demolition procedure was modelled satisfactorily by cutting the unbonded tendons, thus
suddenly releasing the strain energy stored in the system.2

Fig. 3. Large scale model used to develop a strategy for the safe demolition of structures
containing unbonded tendons.
Pressure vessels, silos and storage tanks constitute special applications of post-tensioned pre-
stressed concrete, often incorporating unbonded tendons. Such structures are invariably circular
in plan, employing post-tensioning in the form of hoop pre-stressing applied circumferentially.
This may be in the form of relatively short external cables, stressed between buttresses, or wire
wound continuously, under stress, in bands around the perimeter.

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Performance and ultimate strength tests of pre-stressed concrete pressure vessels for the nuclear
power industry have greatly assisted with the development of pre-stressed concrete model
technology. For each pressure vessel design it has been a requirement for the working and
ultimate load behaviour to be confirmed by testing a large scale strength model. Early designs3
centred around spherical vessels with complex arrangements of pre-stressing, as shown in Fig.
4. More recent studies have concentrated on using cylindrical vessels with straight unbonded
tendons post-tensioned along the vertical axis, together with wire wound continuously under
tension around the circumference (Fig. 5).

Fig. 4. Arrangement of pre-stressing ducts in a 1/11·5 model of a spherical pressure vessel.

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Fig. 5. External hoop pre-stressing and unbonded vertical pre-stressing applied to a 1/40th scale
model HTGR pressure vessel.
1.1.3 Partial pre-stressing
Structural behaviour in the prototype, and hence in the model, will also be influenced by the
level of prestress applied. At one end of the spectrum, the section may be fully pre-stressed so
that the concrete remains in compression everywhere up to the maximum working load. At the
other extreme, no pre-stressing may be applied (reinforced concrete), in which case, extensive
cracking may be expected to occur at early stages of loading. Between these two extremes lies
an infinite variety of stressing

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levels, often referred to as partial pre-stressing. This is being employed increasingly in
structures such as slabs, where the pre-stressing is used essentially for deflection control, the
necessary crack control and ultimate load capacity being achieved with a small amount of
unstressed reinforcement.
1.2 Behaviour of pre-stressed concrete structures
The response of pre-stressed concrete structures to applied loading follows well-established
fundamental principles, irrespective of the method of applying the pre-stress or the structural
system employed. Consider the load-deflection diagram for a typical under-reinforced pre-
stressed concrete flexural element, shown in Fig. 6. Three distinct ranges are identifiable,
relating to pre-cracking, post-cracking and plastic behaviour.

Fig. 6. Flexural response of a pre-stressed concrete beam subjected to increasing load.

Under self-weight alone the element may be expected to display only a small deflection (or
camber) depending on the level of pre-stress. Before cracking, response to increasing load is
essentially elastic. The increased moment of resistance required is obtained by the gradual
decompression of the concrete in the tension zone, accompanied by an increasing internal lever
arm between the steel and the centre of the compressive

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forces in the concrete. Fully pre-stressed concrete will normally remain within this range for its
entire service life. Even after cracking, response may be near-elastic, until the steel, too,
becomes inelastic. The response of partially pre-stressed elements will generally extend into
this post-cracking range at full service load, although deflection will generally be fully
recoverable on removal of the load. There then follows a plastic range in which deflection
increases rapidly for small increments of load up to failure.
It is apparent, even for simple full scale structures, that response to increasing load is complex.
It depends not only on the stress-strain relationships of the concrete and steel components but
also on the interaction between them. If this behaviour is to be modelled at all stages of loading
then the physical model must be equally sophisticated if it is to reflect the true performance of
the prototype.
For studies within the linearly elastic range it is generally sufficient to construct the model from
a suitable elastic material. The effects of pre-stressing may be considered as a system of
external loads which must then comply with the appropriate scaling requirements as for any
other externally applied loads. Such an approach, however, is not generally acceptable in
strength models extending into the post-cracking and plastic ranges up to collapse. Here, the pre-
stressing steel is not merely an additional source of external loading; it is also an element of
reinforcement which must be considered fully if the inelastic effects, particularly after cracking,
are to be modelled properly. This generally requires the use of modelling materials with
physical properties closely resembling those of the prototype.
Pre-stressed concrete models must comply with the laws of similitude in the same way as any
other model. Since basic scaling requirements have already been established in Chapter 2,
discussion here will be restricted to those physical properties which are specific to pre-stressed
concrete. Only strength models will be considered, since pre-stressing can be modelled as an
equivalent external load for structures within the elastic range. Static or quasi-static loading will
be assumed since the dynamic response of pre-stressed concrete structures is governed
predominantly by the mass and geometrical arrangement, as for any other structural arrangement.

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If time- and temperature-dependent effects are neglected, each important quantity in the model is
related to that in the prototype by only two independent scale factors. These may be expressed
most usefully by a linear scale factor, Sl, and a modulus of elasticity scale factor, SE. For each
physical quantity i there then exists a single scale factor Si which is a combination of the two
independent factors. Table 1 provides a summary of the scale factors for all the important
quantities relating to pre-stressed concrete.
Table 1
Scale factors for pre-stressed concrete models
Physical quantity i Dimensions Required Scale factor Si
Geometry Length L Sl
Area L2
Volume L3
Second moment of area L4
Material properties Modulus of elasticity FL−2 SE
Poisson’s ratio — 1
Density FL−3 SE/Sl
Coefficient of friction — 1
Wobble factor L−1 1/Sl
Loading Concentrated load F SE
Line load FL−1 SESl
Pressure or stress FL−2 SE
Moment FL SE
Deformation Strain — 1
Displacement L Sl
Rotation — 1
2.1 General considerations
It is apparent from Table 1 that geometrical similitude between model and prototype is assured
by applying the linear scale factor to all quantities. Thus, if all the linear dimensions are reduced
by Sl, all other quantities such as cross-sectional area, surface area, volume, etc., are scaled
automatically by the required factor. Although the model appears as a faithful replica of the
prototype structure, important differences do exist as a direct consequence of the scaling
procedure. For example, concrete strength and the rate of gain of concrete strength are influenced

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by both the heat of hydration and the level of free water in the concrete. These two factors are
dependent on the surface area to volume ratio of the concrete which, ideally, should remain
unchanged in the model. Clearly, however, whilst the volume of concrete is reduced by the
surface area is only reduced by . This relative increase in surface area with respect to the
volume influences the loss of heat due to hydration and the evaporation of free water from the
surface.. Frequently, these two effects have little significance or, alternatively, may be controlled
by surface insulation and sealing during the initial curing period. They do, nevertheless, serve to
illustrate the often complex consequences of simple linear scaling.
With regard to the physical properties of the various materials, Table 1 indicates that some
choice is available provided the required scale factors Si are achieved in all important respects.
Since strain is a non-dimensional quantity, there must exist a direct relationship between strains
in the model and those in the prototype. This is particularly important near ultimate load where
the degree of ductility in the stressed and unstressed reinforcement can have a significant
influence on the failure mode and the collapse load. Stress, on the other hand, may be modified
by the scale factor SE, provided the modulus of elasticity is scaled to the same degree.
Whilst microconcrete can be formulated to comply with a scale factor SE not equal to unity,
practical experience indicates that there is no real alternative to steel for all elements of
reinforcement, not least because of problems associated with relaxation of non-ferrous materials
and the interaction between the microconcrete and model reinforcement. This implies an
identical modulus of elasticity (SE=1) for both the model and prototype steels. A similar
restriction must then also apply to the concrete. Thus, for the most part, every attempt is made in
strength models to ensure similitude between full scale and model materials, at least over the
range which is important for the purpose of the model. Values of SE close to unity may be
appropriate when using steel strand or steel wire rope to simulate larger pre-stressing tendons.
The effective modulus of such materials differs from that of steel due to slack between
individual wires caused by the spinning process.
2.2 Loading requirements
By reducing the diameter of the pre-stressing steel by the linear scale factor Sl, the cross-
sectional area is reduced by . The pre-stressing force may be treated as a concentrated load
(Table 1) and must be reduced by

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a factor SE . For SE=1, this condition is satisfied directly by the corresponding reduction in
cross-sectional area, resulting in an identical state of stress in both model and prototype tendons.
As for all structural models, it will be observed in Table 1 that the required density does not
scale. It is generally recognised that it is impracticable to increase significantly the density of the
modelling materials whilst complying with all the other similitude requirements. However, in
reinforced concrete models this is rarely a problem since self-weight is often either insignificant
or may be enhanced by applying additional superimposed load.
In flexural elements of pre-stressed concrete, self-weight assumes a far greater significance. It
can no longer be represented by additional live load during testing since the enhanced density is
necessary to counteract the effects of pre-stressing and to ensure the correct distribution of stress
over the concrete section at transfer. The problem is compounded by the fact that the model,
before pre-stressing, generally has insufficient strength to support the enhanced self-weight
without cracking. A prestressing procedure may then be required in which additional self-weight
and pre-stressing are applied alternatively in small increments up to full load. This additional
self-weight loading is not usually applied by hydraulic jack, since power failure could prove
catastrophic for the fully pre-stressed structure. More usually it takes the form of concrete, steel
or lead ballast suspended from the model at appropriate points. In small scale models the
volume of this additional material may be a serious problem.
2.3 Modelling pre-stressing losses
The time dimension has no direct influence on truly elastic behaviour, since all deformations
occur simultaneously. If the component materials in pre-stressed concrete strength models
display any tendency to creep, shrink or relax, even at the relatively low loads before cracking,
then the time dimension may also have to be considered. However, time in this context does not
have the same relevance as for dynamic and impact loading, discussed in Chapters 9 and 10, and
it is generally sufficient to ensure that the various time-dependent strains in the prototype at a
particular stress level match those in the model at the age of test.
2.3.1 Relaxation
Relaxation occurs as a result of elongation of the pre-stressing steel under sustained load and is
a function of both time and applied stress. It is

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hardly measurable at stress levels below 50% of the ultimate tensile stress but assumes greater
significance at the higher stress levels associated with pre-stressing.
Three critical stages of loading must be considered in the design of pre-stressed concrete
structures: (i) at transfer, before any losses have occurred; (ii) at full working load, after all
losses have taken place; and (iii) at ultimate load. If similar tendon material and stress levels are
used in the model as in the prototype, it may not be possible to match relaxation losses exactly at
all three stages unless the model tests are conducted over a similar time-scale as the expected
life of the prototype. A large proportion of the final relaxation loss occurs in the first few days.
This permits stages (i) and (ii) to be modelled fairly accurately. However, in strength models it
is usually the final stage, beyond the serviceability limit state and up to failure, that is of
paramount importance. Provided the structure has adequate ductility, structural behaviour is
governed more by the ultimate tensile strength of the cables than by the prestressing force
effective prior to the start of the test. Where all three stages are to be modelled over a very short
time-scale, it may be appropriate to specify normal relaxation steel in the model to represent
low relaxation steel in the prototype.
2.3.2 Creep and shrinkage
The mechanism of creep in concrete is similar to that of relaxation in steel in that it is dependent
on both the duration and the level of loading. Shrinkage of concrete is a complex effect. It occurs
as a result of a reduction in volume caused by loss of water and by chemical changes such as
hydration and carbonation. It is also time-dependent but is much less affected by the loading
regime. Environmental factors, such as temperature and relative humidity, are of some
significance in determining shrinkage strains and, to a lesser extent, creep strains.
From Table 1, it is apparent that the ratio of surface area to volume of concrete in the model is
greater than in the prototype by the linear scale factor. A more rapid dissipation of the heat of
hydration and a greater loss of free water per unit volume from the concrete surface may then
occur, resulting in a reduction in the rate of gain of concrete strength. If the model is stressed at
an early stage to a similar level as in the prototype, higher creep strains might then be expected.
To some extent, this may be overcome by using a more finely ground cement with rapid-
hardening properties. As for relaxation of steel, a large proportion of the final creep strain
occurs in the first few days after stressing;

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long-term losses due to creep strain are therefore rarely significant in short-time ultimate load
Shrinkage starts soon after casting but, unlike creep and relaxation, may continue at a significant
rate over several years. The relatively thin walls of microconcrete models may be expected to
display accelerated shrinkage due to the more rapid loss of free water from the surface. Indeed,
this is often an advantage since it is consistent with the shorter construction and testing times
usually associated with model studies. Some level of control over the rate of moisture loss may
be achieved by sealing or partially sealing the concrete surface.
In structural models, where creep and shrinkage effects may be important, it will be necessary to
conduct material tests to determine the exact nature of the associated losses. For models of
nuclear pressure vessels and other structures tested at elevated temperatures, these losses will
justify particular attention.
2.3.3 Friction losses
Friction losses are only generally significant in post-tensioned structures with curved tendon
profiles. Two types of friction coexist due to contact between tendon and duct wall. The first,
caused by curvature of the tendon profile, results in an exponential decay of the jacking force Po
governed by x, the distance from the point of jacking, r, the radius of curvature of the tendon and
μ, the coefficient of friction between the pre-stressing tendon and the duct wall. The usual
expression for the pre-stressing force Px at a distance x from the point of jacking is then given by

Clearly, for Px at a particular section in the model to be the same proportion of Po as it is in the
prototype, then the exponential term must remain unchanged. Since the terms x and r are both
reduced by the same linear scale factor, this requires the coefficient of friction to remain
The second type of friction loss is caused by unintentional variations in the duct profile, often
referred to as wobble. The pre-stressing force at any section may be defined by a similar
expression as for curvature friction, thus:

where K is a wobble factor dependent on the stiffness of the duct, the

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frequency of fixing and the quality of the workmanship and supervision. It is apparent that for a
value of x scaled by the linear scale factor Sl in the model, the wobble factor must be increased
by the same factor if the exponential term is to remain constant. This is confirmed by reference to
Table 1. To achieve a higher wobble factor in practice, it is necessary to provide a greater
variation from the specified tendon position. Fortunately this frequently occurs due to the
increased flexibility of ducts suitable for modelling without further additional intentional
variation during setting out.
2.3.4 Other losses
Elastic shortening losses, normally associated with pre-tensioned concrete, are caused by the
instantaneous change of strain in the composite at transfer. No special problems arise here since
the associated loss of pre-stressing force in the model is consistent with that in the prototype and
should scale directly. However, the provision of proper end anchorage of the pre-tensioned
wires is important in this regard if the transfer of pre-stressing force is to be correctly modelled.
Assuming anchorage bond stress is identical for model and prototype, anchorage lengths will
only be reduced correctly by the linear scale factor if the diameters are also scaled by the same
factor. If suitable wires of reduced diameter are unavailable, improved end fixity may be
obtained by casting-in conventional barrel and wedge end anchorages.
In post-tensioned structures, losses due to elastic shortening may also occur as a result of
sequential stressing. It may not always be possible to follow the sequence of stressing specified
in the prototype exactly, particularly where several cable groups have been modelled by a single
tendon. If this is the case, special attention must be paid to the stressing operation, often
requiring an incremental stressing procedure.
Pull-in of the wedges in conventional end anchorages is rarely a problem in prototype structures.
For this loss to be equally negligible in the model, pull-in must also be reduced by the linear
scale factor. Where end anchorages of a similar size and type are used in the model, this is
frequently impracticable. Several alternative methods of loading and anchoraging tendons have
been developed to overcome the problem of high pull-in losses in models; these are discussed in
more detail later.
The choice of a suitable mix of microconcrete is governed essentially by the same criteria as for
reinforced concrete models. The placement and

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compaction of the material in areas congested by stressing ducts may, however, require special
attention. For scaled models, similitude requirements usually require the effective diameter of
the unstressed reinforcing bars and pre-stressing tendons to be reduced by the linear scale factor.
The development of suitable deformed reinforcement and microconcrete mixes for relatively
small scale models are well documented; these are discussed in detail in Chapter 4. Similar
exhaustive studies have not been conducted, however, for pre-stressing tendons of model size.
This is a research area requiring urgent attention since, to date, only ad-hoc investigations have
been undertaken to obtain acceptable tendon performance for individual model applications.
3.1 Prototype pre-stressing tendons
High-strength steel pre-stressing tendons may take the form of single wires, strands or bars, each
type suitable for different prototype applications. Within each classification of tendon type,
however, there are numerous alternatives available.
Single wires vary in diameter from 2 to 7mm, although the smaller sizes are not in general
commercial use. Wire is usually delivered in a degreased condition for improved bond
performance; crimping or indenting of the surface may also be employed for this purpose. It is
normally heat treated and supplied in a stress-relieved condition and may, in addition, be
subjected to a degree of plastic deformation to improve its relaxation properties. Single wires
may be bundled together within a single duct tube for post-tensioning (e.g. the BBRV system
employing button-headed single wires), but are more commonly employed in pre-tensioned
elements where the relatively high surface to cross-sectional area ratio provides sufficient
anchorage bond directly with the concrete.
A number of alternative strand configurations are available containing different numbers of
helically-wound wires. In the UK, however, the 19-wire strand, used primarily for large tendon
forces, is no longer readily available, the preference being for multi-strand applications of the
more common 7-wire strand. This smaller strand, which comprises six identical wires wound
helically around a straight central wire of slightly larger diameter, is available in sizes from 6 to
18 mm overall diameter. As in the case of single wire, 7-wire strand is heat treated and stress
relieved, and may be supplied with either normal or low relaxation properties. In addition, it
may be drawn through a die and supplied in a compacted form, a process which increases the
effective steel area for the same nominal diameter. Although a large variety of diameters are

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manufacturers have preferred sizes and many of the smaller diameters, particularly in the
compacted drawn condition, are not readily available in the small quantities required for
structural modelling.
High-tensile steel alloy bars are available in diameters from 20 mm to 50 mm with either a
smooth or ribbed surface. For smooth bars, end anchorage or coupling is effected by a rolled
thread at the bar ends. In the case of deformed bars, the ribbed surface is rolled in such a way as
to provide a coarse thread over the entire length for special nuts and couplers. The
manufacturing process is such for these bars that only one grade is supplied, conforming with a
relaxation standard somewhere in between the normal and low relaxation levels associated with
single wires and 7-wire strands.
In addition to high-tensile pre-stressing steel, a variety of other tendon materials have been
proposed, such as glass or carbon fibres. Although most of these materials have been shown to
have inferior physical properties to steel in some important regards, one such material, Kevlar
49, is now making advances as a potential alternative to steel.4 Kevlar, which is commercially
available for pre-stressing applications as Parafil, is non-corrosive and achieves high strength
from its highly orientated, crystalline structure consisting of long chain hydrocarbons. Although
it has a similar ultimate tensile strength as normal pre-stressing steel, its effective modulus of
elasticity is reduced by approximately one third. Since it degrades in ultra-violet light and in
contact with strong alkaline solutions, it is supplied as a bundle of parallel filaments within a
thermoplastic sheath. Its primary use is thus likely to be for unbonded post-tensioning
applications with the tendon either placed externally or internally within the concrete (Fig. 7).
A summary of the physical properties of the various materials used for prototype prestressing
applications is given in Fig. 8.
3.2 Model prestressing tendons
Geometric similarity with the prototype is not a sufficient condition for structural models
subjected to quasi-static loading in the inelastic range. A direct relationship between the state of
stress in the model and that in the prototype must also be achieved. Similitude is only assured if
the intrinsic shape of the stress-strain curve for each component of the composite material and
the bond relationship between them are identical at every important stage of loading.
Dimensionless factors such as Poisson’s ratio are independent of the scale factors and must, of
course, remain unchanged from the values for the prototype materials.

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Fig. 7. Parafil tendon located in model beam.†

Fig. 8. Typical stress-strain curves for pre-stressing tendons.

Wherever possible it is preferable to model very high-strength prestressing steel with similar
wires or strands of reduced diameter. Unfortunately, due to the very restricted range of wire and
strand diameters available commercially, this solution is only really practicable for large
†Parafil is a trade name of Imperial Chemical Industries PLC.

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scale models with a linear scale factor of 3 or less. Even here the total number of tendons may
have to be reduced in the model due to size effects. This is apparent in Fig. 8 where the smaller
diameter wires and strands have markedly higher strengths than the larger diameter specimens of
the same type.
For models with linear scale factors greater than 3, several other options are available. Firsly, it
may be possible to replace a number of tendons in the prototype with a single identical tendon. It
should be remembered here that the number of tendons in the prototype must be reduced by a
factor equal to the square of the linear scale factor if the appropriate area of pre-stressing steel
is to be correctly modelled (Table 1). This scaling technique has the advantage of matching the
stress-strain characteristics of the tendon exactly at all loads, but not necessarily the bond
characteristics which do not scale. Since non-ferrous pre-stressing tendons, such as Parafil, are
composed of bundles of parallel filaments, a similar modelling technique using a tendon of
reduced diameter would be equally applicable for this material. A further consideration in post-
tensioned applications is that the radius of curvature of the tendon profile is also reduced by the
linear scale factor, and this may create unacceptably high bending stresses across the diameter of
the tendon itself in structural applications where the tendon profiles are highly curved.
For prototype structures employing strand, an alternative is to replace individual strands with a
single pre-stressing wire. This could be either a single wire selected from those commercially
available or the single wire removed from the core of a 7-wire strand. Crimping or indenting the
surface may be necessary to achieve the correct bond characteristics but, in the absence of
rigorous studies in this area, this would have to be determined experimentally for each particular
Finally, it should be remembered that pre-stressing is not the only use for very high-strength
steel. Steel products developed for other applications should also be considered. Bicycle
spokes, aircraft control cable, stainless steel strand and piano wire have all been reported as
suitable replacements for pre-stressing strand.5,6
At full scale, tendons are invariably loaded by hydraulic jack. The sequence and number of
wires or strands stressed in the same operation, depends on a number of factors. These include
the pre-stressing method,

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structural application, arrangement of tendons and accuracy required. In pre-stressed concrete
models the same methods are available for applying tendon force as for the prototype structure.
In addition, however, the very great reduction in total cable force often permits alternative
jacking systems to be considered. These may include screw jacks, lever assemblies or dead
weight systems.
Representing the prototype pre-stressing arrangement by a reduced number of similar wires or
strands in the model has been shown, in many cases, to be advantageous. The use of this
modelling technique does, however, have significant implications when it comes to stressing, or,
more exactly, to locking-off the tendon force. In practice, most single wires and strands used in
pre-tensioned concrete are secured by conventional end anchorages comprising barrel and
wedges. In the prototype, overall tendon extension is often of such a magnitude that pull-in of the
wedges during anchoring may be neglected. This is the case particularly in long-line production
of pre-tensioned elements. For shorter cable lengths, usually associated with post-tensioning,
pull-in may also be negligible. Alternatively, it may be compensated for by a small degree of
Clearly, by using tendons of a similar size as the prototype, the effect of wedge pull-in in the
model is considerably more significant by an order of magnitude equal to the linear scale factor.
For example, consider a prototype concrete beam, 20m long, with 16 7-wire pre-stressing
strands stressed initially to 70% of their ultimate tensile strength of 1740 N/mm2. With a
modulus of elasticity for steel of 195 kN/mm2, jack extension is given by

For a typical pull-in of the wedges of 5 mm, this represents a loss of approximately 4% of the
initial jack load.
This structure could be modelled satisfactorily to a scale by a 5 m beam with a single pre-
stressed strand identical to those used in the prototype. In the model, jack extension is also
reduced by the linear scale factor. A similar pull-in of the wedges now represents a loss of 16%
of the initial jack load, for which it is not possible to compensate by temporary overstressing
without exceeding the linear elastic limit of the pre-stressing steel. Moreover, should the actual
pull-in vary by as little as ±1 mm from the estimated figure of 5 mm, this would represent a
significant additional error in overall tendon force in the model.
Such imprecision is not generally acceptable in pre-stressed concrete

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models. To overcome the uncertainties introduced by conventional anchoring with barrel and
wedges, three basic alternative methods have been employed. The first method relies on dead
weight to stress the tendons, either directly or through a system of levers or pulleys. Prestressing
forces are known exactly with this technique, provided the system is calibrated to take account
of any friction in the bearings. This method is really only suitable for small scale models of pre-
tensioned concrete construction, containing a few single wires of small diameter.
For models requiring larger tendon forces, a second method, making use of some form of jack
for applying the load, may be advantageous, as in Fig. 9. For pre-tensioned elements containing
a small number of tendons, hydraulic jacks may be appropriate. They would, however, require
matching calibrations if they were to be powered by the same hydraulic power source. They
would also need to be maintained at the exact load until sufficient bond between steel and
concrete had developed to permit transfer. For large numbers of tendons, or where each tendon
load is different, mechanical screw jacks are usually a cheaper and more convenient solution.
This is the case particularly for post-tensioned concrete models where, generally, it is
impracticable to maintain jack loads hydraulically for the entire life of the test. A serious
disadvantage with screw jacks is that some form of provision must be made at each anchorage
for assessing the applied load. This can take the form of a calibrated load cell, proving ring or
deformable washer. There is a further disadvantage of using this technique for fully bonded post-
tensioned models, since the entire anchorage needs to be effectively sealed to prevent leakage
during pressure grouting. This may make reclamation of valuable stressing and load monitoring
equipment difficult or impossible.

Fig. 9. Direct stressing assembly.

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Fig. 10. Demountable stressing assembly.

The third technique, shown in Fig. 10, is perhaps the most flexible and widely used. The usual
arrangement requires a threaded collar to be positioned between the end of the model and the
conventional barrel anchorage. A cylindrical pull-rod, with an internal diameter sufficient to
clear the barrel, is screwed onto the collar. This is then loaded by means of a demountable
mechanical or hydraulic jack, reacting against the end of the model through a temporary steel
bridge. Applied jack load may be monitored by any of the methods previously mentioned. The
tendon is first stressed to the required load, slotted shims are then placed between the threaded
collar and the end of the model to take up any tendon extension before the jack load is released
and transferred to the anchorage. Since the barrel and wedges are subjected to the full tendon
load, any pull-in of the wedges takes place prior to the insertion of the shims.
Some inaccuracy is unavoidable with this method since it is impossible to shim exactly the
space due to tendon extension. Nevertheless, it is possible to monitor the loss due to shimming
inaccuracies with a calibrated load cell during trials. An appropriate overload may then be
applied to compensate for any shortfall in subsequent stressing operations. Alternatively, for
very short tendons, it may be desirable to measure load directly with a load cell incorporated
into each anchorage. This technique has been employed in the 1/40th scale pressure vessel
model, shown in Fig. 5.
A variation to this technique does away with the threaded collar and the cylindrical pull-rod, the
jack load being applied directly to the end of the tendon with a hollow-ram jack. On the first
loading, shims are inserted to take up the tendon extension as before. However, on release

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of the jack, some considerable proportion of the applied load may be lost through pull-in of the
wedges. The procedure must therefore be repeated until sufficient shims are in place so that they
just become loose when the jack is at full load. Three or four transfers are generally sufficient,
although it may be necessary to provide a slight overload on the jack (determined by calibration)
to achieve the specified load to the required accuracy.
This third method is the most flexible in that it is demountable, only one set of loading apparatus
being necessary. It is, nevertheless, tedious for models containing large numbers of tendons
which must be stressed, in rotation, in small increments. In post-tensioned models, with highly
curved tendons, the procedure of overstressing followed by understressing as the jack load is
released has implications on the final distribution of force along the length of the tendon. This
may not always be disadvantageous and may be used to reduce friction losses due to tendon
Successful modelling of small scale concrete structures depends on strict compliance with
similitude requirements, careful selection of materials (backed up by exhaustive subsidiary
testing), and considerable judgement. For pre-stressed concrete models these attributes are
particularly necessary if the time-dependent nature of some of the losses and the application of
additional self-weight at transfer are to be properly considered. Many of the special features
associated specifically with pre-stressed concrete models are demonstrated here in the design,
construction and testing of a complex bridge model.
Figure 11 shows the general arrangement of a 1/12th scale model of an elevated road bridge.7,8
The cross-section takes the form of a double-cell box girder bifurcating into two separate single-
cell sections. The structure, which is highly curved in plan, is continuous over three intermediate
supports and torsionally restrained at its three ends.
The model was one in an extensive series of similar models commissioned by the Department of
Transport, UK. Its purpose was to provide experimental data for the subsequent validation and
calibration of appropriate computer-based analyses for complex concrete bridge structures. It
was not a direct model of any particular full scale bridge, but

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Fig. 11. General arrangement and typical section of 1/12th scale model (dimensions in mm).
incorporated many features typical of prototype structures of this type. These features included
variations in slab thickness, intermediate diaphragms and wide side cantilevers. Loading was
designed to model the complexity of that applied to a prototype road bridge. Uniformly
distributed traffic loading was represented by individual lane loads; single heavy vehicles were
modelled by patch loads of equivalent intensity. The result, even under the simplest
arrangements of load, was a complex state of stress arising from the continuous variation of
flexural and torsional loads throughout the structure.

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A 1/50th scale sand/araldite model had already provided valuable information in the elastic
range.9 The purpose of this larger scale model was to validate the accuracy of the smaller scale
model in the elastic range and, more importantly, to monitor the behaviour of the structure, after
cracking, up to failure. A strength model was thus essential.
5.1 Design of the model
The initial analysis and design were performed on a typical structure of prototype properties. An
elastic grillage analysis with over 200 elements was used to determine structural response to the
various important combinations of applied load. Full pre-stressing was then provided to ensure
that the important cross-sections did not go into tension at any stage up to full working load. As a
result of the highly irregular general arrangement, specified pre-stressing forces and cable
profiles also varied significantly throughout the structure. On the other hand, unstressed
conventional reinforcement was provided essentially for crack control in each of the wall
elements. Its distribution throughout the model was therefore more uniform and its contribution
to the overall strength of the bridge was of only secondary importance.
Prototype dimensions were subsequently scaled by a linear factor of 12 for the model. As with
many models of such small scale, problems relating to construction were encountered at this
stage. It was clearly impracticable to provide a large number of separate tendons and ducts in
each web to model faithfully the prototype design, not least because of problems with stressing
and grouting. Accordingly, each multi-strand pre-stressing cable in the prototype was replaced
by a single tendon in the model.
Up to six such tendons were used in the central web of the double-cell box; between two and
four were required in all other locations. Where two ducts were placed side by side, severe
congestion resulted, as can be seen in Fig. 12. Since it was anticipated in the prototype design
that the combined effect of the cable profile and the high curvature in plan would result in large
friction losses, cable lengths were limited to a single span. Sets of cables therefore overlapped
at the three intermediate supports and added to the general congestion in the webs. Indeed, over
the intermediate support BB (Fig. 12), congestion was so great that it was necessary to locally
thicken the central web by 25 mm.
A small displacement pump and special poker vibrators of reduced diameter were developed to
ensure satisfactory placing and compaction

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Fig. 12. Pre-stressing ducts causing severe congestion in the thin model webs.
of the microconcrete.8 Plastic tubes used for the delivery of pumped microconcrete beneath the
ducts can be seen protruding from the web end-stops in Fig. 13. Before starting on model
construction, several trial units were cast to assist in the development of the various fabrication
and casting techniques. These were eventually refined to the point where full compaction in the
congested webs could be assured.
The model was constructed in 11 major segments, starting at the bifurcation (Fig. 13) and then
adding to each span in sequence. For each segment, the base was first cast in situ, followed by
the webs, top flange and cantilevers all in one operation. The length of each segment was
generally governed by the position of the next intermediate diaphragm or gauge section. Finally,
all the cantilever upstands were cast in a total of five operations.
5.2 Selection of modelling materials
A gap-graded microconcrete with a maximum aggregate size of 2·4 mm was selected. A similar
mix had been used previously for other models with success.1,10 An exhaustive series of tests
was conducted on control

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Fig. 13. Second segment containing the bifurcation immediately prior to casting of the webs and
top flange.
specimens of full-size and model scale to determine size effects.11 In addition, all the short-term
and time-dependent properties of the microconcrete were evaluated and found to be similar to
those for typical prototype concretes.
Pre-stressing cables in the prototype design were modelled by single 7-wire strands of either
7·9 or 9·5 mm diameter, each in a single duct. These were the smallest conventional strands
commercially available and displayed very similar mechanical properties to the larger diameter
tendons specified in the prototype design. Not surprisingly, such limited choice meant that
compromises were inevitable and not all of the numerous tendon sizes specified could be
modelled exactly. Flexible electrical conduit, formed from thin corrugated steel strip, provided a
watertight duct of appropriate diameter for each strand.
Limited choice of strand size resulted in an overprovision of prestressing steel of the order of
10%. This clearly had a bearing on the ultimate capacity of the structure. Performance at
working loads was not

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affected, however, since the specified jacking loads were provided exactly by reducing the
percentage ultimate tensile stress in each of the strands. This small overprovision in steel area
was not serious in this case, since the model did not represent a particular structure. Any small
variations at this stage could be taken into account in the subsequent mathematical modelling
without invalidating the primary purpose of the model tests. This is not generally the case,
however, and the correct provision of pre-stressing is potentially the most difficult problem for
the modeller and may be a significant factor in determining model scale.
In general, each bar of conventional reinforcement was faithfully reproduced in the model on a
one-for-one basis. Where difficulties arose in obtaining suitable wire of the correct diameter,
some small adjustments were made to bar spacings so as to provide the specified cross-
sectional areas. Sheets of orthogonal welded wire mesh were used to form both faces of each
wall element, supplemented at the corners by additional single wires. No special provision was
made for improving the bond characteristics of the unstressed steel since the positive anchorage
made at each welded connection was deemed to be sufficient. Preliminary trials indicated that
cracks due to predominantly flexural loads were well distributed.8
5.3 Pre-stressing system
Although exact reproduction of individual pre-stressing losses was not essential in this case, it
was necessary to closely match the distribution of cable forces after losses to that assumed in the
design analysis. Thus, the ability to apply and measure very small increments of load at both
ends of each of the 26 tendons was an important consideration in the design of a suitable
stressing system. The large number of end anchorages also had a strong influence on the choice
of pre-stressing methods. Further important factors were the method of applying the additional
self-weight and the need for simultaneous stressing of all tendons, to avoid introducing
distortions to this complex model during pre-stressing.
Simultaneous stressing of each cable by hydraulic jack would have been the ideal solution using
shims or threaded collars to take up the resulting extension in the tendons. However, due to the
large number of pump units required to supply all the various jacking loads, this solution was
discounted on the grounds of cost. The stressing system finally adopted was similar to that
shown in Fig. 10, and incorporated a finely threaded screw jack at each position. This reacted
against the model

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through a load cell onto a combined steel anchorage plate and grout entry block. The body of the
jack was prevented from rotation during stressing by linking it to a similar jack on the adjacent
web (Fig. 14). At the other end of the assembly the rotating part of the jack had a hexagonal
cross-section to facilitate loading by spanner. Its extreme end surface was polished and reacted
against a circular steel plate coated with PTFE. The strand passed through the entire assembly
and was anchored with a conventional barrel and wedges. Since these assemblies were not
demountable, one was provided at each of the 52 cable anchorages.
5.4 Modelling of pre-stressing losses
In any pre-stressed concrete structure it is rarely sufficient to consider the jacking load alone; the
magnitude of pre-stressing losses and their distribution along the length of the structure must also
be taken into account. In post-tensioned structures, employing highly curved tendon profiles, the
effects of friction may be of particular significance. This is equally true in the structural model.
It is not possible simply to specify jacking loads; considerable attention needs to be paid to all
the various loss mechanisms if the level of pre-stress in the prototype is to be scaled accurately
at every cross-section.
Pre-stress losses due to pull-in of the wedges were eliminated entirely by the method of jacking
adopted. The jacks, which were screwed shut before stressing, were each designed to
accommodate the full cable extension and pull-in of wedges at both ends (approximately 50
mm). This provided flexibility and enabled the decision, on whether to stress from one or both
ends, to be deferred until the level of frictional losses could be more accurately assessed. The
stressing procedure finally adopted involved a complex incremental application of prestress
which is described in more detail elsewhere.7,8 Short-term losses due to creep, shrinkage and
relaxation in the first 7 days were eliminated by restressing to the required initial value before
grouting. Allowances for long-term losses over the anticipated life of the model were made on
the evidence of material tests.
Due to double curvature of the tendons, the greatest pre-stress loss was expected to be due to
friction. An accurate assessment of the extent of this loss was desirable in order to enable the
sequence and level of stressing increments to be predetermined. A 6-m-long straight test beam
was constructed for this purpose, with duct tubes positioned so as to simulate, as accurately as
possible, the length and curvature of several

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Fig. 14. Pairs of stressing assemblies clamped together.

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Fig. 15. Model test beam for determining friction losses in 1/12th scale bifurcated bridge model.
typical prestressing tendons in the model (Fig. 15). Duct tubes were formed in spirals around the
beam, attached to stirrups as necessary. Secondary reinforcement was provided to carry the
large torsional stresses that would be induced by pre-stressing.
Cables were subsequently passed through the ducts in the trial beam and stressed in small
increments from one end. Anchorage loads at the other end were then recorded to give an
estimate of friction losses over the length of each tendon. The coefficient of friction determined
in this way was not linear, as expected, over the full range of loads. At low loads it had a value
of 0·15 reducing to 0·10 at the full jacking load. Since wobble losses had been found to be
negligible, it was concluded that this difference was due to the relatively stiff single cable
springing against the duct tube, resulting in additional friction during the early stages of the test.
Values of the coefficient of friction determined in the beam trials were less than those assumed
in the initial prototype design. The correct distribution of cable force was thus attainable in the
model without resorting to overstressing, lubrication of the duct or stressing alternately from
both ends.
Complete grouting of the ducts after stressing is essential in strength models if post-cracking
behaviour is to be correctly simulated. With cement grout this is always a concern due to the
need for very high grouting pressure and the very real possibility of blockage. The friction

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test beam was subsequently used for grouting trials. Cement grouts did in fact block easily
irrespective of pumping pressures so the opportunity was taken to evaluate alternative
formulations. Epoxy resin proved the most suitable with regard to viscosity and strength, its long
pot life enabling it to be pumped through the duct until all the air had been expelled. Extensive
trials on a series of six concrete beams12 demonstrated that epoxy resin was an excellent
alternative to cement grout. Under quasi-static short-term loading up to failure, the width and
distribution of cracks in beams grouted with resin were very similar to those in otherwise
identical beams grouted with cement.
5.5 Testing and results
A loading rig was designed to enable uniformly distributed loads to be applied to 15 different
areas, each representing a lane within a single span (Fig. 16). In the elastic range, results from
each of these load cases could be superimposed for any required load combination. Provision
was also made for 13 separate patch loads, to represent abnormal vehicle loading. The loading
sequence was:
(a) separate lane loads to 10 kN/m, in four equal increments;
(b) individual 12·5 kN patch loads, equivalent to 1800 kN in the prototype;

Fig. 16. Lane load numbering system.

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(c) separate lane loads from 12·5 to 20kN/m in four equal increments;
(d) all lanes loaded with uniformly distributed load to failure.
Over 1000 electrical resistance strain gauges were employed to monitor surface strains at 12
important cross-sections. These were only useful before cracking but provided an excellent
opportunity to compare various analytical approaches such as the finite element, grillage and
equivalent beam methods. These methods predicted elastic behaviour in load case (a), with first
cracking occurring under load case (b). This behaviour is confirmed by the deflection
measurements for five typical lane loads presented in Fig. 17. The bilinear nature of some of the
deflections measured under increasing load shows clearly that a change of stiffness occurred
during patch loading, between load cases (a) and (c).

Fig. 17. Typical load-deflection curves resulting from individual lane loadings. Displacement
measured at centre of loaded span.
Results from 33 pairs of linear strain gauges, located around a single cross-section within the
complex bifurcated region, provided a good estimate of the distribution of axial stress due to a
single lane load within the elastic range. These are presented in Fig. 18 where they are
compared with the stress distributions obtained from both finite element and grillage analyses.
Although the finite element method yielded the most accurate results, it requires considerable
computer capacity. Despite the limitations of a two-dimensional grillage approach, this is seen
to give a

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Fig. 18. Comparison of axial stresses at the bifurcation due to loading lane 11.
good estimate of the axial stress distribution around the cross-section.
In Fig. 19, point estimates of bending moment and torsion at each of the gauged cross-sections
have been determined from experimental results. These compare favourably with the
longitudinal distributions of bending moment and torsion determined from grillage and

Fig. 19. Distributions of (a) bending moment, and (b) torsion, along the bifurcated bridge model
due to loading lane 8.

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beam analyses. Extensive comparisons between experiment and theory, presented
elsewhere,8,13 yield excellent general agreement both before and after cracking.
In many respects the techniques applied to modelling pre-stressed concrete structures are not so
very different from those already well-established in the field of reinforced concrete. Indeed, for
fully pre-stressed elements, under working loads, the problem is often simplified since
behaviour is almost certainly elastic. It is then sufficient to use elastic materials, other than steel
and concrete, and to apply the effects of pre-stressing as equivalent external loads.
In the plastic range, approaching collapse, behaviour is very similar to that of reinforced
concrete and generally may be modelled to a high degree of accuracy provided sufficient care is
taken over geometrical scaling and the choice of modelling materials. It is in the inelastic post-
cracking range that the greatest problems occur. In this range it may become important to
consider the effects of (i) bond between steel and concrete, (ii) the interaction of stressed and
unstressed reinforcement, and (iii) the time-dependent nature of the various mechanisms of pre-
stressing loss. This is particularly so for partially pre-stressed concrete models, in which this
inelastic behaviour exists over the greater part of the load range.
In summary, no insurmountable problems exist in modelling pre-stressed concrete structures.
However, over and above the normal requirements of all concrete strength models, there are
significant additional factors that need to be considered. Some considerable effort has been
directed towards the treatment of small scale wire so as to impart to it the characteristics of full
scale mild or high yield steel reinforcement. There is an urgent need for similar research applied
to small scale pre-stressing wires and tendons. A good starting point here would be to assimilate
all the data from successful pre-stressed concrete models from the technical literature. This
research should not be limited to the provision of suitable small scale pre-stressing wires and
strands, but should encompass the wider problem of identifying suitable small scale anchorages,
ducting and grouts. Such developments will eventually enable physical models to be applied
with more confidence to the difficult

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areas of partial pre-stressing, time-dependent response and inelastic behaviour.
Photographs are reproduced by kind permission of the Cement and Concrete Association (Figs 1
and 2); Imperial College (London), Department of Civil Engineering (Figs 4, 7, 12–15); and
Taylor Woodrow Construction Ltd (Fig. 5). Parafil is a trade name of Imperial Chemical
Industries plc.
The bridge model described in the case study was commissioned by the Department of Transport
(UK), Highway Engineering Computing Branch.
1. Swann, R.A., The construction and testing of a one-sixteenth scale model for the prestressed
concrete superstructure of Section 5, Western Avenue Extension. Cement and Concrete
Association, TR441, July 1970.
2. Willams, M.S. & Waldron, P., Movement of unbonded post-tensioning tendons during
demolition. Proc. Inst. of Civil Engrs (London), 87 (1989) 225–53.
3. Moncrieff, M.L.A., Comparison of theoretical and experimenal test results for a ribbed
spherical vessel. In Proc. of Conference on Prestressed Concrete Pressure Vessels. Institution
of Civil Engineers, London, 1968, pp. 469–79.
4. Burgoyne, C.J. & Chambers, J.J., Prestressing with Parafil tendons. Concrete, 19(1985) 12–
5. Carpenter, J.E., Roll, F. & Zelman, M.I., Techniques and materials for structural models. Am.
Conc. Inst., SP-24 (1970) 41–63.
6. Sabnis, G.M. et al., Structural Modelling and Experimental Techniques. Prentice-Hall, New
Jersey, 1983.
7. Perry, S.H., Waldron, P. & Pinkney, M.W., Design and construction of a model prestressed
concrete box girder bridge. Proc. Instn. of Civil Engrs. (London), 79 (1985) 439–54.
8. Perry, S.H., Pinkney, M.W. & Waldron, P., Prestressed concrete box girder bifurcated bridge
project. Department of Civil Engineering, Imperial College (London), Report, Vols 1, 2, 3/1 and
3/2, 1980–81.
9. Billington, C.J. & Dowling, P.J., Bifurcated elevated highways. Department of Civil
Engineering, Imperial College (London), Reports BB1–9, 1972–73.
10. Danesi, R.F. & Edwards, A.D., Bending, torsion and distortion of prestressed concrete box
beams of deformable cross-section: a comparison of experimental and theoretical results. Proc.
Instn. of Civil Engrs., (London), 73 (1982) 789–810.

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11. Waldron, P. & Perry, S.H., Small Scale Microconcrete Control Specimens. Reinforced and
Prestressed Concrete Models, ed. F.K.Garas & G.S.T.Armer. The Construction Press, London,
1980, pp. 261–76.
12. Waldron, P., Perry, S.H. & Pinkney, M.W., Similitude in prestressed microconcrete models.
Journal of the American Concrete Institute, No. 6, 82 (1985) 818–27.
13. Pinkney, M.W., Perry, S.H. & Waldron, P., Elastic analysis and experimental behaviour up to
collapse of a 1:12 scale model prestressed concrete bifurcated bridge. Proc. Instn. of Civil
Engrs., (London), 79 (1985) 455–81.

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7Model Analysis of Slabs
School of Civil Engineering, The University of Birmingham, UK
Concrete slabs are relatively thin, flat, structural elements, whose main function is to transmit
loading normal to their plane. The two-dimensional nature of a slab creates difficulties in
analysis (i.e. mathematical modelling) and in physical modelling. In order to model a slab and
its supports, and to interpret the results of a test on a model slab, it is essential to understand
how a slab behaves at various load levels (uncracked, cracked and at collapse). It is also
essential to appreciate how the various size effects can influence model slab behaviour. These
points are discussed in the following sections, and some examples of successful model testing of
slabs are given.
A thorough description of the behaviour of slabs under a variety of loadings has been given by
Cope & Clark.1 Only a brief description is given here.
Engineers sometimes attempt to visualise the response of slabs to loading by imagining them to
behave as a system of beams, and this can sometimes lead to features being overlooked. For
example, it is apparent

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that a concentrated load on a slab supported on its edges is likely to create a zone of sagging
moments about its point of application. It is, perhaps, less obvious that this will also happen
when the load is applied to a cantilever. Such behaviour is illustrated in Fig. 1, which shows the
cracks on a model of a cantilever of the Mancunian Way subjected to concentrated wheel
loads.2,3 The soffit cracks due to sagging bending are evident.

Fig. 1. Sagging bending cracks in cantilever.

When a portion of a slab is bent about any axis, Poisson’s ratio effect causes a curvature, of
opposite sign to the main bending curvature, about the orthogonal axis. Thus, application of
equal and opposite couples about two opposite edges causes a saddle shape to form. This effect,
and the inherent torsional stiffness, produces a tendency for slabs to lift off supports at corners.
In Fig. 2, a corner of a slab resting on two walls is shown. The deflection profile on diagonal
A–A′ due to loading is compared with that of a series of beams. If uplift is prevented, hogging
moments are created in the corner zone of the slab.
Because of the complicated nature of slab action, the distribution of load to the supporting
structural system can differ substantially from that of a set of beams. In Fig. 3, the reaction
distribution along the edge of a

Fig. 2. Slab action at a corner.

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Fig. 3. Skew slab reactions.

parallelogram-shaped slab, subjected to a uniformly distributed loading, is compared with that
from a set of beams. A skew slab transmits a considerable portion of the loading to the obtuse
corners. In addition, although the reactions from the beams are statically determinate, those from
the slab are not, and their values can be very sensitive to the position and stiffness of the
bearings provided.4,5 Hence, care has to be taken when modelling slab support systems.
The distributions of load in a panel of a large slab depends greatly on the nature of the
supporting system. In Fig. 4, which is based on Ref. 6, the distributions of the bending moment in
the y direction (My) on the

Fig. 4. Comparison of panels on beams and columns (after Ref. 6, by permission of CIRIA,
London): (a) moments; (b) load distribution.

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centre and support lines of square panels of two large slabs subjected to a unifom loading and
supported on regular grids are compared. For the first slab the supports on the grid lines are stiff
beams or walls, and it can be seen that the maximum moments occur in the cente regions,
between the support lines. However, for the second slab, which is supported on columns at the
intersections of the grid lines, the maximum moments occur in the vicinity of the grid lines. For
rectangular panels, slabs supported on stiff beams span primarily between the long beams, but
the same panels supported on a grid of columns span primarily in the longer direction, and the
transverse moments are confined to a limited width either side of the grid lines Hence, care has
to be taken when modelling part of a slab to ensure that the model boundary conditions preserve
the type of action which would occur in the complete prototype slab.
Up to now, the influence of material properties on slab behaviour has not been considered. This
will now be discussed in relation to the skew slab bridge shown in Fig. 5(a), which is subjected
to a uniformly distributed load and a concentrated load P, near to an obtuse corner, which is
gradually increased to cause failure.
When the load level is insufficient to cause cracking, the slab behaves as a linear elastic plate.
The directions of the principal moments are orientated approximately perpendicular to the
support lines in the centre zone and parallel to the free edges in the edge zones. Reactions are
concentrated in the obtuse corners.
As the load is increased, cracks form on the soffit perpendicular to the principal moment
directions as shown in Fig. 5(b). The cracking load and the crack directions are largely
independent of the reinforcement. However, the crack spacings and widths do depend on the
reinforcement areas and directions.
At higher loads, the soffit cracks spread (but remain in the same directions) and top surface
cracks form in, and radiate from, the obtuse corners. Eventually, the reinforcement in one
direction may commence

Fig. 5. Skew slab bridge: (a) plan; (b) initial cracks; (c) final cracks.

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yielding. Once this occurs, a second state of cracks can form at an angle to the existing set, as the
internal forces are redistributed by the slab in its attempt to carry further load [see Fig. 5(c)].
Hence, it is emphasised that the principal crack directions at failure can be very different to
those under working loads. Although crack directions under working loads are independent of
the reinforcement and can be predicted by linear slab theories, crack directions at collapse are
strongly influenced by the quantities and directions of the reinforcement provided.
If the concentrated loading is heavy compared with the distributed loading it is also possible for
failure to occur in the obtuse corner by punching shear before any of the steel yields.
Thus, there are a great number of possible modes of behaviour and failure of a slab or slab
system. The model engineer should be aware of these before attempting to model a slab or to
interpret the results of a slab model test.
Material properties are discussed fully in Chapters 3 and 4. However, the properties which can
particularly influence the behaviour of model slabs are mentioned here.
3.1 Reinforcement
Any of the model reinforcements discussed in Chapters 3 and 4 can be used for slabs. However,
prototype slabs are generally reinforced with bars in orthogonal directions, and, very often,
there are both top and bottom layers of reinforcement. The modelling of such reinforcement
implies large numbers of model bars which have to be tied. The fabrication times of such model
reinforcement cages can be extremely long. As an example some 1:6 slab models of part of a
continuous slab bridge tested at the University of Birmingham each took about 13 man-weeks to
fabricate.55 In order to reduce such fabrication times, the following methods have often been
(a) The use of larger diameter model bars at larger spacings than required for true scaling from
the prototype. This enables the correct steel area per unit width to be achieved with less bars to
(b) The use of small size prefabricated welded mesh reinforcement to avoid tying of loose

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Each of those methods is acceptable unless crack patterns and widths are of particular interest in
the model test.
With respect to (a), bar spacing influences the crack pattern, and the spacings and widths of
cracks.9,10 Hence, the use of non-scaled bar diameters and spacings in a model result in a
misleading cracking behaviour of the model.
The locations of the welded intersections of welded mesh influence the formation of cracks,11
whereas with loose tied bars the spacing of the transverse bars in unlikely to influence
significantly the crack spacing.9,12 Hence, the use of small scale welded mesh to simulate
prototype loose bars can result in erroneous predictions of prototype cracking behaviour from a
model test. However, it should be stated that some investigators believe that the welded
intersections do not necessarily act as stress raisers.13
3.2 Microconcrete
3.2.1 Poisson’s ratio
In the modelling of framed structures, it is generally not important to ensure similitude of
Poisson’s ratio between model and prototype. However, when modelling a slab, similitude of
Poisson’s ratio is important because, particularly in the uncracked phase, Poisson’s ratio affects
behaviour. For example, the constitutive equations for an elastic isotropic slab are:

where Mx, etc.=bending and twisting moments per unit length ∂2w/∂x2, etc.=curvatures
t=slab thickness
E=elastic modulus
v=Poisson’s ratio
Fortunately, microconcrete, whether made from cement-sand, cement-

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pumice or plaster-sand, has a Poisson’s ratio essentially the same as that of prototype concrete,
i.e. about 0·2.14,15
3.2.2 Tensile strength
The ratio of tensile strength to compressive strength is generally greater for microconcrete than
prototype concrete.15 However, this effect can be mitigated by using:
(a) an aggregate grading curve for the microconcrete which reduces the amount of fine particles
to a very small amount;16
(b) a gap graded aggregate;17
(c) a rounded aggregate;18
(d) certain types of aggregate (e.g. some limestones);19
(e) glass beads;20
(f) coated aggregate.21
3.2.3 Shear transfer
Boswell & Wong22 have compared the shear transfer properties of cracked microconcrete and
cracked prototype concrete. The form of their results is shown is Fig. 6. It can be seen from Fig.
6(b) that, although the peak shear stress which can be transmitted across a crack is essentially
independent of aggregate size, the shear stress for micro-concrete (2 mm aggregate) decreases
rapidly from its peak value to a residual value of only about half of its peak value. In addition,
Fig. 6(c) shows that a microconcrete specimen is less stiff, with regard to shear displacement,
than a prototype specimen. These effects are due to the aggregate interlock effect being
dependent on the maximum aggregate size.

Fig. 6. Shear transfer: (a) crack; (b) shear stress-normal displacement; (c) shear displacement-
normal displacement.

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4.1 Cracking moment
Clark10,16 has shown, from tests on 1:3·7 and 1:10 scale models of prototype one-way
spanning slabs, that similitude of cracking moment can best be obtained by designing the model
concrete mix to have the same tensile strength determined from scaled control specimens as that
of the prototype control specimens. However, unless the flexural tensile strength is used, an
increase in relative cracking moment with a decrease in specimen depth occurs. Such an
increase in cracking moment can have the following important effects when modelling a slab.
1. It has been explained in Section 2 that, in general, two sets of cracks occur in a slab: an initial
set, and a subsequent set associated with failure. If the cracking moment of a model slab is
excessively high, it is feasible that an alternative failure mode could develop before the second
set of cracks has had an opportunity to develop. Hence, predictions of prototype behaviour close
to collapse could be in error.
2. If the cracking moment of a model of a lightly reinforced slab is excessively high, the failure
moment of the uncracked section can exceed that of the cracked section, whereas the opposite
could be the case for the prototype slab. If slab failure occurs in a flexural mode, the prototype
failure load could be overestimated by the results of the model test, and the predicted failure
mode could be incorrect.
Crack spacing and widths
It is generally accepted that, as specimen size decreases, the number of cracks decreases and,
hence, the relative crack spacing increases.10,15 Furthermore, for one-way spanning slabs,
crack widths at a distance from the reinforcement are always relatively less in models than
prototypes, whereas those over the reinforcement can be either relatively greater or less in
models than prototypes depending on the type of model reinforcement.
These size effects mean that, in general, it is very difficult to predict prototype crack widths
from a model test. This is because the cracks, generally, cross, at an angle, two or more layers of
reinforcement in

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different directions. Furthermore, as discussed in Section 2, there are generally two distinct sets
of cracks in a slab.
4.3 Ductility
Reinforced microconcrete models of flexural members are more ductile (i.e. have greater
rotation capacities) than their prototype counterparts.23 The implication of this is that a model
test could predict an under-reinforced ductile failure of a prototype slab, whereas the actual
failure could be in an over-reinforced, and less ductile, mode.
4.4 Flexural and punching shear
It is well known that a significant size effect occurs with respect to flexural shear capacity24 and
punching shear capacity,6 with model capacities exceeding, relatively, prototype capacities. For
conventional aggregates, the ratio of model to prototype shear capacities is approximately
proportional to the fourth root of the model scale when the model and prototype concrete are of
the same strength. Attempts have been made to eliminate the shear size effect by adopting a weak
model concrete mix.55 However, since shear capacity is approximately proportional to the cube
root of concrete strength,6 it is necessary, in order to eliminate the size effect, to have a model
strength equal to the prototype strength divided by the scale factor to the power 0·75. Such a
reduction is only feasible for large scale models with scale factors less than about 2·5.
Furthermore, the use of low strength concrete can significantly distort the behaviour of a model
at all stages of loading.
In general, it is necessary to accept that the shear size effect will occur and to bear in mind,
when interpreting the model results, that a shear failure could occur in the prototype when it has
not occurred in the model. This is a greater problem in slabs, which can develop two types of
shear failure (flexural or punching) than it is in framed structures for which only a flexural shear
failure can occur.
In order to mitigate the shear strength size effect, scaled aggregate25 and scaled control
specimens26 should always be used.
4.5 In-plane shear
If a slab, or slab assemblage, is subjected to in-plane shear forces, then, after cracking, shear is
transmitted across cracks by a combination of

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dowel action of the reinforcement and aggregate interlock. Such in-plane shears can be important
when, for example, a cellular, or box girder, bridge (which are slab assemblages) fails by the
formation of a collapse mechanism involving shear discontinuities at the web/flange junctions,
as shown in Fig. 7. Cookson27 tested model cellular bridges and found that collapse loads for
such mechanisms were much less than those predicted. He concluded that there was a significant
size effect associated with the strength of a shear discontinuity. The subsequent tests of Boswell
& Wong22 (see Section 3.2.3 and Fig. 6) confirmed the existence of this size effect. Boswell &
Wong allowed for the size effect to make improved predictions of the strength of Cookson’s

Fig. 7. Shear discontinuities in cellular slabs.

Hence, for slab assemblages, the in-plane shear transfer size effect can result in the development
of different failure modes to those which would occur in prototype structures, and the
underestimation of prototype failure loads.
5.1 Boundary conditions
A slab is a highly redundant structural element. This fact is of considerable importance when
physical boundary conditions are simulated in a model test.
5.5.1 Supports
If a complete slab is modelled, it is very important that both the positions and stiffnesses of the
supports are accurately simulated. For example, Andra & Leonhardt4 have shown that the
reaction at an obtuse corner

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of a highly skewed slab subjected to a concentrated load at a free edge, as shown in Fig. 8,
increases considerably as the number of stiff bearings along an edge increases. For 4, 9, and 12
bearings, the obtuse corner reactions are in the approximate ratio of 1·0:1·5:1·6. The slab
bending moments are also modified. Hence, any attempt to simplify a model slab by reducing the
number of bearings can result in reactions and moments being underestimated.

Fig. 8. Skew slab bearings.

The distributions of reactions and moments in a slab are extremely sensitive to bearing
stiffnesses. In the case of stiff slabs, considerable redistribution of reactions and moments
occurs even for very small vertical displacements. Mehmel & Weise5 have studied this problem
experimentally and the form of their results is shown in Fig. 9 for the case

Fig. 9. Influence of bearing stiffness on skew slab reactions.

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of a 30° skew slab subjected to a uniformly distributed load. It can be seen that the introduction
of flexible bearings considerably reduces the obtuse corner reaction, and uplift no longer occurs
at the second bearing, as it does when the bearings are rigid. It can also be seen that the bearing
flexibility influences the obtuse corner reaction. The ‘flexible’ bearing has one-quarter of the
stiffness of the ‘stiff’ bearing, and results in about a 30% reduction in obtuse corner reaction.
The slab moments, particularly those at points near to an obtuse corner, are also influenced by
bearing stiffness.
It is clear that in order to predict prototype effects from a model slab it is necessary to simulate
accurately bearing stiffness. Dimensional analysis can be used to show that the following
relationship should obtain to ensure similitude:
where km and kp are, respectively, the model and prototype bearing stiffnesses, and λ (≥1) is the
scale factor. Hence, in absolute terms, model bearings should be less stiff than their prototype
counterparts. Thus considerable errors can result if rigid bearings are used in a model test of a
prototype slab supported on, for example, elastomeric bearings.
5.1.2 Modelling of part of a slab
It is quite common for just part of a slab or a slab system to be modelled. When this is done very
careful consideration has to be given to modelling boundary conditions in the part-slab, such that
both compatibility and equilibrium conditions are simulated. The problems which occur are
illustrated by considering flat slab structures.
Many investigators have studied punching shear in flat slabs by testing isolated columns with
their associated portions of slab. However, very different results can be obtained depending on
the chosen extent of the associated portion of slab.
A typical flat slab is shown in Fig. 10. Many tests have been carried out on specimens of the
type shown in Fig. 11 (a) with the intention of simulating punching at an internal column. This
simplified model consists of a column stub and a portion of slab extending to the line of
contraflexure around the column. In a reinforced concrete slab there are three major errors
introduced by the use of this simple model:28
(i) When moment transfer occurs between slab and column, the simple model does not simulate
the true boundary conditions.

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Fig. 10. Flat slab.

Fig. 11. Internal column models: (a) simple; (b) full panel.
This can be seen from Fig. 12 which shows the deflected form of an actual flat slab in which
moment transfer occurs.
(ii) The simple model is statically determinate and thus moment redistribution cannot occur as it
does in an actual structure.
(iii) If failure were to occur in an actual flat slab, considerable membrane action would develop
through the restraint provided by the non-failing rigid material surrounding the failure zone. Such
membrane action cannot develop in the simple model.
In order to overcome the above problems, Long29 developed a more

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Fig. 12. Deflected shape of flat slab when column subjected to moment transfer.
realistic model for simulating internal columns. This model [see Fig. 11 (b)], which has been
described by Long & Masterson,28 extends to mid-way between columns in both directions, and
incorporates carefully controlled boundary conditions. The model ensures that deflected profiles
are properly simulated, and allows moment redistribution and membrane action to develop.
Tests carried out using the improved model exhibited failure loads at least 50% greater than
those obtained using the simple model.
The simple model has further drawbacks if the slab is post-tensioned with unbonded
(i) The parasitic effects of pre-stressing do not occur.
(ii) The tendons are short and, thus, develop larger stresses at failure than would occur in an
actual flat slab.
(iii) The average pre-stress at a column in an actual flat slab is affected by the overall tendon
arrangement and is not the stress due solely to the tendons in the vicinity of the column.
The simulation of an edge column is now considered. Again, many investigators have used a
simplified one-column model as shown in Fig. 13(a). However, such a model does not satisfy
the compatibility condi-

Fig. 13. Edge column models: (a) simple; (b) twin column.

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tions near to an edge column of an actual flat slab, and does not necessarily fail in the same
mode as would an actual flat slab.32 In order to overcome these problems, Gilbert & Long32
developed the two-column model shown in Fig. 13(b) on the basis of work by Neth.33 This
model combined the two shaded areas shown in Fig. 10. Tests results34 obtained from the more
complex model of Fig. 13(b) showed that, compared with the simple model of Fig. 13(a):
(i) Moment transfer from slab to column was less.
(ii) Punching occurred rather than torsional failures.
(iii) Cracking caused a greater proportion of the moment transfer to the column to be absorbed
by the lower column.
Long34 also reported that, provided that realistic moment/shear ratios are used, the simple
model of Fig. 13(a) can give good results. However, a more complex model is necessary to
determine a realistic ratio for use with the simple model.
In the above discussions, it has been mentioned that, in the simple statically determinate models,
moment redistribution is not simulated. However, since moment redistribution is equivalent to
moving the line of contraflexure, it is possible approximately to simulate moment redistribution
by testing a number of simple models with loads applied at different radii from the column so as
to produce different moment/shear ratios.33,35 The author has used a similar technique to
simulate moment redistribution in continuous slab bridge models, in which only an interior
support and that part of the slab between lines of contraflexure were modelled. Once the moment
capacity of the model had been reached, the loads were gradually moved towards the support to
increase the shear/moment ratio.55
5.2 Loading
Slabs are, generally, subjected to both concentrated and distributed loads. The representation of
a distributed load in a model test can be achieved in one of three ways: (a) kentledge; (b) fluid
pressure; or (c) simulation by means of point loads.
Various materials have been used for kentledge including water,36 and combined systems, such
as layers of sand and steel blocks.37
Fluid pressure can be used by creating either a positive pressure or a vacuum. The usual
pressure loading system consists of a flexible bag which, when pressurised, reacts against the
surface of the slab under test

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and a reaction rig. Particular attention has to be given to the edges of a bag. These can be either
restrained, or unrestrained, as shown in Figs 14 (a) and (b). If restrained it is essential that the
restraining system should not also restrain the slab. If unrestrained, the bag can, when
pressurised, extend over the edge of the slab, as shown in Fig. 14(b), and, hence, apply lateral
restraining forces to the slab.

Fig. 14. Fluid pressure loading: (a) restrained; (b) unrestrained.

Another point to note when using a fluid pressure system of loading is that the load acts
perpendicular to the slab surface. Hence, true loading conditions may not be simulated for
particular slabs, such as a folded plate roof. Indeed, even in the case of an originally horizontal
slab subjected to gravity loading, prototype loads at collapse could be at a significant angle to
the slab surface if large deformations occur prior to collapse. Pressure loading of a model slab
could give misleading results at failure of such slabs.
It is very common to simulate a distributed load by means of a number of point loads. However,
there are a number of matters which should be considered when using such a loading system:
these are discussed below.
It is necessary to choose the load level at which the slab moment field is to be accurately
simulated. A set of point loads which accurately simulates the service load moment field may not
necessarily also simulate the collapse moment field. If elastic service load moments are to be
simulated then it is often possible to do this with just a few point loads. For example, in model
studies of skew slab bridges, Clark38,39 found it possible to simulate the elastic moment field
due to the actual loads shown in Fig. 15(a) by the point loads shown in Fig. 15(b). The vehicle
loading, and part of the uniformly distributed loads, were applied by means of a loading rig
consisting of eight point loads; and the knife edge load plus the rest of the uniformly distributed
loads were applied by means of a second loading rig consisting of five point loads. Very careful
attention has to be given to the articulation of such multiple load rigs to prevent lateral restraints
being applied to the slab when large deformations occur at collapse.

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Fig. 15. Model skew slab: (a) required loads; (b) equivalent loads; (c) yield line pattern.
Useful information, in the form of charts, for assessing the positions and magnitudes of point
loads to simulate distributed loading has been given by Pahl & Soosar.40
Point loads can cause local cracking of a slab, and such cracking can significantly modify the
relative values of the longitudinal and transverse slab stiffnesses. Hence, moment distributions
could be different from those anticipated under distributed loading.7
The use of point loads instead of distributed loading can result in the prototype collapse load
and mode being incorrectly predicted from the results of a model test. This will be illustrated by
means of two examples. The skew slab bridge shown in Fig. 15 is considered first. A possible
prototype collapse mechanism consisting of yield lines is shown in Fig. 15(c). It can readily be
appreciated that the locations of the model point loads on the right hand side of Fig. 15(b) will
significantly influence the positions of the inclined sagging yield lines of Fig. 15(c). Hence,

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the point loads may adequately reproduce prototype service load behaviour, they could result in
a predicted failure mechanism and collapse load different to those which would occur in the
prototype slab.
Long34 has also discussed how the choice of the number and positions of point loads to simulate
distributed loading can influence the failure load of a flat slab in the vicinity of an edge column.
Models were loaded with either five or four point loads as shown in Fig. 16. The values of the
loads were such that the ratio of moment to shear was the same in each case. However, the five-
point loaded model failed at a higher load, because the fifth loading point (on the line of the
column) influenced, and changed the shape of, the failure surface, as shown in Fig. 16.

Fig. 16. Edge column model (after Ref. 34, by permission of BRE, Garston, UK): (a) five point
loads; (b) four point loads.
6.1 General
In general the instrumentation used for model slabs is similar to that used for other types of
concrete structure (e.g. a frame). However, the two dimensional nature of a slab has two
important influences on the choice of instrumentation, because (a) principal strain and curvature
directions are not necessarily known in advance, and (b) optical techniques have wider
applications. These points are discussed in the following sections.
6.2 Strain and curvature
In a framed structure, the principal strain and curvature directions are, generally, quite obvious
and uniaxial gauges can be used. In some slabs, the principal directions can be predicted with
reasonable accuracy, and biaxial measurements of strain or curvature can be made in the

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directions. However, for the majority of slab model tests, it is not obvious in advance which are
the principal directions. Indeed, even if the elastic principal directions could be predicted, the
principal directions after cracking (and, particularly, close to collapse) could be very different
from the elastic directions. Hence, in general, when testing a model slab it is necessary at any
one point to measure strains or curvatures in at least three directions, so that the principal values
can be obtained.
At this juncture it is worth mentioning the gauge length required for reasonable assessments of
strains in concrete slabs. In the case of uncracked concrete a minimum gauge length of three
times the maximum aggregate size is required to smooth variations in strain between points over
aggregate particles and points over the cement matrix.17 However, after cracking, a gauge length
which extends across four cracks is required in order to smooth variations due to the cracks.41
Since major cracks form at an average spacing of 1·33 times the crack height,42 a gauge length
of about four times the slab thickness is required. Cope et al.41 give indications of the errors
involved if shorter gauge lengths are used. They report the results of uniform torsion tests on 50-
mm-thick slabs. Strains were measured using 100 and 200 mm gauge lengths in four directions at
a number of instrumented points throughout a theoretically uniform strain field. Although it was
possible to construct a single Mohr’s circle for the average strains in the four directions when
using a 200 mm gauge length, it was not possible when using a 100 mm gauge length. In the latter
case strains measured in the same direction at different points in the ‘uniform’ strain field
differed considerably (sometimes by over 100%).
The above points need to be considered when interpreting strain data from locations of rapidly
varying moment. Such locations are common in slabs (e.g. at the obtuse corners of a skew slab).
The above comments on gauge lengths for strain measurements are also applicable to curvature
Andra & Leonhardt4 and Mehmel & Weise5 have described an instrument for determining
curvatures of slabs, which can also determine bending and twisting moments if Poisson’s ratio is
known. The instrument measures curvatures in each of two orthogonal directions by measuring
displacements relative to two fixed points. If the instrument is positioned so as to measure
curvatures in the x and y coordinate directions (i.e. ∂2w/∂x2 and ∂2w/∂y2), then, if Poisson’s
ratio is known, the bending moments Mx and My can be determined from eqn (1). Similarly, if
the instrument is positioned so as to measure curvatures in directions

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at 45° to the x and y directions (i.e. ∂2w/∂x∂y and ∂2w/∂y∂x), the twisting moment Mxy can be
determined from eqn (1). By setting a control on the instrument, the following curvature
‘additions’ are carried out electronically for a particular value of Poisson’s ratio (v):

The gauge lengths of the instruments described by Andra & Leonhardt4 and Mehmel & Weise5
were only 30 and 40mm, respectively. However, the same principle can be applied to longer
gauge lengths.
6.3 Optical techniques
The two-dimensional nature of a slab makes it suitable for monitoring by means of various
optical techniques, such as: photogrammetry, Moire fringe, speckle holography, and holographic
Before using such techniques, specialist texts should be consulted. Beranek43 has discussed the
application of these techniques to model slabs and gives references to further information. The
use of photogrammetry on large scale model slabs has been described by Guralnick & La
The use of model testing as an aid to the development of design methods for slabs is illustrated
by two examples of tests on (a) flat slabs in buildings, and (b) top slabs of beam and slab
7.1 Flat slabs
A major programme of model tests on floors of flat slab construction was carried out in the USA
in the 1950s and 1960s. A series of prototype slabs was designed to the 1956 ACI Code.45 Each
slab was 60 ft (18–9 m) square, and consisted of nine panels each 20 ft (6·1 m) square. The slab
thickness was 7 in (178 mm).
Models of these slabs, to a scale of 1:4, were constructed and tested.46 The model tests showed,
inter alia, that although the Code rules resulted in the correct total amount of reinforcement in a
section, the distribution

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of the reinforcement across a section (i.e. between column and middle strips) could be
improved. The results of this work significantly influenced subsequent, including the current,
ACI Code clauses on slab design.
It was considered desirable to check the results of the 1:4 scale models against those of a full
size specimen. However, the largest specimen which would be accommodated in the laboratory
was at a scale of 3:4. Consequently a model to this scale was constructed and tested.44 In
general, the results of the 1:4 scale models were confirmed, but the latter were stiffer and had
fewer cracks than the 3:4 scale model, although the crack patterns were very similar.
Subsequently, further tests to scales to 1:11·547 and 1:2848 were carried out. The results from
the various scale models have been compared by Mirza et al.49 The general trend was that,
although failure loads, failure modes and crack patterns correlated well, stiffnesses increased
and the number of cracks decreased as the model thickness decreased.
7.2 Bridge slabs
The top slab of a beam and slab bridge is generally designed as if it were a flexural member.
However, in practice such slabs do not behave as flexural members. This is because top slabs
generally have relatively small span to depth ratios which enable large membrane forces to be
developed in a slab due to the restraining action of the stiff beams, as shown in Fig. 17. The
implication of the membrane action is that more reinforcement is provided than is actually
required. The more efficient design of top slabs has been studied in both Canada and Northern

Fig. 17. Compressive membrane action in top slab of beam and slab bridge.
As part of the Canadian work, Tong & Batchelor50 tested seventeen 1:15 scale bridge decks
under concentrated wheel loading. The top slabs were reinforced with isotropic reinforcement
varying from 0 to 0·6% in each face. It was found that 0·33% reinforcement was adequate.
Subsequently, in order to determine whether the test results were influenced by

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scale effects, a second series of decks was tested by Batchelor & Tissington.51 Each specimen
had 0·33% reinforcement, but a variety of scales (1:6, 1:8, 1:10, 1:12 and 1:15) were adopted.
Care was taken to keep the ratio of concrete tensile to compressive strengths constant. The test
results, when combined with those of Tong & Batchelor,50 showed that there was no size effect
and that the minimum amount of reinforcement could be reduced to 0·28%. As a result of this
work the amount of slab reinforcement required by the Ontario Highway Bridge Design Code
was drastically reduced. Subject to certain restrictions on span lengths, slab thicknesses, and
detailing of diaphragms and shear connectors, an empirical top slab design is permitted with a
minimum of 0·3% isotropic reinforcement in each face.52 This amount should be compared with
the typical value of 1 % previously required in Ontario.
A similar study was carried out in Northern Ireland by Kirkpatrick et al.53,54 Twenty tests were
performed on 1:3 scale models of beam and slab bridge decks under concentrated wheel
loading. The amount of reinforcement varied between 0·25 and 1·7%. All failures were by
punching, and it was proposed that an isotropic mesh of 0·5% high strength bars in each face
should be adopted in practice. It was then decided that this suggestion should be checked, to
ensure that adequate service load behaviour would obtain, by performing tests on full size beam
and slab decks. In these tests54 the reinforcement was again varied from 0·25 to 1·7%. It was
concluded that 0·6% isotropic high strength reinforcement in each face was adequate from
considerations of both strength and service load behaviour. This amount is significantly less than
that (1–2%) required for UK conditions when the reinforcement is designed to resist elastic
bending moments.
As has been indicated in Section 7, considerable use has been made of model testing of slabs as
a pure research tool and to develop design procedures. Although there are problems associated
with modelling slabs, it is generally possible to obtain good predictions of prototype behaviour
from small scale model tests.
In recent years considerable progress has been made in understanding how slab boundary
conditions and loads should be simulated. Provided that the points discussed in Section 5 are
carefully considered and taken account of when planning a slab model test, then an engineer can
confidently use the test results.

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Size effects have an important effect on the planning of a model test, and the interpretation of the
results. Again considerable progress has been made in quantifying size effects, and developing
methods of mitigating or eliminating them. However, more work needs to be done on the shear
size effect. This is particularly relevant to model slabs and slab assemblages, because three
types of shear have to be considered: flexural, punching and in-plane.
1. Cope, R.J. & Clark, L.A., Concrete Slabs: Analysis and Design. Elsevier Applied Science
Publishers, Barking, UK, 1984.
2. Clark, L.A., Punching shear near the free edges of slabs. Concrete, 18 (1984) 15–17.
3. Somerville, G., Roll, F. & Caldwell, J.A.D., Tests on a one-twelfth scale model of the
Mancunian Way. Cement and Concrete Association Technical Report 42. 394, London, 1965.
4. Andra, W. & Leonhardt, F., Influence of the spacing of the bearings on bending moments and
reactions in single-span skew slabs. Beton-und Stahlbetonbau, 55 (1960) 151–62.
5. Mehmel, A. & Weise, H., Model investigtion on skew slabs on elastically yielding point
supports. Insitut fur Massivbau an der Technischen Hockschule, Darmstadt, Heft. 4, 1963.
6. Regan, P.E. Behaviour of reinforced concrete flat slabs. Construction Industry Research and
Information Association Report 89, London, 1981.
7. Breen, J.E., Fabrication and tests of structural models. J. of the Structs Div., ASCE, 94
(1968), 1339–52.
8. Sabnis, G.M., Harris, H.G., White, R.N. & Mizra, M.S., Structural modelling and
experimental techniques. Prentice-Hall, New Jersey, 1983.
9. Beeby, A.W., The prediction of crack widths in hardened concrete. Struct. Eng., 57A (1979),
10. Clark, L.A., Flexural crack similitude in slabs spanning one-way. Cement and Concrete
Association Technical Report 42–496, London, 1974.
11. Nawy, E.G. & Orenstein, G.S., Crack width control in reinforced concrete two-way slabs. J.
of the Structs. Div., ASCE, 96 (1970), 701–21.
12. Clark, L.A., Flexural cracking in slab bridges. Cement and Concrete Association Technical
Report 42·479, London, 1973.
13. Aldridge, W.W., Ultimate strength tests of model reinforced concrete folded plate structures.
PhD thesis, University of Texas, 1966.
14. Roll, F., Materials for structural models. J. of Structs Div., ASCE, 94 (1968), 1353–81.
15. Harris, H.G, Sabnis, G.H. & White, R.N., Small scale direct models of reinforced and
prestressed concrete structures. Department of Structural Engineering, School of Civil
Engineering, Cornell University, Report No. 326, 1966.

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16. Clark, L.A., Crack similitude in 1:3·7 scale models of slabs spanning one way. Cement and
Concrete Association Technical Report 42·455, London, 1971.
17. Carpenter, J.E., Roll, F. & Zelman, M.I., Techniques and materials for structural models. In
Models for Concrete Structures. ACI Publication No. 24, 1970, pp. 41–63.
18. Wright, P.J.F., The design of concrete mixes on the basis of flexural strength. In Proc. of
Symp. on Mix Design and Quality Control of Concrete. Cement and Concrete Association,
1954, pp. 74–6.
19. Batchelor, B de V., Some direct model studies of bridge structures. In Proc. of Symp. on
Models in Structural Engineering. American Concrete Institute, Canadian Chapter, Montreal,
1972, pp. 111–36.
20. Noor, F.A. & Wijayasri, S., Modelling the stress-strain relationship of structural concrete.
Magazine of Concrete Research, 34 (118), (1982) 25–34.
21. Muller, R.K., Micro-concrete for structural model analysis. In Design of Concrete
Structures. The Use of Model Analysis. Elsevier Applied Science Publishers, Barking, UK,
1985, pp. 1–11.
22. Boswell, L.F. & Wong, S.S., The shear behaviour of micro-concrete and its inclusion in a
proposed yield criterion. In Proc. of Cement and Concrete Association Research Seminar.
1981, pp. 217–27.
23. Evans, D.J., Clark, L.A. & Beeby, A.W., Some size effects in reinforced micro-concrete
models. In Proc. of Conf. on Structural Models. Cement and Concrete Association of Australia,
24. Chana, P.S., Some aspects of modelling the behaviour of reinforced concrete under shear
loading. Cement and Concrete Association Technical Report 42·543, London, 1981.
25. Taylor, H.P.J., Shear strength of large beams. J. of Structs. Div., ASCE, 98 (1971), 2473–90.
26. Sabnis, G.M. & Roll, F., Significance of scaled compression cylinders in shear studies of
model reinforced concrete slabs. Proc. Am. Concr. Inst., 68 (1971), 218–21.
27. Cookson, P.J., Collapse of concrete box girders involving distortion of the cross-section.
PhD thesis, University of Cambridge, 1976.
28. Long, A.E. & Masterson, D.M., Improved experimental procedure for determining the
punching strength of reinforced concrete flat slab structures. In ACI Special Publication SP42,
1974, pp. 921–35.
29. Long, A.E., Punching failure of reinforced concrete slabs. PhD thesis, Queen’s University of
Belfast, 1967.
30. Franklin, S.O. & Long, A.E., The punching behaviour of unbonded post-tensioned flat plates.
Proc. Inst. Civ. Engrs, 73 (2) (1982), 609–31.
31. Clark, B.E., The shear strength of post-tensioned flat slab floors. Proc. Inst. Civ. Engrs., 65
(2) (1978), 175–87.
32. Gilbert, S.G. & Long, A.E., Behaviour of flat slab/edge column joints. In Proc. of Int. Conf.
on Concrete Slabs. Dundee, UK, 1979, pp. 185–96.
33. Neth, V.W., Model studies in punching of reinforced concrete flat slabs at edge columns.
MSc Thesis, Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada, 1977.
34. Long, A.E., A review of recent developments in concrete modelling. In Reinforced and
Prestressed Micro-concrete Models. The Construction Press, Lancaster, UK, 1980, pp. 1–15.

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35. Taylor, H.P.J. & Clarke, J.L., Some detailing problems in concrete frame structures. Struct.
Eng., 54 (1976), 19–32.
36. Geymayer, H.G. & McDonald, J.E., Influence of reinforcing details on yield line pattern and
ultimate load-carrying capacity of reinforced concrete slabs. US Army Corps of Engineers,
Waterways Experiment Station, Misc. Paper 6–911, 1967.
37. Moustaffa, S.E., A small scale model study of a prestressed concrete slab. MS thesis,
Cornell University, 1966.
38. Clark, L.A., The service load response of short span skew slab bridges designed by yield
line theory. Cement and Concrete Association Technical Report 42464, London, 1972.
39. Clark, L.A., Tests on slab elements and skew slab bridges designed in accordance with the
factored elastic moment field. Cement and Concrete Association Technical Report 42·474,
London, 1972.
40. Pahl, P.J. & Soosar, K., Structural models for architectural and engineering eduction. MIT
Report R 63–4, 1964.
41. Cope, R.J., Rao, P.V., Clark, L.A. & Norris, P., Modelling of reinforced concrete behaviour
for finite element analysis of bridge slabs. In: Numerical Methods for Non-Linear Problems,
Vol. 1. Pineridge Press, Swansea, UK, 1980, pp. 457–70.
42. Beeby, A.W., An investigation of cracking in slabs spanning one way. Cement and Concrete
Association Technical Report 42·433, London, 1970.
43. Beranek, W.J., Design of reinforced concrete slabs. In Reinforced and Pre-stressed Micro-
concrete Models. The Construction Press, Lancaster, UK, 1980, pp. 317–47.
44. Guralnick, S.A. & La Fraugh, R.W., Laboratory study of a 45-foot square flat plate structure.
Proc. Am. Concr. Inst., 60 (1963), 1107–85.
45. Sozen, M.A. & Seiss, C.P., Investigation of multiple-panel reinforced concrete floor slabs.
Proc. Am. Concr. Inst., 60 (1963), 999–1027.
46. Hatcher, D.S., Sozen, M.A. & Seiss, C.P., Test of a reinforced concrete flat plate. J. of
Struct. Div., ASCE, 91 (1965), 205–31.
47. Guedelhoffer, O.C., Deformation criteria for yield-line analysis of reinforced micro-
concrete slab system. Phase I. MEng thesis, University of Oklahoma, 1972.
48. Little, W.A., Discussion of Hatcher et al. (1965). J. of Struct. Div., ASCE, 92 (1966), 438–
49. Mirza, M.S., Gudelhoffer, O.C. & Janney, J.R., Correlation of models and prototype
structural elements and complete structures. In Structural Concrete Models A State-of-the-Art
Report. Department of Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics, McGill University, Montreal,
1972, pp. 97–232.
50. Tong, P.Y. & Batchelor, B de V., Compressive membrane enhancement in two-way bridge
slabs. In ACI Special Publication SP-30, 1971, pp. 271–6.
51. Batchelor, B. de V. & Tissington, I.R., Shear strength of two-way bridge slabs. J. of the
Structs Div., ASCE, 102 (1976), 2315–31.
52. Beal, D.B., Load capacity of concrete bridge decks. J. of the Structs Div., ASCE, 108, (ST4)
(1976), 814–32.
53. Kirkpatrick, J., Rankin, G.I.B. & Long, A.E., Strength evaluation of M-beam bridge deck
slabs. Struct. Eng., 62B (1984), 60–8.

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54. Kirkpatrick, J., Rankin, G.I.B. & Long, A.E., The influence of compressive membrane action
on the serviceability of beam and slab bridge decks. Struct. Eng., 64B (1980), 6–9, 12.
55. Clark, L.A. & Thorogood, P., Flexural and punching shear strengths of concrete beams and
slabs. Transport and Road Research Laboratory Contractor Report 60, 1987.

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8Multi-story Frames Subject to Static Loading
W.Gene Corley
Construction Technology Laboratories, Skokie, Illinois, USA
This chapter describes design, construction, testing and evaluation of models of multi-story
frames and components subject to static load. The tests demonstrate the relationship among full-
scale tests, medium-scale tests, and component tests. Model testing has been used as a tool of
structural design and research for over three-quarters of a century. However, it is only in the
period following World War II that extensive use of structural models has been made. Over the
past several decades, researchers have studied the process of model testing to determine
relationships between results of model test and behavior of full size structures. Scaling effects
for geometry, material properties and dynamic effects have been determined theoretically.
Although the theoretical justification for using models in design of prototypes is well known,
few data exist that permit direct comparisons between test to failure of small models and
prototype structures. Where data do exist, they are usually on structures that are either statically
determinate or have few redundancies. In this chapter, comparisons are provided between
models and a prototype of a highly indeterminate seven-story building.
Construction and testing of two medium-scale reinforced concrete planar structures are
described, namely a wall-frame assembly and an

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isolated wall representing the wall portion of the assembly. Details of these two structures were
selected to be similar to elements of a full-scale structure also tested to destruction.1 Although
somewhat distorted, both test structures can be described as ‘direct’ models of the prototype.
Results of the tests of the two planar structures verify the structural modeling techniques.
The wall-frame specimen was designed to simulate the overall behavior of the full-scale
structure, while the isolated wall was intended to represent only the behavior of the structural
Dimensions of the full-scale structure are shown in Fig. 1. In addition to the wall-frame located
at its center, the full-scale structure had two beam-column frames located one to each side of,
and parallel with, the wall-frame section. In plan, the full-scale structure was 12 by 17m
measured to the centerlines of the corner columns as shown in Fig. 1.
Figure 2 shows the wall-frame specimen. The test specimen represented the wall-frame center
section of the full-scale structure. It consisted of a structural wall with a single bay of beams and
columns to each side. The specimen was seven stories high. Dimensions of the wall-frame
specimen were scaled from the full-scale structure in the ratio of .
The isolated wall specimen is also shown in Fig. 2. Reinforcement in the isolated wall was
similar to that in the wall-frame specimen. Applied loads provided a moment to shear ratio,
similar to that in the full-scale structure. Therefore, performance of the full-scale structure was
modeled by the isolated wall.
2.1 Materials
Model concrete was selected to provide strength and stress versus strain properties very similar
to those of the prototype. By having essentially the same mechanical properties in the model and
prototype concrete, stresses in the model are directly comparable to those in the full size
building and no multiplier is needed to compare results.
To insure proper consolidation in small sections used in the wall-frame and isolated wall
specimens, a small aggregate concrete was used. The design strength of the concrete in the full-
scale specimen was 26·5 N/mm2. Figure 3 shows stress versus strain relationships for concrete
in the wall

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Fig. 1. Full-scale test structure.

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Fig. 2. Isolated wall and wall-frame.

frame specimen. As can be seen, only small differences in mechanical properties were found.
Therefore, a multiplier of 1·0 was assigned to the stress and strain relationship of model and
prototype concrete.
Primary reinforcement in model beams and columns was 10mm bars with a yield stress of 410
N/mm2, similar to BS 4449. Deformed 6 mm hot rolled bars with properties similar to BS 4449
were used as primary reinforcement in the boundary elements of the structural wall. Deformed
wire was used for wall reinforcement, hoops, ties, and stirrups. The wire was heat-treated to
obtain stress-strain characteristics similar to those of BS 4449 bars shown in Fig. 3.
Hot rolled deformed bars were also used in the prototype—sizes ranged from 10 to 22mm. The
stress versus strain relationship for representative 19 mm bars in the prototype is shown in Fig.
3. As can be seen, model and prototype reinforcements have similar mechanical properties.
Therefore, steel stresses can be compared directly.
Reinforcement of the wall-frame test specimen was designed so that the single planar wall-
frame would simulate the overall behavior of all three frames of the full-scale structure. To
accomplish this the scaled reinforce-

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Fig. 3. Stress versus strain relationship of reinforcement and concrete.

ment areas of the beams in all three frames of the full-scale structures were lumped together in
the beams of the wall-frame specimen. Vertical reinforcement in the wall boundary elements,
and the vertical and horizontal reinforcement in the wall were modeled directly from the full-
scale structure. Calculation showed that with column reinforcement set equal to 2·3 times the
scaled area of the full-scale structure, elastic lateral flexibility of the single planar wall-frame
specimen simulated the two-dimensional lateral flexibility of all three frames of the full-scale

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Reinforcement percentages in all elements of the prototype were small. Column and boundary
elements contained 1·6% reinforcement and beams contained 0·6% reinforcement at the most
heavily reinforced negative moment section. A minimum of 0·4% compressive reinforcement
was provided at all sections. With 2·3 times as much reinforcement in the columns and three
times as much in the beams, percentages of steel present were 3·7 and 1·8%, respectively. With
the minimum 1·2% compressive reinforcement, all sections were under-reinforced.
Since it was anticipated that hinges would form in the beams of the specimen during test, it was
necessary to design the transverse reinforcement in the beams and columns for the resulting shear
forces. Transverse reinforcement in the beams and columns, therefore, was also heavier than the
scaled size from the wall-frame of the full-scale structure. The test specimen transverse
reinforcement was designed to meet confinement requirements of Appendix A of the 1983 ACI
Building Code.
Figure 2 shows the isolated wall specimen. The isolated specimen duplicated the wall portion
of the wall-frame assembly, except that it did not have slab stubs. The isolated wall also was
shorter than the wall-frame specimen. It represented the first five levels of the seven level wall-
frame assembly.
The wall-frame assembly, and therefore the isolated wall as well, was scaled from the full-scale
structure in the ratio of 1: . At this scale, the isolated wall specimen was approximately 4·5 m
high and l·5m wide from boundary element to boundary element. Boundary element sections
were 143 mm square. The web of each wall was 57 mm thick.
Concrete used in the isolated wall was similar to that in the wall-frame specimen. Concrete
strength was about 26·5 N/mm2. Reinforcement in the isolated wall was similar to the BS 4449
used in the wall-frame structure.
In the full-scale structure, all vertical splices in the columns and boundary elements were gas
welded. Since welding was not practicable for the small bar sizes of the wall-frame specimen,
column and boundary element reinforcement were fabricated with continuous bars. The column
and boundary element reinforcement cages were partially fabricated on their sides, tilted
upright, and hung vertically from one of four cantilevers extending from a support wall. Figure
4(a) shows the cages hanging

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vertically. Hoops were slipped over the vertical reinforcement before lifting the cages into
position. Hoops for each story were bundled together at approximately the center of the story.
Shown at the bottom of Fig. 4(a) are the formwork and reinforcement cages for the baseblock
that formed the foundation for the test specimen. Note that the vertical wall reinforcement was
also hung vertically in

Fig. 4 Reinforcement cages for wall-frames: (a) reinforcement cages for columns and boundary

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continuous lengths. Details of a beam column joint and the beam reinforcement as it passes
through the boundary element into the wall are shown in Figs 4(b) and 4(c), respectively.
With the reinforcement in the first story in position, forms about 1 m high were placed for the
first lift which was equivalent to the entire first story including slab stub. Reinforcement in the
slab stub was placed after the forms were put in position. Prior to placing the forms for the first
lift, the faying surface of the baseblock was mechanically roughened to insure a good
construction joint. After approximately 2 days, the forms were stripped and the fresh concrete
covered with burlap. The burlap was dampened and covered with plastic to retain moisture.
With the reinforcement tied in place for the second lift, the forms were installed and the concrete
placed. Each of the seven stories was successively cast in this manner. Figure 5 shows the
concrete being placed for the seventh or top lift. Visible in the figure is plastic covering the
curing concrete in the sixth lift directly below.
Since both the wall-frame and isolated wall were symmetrical about their centerlines and were
also loaded symmetrically, instrumentation was not placed uniformly over the specimen. One
side of each structure was more heavily instrumented than the other.
4.1 Displacement
Absolute vertical and horizontal displacements were determined at the locations shown in Fig.
6. Measurements were obtained using Longfellow Linear Motion Transducers made by Waters
Manufacturing, Inc. Transducers had strokes of 50, 150, 300, and 900mm as appropriate at the
location where measurements were taken.
Beam rotations were also determined in four positions shown in Fig. 6. Beam rotations obtained
were not absolute values. Rather, the rotations were with respect to the face of the boundary
element or column.
Vertical and horizontal displacements were calculated from displacement transducer
measurements made at the points of interest. Displacement transducers were connected between
the test structure and a steel reference framework rigidly attached to the test floor. The reference

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Fig. 5. Concrete placement on wall-frame specimen.

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Fig. 6. Instrumentation of specimens.

framework was completely independent of the test specimen, stability system, loading systems,
and reaction walls.
Redundant measurements were made at a number of points to provide a check on system
4.2 Strain gauges
All strain gauges were electrical resistance, temperature compensated, foil gauges made by
Micro-Measurements Division of Measurements Group, Inc. They were mounted on the
reinforcing steel in each specimen. A total of 330 strain gauges were installed on the wall-frame.
For this specimen, structural elements instrumented with strain gauges fell into five basic
1. Vertical reinforcement in the columns, boundary elements, and wall.
2. Hoops in columns and boundary elements.
3. Horizontal reinforcement in the wall.
4. Reinforcement in beams and slabs.
5. Stirrups in the beams.

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A total of 56 strain gauges were installed on the isolated wall. Portions of this specimen
instrumented with strain gauges fell into three basic categories:
1. Vertical reinforcement in the boundary elements and wall.
2. Hoops in boundary elements.
3. Horizontal reinforcement.
A brief description of the strain gauge instrumentation used in each of the above categories is
given in the next subsections.
4.2.1 Vertical reinforcement
Strain gauges were used to monitor axial and flexural behavior in vertical members of the
structure. For the wall-frame specimen, a total of 60 gauges were installed in the columns, 72 in
the boundary elements and 16 on the vertical wall bars, for a total of 148 gauges. For the
isolated wall, a total of 24 gauges were installed in the boundary elements and 12 on the vertical
wall bars, for a total of 36 gauges.
4.2.2 Hoops in columns and boundary elements
Strain-gauged hoops were placed at several locations in the columns and boundary elements.
Some strain gauges located on hoops measured confinement strains while others measured
confinement plus shear strains. In total, 35 hoops were strain gauged in the wall-frame specimen
and 8 hoops were gauged in the isolated wall specimen.
4.2.3 Horizontal reinforcement in wall
Horizontal reinforcement in the wall was instrumented. A total of 19 strain gauges for the wall-
frame and 12 strain gauges for the isolated wall were installed on horizontal wall bars. For the
wall-frame, 2 bars were instrumented with 5 strain gauges and 3 bars with 3 strain gauges.
Three wall bars and 1 beam carry-thru bar were instrumented with 3 strain gauges each in the
isolated wall.
4.2.4 Reinforcement in beams and slab
Beam and slab reinforcement of the wall-frame specimen were instrumented with a total of 108
gauges. Anticipated hinging regions of all beams at the bottom and top of the specimen were
instrumented. The hinging regions of all beams on the more heavily instrumented side of the
structure were instrumented. Slab gauges were monitored to determine the bending effectiveness
of the slab in the beam hinging region.

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4.2.5 Stirrups in beams
A total of 20 stirrups were instrumented, all located in beams at the top and bottom of the
heavily instrumented side of the wall-frame structure.
4.3 Load cells
All loads were measured by 50 ton capacity, strain gauge type, load cells manufactured by
Construction Technology Laboratories. Five cells were used for the wall-frame specimen and
three were used for the isolated wall system. A single load cell monitored the vertical load
applied to represent gravity load on each specimen. Two load cells located on the last or main
member of each whiffletree monitored the lateral load for the wall-frame system. Two load cells
located one on each side of the isolated wall monitored lateral load.
4.4 Data acquisition, reduction, and analysis systems
All digitally recorded data were acquired by use of a VIDAR/Hewlett-Packard 9830 System.
For the wall-frame, a total of 389 channels of digital data were recorded for each test stage,
with 330 channels recording strain, 49 displacement, five load, and five overall test system
parameters. For the isolated wall, a total of 83 channels of digital data were recorded for each
test stage, with 56 channels recording strain, 20 displacement, three load, and four overall test
system parameters. All digital data were reduced and analyzed on a Hewlett-Packard 9830
As shown in Fig. 7, the wall-frame test specimen was positioned between large reaction walls.
It was loaded laterally with an inverted triangular distribution. This distribution closely
simulated the earthquake-like lateral load used in the test of the full-scale structure. The inverted
triangular distribution was achieved by using a seven element whiffletree on each side of the
specimen. The whiffletree distributed load from a single hydraulic ram anchored at the reaction
wall to seven load rods attached to the sides of the slabs at the center of the wall. The specimen
was loaded alternately in each lateral direction.
The columns and boundary elements were also loaded vertically. Vertical load, in addition to the
specimen’s self-weight, was required in order to simulate the axial stresses present in the lower
stories of the

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Fig. 7. Wall-frame and isolated wall test specimens: (a) wall-frame.

full-scale structure. A single hydraulic ram acting through a four-element Whiffletree was used.
Part of the vertical Whiffletree is visible in Fig. 7 at the top of the structure.
The isolated wall specimen was loaded with a single force at its top. This force produced a
moment to shear ratio similar to that of the full-scale structure. The load history applied to the
isolated wall was similar to that of the wall-frame specimen.
5.1 Load History
At the start of each test, the specimen was first loaded vertically. Lateral load was then applied
in groups of three fully reversing cycles. The lateral displacement was increased for each three
cycle group until the specimen

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reached the point where it could no longer adequately maintain a load level for a given imposed
A summary of the wall-frame and isolated wall tests together with comparisons of these results
with the full-scale tests conducted in Japan have been discussed in a number of papers.2–7
Comparisons of measured stresses at comparable locations showed satisfactory similitude was
found in the elastic range of loading. The following illustrations show this similitude also
existed in the inelastic range of testing.

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Figure 7 shows the isolated wall and wall-frame specimens just prior to the start of testing. The
isolated wall did not have the slab stubs incorporated as did the wall-frame. Also, the isolated
wall was shorter than the wall-frame specimen. It represented the first five levels of the seven-
level wall-frame assembly.
The wall-frame assembly, and therefore the isolated wall as well, was scaled from the full-scale
structure in the ratio of 1: . The isolated wall specimen was approximately 4·5 m high and 1·5
m wide from boundary element to boundary element. Boundary element sections were 143mm
square. The web of the wall was 57 mm thick.
The isolated wall was loaded laterally with a single load applied at the top, or approximately
the fifth story level. Externally applied bending moment and shear at the first story of both
specimens was thus about the same.
The following findings and limitations are based on the results of the test and associated
analytical work:
1. The mechanism that developed within the isolated wall specimen was the same as that which
developed in the wall of the wall-frame assembly and the full-scale specimens, that is a single
flexural hinge formed at the base.
2. As can be seen in Fig. 8, the mechanism was fully developed at a drift ratio of 1·0%
measured at the top of the specimen. This drift occurred at maximum lateral load. Drift is
defined as the ratio of the absolute lateral deflection of a point to the height of that point above
the base. Drifts measured at other stories were also approximately 1·0%.
3. Yield strain in the reinforcement was first exceeded in the boundary element of the structural
wall at the base. This first yield occurred at 83% of the maximum lateral load. Nearly all tensile
reinforcement at the base of the wall had yielded at 93% of the maximum lateral load.
4. In all three specimens, the wall boundary element that was in tension elongated considerably
as compared to the shortening of the boundary element in compression. Moreover, most of this
vertical elongation was concentrated in the first story. After yield was well developed, the wall
rotated essentially as a rigid body about a pivot point located at the base of the boundary
element in compression. The boundary element in tension elongated more or less uniformly from
the base to the top of the first story.
5. Results from strain gauges on boundary element hoops indicated

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Fig. 8. Load versus top deflection: (a) full-scale structure; (b) wall-frame; (c) isolated wall.
that they were subjected to significant strain only over the lower portions of the first story. None
of the instrumented hoops experienced strain in excess of yield.
6. A structural analysis was made of each specimen utilizing the measured mechanical properties
of the materials. Maximum load capacity of the isolated wall as determined by the test was 1·04

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times the analytically predicted maximum load. Similar agreement was obtained for the wall-
frame specimen. This good agreement between test result and analysis further strengthens
confidence in the analytical procedure currently used in design.
7. Although good agreement was found between strength of the full-scale structures and both
planar specimens, only qualitative agreement was found for cracking. As shown in Fig. 9, fewer
cracks were found in the model specimens than in the full-scale structure. This well-known
phenomenon is observed in all concrete models.8

Fig. 9. Comparison of cracking of test specimens: (a) isolated wall; (b) wall-frame; (c) full-
These results show that concrete models provide a design tool that can suitably represent a
structure in the elastic range as well as in the inelastic range. However, the method does fail to
suitably represent cracking. Also, care must be taken to match mechanical properties of all
materials if comparisons in the post-yield range are to be meaningful.

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1. U.S.-Japan Planning Group. Recommendations for a U.S.-Japan Co-operative Research
Program Utilizing Large-Scale Testing Facilities. Report No. UCB/EERC-79/26, Earthquake
Engineering Research Center, University of California, Berkeley, CA, September 1979.
2. Morgan J.J., Hiraishi, H., Russell, H.G. & Corley, W.G., U.S.-Japan quasistatic test of
isolated wall planar reinforced concrete structures. Report to National Science Foundation,
Construction Technology Laboratories, Portland Cement Association, Skokie, IL, 1986.
3. Morgan, B.J., Hiraishi, H. & Corley, W.G., Comparison of tests of medium-scale wall
assemblies and a full-scale building. In Proceedings of the Symposium on Design of Concrete
Structures-The Use of Model Analysis, Building Research Station, Garston, Watford, UK, 29
and 30 November 1984. Elsevier Applied Science, London.
4. Morgan, B.J., Hiraishi, H., & Corley, W.G., Medium-scale wall assemblies—comparison of
analysis and test results. ACI-SP-84, U.S.–Japan Cooperative Earthquake Research Program,
American Concrete Institute, Detroit, MI, 1985.
5. Morgan, B.J., Hiraishi, H. & Corley, W.G., U.S.–Japan Cooperative Research Program, Tests
of 1/3-Scale Planar Wall Assemblies. In Proceedings of the Eighth World Conference on
Earthquake Engineering, San Francisco, CA, 21–28 July 1984. Prentice-Hall, Englewood
Cliffs, NJ.
6. Morgan, B.J., Hiraishi, H., & Corley, W.G., U.S.-Japan tests of reinforced concrete structures,
Comparison of Analysis and Test Results. In Proceedings of the Fourth Meeting of the Joint
Technical Coordinating Committee, US—Japan Cooperative Research Program Utilizing
Large-Scale Testing Facilities, Building Research Institute, Tsukura-gun, Ibaraki-ken, Japan, 16
June 1983.
7. Morgan, B.J., Hiraishi, H., & Corley, W.G., Tests of planar wall assemblies under in-plane
static reversing loads. In Proceedings of the Fourteenth Joint Meeting of the US-Japan Panel
on Wind and Seismic Effects, National Bureau of Standards, Washington, DC, 18 May 1982. US
Government Printing Office, Washington, DC.
8. Kaar, P.H., High strength bars as concrete reinforcement, Part 8, similitude in flexural
cracking of T-beam flanges. Journal of the PCA Research and Development Laboratories, 8 (2)
(1966) 2–12.

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9Modelling of Structures Subjected to Seismic Loading
Laboratory of Reinforced Concrete, National Technical University of Athens, Greece
Although considerable advances have been made in the use of analytical methods to predict the
seismic performance of structures, increasing use is being made of scaled reinforced concrete
models in research and design.
Seismic behaviour is complex and the techniques of the associated modelling are continuously
developing. This chapter, therefore, draws upon recent research developments.
It is worth considering some details of seismic design. During a seismic event, all structural
components are subjected to deformations due to a sequence of horizontal and vertical
displacements acting on the foundation of the structure. Critical sections may yield, while the
stiffness and hysteretic damping can be changed dramatically during the excitation. Thus, the
characteristics of motion (such as natural period and induced acceleration) can be continuously
altered. Also, considerable response degradation due to cycling may occur, thus reducing the
resistance of several critical regions. Yet, the overall seismic behaviour of a structure may be
considered as satisfactory, provided that the structure does not collapse under the design
earthquake. In this respect, the provision of sufficient ductility is a fundamental requirement in
seismic engineering. Seismic design forces are calculated on the basis of the expected overall
ductility of the structure and a simplified expression of these forces acting

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on an elastoplastic structure is given by
where W denotes the total weight of the superstructure and c, the base shear coefficient. This
coefficient may be written as
where αs(T)=normalised acceleration, from an elastic response spectrum, corresponding to the
natural period T of the structure; and q=the ‘behaviour factor’, reflecting mainly the overall
ductility of the structure. In Table 1 the conditions affecting this behaviour factor are listed.
Table 1
Conditions affecting the seismic behaviour factor of RC structures
No. Conditions Parameters
1 Ductility of ρ1, ρ′1=percentages of longitudinal reinforcement
critical regions
ρ1:ρ′1=their ratio
ωw=mechanical volumetric percentage of confining
v=normalised axial compression force (N:Acfc)
αs=M:Vd=shear ratio
VR,V:VR,M=ratio of ultimate shear force resistance values,
corresponding to shear or flexural failure modes
2 Overall structural —Redundancy
—Regularity of mass, stiffness, and overstrengths distribution
—Availability of secondary resistance
3 Input —Extent of imposed post-yield displacements (d:dy)
—Number of large amplitude full reversals (n)
A reliable simulation of seismic behaviour of real structures should take account of these factors
as well as the usual factors, such as the value of the elastic modulus, etc. Ductility similitude
must be retained as an additional requirement in model design (see section 4.2).
It is obvious that the complexity of dynamic behaviour reduces the ability of analytical methods
to describe this behaviour. Analytical

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modelling is not an exact science.1 It is possible, however, to improve analytical modelling of
the behaviour of structures subjected to static loading by direct comparison with the behaviour
of real structures.
This is not the case for structures subjected to seismic effects in which a large number of factors
influence response and full-size testing is not realistic. Model testing, therefore, offers a solution
in the confirmation, modification or calibration of analytical solutions. It seems, however, that in
structural engineering a step-by-step procedure has been adopted consisting of the calibration of
a less costly method of model analysis against a more costly one, for example:
— Analytical methods versus small-scale dynamic models.
— Small-scale dynamic models versus large-scale (or full-scale) models, tested under pseudo-
dynamic conditions.
— All models versus fully instrumented real structures, subjected to real earthquakes.
It is believed that in the above framework, small-scale dynamic modelling will be much more
important than in the past.
The following objectives can be achieved by means of experiments on models submitted to
dynamic or quasi-static cyclic actions.
— Models of building elements or subassemblages, tested up to failure, in order to check the
seismic behaviour of original configurations, new schemes of detailing and newly developed
joints or connections.
— Models of entire structures in order to establish realistic loading criteria, to study response
characteristics under controlled variation of input parameters and to design unusually complex
In all cases, a model experiment seems to be justified whenever current theoretical knowledge
cannot reliably cover the needs for prediction and design.
Generally, models in the first category (mainly large-scale or full-scale) are frequently tested
under quasi-static or under pseudo-dynamic condi-

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tions, whereas models in the second category (mainly small-scale) are more frequently tested
under dynamic conditions. There is not an exclusive connection, however, between model’s
scale and testing method. Technical and economical restraints dictate each time the appropriate
Since this chapter is meant to describe mainly small-scale models under seismic conditions,
emphasis will be given to the use of models tested on earthquake simulators.
3.1 Quasi-static cyclic actions
The behaviour of building elements or subassemblages under seismic conditions is governed by
the effects of large amplitude, post-yield reversed deformations on some critical regions.
Pronounced nonlinear behaviour, accompanied by response degradation due to axial, shear or
bond failures or alternatively due to local instability phenomena, will primarily dictate the
overall behaviour of the structure during an earthquake. Seismic actions will depend on the
decreasing stiffness and the available ductility of such building elements. Their available
strength, i.e. force-response capacity after degradation due to cycling, will govern the integrity
of the structure. Unfortunately, these fundamental structural characteristics are not easily
amenable to an analytical treatment.
Laboratory experiments on small- or large-scale models submitted to consecutive low-rate
cyclic deformations are of paramount importance, both for research and design.
During experimentation, actuators are used in order to impose cyclic displacements at selected
points of the model. Normal instrumentation and data acquisition systems are used and detailed
observation of the specimen is possible during testing.
Two recent examples of model testing are given by Eto et al.2 and Tassios.3
3.2 Pseudo-dynamic test of models
A model testing technique has been recently developed which may combine the advantages of the
previous approach (low rate of external application of displacements on discrete points of the
model and gradual damage observation, etc.), with a systems approach. An entire structure, or a
very large part of it, is tested by subjecting it to a given input accelerogram.

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A lumped mass model of the structure is assumed with a finite number of degrees of freedom.
The seismic motion of a planar structure may be described by the following equation:
where M=the mass matrix
=the nodal acceleration vector
C=the damping matrix
=the nodal velocity vector
=the vector of the response-forces of the structure (‘restoring’ forces)
αg=horizontal ground acceleration, parallel to the plan of the structure given by the input
accelerogram to be considered.
If a stiffness matrix K can be formulated by means of a standard finite element procedure, then
where denotes the displacement vector, and the equations are solved by means of a step-by-
step integration. Inaccuracies in the prediction of the performance of the structure caused by non-
linear behaviour may be overcome by means of a hybrid (analytical/experimental) method. An
elastic solution is adopted for the initial (small amplitude) part of the motion and the
corresponding displacements are computed on the basis of the input accelerogram. These
displacements are quasi-statically applied to the model at appropriate points by electrohydraulic
actuators linked to the computer. Corresponding forces are simultaneously measured, thus
providing the vector. A new analytical solution is found for the next time interval, and hence
new displacements are imposed on the model. The method is called the pseudo-dynamic testing
method (PD method). The method has been used by, among others, Mahin et al.4 and a schematic
arrangement of the implementation scheme is given in Fig. 1.
For structures with a predominant first mode, e.g. wall systems with a moderate number of
floors, the technique may be simplified to a single degree of freedom pseudo-dynamic (SPD)
The advantages of this method are evident. In fact, the absence of any really dynamic
phenomenon is of a great importance from a mechanical and a functional safety point of view.
Conventional equipment, such as that used in quasi-static testing, is suitable. In addition, the low
rate or even intermittent testing procedure allows for a direct observation of gradual damage.
The most interesting feature of the pseudo-dynamic

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Fig. 1. An implementation scheme of pseudo-dynamic tests (from Mahin et al.).4

method is that the observance of similitude laws related to inertia forces (see section 4.2) is not
required, except in cases of very rapid application of imposed displacements.
On the other hand, the application of the method causes some problems in addition to those
related to the design or purchasing of the necessary high precision equipment.
The low rate of application of actions compared to a real dynamic excitation causes problems.
Since PD tests are deformation-controlled, stress relaxation may take place during slow
displacement increments. Appropriate analytical modelling of such an event may compensate for
part of this effect. It should be noted that brittle fracture or local shock response cannot be
A second problem is concerned with numerical stability5 and with experimental errors.
Erroneously measured displacements lead to erroneous feedback, especially for higher modes.4
It has been proved, however, that under some conditions the PD method is very reliable for
seismic testing of small and large scale models.
Recent applications of the method are discussed by Xu Peifu et al.6 and Bertero et al.7
3.3 Vibration tests on models
In these tests, models are subjected to an external source of vibration and the following
classification can be made.

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3.3.1 Free vibration tests (pull-back and sudden release)
The model performs free vibrations about its static equilibrium position. The natural period can
be directly determined from the recorded cycles. Damping is also calculated from the ratios of
successive decayed vibrational amplitudes.
3.3.2 Forced vibrations
Counter rotating eccentric weight exciters may be mounted on top of large scale models, in order
to produce steady state sinusoidal excitations with a constant period. The corresponding
response amplitudes are measured. The period is subsequently adjusted to another value and the
measurements are repeated. Thus, a resonance curve is plotted depicting the measured
amplitudes for the whole range of imposed periods. From such a curve the natural period and the
viscous damping can be obtained. By increasing the magnitude of the exciting force, some non-
linear characteristics may also be studied.8
Mode shapes and accelerations at several levels may also be investigated, especially using the
forced vibration method.
Free vibration tests are currently used in order to study the condition of small-scale models
before and after their testing on earthquake simulators. The gradual increase of their natural
period after consecutive excitations of increasing intensity, is very easily followed by means of
free vibration tests. Figure 2 shows the simple test set-up used on the 1:10

Fig. 2. A 1:10 RC frame-wall model is tested by means of free vibrations before and after
testing on an earthquake simulator.9

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Fig. 3. Resonance curves of a full-scale model.10

scale RC model in Urbana, IL.9 Figure 3 is a typical set of resonance curves taken on the full-
scale model of a building by means of forced vibration tests. The frequency decrease with higher
excitation forces is apparent.
In the introduction to this chapter, it has been recognised that theories of seismic analysis and
behaviour cannot be easily checked against real structures. Physical model testing is offered as
an ideal intermediate means for confirmation, modification or calibration of analytical solutions.
In the previously described model testing methods, specific earthquake loading conditions were
not applied. Even for the case of PD tests, an analytical computer solution was used indirectly.
A direct application of a given strong motion accelerogram to the base of a model can only be
implemented on an earthquake simulator. Obviously, only small-scale models can be tested on
available earthquake simulators. Consequently the disadvantages of small scale have to be
carefully counteracted by means of strict observation of similitude conditions.
4.1 Equipment
In this paragraph a short and rather elementary description of earthquake simulators, otherwise
termed shaking tables, will be given.

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An extremely large variety of facilities of this kind are in use, starting from very small one-
degree-of-freedom tables, up to sophisticated very heavy six-degrees-of-freedom simulators.
The following main components of large simulators can be distinguished (Fig. 4):
(a) The platform. Normally a steel structure on which models will be fixed (Fig. 5).
Considerable stiffness is needed. Natural frequencies as remote as possible from the operating
frequency range are desired.

Fig. 4. General layout of a large earthquake simulator (3-DOF system, Julich, FRG).
(b) The static support system. When motionless, the platform may be supported on vertical
actuators or on air-cushions or on a liquid mass (oil or water).
(c) The driving system. Several actuators (depending on the degrees of freedom of the
simulator) are appropriately attached and are usually actuated by hydraulic power (although
mechanical systems are sometimes used). Pressure accumulators are needed in order to maintain
the required pressure when peak flow is demanded.
(d) The reaction system. A monolithic massive reinforced concrete structure surrounds the
whole system. Its mass is many times larger than the total table and model mass. Springs and
dampers may

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Fig. 5. Earthquake simulator of the Nat. Tech. University of Athens (6 degrees of freedom,
design MTS/Carydis).
further improve the conditions of the system’s isolation from the environment.
(e) The control system. The motion of the platform along, or around the axes of available
freedom may be controlled by mechanical or, normally, by electrical servo-systems.
Displacement, velocity and acceleration are continuously controlled. Analogue facilities are
normally used to receive the input signals and a feedback system is

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used. Modern installations also include control systems to correct possible motion errors.
(f) The data acquisition system. Appropriate multichannel systems are used.
The following features of an earthquake simulator are of interest:
(i) Geometrical data: table size and maximum height of centre of gravity of the specimen.
(ii) Maximum weight of specimen (without substantial modification of the performances of the
(iii) Degrees of freedom (total and simultaneously controlled).
(iv) Operating frequency range.
(v) Maximum values of acceleration, velocity and displacement. For a given operating frequency
and a given specimen’s weight, however, the available motion characteristics are modified
according to a performance spectrum (Fig. 6).

Fig. 6. Performance spectrum of the SAMSON Earthquake simulator (3-DOF system, HRB
Julich, FRG). 1=empty platform; 2=150 KN payload; 3=250 KN payload.
A world-wide list of earthquake simulators with a model capacity greater than 50 KN is given in
the Appendices.
4.2 Basic similitude requirements
It is beyond the scope of this section to repeat the fundamentals of structural similitude. Chapter
2 of this book constitutes the best reference

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in this respect for static loading. Similitude requirements for the specific applications in
earthquake engineering, however, are extensively described in Moncarz & Krawinkler.11
The essential data needed for the design of small-scale dynamic models, however, will be
reproduced here, as an introduction to section 4.4.
The dynamic behaviour of a model is fully described by means of the following three basic
quantities: length (L), mass (M) and time (T).
Only three independent scales can be selected when designing a model. Nevertheless, depending
on practical necessities, other quantities such as stress or acceleration, etc., may be selected for
scaling, provided that the total number of independently chosen scales will again be equal to
three. Subsequently, the scales of all the other parameters are expressed in terms of the basic
scale factors chosen, by means of the equations governing the phenomenon, e.g. Table 2, column
Such a complete observation of similitude requirements (termed a true replica model) is almost
impossible in earthquake engineering. Post-yield phenomena of concrete models are governed
by the descending part of the stress-strain curve of concrete in compression, by its cyclic
response degradation and by the steel concrete bond characteristics. Consequently, the use of
microconcrete as a model material becomes imperative. The stress and stiffness scale-factors
are taken equal to unity (Sσ=SE=1) and the similitude requirement for density
cannot be satisfied: since microconcrete has been selected as the model material, the Sρ should
be equal to unity.
Reinforced concrete small-scale models in seismic analysis cannot be ‘true replica’ models.
Instead, in order to reproduce intertia effects, additional masses are provided at appropriate
points on the model and are loosely attached so that the stiffness and strength of members are not
altered. These dynamically effective masses are decoupled from the density similitude
requirement, but of course they will be appropriately calculated (see section 4.4).
These additional masses are also acting vertically on the model (gravity forces). In many cases,
the level of action-effects due to gravity forces is of paramount importance for the seismic
behaviour of the structure: The available ductility of RC columns depends very much on their
axial load, Table 1. Besides, the non-seismic loads acting on beam-ends on both

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Table 2
Similitude relationships11
Scaled entities Model type
True replicaArtificial mass simulation Gravity forces neglecteda
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
Length displacement SL SL SL SL
Time ST SL
Vibrational period ST SL
Velocity Sv 1
Gravitational acceleration Sg 1 1 (neglected)
Acceleration SA 1 1
Density Sρ SE:SL (see Section 4.2) 1
Strain Sε 1 1 1
Stress Sσ SE SE 1
Modulus of elasticity SE SE SE 1
Force SF SE· SE·
Energy SW SE· SE·
aWhen the prototype material is used in the model,

sides of a beam column joint, predetermine the amplitude of local shear force reversals. The
seismic behaviour of these beam-ends and joints is adversely affected by eventual full reversals.
Consequently, these gravity force action-effects should also be present in the model. Thus, an
appropriate distribution of the additional masses should be achieved, (section 4.4).
In other cases these gravity forces may be neglected without substantial error. An example of this
situation occurs in the case of a building whose lateral resistance is primarily secured by means
of reinforced concrete walls. It is also the case for nuclear reactor containments where the

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of gravity are rather small compared to internal pressure and severe seismic action. The
acceleration scale factor is relaxed and the condition SA:Sg=1 is not fulfilled.
4.3 Modelling materials
The use of microconcrete in small-scale seismic models constitutes the only available practical
solution. The reinforcement is simulated by ribbed small diameter steel wires.
This direct limitation of the composition of prototype reinforced concrete is dictated by the
complicated post-yield cyclic degradation phenomena which govern the seismic behaviour of
RC structures.
The basic information on these modelling materials is given in Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 of this
book. A short account is also given below, however, together with a discussion on the
effectiveness of simulation of several mechanical properties of the prototype materials.
4.3.1 Microconcrete
Production. Cement content should be kept as low as possible (for the same design compressive
strength) in order to reduce the tendency of the model to exhibit higher shrinkage than prototype.
In this respect it is useful to recall a practical rule. For each 1-mm decrease of the maximum
aggregate size between 25 and 5 mm, a 2 kg/m cement increase should be provided, for constant
compressive strength under constant slump.
On the other hand, the maximum aggregate size (2·5–6·0 mm) follows, approximately, the
overall geometrical scaling in order to match possible variation in size of aggregates across the
wall sections and clearances.
Slightly higher values of maximum size are suggested, however, in order to decrease the
discrepancies observed in tensile strength and shrinkage between model and prototype concrete.
Usually, three aggregate classes are mixed to produce the desired gradation. Full similitude in
grading curves should be avoided, however, in the area of very fine materials: It is suggested
that the amount of aggregate passing the 0·15 mm sieve is limited to less than 10%.
Additives may also be used, but their effect on bond and shrinkage should be carefully studied.
Extensive trial mixes are suggested, followed by various measurements of mechanical
properties, such as compression, tension, bond, friction and shrinkage tests, after realistic curing
conditions. Since a complete repro-

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duction of all prototype concrete properties is not feasible, an appropriate optimisation has to be
made. It is worth noting that age-effects should be carefully taken into account, since
microconcrete seems to gain strength with age more rapidly than ordinary concrete.
Finally, the curing of the model has an important role in determining the mechanical properties. It
is suggested that the casting sequence of the prototype frame is reproduced (e.g. storey by
storey). Furthermore, thin microconcrete model elements could be subject to a higher shrinkage
and this should be taken into account during the curing process.
Compression simulation. In order to secure equal modulus of elasticity, equal strength and equal
post-elastic behaviour, identical σc—εc curves are needed for model and prototype concrete.
Experience shows that such a similitude is possible. Some eventual shifting of the peak of the
stress—strain curve, however, is to be expected. The problem of size-effect should also be
considered: the target-strength of microconcrete should be measured on control specimens which
are tested under machine head-blocks of appropriate stiffness. Finally, possible differential rate-
effects should be considered. Figure 7 provides a summary of results of several studies both on
normal and small-aggregate concretes. Since the experimental condi-

Fig. 7. Strain rate effects on compressive strength fc and on strain at peakstress of concrete, εco.

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tions might not be comparable, there is considerable doubt in the amount of the differences in
sensitivity shown in the figure.
Strain rate effects could help to explain the differences in response of models and prototypes.
For instance, the magnitude of the strain εco at peak stress of concrete under compression
depends upon strain rate (Fig. 7). Little experimental evidence seems to be available which
might be related to microconcrete.
Finally, Poisson’s ratio at 40% strength-level does not seem to be substantially influenced by
rate-effects. A 15% decrease is expected from 10−3 to 10−1 s−1 strain rate.12
Tension simulation. Normally, a microconcrete has higher tension strength than its prototype, for
equal compressive strength. This is due to the higher cement content needed to counterbalance
the higher amount of water used to achieve equal workability. Thus, every effort should be made
to decrease this difference in tensile strength which has an effect upon bond properties. Cracking
strain at failure in tension seems to increase by say 50% for a mean size of aggregate decreasing
from 8 to 2mm.13
Regarding size-effects, the comments made for compressive control specimens are also
applicable to the tensile specimens.
Differential rate-effects for the tensile strength between microconcrete and normal concrete are
not known. It should be noted that these rate-effects for normal concrete are more pronounced in
tension than in compression. A 30% increase of tensile strength is expected from 10−3 to 10−1 s
−1 strain-rate.14 Similarly, a 30% increase of Poisson’s ratio has been found in tension for the
above strain-rate change.12
Bond simulation. Bond action is of considerable importance for post-elastic phenomena
governing the seismic behaviour. Transverse cracking phenomena are related to stiffness, thus
influencing the natural period of the model and its spectral response. Longitudinal splitting and
pull-out resistance are related to anchorage behaviour under cyclic loading.
Bond simulation poses a major problem, and Chapters 3 and 4 of this book offer considerable
assistance in this respect. Local bond stress/slip tests need to be performed, on the smallest
possible bonded length, e.g. equal to two maximum aggregate sizes. On the basis of such local
bond stress/slip curves, computerised predictions may be found for all bond-controlled
phenomena, including cyclic behaviour.15
Comparative rate-effects on bond strength are not known. Even if

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identical model/prototype behaviour is assumed, however, the time-compression frequently
needed in seismic modelling (see ST, Table 2) would lead to an additional bond increase, since,
according to Vos et al.16

where n=0·7(1−2·5·s)·
τ,τo=local bond stresses corresponding to a local slip, ‘s’ (mm)
, =bond loading rates
fc=concrete strength (N/mm2)
As an example, for ordinary concrete of fc=20N/mm2 and for s=0·01 mm, a time-compression
factor equal to 10 would have increased local bond by 15%.
Dowel action. Here again, post-cracking post-elastic phenomena related to the seismic
behaviour of RC elements, increase the importance of dowel action as a shear transfer
mechanism. That is especially so when a large concrete cover or dense transverse reinforcement
is used. The cyclic behaviour of dowels embedded in prototype concrete is now better
understood.17 It seems that if everything is scaled correctly, the stiffness and strength of
prototype and model dowels can be reproduced.18
Concrete to concrete friction. Under the action of compressive stresses, be they external or
internal (clamping action of reinforcements), aggregate interlock constitutes a very important
shear-transfer mechanism along cracked interfaces.19 Several experimental studies have shown
that under monotonic loading there is no reliable influence of maximum aggregate size on the
shear stress and shear displacement relationship.20−23 In all cases, considerable response
degradation under cyclic actions was observed. These studies were made for maximum
aggregate sizes not lower than 10 mm.
4.3.2 Model reinforcement
Details of the characteristics and the fabrication of deformed steel wires are given in Chapter 4
of this book.
Cold-rolling operations of steel wires can be used in order to increase the yield strength. The
ductility lost during this process is subsequently restored by means of appropriate heat treatment.
Since the most important factor in model reinforcement is bond

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simulation, steel wires need to be deformed by means of appropriate cold-rolling. Large radius
knurling wheels are used in order to produce mechanical deformation of the wire’s surface. An
accurate ratio of rib height to wire’s effective diameter is sought, together with appropriate ribs’
spacing.24,25 Such cold-rolling causes simultaneous yield-strength increase, accompanied by an
elimination of the sharp yield-point and a significant decrease in ductility. Subsequent annealing
can bring down the yield strength if needed and control the adverse change in properties.
Acceptable yield-plateaus and strain-hardening forms may be obtained by a combination of
selecting initial carbon content and trial annealing processes.
Strain-rate effects in model reinforcement seem to be less important than in the case of
microconcrete. In fact, both for prototype steel bars,26 and for 3–4 mm diameter model
reinforcement,27 the yield-stress linearly increases in a logarithmic scale of strain-rates and
reaches a 10–15% higher value at =10−1 s−1 when compared to the yield-stress at =10−4 s
4.4 Design of models
The design of a small-scale seismic model can now be made on the basis of the information
given in this chapter. In what follows, a more practical introduction to such a design is
Depending on the earthquake-simulator facilities available, as well as on the nature of the
problem to be investigated, several categories of model may be envisaged. A reminder of the
corresponding similitude conditions governing their design is first given but, due to the
difficulties described in section 4.2, true replica models will not be considered.
4.4.1 Models with added (artificial) masses
The following steps are appropriate:
(a) Assume a unit ‘acceleration scale-factor’ SA=1, since the gravity action-effects will be fully
accounted for (gp=gm). Consequently,

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This is the so-called ‘time-compression factor’.
(b) Now assume a unit ‘stress scale-factor’ Sσ=1, because of the fundamental importance of
using a model material that exhibits the same strength and same modulus of elasticity as the full-
scale material, section 4.2. Therefore, since σ=m·a:l2,
and since SA=1,
This relationship applies to the entire mass of each area of the model and not necessarily to the
density of the model material alone.
(c) Select an initial value of ‘geometrical scale-factor’ SL that is based on approximate criteria
such as the bearing capacity of the earthquake simulator.
All the above findings have been listed in Table 2. Now that the three independent scale-factors
have been selected, the dynamic problem can be fully described. The important consequences of
this basic selection now follow:
(i) It is observed that another similitude condition is satisfied. Equal resonance sensitivity is
also achieved both for the prototype and the model. The ratio of the natural period Tp of the
prototype and the predominant period Tpred., p of the input prototype accelerogram is equal to
the relevant ratio for the model. In fact, since stiffness k=(σ·l2):l,



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This is the time compression factor found in eqn (9). Combining eqns (13) and (14), it is found
Therefore, the observance of equal resonance sensitivity is confirmed.
(ii) Another consequence of the correct selection of the independent scale-factors is that we are
now able to calculate the additional masses required on the appropriate areas of the model in
order to simulate both the overall mass present and the gravity action-effects. From eqn (11), the
ratio of all masses present on prototype and model may be written as follows:

where mp, mm denote the masses of the building elements themselves (in prototype and in
model, respectively), QE is the vertical live load which is probabilistically present on the
prototype at the moment of the design earthquake, and ΔG is the additional (artificial) weight
that must be applied to the model.
The ratio of dead weights of the structures alone is
and from eqn (16)

This expression allows the calculation of the additional weight that must be applied on every
area of the model, accounting for the dead weight G and the vertical live load QE acting on the
appropriate area of the prototype.
4.4.2 Models (partly or totally) neglecting vertical force action effects
Two compatibility checks are normally made in the previous case and

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these are:
— Is the total model weight (mmg+∆G) compatible with the capacity of the available
earthquake simulator (see section 4.1)?
— Is there any space within the model to properly attach the additional masses to the
appropriate areas, (see section 4.4.1)?
If the first check is not satisfied a possible decrease of the geometrical scale-factor could be
considered. This is provided that a second check can be satisfied. Similarly, if the second check
cannot be satisfied then an increase in the geometrical scale-factor could be considered
provided that the first check may then be satisfied.
If all these are not satisfied, other possibilities could be explored:
I Gravity forces are totally neglected. This is acceptable in only a few cases and then only as a
first approximation (see section 4.2). For this case the following similitude conditions should be
(a) Select the highest possible value of SL, but in doing so remember the difficulties in trying to
satisfy the conditions of section 4.4.1.
(b) Adopt a unit stress scale-factor Sσ=1, since materials of equal strength and modulus of
elasticity for both the prototype and the model are used. This unit stress scale-factor cannot
reproduce inertia stresses.
(c) Since no additional mass will be applied and identical materials will be used, a ‘density
scale-factor’ defined by
will be used.
Having selected these three scale-factors, some practical consequences will be discussed.
(i) Since (fully simulated) inertia stresses are expressed as

it is found that

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(ii) On the other hand, since
and using eqn (22), we find
(iii) It is very important now to note that the foregoing simplification which disregards the
gravity force action-effect causes some difficulty. The ‘time compression factor’ now (ST=SL) is
much larger than in Section 4.4.1. Therefore, in addition to some possible distortions in test
results, strain-rate effects are greatly accentuated (both in the model’s behaviour and the high
frequency reproduction of the simulator). The acceleration scale-factor has also changed. Instead
of SA=1, the value SA= is required. Therefore, instead of am=ap, the relationship
is obtained. Such an increase in acceleration amplitude may create problems for the earthquake
simulator capacity.
II Gravity forces partly considered. In order to alleviate the two difficulties mentioned in the
previous section and to diminish the inaccuracy of neglecting gravity forces, an intermediate
solution can be sought. This solution involves the addition of artificial masses. Their weight
∆G0 is sought such as to be compatible with the simulator capacity and the space available
along the model.
In this case the time-compression factor is

It is worth noting that stiffnesses against seismic actions are mainly conditioned by stresses due
only to inertia forces, for which simulation is observed. Consequently, eqn (12) is valid,

Substituting eqn (27) in eqn (26) it is found that


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This value lies between the time scale-factors given in eqns (9) and (21).
At the same time, since
it is concluded that

Here again, this value lies between the values found for the cases discussed in sections 4.4.1 and
4.4.2, respectively.
Consequently, a considerable reduction has been made possible on the values of both the
necessary time compression factor and the acceleration amplitude increase needed in model
testing. Of course, simulation is still not complete since gravity force action effects are only
partly taken into account.
4.4.3 Model design steps
In Fig. 8 a summarised presentation of design steps is given, together with the necessary checks
for the case of gravity forces being taken into account. Similar steps are followed for the design
of models neglecting gravity forces, ΔG=0.
4.4.4 Model dimensioning
In principle, a bar-for-bar substitution of prototype reinforcements is needed for the following
— Bond similitude will be better followed.
— Eccentricities mainly in wall sections will be avoided.
— Confinement will be better simulated.
— The relationship between action effects leading to flexural and shear failure modes will be
better observed.
It has to be admitted that such a proportioning policy is, however, not practical for low scale-
factors, possibly for SL=6. If this is the case, the basic moment and shear ductility simulation is
not fully observed.
Particular problems are related to splicing and anchorage. Splicing of longitudinal model
reinforcement is not needed and can, in fact, be avoided unless this is a parameter to be
Whenever anchorage is expected to be a decisive characteristic of large amplitude cyclic
behaviour, a direct scaling down of prototype’s anchorage length may not be the best decision.
The improved bond characteristics in the model should be somehow accounted for.

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Fig. 8. An algorithm for seismic model’s design, accounting for gravity forces.
A particular problem is posed by the confinement of critical regions of the model elements.
Local ductility depends on the available ultimate strain εcu of concrete, which in turn is a
function of the mechanical volumetric percentage ωw of the confining reinforcement.28 The
ultimate strain is given by
where n denotes the number of intermediate longitudinal bars, other than those at the corners, on
each side of a rectangular cross-section which are restrained by a link (Fig. 9).
4.5 Instrumentation
4.5.1 Scope
The instrumentation aims at recording the following data:
(a) The response of the shaking platform.

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Fig. 9. Stress-strain diagram of concrete confined with orthogonal hoops.

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(b) The horizontal and vertical displacements and the rotations of model elements relative to the
(c) Accelerations around the model.
(d) Internal angular deformations, strains and crack widths along critical regions of the model.
(e) Internal forces generated at some critical cross-sections.
4.5.2 Methods of recording
The following instrumentation may be used to obtain the desired experimental objectives.
An external frame outside the shaking platform may be needed to record the displacement history
of the platform. Accelerometers are also attached on the platform in order to check the accuracy
of reproduction of the input accelerogram.
A rigid reference frame is fixed on the platform, close to the model, (Fig. 10). A horizontal
reference framework is also needed if uplift displacements are also to be measured. A large
number of displacement monitoring instruments, e.g. linear-variable-differential-transformers or
linear-potentiometers are used. Several horizontal displacements are measured both in the
direction of motion and perpendicular to it. Similarly, some vertical displacements are also
recorded, mainly on upper regions, in order to measure possible uplifts.
Appropriate accelerometers are attached to several levels of the model, in order to measure
horizontal response accelerations, parallel and transverse to the input motion. Vertical
accelerations may also be needed to be measured, even when the input motion does not contain
vertical components. The measurement of localised deformations of models may pose problems
because of their small scale. Internal angular distortions may be measured by arragements like
those shown in Fig. 11. Normal strain gauges are used for strain measurements on wires and
microconcrete. Finally, the time history of the width of some selected cracks may be recorded by
means of small Ω—type strain gauges. It is very advisable to insert appropriate load-cells
(force transducers), when the scale of the model offers such a possibility, in order to follow the
time history of internal forces generated during the seismic motion at some particular cross-
sections, e.g. the columns of an RC building (Fig. 12).
4.5.3 Data acquisition system
It is beyond the scope of this chapter to describe in detail the data acquisition system needed for
earthquake simulator tests. Essentially, all

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Fig. 10. Instrumentation, location and orientation on a 1:10 RC seismic model of a seven-storey

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Fig. 11. Column-footing interface details and diagonal distortion measurement in a 1:5 scale
seismic model of a seven-storey building.7
analogue signals from instruments connected to the model and the platform have to be amplified,
recoded, digitised and stored. The earthquake simulator motion, simultaneously recorded, is
used as a time-reference source in order to synchronise records which might be taken on
different recorders. Graphic display and printer facilities are also part of the system.
Motion-picture cameras are used to record all phases of tests.
One of the main characteristics of these data acquisition facilities is their precision and
resolution for high speed events.
4.6 Testing procedure
A check-list of steps for testing a seismic model is now given.
— Model visual inspection. Identification of possible initial cracks due to shrinkage, thermal
stresses or accidental shocks during handling.
— Check again the stability of fixings.
— Check the serviceability of all instruments (small amplitude arbitrary motions).
— Horizontal static loadings are applied at several levels of the model

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Fig. 12. Internal force transducer installation in mid-height of a ground-floor RC column of a 1:5
seismic model.7
by means of light jacks, in order to measure the corresponding displacements and check the
initial stiffness of the model. A comparison between calculated and experimentally found initial
natural frequency values should be made.
— Free-vibration tests (small amplitude) carried out before and after attachment of the
additional masses. The platform should be immovable during these tests. Initial natural periods
and viscous damping factors of the model are found.
— Check the accuracy of reproduction of the input seismic record.

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After the selection of the appropriate ‘time-compression factor’, a given seismic record is used
to control the motion of the shaking table in the form of a displacement-time history. The
displacements may be obtained by integrating the accelerograms.
— An initial run is performed with properly scaled down acceleration amplitudes, so that the
linear behaviour of the model is observed. During this run, the elastic response of the model is
recorded and checked against analytical finding. A good comparison is expected as proof of
satisfactory overall experimental conditions before investigations into the non-linear domain are
— The acceleration-time history of the platform is checked against the input accelerogram.
Some discrepancies are expected in peak acceleration values due mainly to the simulator-model
interaction (Fig. 6).
— Experiments planned for the specific investigation are performed. Besides instrumental
measurements, systematic visual inspection of the model is carried-out after a seismic test.
Crack formation, crack widths, possible microconcrete spalling and the condition of steel wire
at critical regions are recorded and described.
— It is worth noting, that strictly speaking, only one non-linear dynamic test can be considered
as ‘accurate’. Every additional test, e.g. a second ‘identical’ run, a scaled-up acceleration
amplitude or a run with another input accelerogram is influenced by the low-cycling fatigue
induced in the model during its first non-linear excursion. This is particularly so in the case of
seismic loading close to a partial collapse condition.
— After each of these planned runs, additional free-vibration tests are carried out in order to
assess the general condition of the model. This may be expressed by the modified natural period
and damping.
— It is customary to perform a final destructive test of the model by means of disproportionate
scaling-up of the input accelerogram.
— Sometimes repair of the model and retesting is envisaged (mainly for medium scale models).
4.7 Applications and reliability of small-scale models
Comprehensive details of the model testing of buildings are to be found in Refs 7, 29, 30. In
these papers the dynamic behaviour of a wall-frame multi-storey building, a five-storey pre-cast
panel building and a seven-storey three-framed monolithic building are discussed.

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A short discussion is now presented on the possible inconsistencies of small-scale RC models
tested on earthquake simulators.
4.7.1 Initial conditions
Assuming that material modelling has been achieved as accurately as possible, the following
eventual sources of error have to be accounted for. The importance of the accurate simulation of
strain-hardening of prototype and model reinforcement must be emphasised. The lack of such
hardening in some model wires may cause more rapid local deterioration and a lower global
ductility (inability for redistribution of action-effects).
Geometrical errors. Concrete cover of steel wires should be a matter of concern. Standard
deviations of more than 1 mm have been measured,9 for model elements of 8 mm nominal
thickness. Post-testing systematic checks are recommended before the final evaluation of
experimental findings.
Output accelerations. The base accelerations induced to the model (i.e. the accelerations
measured on the platform) differ from the input signals, due to simulation errors and to model—
simulator interaction. Local differences of the order of 20% at peak values are not rare. The
overall damage potential of the two accelerograms may be considered as sufficiently equal if,
however, the intensity coefficient

is practically identical.
4.7.2 Model prototype basic dissimilarities
Some of these dissimilarities seem to be inevitable but they have to be considered when
evaluating test results.
Cracking pattern. In general, models exhibit fewer cracks than prototypes tested pseudo-
dynamically. In areas of low steel ratio, the higher tensile strength of microconcrete may result in
a considerable delay in the formation of first cracking. Sometimes, cracking occurs together with
yielding. Thus, non-yielded regions may remain uncracked. A longer yield plateau of the model’s
reinforcement may also be the reason for fewer cracks in model areas further from critical
Strain-rate effects may further accentuate bond dissimilarities between

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models tested on earthquake simulators and real full-scale structures or full-scale models tested
pseudo-dynamically. A small bond increase in models has been recognised in section 4.3.1 due
to strain-rate effects. In addition, bond-stress relaxation,31 can hardly occur under these very
high rate conditions. Thus, a further increase of bond resistance occurs. It is worth noting here
that such a model-to-prototype dissimilarity is observed even in the case of equal-scale
structures made of identical materials.32 Thus, explanations other than strain-rate effects may be
less important.
Now, whatever the reasons for such cracking dissimilarity may be, the consequences should be
taken into consideration. Both flexural and shear stiffness of models tested on earthquake
simulators are higher than in prototypes. However, this difference is not clear during the quasi-
elastic loading conditions (less pronounced cracking due to loading, counter-effects of initial
shrinkage cracks, etc). Besides, more concentrated rotations at a model’s critical cross-sections,
may lead to more rapid steel-hardening.
Axial force simulation. For several reasons, vertical RC building elements under large
amplitude seismic reversals are very sensitive to the actual axial forces. An increase of
compressive axial forces leads to higher stiffness and thus to higher flexural and shear action-
effects. It is not always certain whether the corresponding increased flexural or shear strengths
are high enough to cover the higher action effects. Higher axial compression leads to
disproportionately lower ductilities. It is, therefore, very important to secure the highest
possible accuracy of axial force reproduction. To this end, gravity forces should in general be
fully reproduced. Similarly, all possible membrane and three-dimensional effects influencing
axial forces, should also be simulated. Planar frames detached from a real building can hardly
fulfill this requirement.
Strength increase due to strain-rate effects. It has been observed in Section 4.3 that model
concrete and less clearly, steel wire, exhibit a differential sensitivity in strain-rate effects. In any
event, small-scale seismic models under time-compression factors which are considerably
higher than unity are expected to be stronger, except perhaps for possible localised failures.
Localised deterioration events. Localised failure phenomena which are so critical for the final
level of available ductility of a structure can hardly be simulated. The basic dissimilarities
already discussed and the over-

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sensitivity of these phenomena to local detailing, may explain this difficulty. Therefore, a
detailed observation of the damage to the model is needed at every step in order to attribute a
specific result to normal global response or to localised deterioration. In the latter case, parallel
seismic experiments of isolated critical building elements, tested under larger scale, may offer a
better insight. For such tests, the response history of the element obtained from an earthquake
simulator test of model structure, can serve as the loading history applied to the isolated
Other seismic components. Under some conditions, the response of a structure to a given
horizontal seismic excitation is considerably influenced by a simultaneous transverse and
vertical excitation. Unless a more complete input excitation is feasible the disadvantage of one-
direction time histories should be recognised.
4.8 The potential of small-scale models
In spite of the limitations described in the previous section, small-scale RC models tested on
earthquake simulators remain a powerful tool for the realistic prediction of the seismic
behaviour of given structures. The use of small-scale models together with pseudo-dynamic tests
should be continued. Many areas not considered by seismic codes may be investigated using
experimental methods. Examples of these are:
— Assessment of the limits of mass and stiffness irregularities and

Fig. 13. Force-displacement relationship for three seismic model frames tested under several
input accelerograms. An overall ‘ductility factor’ equal to 3·5 seems to be suggested.9

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overstrengths, if equivalent static or even linear dynamic analysis is to be acceptable from a
public safety standpoint.
— The contradictory role of infill walls in RC frame structures can be parametrically
— Realistic values of behaviour factors can be sought (see Section 1). In this respect small-
scale models seem to be quite reliable (Fig. 13).
— Hybrid design methods can be implemented for unusually complex structures or for structures
at high risk.
— The consequences of foundation behaviour (rocking and sliding) on the overall seismic
response can be studied. Few investigations have been carried out in this area.
The Author of this chapter acknowledges the bibliographical assistance and the fruitful
discussion offered by Professor P.Carydis.

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Earthquake simulators (with model weight more than 50 KN) around the world (courtesy of P. Caryd
Appendix 1. Tables in the European Community
No. Institution Construction Table SpecimenControlledFrequencyAccelerationMaximumTab
year size (m) weight degrees of range (g) velocity disp
(KN) freedom (Hz) (cm/s.)
1 CEN ‘VESUVE’ 3·1×3·1 200 1 0–200 H 1·8 100·0
2 CEN 2·0×2·0 100 2 0–200 H 220·0
Saclay V 120·0
3 SOPEMEA, 3·0×3·0 100 2 0–50 H 3·0 60·0
Velizy- V 3·0 60·0
4 HRB GmbH 5·0×5·0 250 3 0·5–100 H 1·5 100·0
Julich H 1·5 100·0
V 1·5 100·0
5 National 1983 4·0×4·0 100 6 0·1–60 H 1·5 89·0
University, H 1·5 89·0
V 2·9 85·0
6 Ansaldo 1980 3·5×3·5 70 2 0·1–60 H 1·3 86·0
Geneva H 0·63 55·0
7 ISMES, 1984 4·0×4·0 300 6 0–120 H 3·0 55·0
Bergamo H 3·0 55·0
V 2·0 45·0
8 ENEA, 1985 4·0×4·0 100 3 0·5–50 H 3·0 50·0
Rome H 3·0 50·0
V 3.0 50·0

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No. Institution Construction Table size SpecimenControlledFrequencyAccelerationMaximumTable
year (m) weight degrees of range (g) velocity displ
(KN) freedom (Hz) (cm/s.)
9 ELCOM 16·0×16·0 1500 1 0·5–20 H
10 Laborat. 2·45×1·45 50 1 V
de Engen.
11 NEL, 3·0×3·0 200 3 0–33 H
Glasgow H
12 GEC, 3·85×3·2 250
13 GEC Power 4·3×4·3 1000 2 3–1000 H
Stafford V
14 University 1987 3·0×3·0 150 6 100 H 1·0 50·0
of Bristol H 1·0 50·0
V 1·0 50·0

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Appendix 2. Tables in the North and South America
No. Institution Construction Table size SpecimenControlledFrequencyAccelerationMaximumTabl
year (m) weight degrees of range (g) velocity disp
(KN) freedom (Hz) (cm/s.)
1University of 1968 3·65×3·65 45 1 0–50 H 5·0 38·1
2University of 1971 6·1×6·1 450 5 0·5–50 H 0·67 63·5
Berkeley V 0·22 25·4
3Construction 1973 3·65×3·65 60 5 0·1–200 H 15 81·3
Research V 30 68·6
4Westinghouse 1978 4·9×4·9 178 3 0–100 H 3·5 76·2
Pittsburg, PA V 76·2
5University of 1978 3·0×3·0 68 1 0–50 H 1·0 63·5
6Union 1980 1·83×1·83 340 2 0·1–20 H 0·25 30·5
Oak Ridge, V 0·25 30·5
7E.G. & G. 1981 3·0×3·0 100 5 0–30 H 1·0 63·5
Idaho Falls, V 0·5 31·8
8State of 1983 3·7x3·7 180 2 0.1–60 H 1·0 76·0
of New York, V 1·0 50·0
9Wyle 1972 0·6x0·6 890 1 0–100 H 15·0 200·0
10Wyle 1973 0·6×0·6 890 1 0–100 H 10·0 152·0
11 CERL US 1973 3·7x3·7 53 2 0–200 H 20·0 89·0
V 40.0 89·0
12University of 1978 2·4×1·8 89 1 0–100 H 0·6
13University of 1975 4·5×2·5 200 1 0·1–50 H 1·2 38·1
Mexico City

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Appendix 3. Tables in Japan
No. Institution Construction Table size SpecimenControlledFrequencyAccelerationMaximumTab
year (m) weight degrees of range (g) velocity disp
(KN) freedom (Hz) (cm/s.)
1Kajima 1975 4·0×4·0 2000 2 0·1–50 H 2·0 114·0
Institute of
Construction V 1·0 44·5
2Ministry of 1979 6·0×8·0 1000 1 0·1–30 H 0·7 60·0
Tsukuba (2, 1983)
3Toshiba 1980 5·0×5·0 200 2 0·1–30 H 1·0 40·0
Electric Co.,
Kawasaki V 0·7 25·0
4Ministry of 1981 2·0×3·0 250 1 0·1–50 H 0·7 60·0
Tsukuba (4 tables)
5NUPEC, 1982 15·0×15·0 10000 2 0–30 H 1·8 75·0
Takamatsu V 0·9 37·5
6Ishikawajima- 1983 4·5×4·5 350 6 0·1–50 H 1·5 75·0
Heavy H 1·5 75·0
Yokohama V 1·0 50·0
7Nippon 1985 3·0×3·0 100 6 1–100 H 3·0 6·5
Telegraph H 3·0 6·5
V 3·0 6·5
8Instit. of 10·0×2·0 1700 1 H 0·4
Sc., Univ. of
Tokyo, Chiba
9Railway 10·0×2·0 1000 1 H 0·4 60·0
Techn. Res.
Inst. JNR,
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10CRIEPI, Abiko, 6·5×6·0 1250 1 H 1·2 60– ±5·0Japan
11Natl. Res. Cent. for 6·0×6·0 750 3 0– H 1·210·0±20·0Japan
Dis. Prevention, Tsukuba V 1·0 7·5±10·0
12Takasago Res. Inst. 6·0×6·0 500 2 H 1·242·0 ±5·0Japan
Mitsub. Ind., Himeji V 1·242·0 ±5·0
13Natl. Res. Inst. Agric. 6·0×3·2 300 1 0– H 0·432·0 ±5·0Japan
Eng., Tsukuba
14Port & Harb. Res. Inst., 5·5×2·0 170 1 H 0·515·0 ±5·0Japan
15Port and Harb. Res. Inst., 4·0×3·5 300 1 H25·0 ±5·0Japan
16Shimizu Const. Comp., 5·0×4·0 120 1 H 1·072·0±10·0Japan
17Build. Res. Institute, 4·0×3·0 200 1 0– H 1·060·0 ±7·5Japan
18Ohbayashi Gumi, 4·0×3·0 100 1 H 1·0 ±10·0Japan
19Div. Prev. Res. Inst., 3·0×3·0 120 1 H 0·5 ±10·0Japan
20Div. Prev. Res. Inst., 2·5×2·5 80 2 H 0·550·0 ±5·0Japan
Kyoto V 0·550·0 ±5·0
21Natl. Res. Center for Dis. Prevention, 15·0×15·0 H 1 (H or 0– H37·0 ±3·0Japan
Tsukuba 5000 V) 50 0·5537·0 ±3·0
2000 1·00

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Appendix 4. Tables in other countries
No. Institution Construction Table SpecimenControlledFrequencyAcceleratioMaximumTable m
year size (m) weight degrees of range (g) velocity displace
(KN) freedom (Hz) (cm/s.) (cm
1University of 1980 5·0×5·0 400 2 0·1–30 H 0·67 63·5
and Metodij, V 0·40 38·0
2Tong Ji 1983 4·0×4·0 100 6 0·1–50 H 1·5 89·0
Shanghai H 1·5 62·5
H2·7 62·5
3East China 1984 2·0×2·8 60 1 0·1–80 H 1·2 50·0
University of
4Dalian 1984 3·0×3·0 100 1 0·1–50 H 1·0 50·0
Institute of
5Hydroproject 1980 6·0×6·0 500 3 0·1–100 H 1·2
Institute, H 1·2 ±
Tbilisy V 1·0
6Arya Mehz 5·0×5·0 500 1 0–50 H 0·6
7University of 4·0×4·0 200 1 0–50 H 1·1
8INCERC, 7·0×7·0 6000 1 H 0·8

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1. Actan, A.E. & Bertero V.V., Analytical and physical modelling of R.C. frame-wall/coupled
wall structure. In Design for Dynamic Loading, The Use of Model Analysis, ed. G.Armer,
F.K.Garas. Construction Press, London, 1982.
2. Eto, H. & Takeda, T., Simulated earthquake tests of R.C. frame structures with columns
subjected to high compressive stress. In Proc. 8th WCEE, Vol. VI, San Francisco, CA, 1984.
3. Tassios, T.P., Discussion paper. In Proc. Interassociation Symp. ‘Concrete Structures under
Impact Loading’, Final Vol. p. 43, BAM, Berlin, 1982.
4. Mahin, S.A. & Shing, P.B., Pseudodynamic method for seismic testing. ASCE, Struct. Div,
July 1985.
5. Shing, P.B. & Mahin S.A., Pseudodynamic test method for seismic performance evaluation:
theory and implementation. UCB/EERC, 84/01, 1984.
6. Xu Peifu, Seismic resistance of shear wall structure with large space ground floor. Building
Science (quarterly), China Academy of Building Research, 1 (1985).
7. Bertero, V.V., Actan, A.E., Charney, F.A. & Sause, R., US-Japan co-operative earthquake
research program: Earthquake simulation tests and associated studies of a 1/5th. scale model of
a 7-storey R.C. test structure. UCB/EERC-84/05, June 1984.
8. Wiegel, R.L. (Ed.), Earthquake Engineering. Prentice-Hall, London, 1970.
9. Wolfgram, C.E., Experimental modelling and analysis of three one-tenth-scale R.C. frame-
wall structures. PhD thesis, Graduate College, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,
10. Midorikawa, M. & Kitagawa, Y., Dynamic characteristics of the building, US-Japan co-
operative research on R/C full scale building test. In Proc. 8th WCEE, Vol. VI, San Francisco,
CA, 1984.
11. Moncarz, P.D. & Krawinkler, H., Theory and application of experimental model analysis in
earthquake engineering. Research Report, Stanford University, CA, 1981.
12. Ammann, W., Stahlbeton und Spannbetontragwerke unter stossartiger Belastung. Inst. f.
Baustatik, ETH, Bericht Nr 142, 1983.
13. Johnston, C.D., Strength and deformation of concrete in uniaxial tension and compression.
Mag. of Concr. Res., March 1970.
14. Körmeling, H., A model for concrete under impact tensile loading. In Proc. Interassociation
Symp. ‘Concrete Structures under Impact Loading’, BAM, Berlin, 1982.
15. Tassios, T. & Yannopoulos, O., Analytical studies on R.C. members under cyclic loading,
based on bond stress-slip relationships. ACI Journal, May-June (1981).
16. Vos, E. & Reinhardt, H., Influence of loading rate on bond in R.C. In Proc. Interassociation
Symp. ‘Concrete structures under Impact Loading’. BAM, Berlin, 1982.
17. Vintzeleou, E. & Tassios, T., Mathematical models for dowel action under monotonic and
cyclic conditions. Magazine of Concrete Research, March (1986).

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18. Taylor, H.P.J., Investigation of the dowel shear forces carried by the tensile steel in R.C.
beams. Tech. Report, CCA, London, November 1969.
19. Tassios, T.P. & Vintzeleou, E., Concrete-to-concrete friction. ASCE, Struct. Div. April 1987.
20. Daschner, F., Schubkraftubertragung in Rissen von Normal-und Leichtbeton. Inst. f.
Massivbau, T.U.Muenchen, FRG, March 1980.
21. Loeber, P.J., Shear transfer by aggregate interlock. Master thesis, University of Canterbury,
Christchurch, New Zealand, 1970.
22. White, R.N. & Holley, M.J., Experimental studies on membrane shear transfer. ASCE,
Struct. Div., August 1972.
23. Walraven, J.C., Aggregate interlock: A theoretical and experimental analysis. PhD thesis,
Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, 1980.
24. Maisel, E., Mikrobeton fur modelstatische Untersuchungen. Inst. f. Modelstatik, Univ.
Stuttgart, FRG, 1979.
25. Noor, F.A. & Khalid, M., Deformed wire reinforcement for microconcrete models. In
Reinforced and Prestressed Microconcrete Models. Construction Press, London, 1980.
26. Ammann, W., Mühlematter, M. & Bachmann, H., Stress-strain behaviour of non-prestressed
and prestressed reinforcing steel at high strain rates. In Proc. Interassociation Symp. ‘Concrete
Structures under Impact Loading. BAM, Berlin, 1982.
27. Staffier, S.R. & Sozen, M.A., Effect of strain rate on yield stress of model reinforcement.
Civ. Eng. Studies, Struct. Res. Series No. 145, University of Illinois, February 1975.
28. Tassios T.P., Fundamental mechanisms of force transfer across RC critical surfaces. CEB
Bulletin No. 178/179, 1986.
29. Shimazu, T. & Araki, H., Fundamental study on dynamic behaviour of multi-storey shear
walls. In Proc. 8th WCEE, Vol. VI, San Francisco, CA, 1984.
30. Caccesse, V. & Harris, H.G., Seismic behaviour of precast concrete large panel building
using a small shaking table. Report 3, Dept of Civil Engineering, Drexel University, PA, June
31. Plaines, P., Tassios, T. & Vintzeleou, E., Bond relaxation and bond-slip creep under
monotonic and cyclic actions. In Proc. Int. Conf. on Bond in Concrete. Paisley, UK, 1982.
32. Kitagawa, Y., Kubota, T., Kaminosono, T. & Kubo, T., Correlation study on shaking table
tests and pseudo-dynamic tests by R.C.models. In Proceedings 8th WCEE, Vol. VI. San
Francisco, CA, 1984.
ACI Committee 444, Models of concrete structures, a state-of-the-art report. 1979.
Harris, H.G., Schwindt, D.C., Taher, I. & Werner, S.D., Techniques and materials in the
modelling of R.C. structures under dynamic loads. Research Report 63–24, Dept Civ. Eng., MIT,
MA, 1963.

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König, G. & Dargel, H.J., A constitutive law for R.C. with consideration to the effect of high
strain rates. In Proc. Interassoc. Symp. Concrete Structures under Impact Loading. BAM,
Berlin, 1982.
Kowalzyk, R. & Dilger, W., Deformability of reinforced and unreinforced concrete (in Polish).
Arch. Inz. Lad., 18 (1972) 287.
Morgan, B.J., Hiraishi, H. & Corley, W.G., U.S.-Japan co-operative research program, Tests of
1/3-scale planar wall assemblies. In Proc. 8th WCEE, San Francisco, CA, 1984.
Tassios, T.P., Fundamental mechanisms of force-transfer across RC critical interfaces. In CEB
Bulletin No. 174, 1987.
Tassios, T.P. & Tsoukantas, S., Behaviour of large panel connections. Journal of CIB, July–
August (1983) 226–32.

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10Modelling Structures Subjected to Impact
Institute for Structural Model Analysis, University of Stuttgart, Germany
In the age of the computer when costs are decreasing and the working speed of computers is
increasing, the development and application of mathematical models would appear to make
physical research models unnecessary. Although the need for a numerical description of
structural materials is not in doubt, it is also necessary to prove the accuracy of the numerical
approach with the aid of physical models. This is especially so, since the value of a
mathematical model will depend on how accurately and comprehensively the constitutive
relationships of the materials and their interdependence have been recognized and described. A
feasible mathematical model is always based, to a greater or lesser extent, on generalizations
and simplifications and the reliability will decrease as the structural system to be analysed
becomes more complex.
A check on reliability must be made with real models and in this context either full-scale
(prototypes) or models of smaller dimensions, may be used. The behaviour of reinforced
concrete may be obtained by microconcrete and deformed steel reinforcement and thus the
analysis of complex load-bearing structures becomes possible. Even if only an approximate
agreement between prototype and microconcrete model
*Present address: Schumannstr. 13a, 7000 Stuttgart 1, Germany.

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occurs, the data from small-scale physical elements and complete structures would be useful in
verifying the mathematical model. Provided the materials are carefully selected, it is possible to
obtain a good simulation of the prototype. This applies not only to static loading, but also to
dynamic loading, where the maximum load-bearing capacity of a structural component is of
special interest, particularly in the case of a sudden collapse.
Concrete structures can be subjected to a variety of dynamic working loads, such as vibrations
(traffic, machinery), or loads occurring only periodically, e.g. by hydraulic pressure, wave
action, and drifting ice.
Apart from this, however, there are cases of loading to which the structure is exceptionally
exposed and then usually only once, such as explosions, earthquakes and impact loading due to
vehicles, military projectiles, aircraft, goods in transit, etc. Although research on the impact as a
form of dynamic loading has been carried out over a very long period of time, so that it has
become a classic problem in mechanics (Timoshenko-beam, published 1913/21), there is at
present still no satisfactory numerical solution for inhomogeneous, anisotropic materials such as
reinforced concrete.
A few tests during which samples of concrete and hardened cement paste were shattered by
falling weights, have been conducted as early as the beginning of this century (Foppl, published
1906). In later years, experiments with reinforced concrete components were also carried out,
mainly for military applications. More recently, civilian institutions increasingly showed interest
in the dynamic aspects of concrete. The appearance of impact-driven concrete piles and the
phenomena of destruction in the head area (caused by the rammer during the process of
insertion), led to a whole range of impact tests on piles and dolphins. At the same time,
comprehensive research work was undertaken in the field of vehicle impact on columns. From
1976, public concern over atomic energy and the necessity of increased safety, initiated
international research programmes with the object of exploring the maximum dynamic load-
bearing capacity of reinforced concrete (e.g. resistance to an aeroplane crash).
The usual test objects were and still are of geometrically uncomplicated

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constructions, such as columns, beams, and simple slabs; connecting elements (column/frame)
are used more rarely and in a few cases shells or complete flooring systems were tested. The
structural elements of construction engineering can be related in a simplified manner to specific
impact loads as stated in Table 1.
Table 1
Structures subject to impact loading
Type of impact Type of structural element Examples
Impact by vehicle (moderate Columns in buildings Passenger cars in high-rise
speed) parking building
Fork-lift trucks in warehouses
Impact by vehicle (moderate to Bridge pier Lorry on motorway
medium speed) Drilling platform Railway bridges
Ship collision
Impact by flying objects (higher Shell, container shear walls Aeroplane crash on reactor
speed) and floor slabs safety containment
Mass concrete structures Civilian and military shelters
Damage by goods in transit and Floors and beams Crane loads (container)
other objects Walls Secondary damage by scattering
Design-related impact loading Piles Piled foundations of buildings
and bridges
Machinery Non-isolated foundations, etc. Any structure not protected
against impact
Due to the method of calculation employed, the impact processes are usually divided into two
— soft impact (rigid structural component with exclusive deformation of the impact body);
— hard impact (rigid body with exclusive deformation of the structural component involved).
For the purposes of basic research, this strategy of assessing the type of impact process is
certainly justified. In actual practice, however, the cases of damage rarely present such clear-cut
situations. An exception can be made for the impact of fork-lift trucks on columns, which is a

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specified by DIN 1055 (German standard 1055). In order to be able to design columns for these
impact loads with sufficient accuracy and at the same time economically, a number of tests were
carried out. The tests V 3.6 and V 3.7 described in the following sections form part of this
experimental programme. Rigid impact bodies lead to large local destruction. In the contact
area, the load-bearing structure is subjected to extreme dynamic processes (high accelerations).
Increased dynamic material strength and deformation qualities can, however, be activated at the
point of impact and these will oppose the failure of the structural component. In the case of
deformable impact bodies, in addition to an increase in local strength, the maximum load-
bearing capacity of the complete structural component can be utilized. As far as experimental
techniques are concerned, hard impact represents the simpler case of loading, but it will still
remain difficult to obtain a quantitatively correct description with the aid of numerical solutions,
until the activated material-dependent maximum load-bearing capacity of reinforced concrete
has been fully determined by extensive tests. Material tests to this effect have been carried out
for some time now, e.g. in Delft and Berlin.1,2
The tests described in the following sections concentrate on the question of the transferability of
model-test results to full-scale structures in the case of dynamic loading. Here, it was necessary
to establish whether model scales smaller than Lv=1:4 still make systematic detail investigation
possible, or whether only a general survey of the behaviour of a load-bearing structure can be
gained at these scale ratios. For testing this, a few simple models were used. This was done
because few prototypes of a more complex nature were available for comparison. The effects of
different parameters, when the structure is subjected to dynamic loading, have not been analysed
to the extent required in this context.
All values obtained by experiment contain some error (scatter of material strength, different
degrees of accuracy when modelling, measuring inaccuracies, etc). Therefore, when the main
theme of analysis is the similarity of model and prototype results under impact loading, it will
not be sufficient to realize ‘simply’ the production and loading of various test objects according
to the relevant model laws. It will rather be necessary to prove the reliability of the modelling
technique by parameter studies and repeat tests, and to determine quantitatively the potential

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on the results. This becomes particularly evident when, as in the present case, parameter studies
have been undertaken for the prototypes, yet no statements can be made about the reproducibility
of the data because these tests have not been repeated.
3.1 Scope of tests
The following parameters were varied for the models:
Problem Investigation
How are the test
results affected
—model size variation of the model scale
—choice of variation of reinforcement and concrete mix
—form of rectangular beam, T-beam, square slab
—type of bearing point bearing, linear bearing; statically determinate and statically
indeterminate bearings; support points with and without clamping
—type of failure shear, bending, punch through
—type of variation of the stirrup distances, punch through test on slabs with and without
reinforcement web reinforcement; variation of the degree of longitudinal reinforcement
—degree of working load; field of plastic deformation; condition of rupture
—impact energy variation of the impact mass; variation of falling height; variation of the
applied impact head
Furthermore, the different behaviour of some load-bearing structures with static and dynamic
loading were investigated (square slabs, T-beams).
For this, some results are given in Sections 5 and 6.
Tests with deformable projectiles and multi-mass impact bodies have already been carried out
previously at the Institution for Structural

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Fig. 1. Test survey for rectangular beams and T-beams.

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Fig. 2. Test survey for slabs.

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Model Analysis.3 In order to minimize the experimental costs a rigid impact mass was chosen.
The impact tests conducted by Eibl, Block and Kreuser on beams and plates were used for
The rectangular beams 3.6 and 3.7 (Fig. 1) are in reality transverse loaded columns which only
differ in their stirrup distances.
In the case of the prototype slab tests (Fig. 2), a pipe-encased falling weight was used, and for
the prototype T-beams this weight had to be additionally accelerated by means of a compressed
air system. For the models the required speeds were obtained by free fall.
3.2 Model-law requirements
In the dynamic case of loading, stricter conditions with regard to the similarity of materials must
be observed than is usually necessary with static loading. This applies, for example, to the
similarity concerning the propagation velocity of the impact waves and also to the increased
load-bearing capacity when the dynamic loading is only of short duration.
The microconcrete employed and the corresponding reinforcement were designed according to
these principles, i.e. the intention was to achieve a similarity of stress and strain reaching far
into the plastic range. The relevant model laws are stated as follows:

—stress similarity (1)

—strain similarity εv=1 (2)
—gross density ρv=1 (3)
—forces Fv=Ev· (4)
—mass mv=ρv· = (5)

—impact loading case (time) (6)

—impact-wave velocity (7)

—acceleration (8)

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The length scale Lv was used as a freely chosen parameter. Since the impact actions are of a
locally limited nature, it is permissible to neglect the influences of acceleration due to gravity
and to dispense with the additional mass.8−10
4.1 Similarity of the characteristic values of concrete
In compliance with the requirements of the model laws (section 3.2), a similarity of material
properties largely exists between normal concrete and micro-concrete. The micro-concrete also
consists of
— cement
— aggregate, and
— water
with the difference that the maximum grain diameter for the aggregate does not, as a rule, exceed
4 mm.
River sands of different maximum size may be used with aggregate, graded into different
fractions (0·1–0·25, 0·25–0·5, 0·5–1·0, 1·0–2·0, 2·0–4·0 mm). The proportions by weight of
these are determined according to Fuller’s modified parabola:11,12

where D=maximum grain diameter

d=grain diameter of the fraction (between 0 and D)
A=proportion of the size range 0 to d
n=exponent for the grain shape (river sand n=0·4)
The cement is considered as the ultra-fine grain part of the grading curve. Therefore, an
aggregate/cement ratio of between 3 and 4 can be achieved (as compared to 5·6 for the mix of
the prototype T-beams). A good workability and a water/cement value deviating only slightly
from the respective normal concrete can be obtained without problems (e.g. prototype T-beam
mix, w/c=0·59; model T-beam mix, w/c=0·60). If required, small quantities of a hydrophobic
silicone resin may be used to

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control the strength and the workability in the following manner:
(a) By sealing the aggregate surfaces in order to reduce the bond between the aggregate and the
cement paste.
(b) By using silicone resin as an admixture (resin solution 1·5% of the weight of cement).
The strength may be varied between 15 and 40% in relation to the initial mix, depending on
whether just one or both methods are used. With the mix proportions developed by parameter
studies, the behaviour of concrete grades with cube strength in the range of 10–55 N/mm2 may
be reproduced. In a series of tests, as in the present case, the unintentional deviations must be
kept to a minimum in order to obtain unequivocal results for the parameter studies conducted. On
the other hand, it should be noted that with concrete it is almost impossible to avoid variations
due to the mix materials and the duration of testing.
Since repeat tests were not carried out for the prototypes, and consequently no statements could
be made concerning the reproducibility of the measured results, it seemed advisable to take into
account the material strengths of the whole prototype group when designing the micro-concrete
mixes. For the models, therefore, the modelling of the concrete properties took place with the
following different objectives:
(i) Reproduction of the respective characteristic values of the prototype (compare T-beams),
paying a particular attention to the compressive cube strengths.
(ii) Variation of the strength values:
(a) Adaptation to the mean values of the prototype series (compare V 3·6 and V 3·7).
(b) Repeat model tests with strengths to an approximately equal degree above and below the
prototype values (compare V/1).
Table 2 lists the characteristic values of concrete for the prototypes and models investigated. At
the time of the experiments, the age of the prototype concrete was between 28 and 100 days
(average 57 days), that of the models lay between 8 and 28 days (average 14 days).
Since the mean deviations D2 (intentional and unintentional) compare favourably with their
prototype-guide values (factor D1), a more detailed analysis of the unintentional micro-concrete
deviations can be dispensed with, particularly since the modelling of the strength values was
carried out without pre-testing. Thus, corresponding pre-testing should lead to a further increase
of the similarity of material.

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Table 2
Characteristics values of concrete for prototype model (mean values)
Beams with rectangular cross- T- Slabs Mean
section beams values
V 3·6 V 3·7 B 81/4 II/2 III/2 V/1 VII D1D2
Max. grain pr. 16 16 16
(mm) sc. 1:5 1:7·8 1:5 1:7·8 1:8·5 1:5·6
nom. 3·2 2·05 3·2 2·05 1·88
act. 4·0 2·00 4·0 2·00 2·00 4·00 4·00 4·00 4·00 4·00
D2 — — — — — — — — — —
Compressive pr. 24·8 24·8 40·8 48·0 39·0 41·2 41·2 43·0
cube strength D1 0·73 0·73 0·97 1·13 0·92 0·97 1·02 0·96
sc. 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
(N/mm2) nom 24·8 24·8 40·8 48·0 39·0 41·2 41·2 43·0
act. 24·8 27·2 33·9 27·2 42·9 45·2 38·5 44·8 38·6 43·4
D2 1·00 1·00 1·37 1·10 1·05 0·94 0·99 1·09 0·94 1·01 1·06
Bending pr. 2·3 2·3 4·5 — 5·6 5·4 —
strength D1 0·74 0·74 0·86 — 1·01 0·98 — 0·90
(N/mm2) sc. 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
(N/mm2) nom. 2·3 2·3 2·3 2·3 4·5 5·6 5·4 5·4
act. 3·1 2·6 3·3 2·6 4·5 4·3 3·2 4·4 3·8 4·9
D2 1·34 1·13 1·41 1·13 1·00 — 0·57 0·81 0·70 — 0·99
Young’s pr. 26 200 26 200 29 450 — 28 30 30 —
modulus 300 050 050
D1 0·89 0·89 1·02 — 0·96 0·98 — 0·97
(N/mm2) sc. 1 1 1 1
nom. 26 200 26 200 29 450 28 30 30
300 050 050
act. 24 056 21 900 25 524 22 98729 130 30 28 30 28 27
682 112 379 893 834
D2 0·92 0·84 0·97 0·88 0·99 — 0·99 1·01 0·96 — 0·96

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Beams with rectangular T- Slabs Mean
cross-section beams values
V 3.6 V 3.7 B 11/2 111/2 V/1 VII D1D2
Hardened concrete pr. 2260/2300 2260/2300 2340 —2350 23002300 —
gross density
sc. 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
(kg/m3) nom. 2260/2300 2260/2300 2340 2350 23002300
act. 2055 2061 2184 2061 211321602200 223022002230
D2 0·91 0·91 0·97 0·91 0·90 — 0·94 0·97 0·96 — 0·94
pr.=prototype, sc.=modelscale
nom.=nominal value, act.=actual value

Control specimen for cube strength for concrete For micro-concrete 200×200×200 mm
14×14×14 mm Scale 1:14
25×25×25 mm 1:8
40×40×40 mm 1:5
50×50×50 mm 1:4
Control specimen for bending tension for concrete For micro-concrete 150×150×700 mm
25×25×25 mm

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4.2 Similarity of the characteristic values of reinforcement
The treatment of the model wires was also adapted to the respective characteristic values of the
prototype reinforcements, i.e. diameter, yield point, failure strength and failure elongation should
comply with the model laws stated in Section 3.2. Depending on the primary test target, it is
often possible not to insist on a strict observance without significantly influencing the model
results.13 However, this only applies to cases of static loading. With dynamic loading it is
known that depending on the type of reinforcing steel and the amount of deformation, an increase
of strength and strain capacity may take place. Particularly noticeable increases of the yielding
moment and the failure elongation have been recorded with structural steel grade BST 420/500
RK,14,15 which had to be reproduced for the present micro-concrete models.16 Furthermore, an
increased bond strength between steel and concrete could be observed with dynamic loading.17
The effects described demand a strict similarity of material of the model wires. This can be
obtained by special profiling of the wires made of St-37K18,19 with a diameter of 1–4mm.
According to the aims pursued, they can be subjected to temperature treatment as well as cold
forming. At the Institute for Structural Model Analysis, the stress-strain diagrams have been
simulated using the following:
(i) rod diameter (12 different diameters between 0–8 and 3·8 mm);
(ii) profiling force (1–16 kN);
(iii) temperature level (250°C for artificial aging; recrystallization annealing between 520 and
(iv) storage duration of temperature (0·3–2h);
(v) temperature and duration of heat treatment to increase ductility.
Table 3 shows that there is a good agreement between the σ and ε curves of the model and
prototype reinforcement. The failure elongations do, as a rule, turn out to be too low (compare
D2). However, this does not matter provided the test object is not loaded to the strain limit. The
tests on T-beam proved to be a borderline case. If the ultimate strain capacity is to be activated,
more elaborate production procedures must be followed (controlled temperature after-treatment
in protective gas oven). Model reinforcement of steel quality grade St-37, possessing an
elongation up to 25% strain can be obtained this way. This considerably increases the work
required, however, for the production of the reinforcement.

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Table 3
Characteristic values of reinforcement for prototype and model (mean values)
Beams with rectangular T-beams Slabs
cross-section V 3·6 and V B 81/4 11/2 III/2
3·7 V/1 VII
Nominal pr. 18 18 10 10 12 16 22 28 8 12
Actual pr. 17·7 17·7 10·1 10·1 12·2 16·122·228·2 8·0 12·0
sc. 1:5 1:7·8 1:5 1:7·8 1:8·51:8·5 1:5·6
(mm) nom.3·54 2·27 2·02 1·30 1·43 1·892·613·321·43 2·14
act. 2·83 2·30 2·05 1·30 1·42 1·872·603·321·44 1·442·182·18
D2 0·80 1·01 1·01 1·00 0·99 0·991·001·001·01 1·011·021·02
Yield pr. 429 105·7 484 38·8 511 435 471 402 474 532
point kN kN
sc. 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
(N/mm2) nom. 429 4·23 4291·74 484 1·55 4840·64 511 435 471 402 474 532
act. 642 4·03 4301·79 460 1·52 5060·67 535 487 504 405 499 506 512 561
D2 1·50 0·95 1·001·030·95 0·98 1·051·05 1·05 1·121·071·011·05 1·070·961·05
Ultimate pr. 549 135·2 564 45·2 610 519 597 492 532 608
sc. 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
(N/mm2) nom. 549 5·41 5492·22 564 1·81 5640·74 610 519 597 492 532 608
act. 682 4·29 4802·00 490 1·62 5310·71 593 552 559 444 532 533 568 589
D2 1·24 0·79 0·870·900·87 0·90 0·940·96 0·97 1·060·940·901·00 1·000·930·97
Failure pr. 12·6 9·0 9·5 12·813·715·3 9·5 12·2
sc. 1 1 1 1 1
(%) nom.
act. 5·2 5·0 7·6 — — 7·8 8·0 9·7 4·8 6·9 9·5 7·7
D2 0·4 0·4 0·8 — — 0·6 0·6 0·6 0·5 0·7 0·8 0·6

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As an example for the reproducibility of the strengths with different production batches, two
values each are given for the micro-concrete reinforcement of the slabs. Furthermore, in the case
of the rectangular beams of the model scale 1:5, the cross-section of the tensile reinforcement
was only modelled approximately (diameter 2·83 mm instead of 3·54 mm). In contrast to all
other models, no exact similarity of strain can, therefore, be found here. However, the modelling
of this reinforcement did take into consideration the similarity of forces in the area of the
yielding point (nominal 4·23 kN; actual 4·03 kN). The effects of this are dealt with in Section

Fig. 3. Stress-strain curves of BSt 420/500 RK and corresponding microconcrete reinforcement

made of St-37K.
Although structural steel BST 420/5000 RK was used for all the prototypes, considerable
differences occurred with the different diameter (yielding point between 402 and 532 N/mm2,
tensile strength between 492 and 610 N/mm2). It is known that these differences, with the same
material and rod diameter, can be even greater than in the present case. Under certain conditions,
such variations may complicate or limit the transferability of the test results to more extensive
parameter studies. The micro-concrete technology undoubtedly has advantages here:
(i) The strength values can be set to almost any point desired.
(ii) The reinforcement strengths can be produced even in very small quantities, for very different
diameters, and with the same results over a period of years. The range of variations lies on
average between 3 and 4% of the desired value.

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When modelling dynamic loading, the variation of load with time is important. This is in
addition to the modelling of support reactions and the maximum load. For this reason, the
similarity of the graphically recorded results of prototype and model are checked and evaluated
in the following sections, where the deviations stated already include the effect of parameter
variations. The standard deviation related to respective mean values (%) is given by v.
5.1 Similarity of the impact force
When test objects are subjected to loading by a rigid impact mass, relatively low impact
velocities may be sufficient for the dynamic loading of models and prototypes, showing the
following characteristics:
— The greatest part of the kinetic energy is absorbed by the stricken body.
— During the impact only very short periods of contact are established between impact mass
and test object (a few milliseconds).
— Pronounced maximum impact-force peaks occur within fractions of milliseconds after
beginning of contact (high rate of load increase and accelerations).
The following example conveys a rough idea of how abruptly the loading of a structure
commences under hard impact. In the case of an aircraft impact (impact mass 20000 kg, impact
velocity 215·8 m/s) the rate of load increase is approximately 5000 kN/ms, according to the
Guidelines for the Design of RC Structural Elements of Atomic Power Stations for
Extraordinary External Loading. The equivalent load increase was also reached with the slab
tests described here (impact mass 1000 kg, impact velocity 8·2 m/s). Contrary to soft impact,
however, the impact force of the structures investigated decreases just as rapidly after the first
contact phase. During the second phase, which is of longer duration, it remains on a more
constant level (see Fig. 4).
It is only during the second phase that noticeable supporting forces and deflections will occur.
The impact-force amplitude (Phase 3) existing in the field of the maximum system deflection can
here be defined as ‘bending force’.
A tabulated comparison of quickly changing signals (in terms of time)

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Fig. 4. Similarity of the impact-force curve with prototype and model (example T-beam 81/4).
presents some difficulties. The degree of the impact-force amplitude is primarily dependent on
locally limited, irreversible processes at the point of impact; the remaining load-bearing
structure is not yet activated. However, the specifications of the chosen measurement pick-ups of
prototype and models (sensitivity, frequency response, etc.), as well as the quality of the
connections (e.g. high frequency ‘rattling’ with unreliable and time-varying object contact) also
exert an influence. Thus, the greatest differences may be expected when carrying out repeat tests,
or comparing the values of prototype and model responses.
When the model results of impact-force measurement and falling-weight acceleration are
converted to the respective prototype scales, impact-force values are obtained which show a
good overall agreement (see underlined D2-values of Table 4). It does, however, become
apparent that only a larger number of single measurements will lead to the determination of a
reliable impact-force maximum. Multiple measurements on models during the first contact phase
produce a mean scatter of the impact forces of 20% and a mean deviation between model and
prototype values of approximately 25%. The experimental curves during the phases subsequent
to the impact-force maximum were almost com-

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Table 4
Comparison of the maximum impact and bending forces of prototype and model
Beams with rectangular cross-section V 3.6
Impact mass (kg) pr. 2000 kg
mod.Lv=1:5–16·095 kg×53=2 012 kg, Lv=1:7·8–4·195 kg ×7·83=1991 kg
D2 1·01 1·00
pr. 5·04–5·13
mod 5·32–5·66
D2 1·06–1·10
Impact velocity (m/s)pr. 0·70 2·00 2·50
mod.0·70 2·00 2·50
D2 1·00 1·00 1·00
F(f) F(a) Fm tm F(f) F(a) Fm tm F(f) F(a) Fm tm
Max impact (kN) pr. — 254 254 1·5 — 704 704 1·0 — 648 648 1·0
mod.174·4128·0160·7 1·5398·3406·8402·6 1·0 456·1 404·2 430·2 1·0
D2 0·69 0·50 0·63 0·56 0·58 0·57 0·70 0·62 0·66
Bending force (kN) pr. — 185 18510·0 — 322 32213·0 — 360 360 16·0
mod.199·1144·7179·710·0366·6310·0338·312·3 396·1 315·0 355·6 13·0
D2 1·08 0·78 0·97 1·14 0·96 1·05 1·10 0·88 0·99

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Impact mass pr. 1000
(kg) kg
mod. Lv=1:5·6–5·70 kg×5·63=1000 kg
D2 1·00

pr. 0·309 0·316 0·316

mod 0·333– 0·329– 0·329–
0·340 0·333 0·333
D2 1·08–1·10 1·4– 1·04–1·05
Impact pr. III/25·30 V/18·20 VII8·20
velocity (m/s)
mod. 5·39 8·20– 8·20
D2 1·02 1·00– 1·00
F(f) F(a) Fm tm F(f) F(a) Fm tm F(f) F(a) Fm tm
Max. impact pr. —18401840 1·4 —3735 3735 0·7 —106010605·5
mod. 2098218521421·34 37373617 36770·83 1325121112685·5
D2 1·14 1·19 1·16 1·00 0·97 0·98 1·25 1·14 1·20
Bending force pr. — 649 649 5·0 — 294 294 10 — 500 500 15
mod. 674 741 708 7·6 340 337 339 10 517 445 481 12
D2 1·04 1·14 1·09 1·16 1·15 1·15 1·03 0·89 0·96

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Beams with rectangular cross section V
Impact mass (kg) pr. 2000 kg
mod. Lv=1:5–2 012 Lv= 1:7·8–1 991 kg
D2 1·01 1·00 kg
pr. 5·04–5·13
mod. 5·32–5·66
D2 1·07
Impact velocity pr. 0·70 2·65
mod. 0·70 2·65
D2 1·00 1·00
F(f) F(a) Fm tm F(f) F(a) Fm tm
Max. impact (kN) pr. – 250 250 1·5 — 834 834 —
mod. 197·4 123·9 178·4 1·5 551·5 550·1 550·81·0
D2 0·79 0·50 0·71 0·66 0·66 0·66
Bending force (kN) pr. – 195 195 10 — 390 390 14
mod. 204·4 157·5 181·0 10 388·7 339·0 363·9 12
D2 1·05 0·81 0·93 1·00 0·87 0·93

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Impact mass (kg) pr. 1 150kg
mod. Lv=1:8·5 1 108kg
D2 0·96

pr. 1·092

mod. 1·171
D2 1·07
Impact velocity (m/s) pr. 13·30
mod. 13·05–13·20
D2 0·98–0·99
F(f) F(a) Fm tm
Max. impact (kN) pr. 6 880 6 716 6 798 0·5
mod. 4 627 7 510 6 068 0·5
D2 0·67 1·12 0·89
2nd impact pr. 2 116 — 2 116 1·1
mod. 1 693 2 312 1 937 1·5
D2 0·80 1·09 0·92
Bending force (kN) pr. 564 — 564 15·5
mod. 578 — 578 12·8
D2 1·02 — 1·02
F(f)=impact force (force pickup)
F(a)=impact force (acceleration pickup)
Fm=mean impact force with multiple measurements: Fm≠(F(f)+F(a))/2
mod.=model (converted to prototype scale)

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pletely reproducible (mean deviation based on multiple measurement of models approximately
7%; mean deviation between model and prototype values approximately 7%).
5.2 Similarity of the support reactions
Contrary to static loading condition, there is no equilibrium of external forces in the case of
dynamic loading. Part of the kinetic energy is directly absorbed by the reinforced concrete at the
point of impact, the rest must be absorbed by the whole load-bearing structure, e.g. in the form of
supporting forces. The quality of the measurement signals does not only depend on the quality of
the micro-concrete model, but also on several other factors, such as rigidity of support and type
of connection. Since negative supporting forces will occur at the beginning of the structural
reaction (lifting) due to the impact loading, two types of connection were investigated during the
1. For the rectangular beams, retainers were fitted in the support area which prevented the lifting
of the beam end. No arrangements had been made to measure the lifting forces accurately, but the
clamping force at the supports resulted in a realistic measurement of deflections.
2. The T-beams were anchored against the supports with a force of 300 kN each (model, 4·15
kN), and the square slabs of the prototype had point bearing loads at each corner of 150 kN.
Since this pre-tensioning of the force pick-ups proved to be insufficient for determining the
amplitude of the negative support signals, the models were anchored with 7·0 or 9·0 kN each
(converted to the prototype scale this is 220–282 kN). This procedure showed that the upward
force can be up to 50% for the maximum supporting force.
Listing in a tabular form all the reactions of supports requires a more detailed discussion and is
beyond the scope of this chapter. Therefore, only the most important aspects will be reviewed
here. The first maximum amplitude does not only show the greatest deviations between the
results of model and prototype, but also the greatest scatter and is similar to the impact force.
Here, the model values lie approximately 39% above the corresponding prototype values. The
supporting forces of the slabs (four-point bearing) vary with prototype and models with a
standard deviation, v of 7 or 9%. The beam tests (two linear bearings) produced v of 16% for
the prototypes and v of 21% for the models. Since these deviations refer to the respective mean
value of a beam type, this

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represents a good result for the models, despite different model scales, three to four models per
beam type, and different parameter studies.
During the subsequent signal development, the agreement between the results of prototype and
model improves further. The v value of the model is now only 2·5% above the prototype values.
The variation of the prototype results is given by v=3%, and for the models the v value is 5·3%
(see Fig. 5).

Fig. 5. Example of the similarity of the suppot forecs (left suppot rectangular beam V 3·7).
When measuring the response of dynamically loaded structural elements, it should be realized
that a significant part of the signal deviations is caused by inaccuracies in the fabrication and
installation of the bearings. Some examples of the variation in support reactions is given in Fig.
Despite the different impact velocities and different reinforcements, a greater similarity of
signals in respect of amplitude as well as variation with time can be found for one and the same
measurement pick-up than between the corresponding left and right support reaction readings of
the same beam.
5.3 Similarity of the deflections
The load (or falling height) against deflection relationship has probably been investigated
numerically and experimentally more than any other

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Fig. 6. Influence of the measuring installations on the support signals of the prototypes.
aspect. The variation of force and deflection with time under hard impact can be illustrated by
two model tests (see Fig. 7). The behaviour shown by prototype slab tests was similar. There
was also a close agreement in prototype and model test results, as shown by Fig. 8. The
deviation between the amplitude of model and prototype deflections amounted to approximately
2%, independent of other parameter variations (i.e. model scale, strengths of concrete and
reinforcement). The standard deviation,

Fig. 7. Time correlation of force and deflection.

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Fig. 8. Similarity of the deflections (beam 3·6, at (L/2))

v, of the model values was around 7% (2–9 model values per prototype measuring point). The
model slab tests produced 27% higher deflections (v=19%). Since the previous sections show
between 8 and 39% higher impact as well as supporting forces for model slabs, these deviations
cannot be regarded exclusively as a size effect. It is reasonable to assume that they are partly due
to the method of load application, even though some allowance was made for the difference in
the guide friction of the impact mass (prototype: pipe conducted; model: guide ropes with slide
bearing). In the case of the models, the impact velocities were monitored by two light barriers as
well as via the relationship of ‘light barrier-impact force signal’.
5.4 Similarity of the strains
Apart from a few exceptions, only steel strains were measured because the primary target of the
prototype research was the suitability test of different types of steel, or of the reinforcement
layout. The steel strain versus time curve showed good agreement. The maximum values are of
course dependent on the distance of the strain gauge from the crack.
5.5 Similarity of the accelerations
The accelerations of the impact bodies have already been used in Section 5.1 for the
determination of impact force. In the case of the prototypes

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Fig. 9. Similarity of the steel strain beam 3·6 tensile zone at (0·19 L).

Fig. 10. Similarity of the steel strain beam 3·7 comparison zone at (0·4 L).
the limits lay between 123 m/s2 (rectangular beam Vo=0·7m/s) and 5984 m/s2 (T-beam
Vo=13·2m/s), with the acceleration scale factor for models being 1/Lv.
The corresponding structural accelerations under hard impact must generally be put higher: the
limits here lay for the rectangular beams between 742 and 3296 m/s2 (Vo=0·7 to 2·65 m/s), and
for the slabs between 2140 m/s2 (slab VII, Vo=8·2m/s) and 36480 m/s2 (slab V/1, Vo= 8·2
m/s). Converted to the prototypes, it was found that the positive as well

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as the negative structural accelerations of the model beams were on average only approximately
5% (deviation v=l6%) smaller than the corresponding prototype values. The influence of size
could not be noticed here.
5.6 Similarity of the cracking pattern and the type of failure
Under impact loading, the prototypes and models showed agreement of cracking patterns and
types of failure. With the rectangular beams V 3·7, a bending failure occurred, while the beams
V 3·6 produced both large shear and large flexural cracks due to a weaker lateral reinforcement
(stirrups) (Fig. 11). The crack spacing is virtually independent of the choice of the model scale.
The crack spacing in the impact zone (St Venant’s zone) of the beam tests V 3·6 was between:
— 6 and 8 cm for the models on a 1:5 scale
— 7 and 8 cm for the models on a 1:7·8 scale
Correspondingly, the tests V 3·7 had a crack spacing of:
— 6 to 9 cm for the models on a 1:5 scale
— 7 to 9cm for the models on a 1:7·8 scale

Fig. 11. Reproducibility of cracking pattern and type of failure of rectangular beams with
different model scales.

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The T-beams produced punching-through cracks, where model and prototype had the following
crack distances:
—prototype a=10 cm
—model a=9 cm
The modes of failure of model and prototype slabs was also similar (Fig. 12). Although the
impact velocity Vo=5·3 m/s (slab III/2) with a cylin-

Fig.12. Influence of shear reinforcement and impact-head shape on the cracking pattern of slabs.

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drical even impact head led to marked radial cracks, the proportion of tangential cracks
decreased noticeably both for model and prototype by using stirrups arranged in a circular
fashion (see Fig. 2). A splitting-off effect on the underside of the slabs did not occur here, as
compared to the results of tests with Vo=8·2 m/s (slab V/1, only three stirrups with strain
gauges) where a punching-through failure took place.
A conical impact head results, under otherwise identical conditions, in a softer start of the
impact force, a lower activation of the inertia forces and a different cracking pattern (slab VII,
Vo=8·2 m/s). The upper side of the slab showed the entry of the impact head and the splitting-off
effects on the bottom side were reduced.
The following example will demonstrate that the parameter variations for prototype and micro-
concrete models gave largely identical results.
6.1 Influence of the contact area and surface characteristics upon impact and supporting
Figures 13 and 14 show the influences of the impact-head shape on the impact and supporting
forces (slab V/1 and VII). The use of a pointed

Fig 13. Similarity of the impact forces—influence of different impact surfaces.

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Fig. 14. Similarity of the support forces—influence of different impact surfaces.

end results in a drastic reduction of the maximum impact force, while the duration of load action
is slightly reduced and the medium contact force increases. The negative supporting forces
created at the start by structural lift-off hardly appear, but a time increase of the positive
supporting forces occurs, whereby the maximum value is reduced.
In addition, the influence of different surface qualities of concrete was investigated during the
model tests and these were:
(i) Smooth concrete surface without special treatment (Plexiglass formwork).
(ii) Ground to an even concrete surface with subsequent treatment (sealing of the contact area
with like-grain mortar of low damping capacity).
(iii) Ground to a slightly uneven concrete surface.
The loading of T-beams 81/4 (Fig. 1), with an untreated surface, exhibited an effect similar to
that provided by a conical impact head used on slabs. The maximum impact force was reduced
by 57% compared to that of a full contact, and the duration of the first amplitude is prolonged in
a similar way to that of the conical impact head of slab VII. Typically, this partial contact had no
effect at all on the subsequent signal development

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and the negative and positive supporting signals remain virtually identical (the differences were
between 2·5 and 10%, which could be regarded as reproducible). For the comparable slab
models V/1 (a) and (b), the influence of contact surface condition can be seen in Fig. 15.

Fig. 15. Influence of the surface quality of concrete on maximum impact force.
6.2 Influence of the characteristic values of the materials on the measured results
It has already been mentioned in Sections 4.1 and 4.2, that a few material variations were
specifically applied in order to gain at least some guidelines for the evaluation of the influence
of the material in the case of dynamic modelling. The tensile reinforcement of the rectangular
beams (Lv=1:5), which was modelled considering only the similarity of forces in the yielding-
point area, did not, as expected, lead to any significant differences since due to the dynamic
loading, only a relatively small plastic deformation (maximum strain less than 1%) took place.
The only difference was caused by multiple loading with Vo=0·7 m/s (corresponding to the
static working load, below the yielding point).
Irrespective of whether the tensile reinforcement was modelled according to stress or force
criterion, the measured values increased between the first and second loading, since the energy
minimization by local plasticization (crack formation) was only possible during the first phase

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loading. These increases are given as follows:
(i)Maximum supporting forces by 35%
(ii)Average supporting forces by 8%
(iii)Maximum deflection by 10% (with no permanent deformation!)
(iv)Average impact force (bending force) by 9%
However, marked differences were noticed in the maximum impact forces:
— Maximum impact force increased by 11 % (when modelling according to stress) and by 37%
(when modelling according to force).
The use of a force-modelled tensile reinforcement led in this case to a premature crack
formation and premature loss of rigidity. The latter only had a noticeable effect during the first
contact phase (reduction of the maximum amplitude during first loading). Due to the
consolidation of the crack formation, the measured values remained unchanged between the
second and third loading (see Fig. 16).

Fig. 16. Influence of multiple loading on impact force signals (rectangular beam V 3·7, scale
Repeat tests with variations of the micro-concrete strengths presented the following tendencies:
(i) Strength reduction by drying out of the concrete surfaces. For practical reasons, it is often not
possible to avoid the drying out

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of the concrete surface by air storage. The surface stress then occurring leads to premature
cracks and to a change in the punching-through resistance. With model objects of the dimensions
described herein, one must consider that a drying-out time of 2 days will lead to a 12% drop in
the impact-force amplitudes and an approximately 10% reduction of the supporting forces. The
decisive factor is not the total moisture content but the difference in moisture between the moist
centre and the dry concrete tensile zone. This effect can be avoided by:
(a) sealing of the surface (e.g. by plastic sheeting), or
(b) using a concrete mix with the correct compressive strength when completely dry
(ii) A change of the concrete strength by a variation of the mix proportions has a particularly
strong effect on the maximum impact force, whereas the bending and the supporting forces are
far less influenced by this. In the present cases of impact loading a 20% increase of the
compressive strength raised first impact-force amplitude by 30%!
(iii) A change of the model scale Lv (from 1:5 to 1:7·8) produced similar results (an increase of
the maximum impact force by more than 30%, and only a minimal increase of bending force and
supporting force). However, since the smaller models required different grading curves of
aggregate, it is quite possible that part of these signal deviations may be due to different material
properties. In particular, when the silicone-resin solution (rectangular beam Lv=1:5), was used
to disturb the hardened cement paste, a reduction of the maximum impact-force amplitude under
dynamic loading was observed.
6.3 Reproducibility of the test results
How reproducible are the test results likely to be in the case of impact loading? When the
conditions of fabrication, curing and experimental procedure are not altered, then similar micro-
concrete models should give similar results. However, this includes the modelling of such
factors as surface quality and drying. It is then expected that there will be little variation in the
maximum measured values. The maximum impact force should only have a v value of 4·4%
(otherwise 20%) and the maximum supporting force only by 8·1% (otherwise 21%).

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Fig. 17. Reproducibility of the support signals with different model beams.
The major factors discussed in the previous sections are:
(i)Influence of the material (composition of mix, etc.).
(ii)Influence of scale.
(iii)Dynamic effects (activation of increased strain and stress reserves).
(iv)Influence of the surface quality (contact areas).
(v)Influence of the material quality (strength values).
(vi)Influence of the differential drying.
(vii)Influence of the instrumentation.
(viii)Repeatability of behaviour under closely controlled conditions.
Even though not all the factors which could lead to deviating results are listed here, it does
become apparent that for a reliable simulation of prototype behaviour, following the relevant
model laws as exactly as possible is a necessary pre-condition. The variations mentioned in
Section 5 may serve as guidelines for other impact tests, since the experimental program
included all the influences stated above [(i)–(viii)].
Even when the above factors have been taken into account, it is necessary to check the
experimental technique by carrying out repeat tests of both prototype and models.
It is not surprising that a stabilization of the specially sensitive dynamic signals (e.g. maximum
impact force) only occurred after three

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repeat tests, while for less sensitive measured values (e.g. bending force, average supporting
force, etc.), one to two test specimens proved sufficient for obtaining reliable results (see Fig.
The reproducibility of model results under closely identical conditions

Fig. 18. Reproducibility of impact forces (rectangular beam, models V 3·6).

Fig. 19. Micro-concrete reinforcement with applied strain gauges (rectangular beam V 3·6 and V
3·7, scale 1:7·8).

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can thus be assessed as very good. Depending on the type of design and testing, the costs of
models lie between one third and one tenth of the prototype costs. The time has come for a
greater use of models for dynamic investigations of reinforced concrete structures. By means of
carefully designed control tests, modelling can provide a greater accuracy and should be
preferred in fundamental research to more costly prototype tests which are likely to be limited in
1. Körmeling, H.A., Zielinski, A.J. & Reinhardt, H.W., Experiments on concrete under single
and repeated uniaxial impact tensile loading. Delft University of Technology, Dept. of Civil
Engineering, The Netherlands, Report 5–80–3, May 1980.
2. Emrich, F., Herter, J. & Puffer, G., Ein Konzept zur Berechnung stoßbelasteter
Stahlbetonbalken in Anbindung an Versuchsergebnisse. Beton und Stahlbetonbau, 3 (1985).
3. Müller, R.K. & Maisel, S., Untersuchungen über die Anwendbarkeit der Mikrobetontechnik
für die Versuche an Stahlbetonkonstruktionen unter Stoßbelastung. Institut für Modellstatik,
Universität Stuttgart, FRG, DFG-Abschlußbericht Mu 420/16, 1982.
4. Eibl, J. & Block, K., Zur Beanspruchung von Balken und Stützen bei hartem Stoß (impact).
Bauingenieur, 56 (1981).
5. Eibl, J. & Block, K., Stoßbeanspruchung von Stützen durch Fahrzeuge und andere Stoßlasten.
Abschlußbericht zum Forschungsvorhaben B II 5–81 07 05–213/1 des BM Bau, Lehrstuhl für
Stahlbetonbau, Universität Dortmund, FRG, 1980.
6. Eibl, J., Block, K. & Kreuser, K., Vergleichende Versuche an stoßbelasteten Balken und
Platten mit Bewehrung aus Betonstahl 1100 bzw. herkömmlichen Betonstählen. BMFT
Forschungsbericht 03 FKH 201, Universität Karlsruhe, FRG, 1983.
7. Eibl, J. & Kreuser, K., Durchstanzfestigkeit von Stahlbetonplatten unter dynamischer
Beanspruchung. Abschlußbericht zum Forschungsvorhaben B I 7–81 07 05–258 des BM Bau,
Lehrstuhl für Stahlbetonbau, Universität Dortmund, FRG, 1982.
8. Moncarz, P. & Krawinkler, H., Theory and application of experimental model analysis in
earthquake engineering. Report no. 50, J.A. Blume Earthquake Engineering Center, Stanford
University, CA, 1981.
9. Krawinkler, H. & Moncarz, P., Similitude requirements for dynamic models. ACI Publ.:
Dynamic Modelling of Concrete Structures, SP-73, 1982.
10. Davies, I.L., Studies of response of reinforced concrete structures to short duration loads. In
Proc. Dynamic Modelling of Structures, 19th/20th November 1981, Institution of Structural
Engineers, BRE Garston, Watford, UK.
11. Hummel, A., Benton-ABC. W. Ernst and Sohn, Berlin, 12, 1959.

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12. Wesche, K., Baustoffe fur tragende Bauteile, Vol. 2. Bauverlag, Wiesbaden, FRG, 1981.
13. Sautner, M., Ein Beitrag zur Entwicklung der Mikrobetontechnik. Berichte des Instituts für
Modellstatik der Universität Stuttgart, FRG, 1983.
14. DIN 488, Begriffe, Eigenschaften, Werkkennzeichnung, April 1972.
15. DIN 488, Deutsches Institut für normung e.V, Beuth Verlag, Berlin, September 1984.
16. Brandes, K., Behaviour of critical regions under soft missile impact and impulsive loading.
RILEM-CEB-IABSE-IASS-Interassociation Symposium on ‘Concrete Structures under Impact
and Impulsive Loading’, 2–4 June 1982, Introductory Report, Bundesanstalt für Materialprüfung,
17. Vos, E. & Reinhardt, H.W., Bond resistance of deformed bars and strands under impact
loading. Delft University of Technology, Dept. of Civil Engineering, The Netherlands, Report 5–
80–6, September 1980.
18. DIN 177, Stahldraht Kaltgezogen; MaBe, zulassige Abweichungen, Gewichte, March
19. DIN 1652, Blanker unlegierter Stahl; Technische Lieferbedingungen, May 1963.

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11Future Applications of Physical Models
ISMES, Bergamo, Italy
Before determining the direction of experimental research using small scale models, it is helpful
to consider the evolution of building construction.
The art of building structures developed slowly through the centuries and employed relatively
simple structural elements. The beam and supporting columns of the Greek temples were
followed by the arches and vaults of the Roman imperial period. The austere Romanesque
architecture slowly became Gothic, which did not come to maturity until the 14th–15th century,
when such masterpieces as the majestic French and German cathedrals were built. These
incorporated the Gothic arch, the cross vault, the spires and sloping roofs, all used for good
structural reasons, e.g. to avoid snowloading.
Climate considerations also led Michelangelo to use, in Rome, the spheric dome, thus starting a
trend in the structural topology of Baroque architecture. The judicious combination of various
structural elements, which creates balance, and harmony in the structure as a whole constitutes
the art and the skill of the architects. If the characteristics of the
* Present address: 1405 Kings Avenue, West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V7T 2C7.

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past builders are considered, it seems that they were merely architectural artisans, often painters
and artists at the same time. They matured an empirical craft through the family or community
traditions, as well as through trade masters (maestri comacini). A substantial cultural heritage
on how to build effectively was thus maintained from generation to generation.
Each step towards new and more advanced building forms has been rooted in past experience
and traditional construction, which has developed gradually. As the durability of structures
could not be guaranteed by adequate control of construction techniques, nothing too
revolutionary could be attempted. Despite the cautious approach lessons were learnt from
various failures, e.g. the collapse of some bridges during floods taught engineers how to shape
solid piers hydrodynamically, and how to build dykes to prevent bank erosion.
In the middle of the 19th century, the time of industrial revolution, mass production and chemical
discoveries provided steel and Portland cement as competitively priced building materials.
Steel is an elastic homogeneous material, which is capable of resisting both tension and
compression and, therefore, ideal for slender bridges and large span structures. The Eiffel
Tower may be regarded as a symbol of these times. The reliability of the metal framed
structures, such as the Eiffel Tower, could be checked with simple calculations, and it may be
said that these structures were designed to fit the method of analysis.
The first research laboratories in engineering schools were established in this period. These
dealt with the determination of mechanical properties of materials and the formulation of the first
standards for different materials. Portland cement had so far been employed only for concrete
foundation and retaining walls, particularly in hydraulic structures. The first experiments on the
combination of two materials were carried out during this period.
Hennebique was among the first building contractors whose ingenuity transformed his yard into a
test laboratory for experiments on various structural techniques. He provided iron wires to the
areas which, in his view, were subjected to tensile stresses. This was an early example of model
testing which is still being used. Hennebique was able to develop construction techniques of
great potential by the aid of a number of trial

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tests. It was not possible, however, to predict the durability of his structures over a period of
During the 1930s Nervi pioneered the design of airport hangars with a series of criss-crossed
reinforced concrete beams in the roof. These were considered to be his beautiful buildings
leitmotifs. Whilst structures were shown to be statically sound, as they were tested at the
‘Politecnico’, (Engineering Faculty of Milan), the materials at that time did not prove to be
durable. Microcracks developed in concrete, leading to water penetration and irreversible
corrosion of the steel reinforcement.†
The above innovations were followed by dramatic developments in new materials, new
construction techniques and new concepts in analysis, to design more advanced structures. Since
these structures have not withstood the test of time, it is necessary to check their reliability by
experimental investigations with the aid of models. The data obtained may then be used to
formulate numerical models which in turn reduce the amount of new experimental modelling.
It is necessary to make suitable arrangements for monitoring the behaviour of various structures
over their life span, as there is a shortage of data on the durability of concrete structures. The
expenditure on instrumentation and the frequency of recording data will, of course, depend upon
the type of loading and the importance of the structure being monitored.
During the 1960s computers were being used to verify structural analysis. This influenced the
methods of numerical calculations, which were then designed to exploit the power of the
computer. A good example of this is the method of finite elements. This was used to verify the
capacity of structures by analysing the stress distribution in relation to the elastic and plastic
properties of the materials. The method is very general and is capable of analysing many
different forms of structure, ranging from a beam element to three-dimensional rigidly jointed
frames and dams.
The computer brought about a technical revolution which is still in
† The reader should note that oxidation of steel due to infiltration of corrosive agents, enhanced
by ground electrical currents of ever-increasing intensity, is causing serious damage to many
reinforced and pre-stressed concrete structures. For example, the cables of the bridge across the
Maracaibo Lagoon needed replacement after less than 20 years.

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progress and engineers now look forward to the third generation of computers, to find solutions
of even more complex problems. The impact of computers on experimental research has been
rather severe. Many universities of the developed countries forced by budgets made inadequate
by escalating scientific cash requirements, had to sacrifice experimental research laboratories in
order to accommodate modern computer centres.
The time of reckoning always comes when a mishap hits the public conscience. There follows a
phase where activities stop and a lot of re-thinking is done, which in turn may be followed by a
resurgence of experimental research. At the beginning of the 1930s the collapse of the Tacoma
Suspension Bridge was due to the accumulation of oscillating energy caused by intermittent wind
gusts during a storm. A phenomenon that had never been considered before. This event started
experimental research on vibrating properties of structures, which today serve as a basis for
many dynamic calculations.
It was possible to ascertain by physical experimentation on unlimited budgets, the cause of the
disappearance of civil jets in flight. The cause of the disasters was due to the explosion of the
fuselage at high elevation due to insufficient resistance of confinement structures to the pressure
In the 1960s, during the construction of the Bologna-Firenze highway, there were two different
instances where the tubular members, supporting the bridges under construction, collapsed
causing the death of several workers. All kinds of explanations were proposed but it was only
the 1:3 scale static model which really showed the true cause of the collapses. It was shown that
the tall piers were vulnerable to torsional instability which had never been taken into
consideration. If this weakness had been known then, a few spatial diagonal members would
have been enough to prevent the collapse.
Other failures caused by either the collapse of lateral rock buttresses or the instability of the
basins of hydraulic plants, modified the traditional approach to the study of geological rock
complexes and formed the basis for the creation of a new science of rock mechanics. This
science is essentially based on research developed partly by the aid of physical models.

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The collapse of the offshore oil rigs showed the need for a better knowledge of the action of
waves, winds and ice on rigidly anchored structures. The research in this field has commenced
in many oil-producing countries. In Canada, the Institute of Marine Dynamics in St John,
Newfoundland, has recently been established. It appears that the physical properties of ice can
be modelled to a scale of 1:30, by a chemical compound which includes some antifreeze,
detergent and sugar.
There is no doubt that the building of concrete dams, especially arch dams, represented for many
years an important sector of modern construction techniques. This demanded:
— the need for maximum safety;
— concrete with characteristics of high resistance, impermeability and durability;
— large project organizational challenges.
The structural idealization of arch dams for analysis is of special interest;. During the 1920s,
rock abutments were assumed as being infinitely rigid and verification calculations considered
only the arch effect for thinner dams and only the gravity effect for wider and more massive
dams. A comparison of the analysis of two dams with a similar valley profile will now be made:
(a) The Bureau of Reclamation (at the end of the 1930s) developed a mathematical method for
the verification of the Boulder Dam on the Colorado river. This was considered to be very
advanced and the method is still known today as ‘trial load’. The ‘trial load’ implies the
consistency of displacement of the intersection points in the mesh formed by the horizontal arch
and vertical cantilever lines. Its reliability was satisfactory for the middle and upper arch but
did not apply to the bottom of the dam, where the ratio of cord and arch thicknesses had values
of less than 1. It was then decided to make the bottom part of the dam a mass structure (Fig. 1).
At the same time an elastic model test was carried out. The plaster mix model was cast and
tested with the most acccurate techniques available at the time. The test results showed a good
agreement with calculated data for the middle and upper arches and demon-

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Fig. 1. Comparison between the dimension of Boulder Dam and Vajont Dam.

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strated at the same time the massive bottom structure was disproportionately oversized. This
latter finding, however, was disregarded.
(b) Twenty years later, during the development of an ill-fated dam project for a hydroelectric
plant, the well tested and widely used-physical model became the main tool for the design of the
shape which was then verified by theoretical calculations. The tragic event associated with this
project bitterly shocked the entire world of technical experts. However, this was not due to the
failure of the thin shell structure all the way down to the bottom which actually withstood the
impact of an enormous mass of debris and water, thereby preventing a more terrible disaster.
It should be noted that an experimental study using models was essential in understanding the
behaviour of dams, specifically arch gravity dams.
An examination of the principal stresses on the upstream and down-stream surfaces
demonstrated that the dam behaviour cannot be presented by horizontal arches and vertical
cantilevers, as implied by the mathematical hypothesis. Instead, behaviour may be represented
by cantilevers originating almost perpendicularly to the rock profile of the valley. The
cantilevers extend to the central crown zone according to a very logical statical scheme which
allows maximum efficiency from the resistant resources of the structure (Fig. 2). The experience
from various dams also showed the importance of a rational relation between the dam and the
rock and specifically of a stress distribution proportional to the local stiffness of the bedrock.
The dam construction joints not only absorbed shrinkage effects but also increased the flexibility
of the structure, thus reducing the traumatic effects due to possible microsettlements of the
The results of research indicated the effectiveness of inserting a perimeter joint to prevent the
transmission of tension stresses normal to the upstream connection profile against the rock.
With time and more advanced numerical calculation methods, it was possible to confirm the
information indicated by the statical model, while other criteria, confirmed by the experience
gathered on hundreds of dam models, led to design norms that are now widely accepted by
engineers. This naturally brought a decline in the traditional experimentation especially on
elastic models, which was often considered superfluous and obsolete. Models remain
nevertheless essential for evaluating special problems such as the determination of the
disturbances generated by large discharge (overflow) (Fig. 3) openings in the dam body, or by

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Fig. 2. Statical model of Almendra Dam (Spain). Statical behaviour due to hydrostatic load. On
the left, contribution due to slab effect or to cantilevers. On the right, contribution due to
membrane effect or due to arches.

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Fig. 3. Statical model of Santo Domingo Dam, Venezuela.

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exaggerated irregularity in the valley profile and/or in the characteristics of the underlying
The rock abutments for the upper arches are often weak. Model tests showed that a properly
dimensioned dam will perform well despite this weakness. In such a case special arcs (arcs
plongeants) develop which sink towards lower levels where firmer rock can be found.
Physical models are also very important for the final rupture tests, as it is quite impossible for
the numerical calculations to simulate gradual deformation and rupture processes due to
increasing loads. For example, it has been shown that the initial microfractures on the
downstream surface are not necessarily a sign of impending collapse. These simply increase the
flexibility of the whole structure providing it with a more rational static behaviour, through a
redistribution pattern of stresses. The model alone can provide this type of verification, by
highlighting the relation existing between settlements and crack development and the increased
load conditions.
During failure tests under overload conditions the model demonstrates the residual strength by
the adjustment capabilities of successive stages of failure (Fig. 3). Finally, a model will show
the load conditions that bring about the final collapse, the mode of failure and the safety factor
against failure.
Many of today’s dams demonstrate ageing effects. For example, those built in the 1920s in the
Alps with low hydraulic resistance cements have undergone prolonged infiltration, cement
dissolution processes and freezing damage. The decay has sometimes required either total or
partial emptying of the hydraulic basin, in order to allow reinforcement of the dam. In such cases
the performance of the original structural arrangement together with new reinforcement can be
examined using failure model tests.
Other dams, especially buttress dams, of more recent construction in

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hot and dry climates, show microcrack development due to internal stresses, caused by
differential shrinkage of the shell and the core. Cracks generally start in the foundation in contact
with the bedrock, spread gradually, often at random and are enhanced by thermal gradients
created by dramatic seasonal cycles. The static model tests also show that the hydrostatic load
condition hardly affects the propagation of these cracks.
A very advanced research objective could be the experimental investigation of models subject to
thermal gradients and shrinkage effects. Some of the tests carried out in these areas have yielded
encouraging results.
Owing to the vast and complex nature of the subject, it is necessary to limit the discussion to
some basic considerations.
Taking into account the steel bar reproduction for the model, some limitations of scale exist.
Such limitations largely depend on the properties of steel, which may vary with its diameter.
Small diameter wire is obtained by rolling, causing a hardening effect. This hardening must be
removed from the wire by a heating process. The minimum diameter of wire which may be used
practically is 1 mm. Cement mortar also used in the model does not always simulate the
properties of normal concrete. The excess of cement paste in the model mortar increases the
plasticity and reduces the frequency of cracks, due to the bending or tension effect. Further
information on modelling materials was given earlier in Chapter 4.
The reproduction of an entire structure in a model, which was used in the past for the Pirelli
skyscraper (Milan), is today considered too expensive and not generally justified. Occasionally,
entire structures have been schematically reproduced by elastic models (made of resins or
celluloid). The entire model was tested and the stress components on each structural element
were detected. These stress components were then applied to the elements of the actual
structure, such as: joints, beams, roofs, portals, etc. Such a detailed structure was reproduced by
a large scale model giving accurate reproduction.
Whilst this approach bypasses the traditional method of design, the advent of the finite element
method has meant that elastic modelling of the entire structure has become obsolete. Modelling
the whole structure for the ultimate limit state is, however, difficult because of the presence of
size effects which cannot be evaluated. There are also problems with

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modelling the boundary conditions at small scale. The only way forward is to test various small
scale elements of the structure as noted earlier in Chapters 4 and 5, and hence build up a
numerical model with the aid of the data obtained. Some large scale testing of prototypes would
also be necessary to verify such a numerical model, which can then be used for both design and
further research.
There are some particular cases where a model of the entire structure is required for both elastic
and ultimate load behaviour. This option is considered where checking calculations are very
difficult to perform. Such cases are described in Fig. 4, Chapter 1.
An example of such a case is the model of a nuclear container, as described in the following
pages. Two other representative cases are given by the Basento Bridge (Fig. 12) and the central
dome of the Catholic Cathedral of San Francisco. These models are built to a small scale and
provide reasonable estimates of the factors of safety at collapse, which cannot be determined in
any other way.
Models of composite materials deserve a special mention, especially if designed for ultimate
load testing. Typical examples are slabs or roofs in a mixed structure of light brick and
reinforced concrete.
A representative example of advanced research is the PCPV, for nuclear reactors. In order to
insulate the core of the reactor and the service appliances, which are highly contaminated,
concrete vessels are designed as a biological shield, with a minimum thickness of 2 m. The
inside vessel is lined with steel and is capable of withstanding the sudden pressure boost that
can occur in the marginal interval between a potential control loss of the reactor and the fall of
the extinguishing boron bars.
Logical economic considerations suggested, especially in Europe, the use of a concrete vessel
both as biological shield and, when pre-stressed, as a containing structure. This ensures a saving
of the expensive steel lining. Usually shaped as cylinders, the vessels are between 20 and 30 m
high and 15–20m across. The cylindrical body is closed at each end by two thick concrete slabs.
This is perhaps the first instance where concrete must be pre-stressed in the three fundamental
directions, for an isotropic condition of approximately 10 N/mm2. The complex pre-stressing
plants and thermal effects (Fig. 4) are beyond the scope of this book and will

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Fig. 4. Model to scale 1:20 of a PCPV, ready for tests.

not be described here. The reader is referred to Bulletin ISMES No. 86 for further information.
One of the key problems was the necessity of a better understanding of concrete properties under
multi-axial stress conditions. Advanced

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research towards this goal indicated the approximate shape of the spacial rupture surface of
concrete which is a function of the three principal stresses σx, σy and σz. It is still necessary to
determine the functions of deformation processes as related to independent variations of the
three principal stresses. Similarly, the surface elastic yield points are not yet known. Driven by
urgency, some mathematicians have used rheological models to formulate behavioural patterns
without reliable experimental verification. Unfortunately, budget cuts have caused research
activities in this field to stop. In the absence of adequate data on prototypes of concrete subject
to multi-axial stresses, physical models have been used instead of numerical modelling.
When dealing with pre-stressed concrete structures, it is not possible to employ models at an
excessively reduced scale. A practical solution is usually found around the 1:10 scale, however,
there are examples of 1:5 and 1:20 scale models.
The results of model tests of several projects showed that physical models, tested to their elastic
limits, will provide results that are consistent with mathematical calculations. When loads are
increased, the first effect is the development of microcracking inside the joint between the
cylinder and the slab. The structural behaviour changes dramatically beyond this phase and
mathematical calculations cannot follow the process as it becomes too complex. The model,
therefore, represents the only method of analysis which allows an examination of the
development of deformation and cracking processes until the structure finally collapses.
A final collapse is generally caused by the bursting of the cylindrical body along its mid-section
due to sudden rupture of the confining, pre-stressing cables (Fig. 5). This happens when internal
pressure slightly exceeds the ultimate strength of the cables. The concrete slabs, on the other
hand, showed a much higher resistance to failure. Only tests of the slabs alone, whilst simulating
the restraint provided by the cylinder, allowed the achievement of substantial savings with a
more balanced dimensioning of the whole project.
The threat of war and seismic tremors has led to a considerable growth in research on
safeguarding various power plants, including nuclear, hydroelectric and thermal installations.

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Fig. 5. Split model of a PCPV, after final test.

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Some other important projects, such as bridges and monumental buildings, also became the
objects of a specialized research (Fig. 6). The development of new technology as a result of this
research improved the traditional building practices against seismic effects. This field of
research remains, nevertheless, open to further improvements, because of the complexity of
phenomena related to dynamics, especially seismic events.

Fig. 6. Model of skyscraper in Central Parque, Caracas, put on vibrating table, to determine the
modal shapes.
In view of the above position, the physical model represents a useful tool for general studies as
well as verification of the behaviour of specific structures. Less than 30 years ago the first arch
dam models were tested until failure under seismic conditions. The model was situated on a

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limited size simulated bedrock, while the water basin was reduced to a heavy liquid rubber bag
(all of this, as far as possible, was kept consistent with the parameters dictated by dimensional
analysis). The whole model was placed on the vibrating table and was subjected to normal and
transverse motion with a variable frequency, in order to detect the main modal shapes of the
dam. Finally, the model reached breaking point at that frequency where the most unfavourable
modal shape was obtained (Fig. 7).
The following criticisms can be made regarding modelling actual conditions:
(a) The interaction between the dam and its foundation is only roughly reproduced, since the
correct information on the damping effect of the bedrock is not available.
(b) The tests are limited to single, unidirectional oscillating waves and these waves are
transmitted in phase for the entire boundary condition. In reality, however, dams are subjected to
three dimensional wave effects.
(c) The model cannot reproduce the wave effects transmitted by the walls of the real basin.
Despite these criticisms, failure models provided a large information base at least for modal
shapes of response and relative frequencies. They also provided general information on intrinsic
capabilities of the dam structure to absorb seismic movements. It has been possible to ascertain
that the large dams, as all large structures, have their own frequencies which are much lower
than maximum acceleration frequencies recorded near the seismic epicentre. The shell dam of
Ambiesta, which was situated in the heart of the seismic phenomena that recently affected the
Friuli region for more than a year, was undamaged as the model tests had previously diagnosed.
It should not be forgotten, however, that calculation procedures have improved considerably in
this field. By analysing seismic records, it is now possible to elaborate the earthquake spectrum
(charting maximum energy levels reached by the earthquake at different frequencies). In addition,
with a knowledge of vibration modal shapes, relative frequencies, and damping effects of the
structures, it is possible to evaluate the maximum stresses caused by the seismic loading for
various modal shapes and assign more importance to the modal shapes which have significant
effects. As stated earlier, the structure’s own parameters are needed for the calculations. The
more up-to-date calculation procedures

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Fig. 7. Model of dam under dynamic loading.

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are the ones that are derived directly from the models. This is not difficult because an elastic
model may be used to determine the main vibration modal shapes and relative frequencies.
The determination of flexibility matrices on the statical model can be used to provide modal
shapes and frequencies through the equation of motion (Fig. 8). It would appear that the
determination of the damping coefficient is relatively easy if the system (structure and
foundation) behaves in the elastic range but in reality this is generally not so. The problem of
assigning a correct value to the damping coefficient, especially for the structure’s foundation, is
very difficult and remains the object of advanced research.
From the above discussion, it is clear that the most up-to-date dynamic verification of a structure
is represented today by an integrated method where the model provides the parameters for a
mathematical verification.
A similar, but somewhat more complex, procedure is applied today in the verification of
behaviour of the core of nuclear reactors (Fig. 9). In this case the structure is neither monolithic
nor homogeneous, and the interaction among different parts is an extremely complicated problem
that needs advanced research. This type of research is essential for other areas such as pre-cast
concrete construction and suspension bridges and requires expensive, highly sophisticated
Other research is directed to the behavioural patterns of vibrating and/or rotating machinery as
related to the design of foundations. A specific case is represented by the verification of the
support frame (Fig. 10) for alternators and turbo-alternators, which rotate at peripheral
ultrasonic speeds. The model tests may be used to determine resonance effects which could have
disastrous consequences, even if they are sometimes limited to just a part of the frame. There are
no doubts that small scale modelling remains the most promising approach for future reseach on
dynamic behaviour of structures.
The choice of restoration techniques for decaying monuments is another area in which models
can be very useful. An interesting example was the large test programme conducted with the aim
of deciding how to proceed with the restoration of the central Tiburium and related support
columns of the ‘Duomo di Milano’, which was suffering from irregular settlements of the
foundations. A number of column segments, scale 1:3, were

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Fig. 8. Model of skyscraper in Central Parque. Some influence surfaces due to unit load, used to
determine the flexibility matrix.

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Fig. 9. Model of core of nuclear reactor PEC under dynamic loading for ‘ensemble’ verification.
faithfully reproduced with a Sienite core and Candoglia marble shell. These segments were
constructed according to the detailed designs available in the archives inherited from the ancient
builders. It should be noted that the art of model making can be demonstrated by the employment
of modern cut stones with polished surfaces to simulate the final resistance of segments of
cathedral columns, which were three times as high and comprised of rough, unpolished cut-
This was another situation where the model test proved to be a very useful instrument for
indicating the best solution among the many proposed to restore the strength of the columns (Fig.
An investigation of the settlement and tilting process of the tower of Pisa employed a visco-
plastic foundation in a qualitative model, which provided an interesting indication on how the
settlement process evolved, even though the time variable and random instabilities could not be
reproduced. This research deserves to be started up again and performed

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Fig. 10. Dynamic test of support frame of turbo-alternator.

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Fig. 11. Segment of column of the Duomo, Milan. Dark parts represent the marble blocks to be
substituted under load before the final test.

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with adequate means and on a larger scale. The model could then evaluate the effectiveness of
the different proposed means of intervention.
After the above discussion, it is necessary to summarize the fields and the circumstances where
physical model experimentation is advisable:
(i) The physical model is a useful tool for research and verification of novel and complex
structures. Sometimes structures, even though conceived according to a statical rationale, show
originality and complexity that go beyond the scope of mathematical calculations. Sometimes the
structure is the result of an architectural fantasy (Fig. 12), which is not necessarily consistent
with statical rationale and mathematical calculations. In this case, a physical model, tested to
failure, can guarantee at least the existence of a sufficient margin of safety.

Fig. 12. Statical model of bridge on the Basento River, South Italy.

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Page 335
(ii) The physical model represents an advanced instrument in the verification of structures which
have to perform special functions with a high degree of risk (nuclear power stations, offshore
drilling platforms, etc.).
(iii) In the dynamics field the physical model is useful in the verification of the structure’s ability
to withstand seismic phenomena and to evaluate the response parameters which are used as input
in the mathematical model designed to predict the behaviour in the elastic range (Figs 13, 14,
(iv) In some cases, the structure shows local faults due to the concentration of stresses which
cannot be ascertained through calculations alone. This happens, for instance, when structural
support is concentrated in limited areas and when there is a sudden enlargement in the size of
support areas.
(v) The physical model can, therefore, be a highly sophisticated verification instrument for
mathematical analysis. It can also bypass the calculation procedures and become an instrument
for advanced research in the behavioural patterns of structures beyond the elastic limit.
(vi) The choice of restoration techniques of ancient monuments and reinforcements for rock
masses may be determined with the aid of a model.
(vii) It has also been used in the design of rock-filled dams. For example, models were used to
obtain useful data on the settlement caused by rock embankments (Fig. 16).
(viii) For the sake of brevity, several sectors have been neglected. These are very important
developments such as geomechanical models, thermal models, aerodynamic models, etc.
(ix) Whilst there has been some research on structures subjected to dynamic loading in the sea
and those exposed to other hostile environments, the duration of most construction materials
cannot yet be predicted with the aid of model tests.
(x) Whilst ancient artisan-architects found in previous time-tested buildings a confirmation of
their statical intuitions, the modern architect can and should rely on model tests. He has a greater
freedom of choice of materials and structural concepts, which was not available to his ancestors.
Finally, although the general objective of this book is to present material relevant to modelling
engineers, the author of this chapter considers that it is the duty of those who have dedicated
their entire life to research, to

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Page 336

Fig. 13. Dynamic model of the bridge of Brazo Largo, Argentina.

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Page 337

Fig. 14. Modal shapes of vibration of Brazo Largo Bridge.

give teachers the following advice. Scientific information must be taught in an orderly and
understandable fashion. The accurate and sometimes academic way of formal instruction,
however, can lead the student to believe in its absolute scientific truth and its almost dogmatic

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Page 338

Fig. 15. Deflection graphs of Brazo Largo Bridge deck due to passing trains.

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Page 339

Fig. 16. Research on models of rockfill dams for different shapes of valleys. Graphs of
pressures on the foundations measured in the central sections: (a) due to embankment load; (b)
due to hydrostatic loads.

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Page 340
It is necessary to note, as this chapter confirms, that what is taught to the students can only be the
present state-of-the-art. Everything is constantly evolving, however, towards more advanced
goals. It is also necessary to teach students to develop a questioning mind to enable them to
criticize the absolute value of such information. Thus true scientists are produced, who will be
able to study critically and meditate, and be researchers and engineers by vocation, ready for
tomorrow’s challenge.
Baglietto, E., Casirati, M., Castoldi, A., Miranda, F.de & Sammartino, R., Mathematical and
structural models of Zarate-Brazo Largo Bridges. Bulletin ISMES # 85, September 1976.
Browne, M.W., New form of ice is invented to batter hull of model ships. The New York Times,
Tuesday, January 14, 1986.
Castellani, A.Castoldi, A. & Ionita, M, Numerical analysis compared to model analysis for a
dam subject to earthquakes. Bulletin ISMES # 83, September 1976.
Castoldi, A. & Casirat, M., Experimental techniques for the dynamic analysis of complex
structures. Bulletin ISMES # 74, February 1976.
Fanelli, M., Fumagalli, E., Bonaldi, P., Riccioni, R. & Giuseppetti, G., Importance of the
physical and mathematical modelling in the knowledge of a concrete dam behaviour—
comparison between the theory and the ‘in situ’ observed measurements on the prototype.
Bulletin ISMES # 94, December 1977.
Fumagalli, E., Statical and Geomechanical Models. Springer, Vienna, New York, 1973.
Fumagalli, E., Examples of advanced geomechanical modelling. Bulletin ISMES # 73, February
Fumagalli, E., The significance of model testing in problems of foundations and slopes. Bulletin
ISMES # 77, September 1976.
Fumagalli, E. & Verdelli, G., Research on PCPV for BWR physical model as design tool—main
results. Bulletin ISMES # 86, September 1976.
Model Test of Boulder Dam, Part V, Technical Investigations. Bulletin 3. Bureau of Reclamation,
Denver, CO, 1939.
Oberti, G., Model contribution to the design and safety control of large structures. Bulletin
ISMES # 89, July 1977.
Vasari, G., Le vite de’piu’ eccellenti architetti pittori et scrittori italiani da Cimabue insino ai
tempi nostri descritti in lingua toscana da Giorgio Vasari pittore aretino—2 volumes. Firenze,
Italy, 1550 (Historical Library).

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Page 341
Accelerations, 259
and impact modelling, 297–9
scaling factor, 246
Accelerometry, 254–5
Accrington market hall, 37
Age, 42
Ageing process model, 320–1
Aggregate, 189
–cement ratio, 98
grading, 42
Alemendra Dam (Spain), 318
Anchorage, and pre-stress loss, 160
Ancient architecture, 311–12
Ancient monument restoration, 329, 331, 333–4
Angle-Dekkor Mark III, 133
Arch dams, 315–20
failure tests, 320
Artificial mass model, 246–7
Axial force simulation, seismic modelling, 260

Basento Bridge (Italy), 322

cracking, 113–14
deflection, 113–14
deformation, inelastic, 114–15
reinforcement, 220
stirrups, 221
Beams, continuous, 115–16
Bending, ultimate strength, 114
Berkley Bridge, 28–32
Bologna-Florence highway, 314
Bond simulation, and seismic loading, 244–5
Bond stress distribution, 66–8
cement and, 66–8
deformed wires, 68–9
reinforced concrete models, 63–72
Cornell University and, 64–5
investigations, 64
McGill University and, 65–6
tests, 63–4
similitude, 69–72
strain and, 130–1
Boulder Dam (Colorado), 315–117
Boundary conditions
microconcrete models, 139
for slab simulation, 192–200
partial, modelling, 194–7
supports, 192–4
Box bridges, 28–32
Brazo Largo Bridge (Argentina), 335–8
Bridge slabs, 203–4
Bridges, 8, 27–8, 121–7, 141–2
Brazo Largo (Argentina), 335–8
continuous box, 28–32
model test/prediction, 31–2
pre-stressed concrete, model, 168–80
design, 170–1
pre-stressing loss, 174–7
pre-stressing system, 173–4
selection of material, 171–3
prototype application, 30–1
Buckingham’s pi theorem, 15–17
Budenburg test gauge, 35

Cantilever lobes, 34–6

Cantilever sagging bending cracks, 184
Casting, 128

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Page 342
aggregate-cement ratio, 98
and Concrete Association, 66–8
Central Parque (Caracas), skyscraper model, 326
Closed shell theory, 26
Combined stress, direct models of, 76, 78–9
Compacting, 128
Compaction, 42
Complete structure size effects, 81–3
flat plate system, 81–3
simulation, and seismic modelling, 243–4
size effects, 43–52
data evaluation, 49–50
specimen sealing, 48
statistical variation and, 47–8
stress-strain relations, 51–2
Compressive strength, microconcrete mixes, 93–4
Compulog IV system, 142
Computers, 313–14
Concrete, 20–2, 63–72
beams, pre-stressed, 79–81
and cement, 66–8
compressive strength variation, 46
–concrete friction, 245
dynamic responses, 59–62
impact testing, 281–5
micro-, see Microconcrete
micro-, mixes, 91–104
-mix aggregate, 43–5
models, reinforced, 20–2
scale factors, 20–2
plain, 41–88
pre-stressed, 148–4
behaviour, 153–4
partial, 152–3
post-tensioned, 149
pre-tensioned, 149
reinforced, and future of models, 321–2
size effects, 43–59
compression, 43–52
tension, 52–9
slabs. See Slabs and also Microconcrete slabs
structure modelling. See Modelling
structured, 41–88
unbonded tendons, 149–52
Contact area, and impact modelling, 301–3
Continuous beams, 115–16
Continuous box bridge, 28–32
Continuous frames, 115–16
Continuous two-span post-tensioned twin box bridge, 121–7, 141–2
Cornell University bond studies, 64–5
numbers, 74–5
propagation, 133
instrumentation for, 133
width, 74–5
beam, 113–14
and impact modelling, 299–301
patterns, seismic modelling, 259–60
Cracks, in slabs, 190–1
moment, 190
spacing, 190–1
width, 190–1
Creep, pre-stress loss, 158–9
Crimping, wire, 68–9
Cube strength, microconcrete mixes, 95, 98
Curing, 42, 128
Curvature, slabs, and instrumentation, 200–2
Cyanoacrylate, 131
Damping, 61–2
Dams, 315–20, 335, 339
evaluation, 49–50, 57–8
compression size effects, 49–50
tension size effects, 57–8
handling, multi-storey frame static loading, 221
beam, 113–14
impact modelling, 295–7
beam, inelastic, 114–15
surface, 106, 109

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Page 343
Deformed wire, 68–69
Demec points, 130, 132–3
Density, 42
Diagonal tension, pipes, 76
Dimensions, and model analysis, 13–18
control, 139–141
multi-storey frame static loading, 217–19
Dowels, and seismic loading, 245
Drying, 42–3
Ductility, slabs, 191
‘Dummy gauges’, 135
Durham council chamber, 37
Dynamic elastic modulus, 61–2
Dynamic modelling, future of, 324–9
Earthquake simulation modelling, 236–62
applications, 258–62
design of models, 246–52
equipment for, 236–9
instrumentation, 252–6
modelling materials, 242–6
similitude requirements, 239–42
testing, 256–8
Earthquake simulators, 236–42
control, 238–9
driving system, 237
information for, 239
platform, 237
reaction systems, 237–8
static support, 237
Edge column models, 196–7, 200
Eiffel Tower, 312
Elastic isotropic slabs, 188–9
Elastic models, 2–3
Elastic modulus, 61–2
Elastic shortening, pre-stressed loss, 160
End condition, 43

Failure, and impact modelling, 299–301

fcu. See Cube strength
f–ε curves, 94–5
Fictitious crack model, 90–1
Finite strip method, 26
Flat plates, and size effects, 81–3
Flat slabs, 202–3
Flexural cracking, 72–4
Flexural shear, slabs, 191
Flexural tests, tension, size effects and, 53
Fluid pressure representation, 197–8
restrained, 198
unstrained, 198
Forced vibration testing, 235–6
Forces, measurement, 134
continuous, 115–16
static loading, 209–227
Free vibration tests, 235
Friction loss, pre-stress and, 159–60

Gauges. See Instrumentation

Geometrical scale factor, 247
Gilbert-Long model, 196–7
Glass bead fraction, 97–8
Gonnerman tests, 43–5
Gothic architecture, 311–2
Gravity, and seismic modelling, 248–51
algorithm, 252
partial neglection of, 250–1
total neglection of, 249–50
Greek architecture, 311–12

Harris tests, 46
Heat treatment, and model reinforcement, 111–12
Hennebique construction technique, 312–13
Hille 25 rolling mill, 111
Hillerborg concept, 90–1
History, of building construction, 311–13
Holographic interferometry, 202
Hooke’s law, 136
Hoops, strain-gauged, 220
Horizontal wall reinforcement, 220

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Page 344
Hossdorf, H., 6–7
Hot-rolled high-yield reinforcement, 104–5
Housfield tensometry, 23
Impact force, and evaluation, 288–94
Impact modelling, 273–309
accelerations, 297–9
concretes, 281–5
contact area and, 301–3
cracking pattern, 299–301
deflections, 295
impact force and, 288–94
materials characteristics, 303–5
reinforcement characteristics, 285–7
reproducibility, test results, 305–6
strains, 297
structures, subject to, 274–6
support reactions, 294–5
test requirements, 276–81
Indirect tension, 53–6
Inelastic beam deformation, 114–15
In-plane shear, of slabs, 191–2
and microconcrete models, 129–37
for crack deflection, 133–4
for deflection, 133–4
for rotation, 133–4
for strain, 130–3
for stress, 135–6
forces, 134
modelling, 35
multi-storey frames, static loading, 217–21
data handling, 221
displacement, 217–19
strain gauges, 219–21
seismic modelling, 252–6
data acquisition, 254–6
recording, 254
scope of, 252–4
testing, 256–8
slabs and, 200–2
curvature, 200–2
optical techniques, 202
strain, 200–2
Internal column punching simulation, 194–6

Johnson tests, 43–5

Kantian philosophy, 6
Kentledge representation, 197

Laboratory-deformed wire, 68–9

Lane load numbering system, 177–80
Linear Variable Differential Transducer, 134
Load application, 139–41
Load cells, 221
Load-displacement, microconcrete structure, 139–40
Loading, 34–5
seismic. See Seismic loading
slabs and, 197–200
static. See Static loading, multi- storey frames
systems, 137–8
Localized failure, and seismic modelling, 261
Lockable semi-spherical seating, 92–3
Long-Masterson model, 197–8
Lower Yarra Bridge (Melbourne), 8

MacAlloy bars, 34
Maracaibo Lagoon (Italy), 313
Material characteristics, and impact modelling, 303–5
Mattock shear test, 132
McGill University studies, 65–6
mixes, 91–104, 127–8
design procedure, 98–9
examples of, 99, 104
fabrication, 92–3
instrumentation, 129–37
model reinforcement, 104–13
modelling compressive/tensile strength, 93–4
production of, 109–13
production by rolling, 109–11
production by heat treatment, 111–12
stress-strain and, 94–9, 105–6
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Page 345
surface deformation geometry, 106–9
testing of control specimens, 92–3
testing tensile strength, 112–13
modelling, 136–42
boundary conditions, 139
displacement control, 139–41
experiments, 136–42
load application, 139–41
loading systems, 137–8
purpose of, 137
reaction frames, 137–8
supports, 139
twin box bridge, 141–2
models, 4–5, 8
testing, 119–46
seismic loading modelling, 242–6
bond simulation, 244–5
compression simulation, 243–4
concrete-concrete friction, 245
dowel action, 245
model reinforcement, 245–6
production, 242–3
slabs, 188–90
shear transfer, 189
tensile strength, 189
Milan Cathedral, 329, 331, 333–4
MIT tests, 50–2
Mix design, for microconcrete, 98–104
procedure, 98–9
examples, 99–104
Model analysis, and similitude, 13–39
bridges, 26–8
continuous box, 28–32
Buckingham’s pi theorem, 15–17
National Westminster Bank Tower, 32–7
physical quantity dimensions, 13
prototype/model beams, 24–6, 30–1
reinforced concrete models, 20
scale factors, 18–22
Model beam initial testing, 24–6
Model bond tests, 63–4
Model concrete bonding, 63–72
Model concrete dynamic response, 59- 63
elastic modulus, 61–2
strain rate, 59–61
Model-making techniques, 120–9
casting, 128
compacting, 128
curing, 128
microconcrete mix. See Microconcrete, mixes
mould construction, 121–7
pre-stress, 128–9
reinforcement, 128
strain gauges, 128–9
Modelling materials, 89–118
advice for application, 334–5
ancient monument restoration, 329–34
ageing processes, 320–1
and arch dams, 315–20
behaviour of new, 113–16
beam deflection, 113–14
continuous beams/frames, 115–16
crack deflection, 113–14
inelastic deformation beams, 114–15
compressive strength, 93–4
computers, 313–14
concrete stuctures, basics of, 1–11
future of, 9–11
history of. See History, of building construction
limitations of, 5–9
scale effects, 4–5
size effects, 4–5
small-scale developments, 2–4
dynamic, structures, 324–9
earthquakes. See Earthquake, aspects of
future of, 311–40
concrete structures, 9–11
history, 311–13
impact and, 273–309
microconcrete, 91–104, 119–46
mixes, 91–104
testing, 119–46
National Westminster Bank Tower (London), 32–7
pre-stressed concrete pressure vessels, 322–4
pre-stressed concrete structure, 147–82
pre-stressing losses, 157–60

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Page 346
recent developments, 89–118
reinforced concrete. See Concrete and also Microconcrete
reinforcement, 104–13
and seismic loading, 229–71
size effects. See under Size effects
slabs, 183–208
stress-strain relations, 94–8
aggregate-cement ratio, 98
cube strength, 95, 98
glass bead fraction, 98
structural failure lessons, 314–15
tensile strength, 93–4
see also other specific aspects of
Moire fringe, 202
Monument restoration, 329, 331, 333–4
Mould construction, microconcrete, 121–7
Multi-storey frames, static loading, 209–27
National Westminster Bank Tower, 32–7
model, 32–7
construction, 32–4
instrumentation, 35
investigation, 36–7
loading, 34–5
Nervi airport hangar design, 313
Nuclear reactors, 329, 331

Ontario Highway Bridge Design Code, 204

Optical techniques, slabs and, 202
Output acceleration, 259

and concrete, size effects, 42–3
for modelling, 13–14, 19, 23
Partial pre-stressing, 152–3
Partial slab modelling, 194–7
PCPV. See Pre-stressed concrete pressure vessel
PD method. See Pseudo-dynamic testing
Perspex models, 2–3
Photogrammetry, 202
Physical modelling. See Modelling materials
Physical quantity dimensions, 13–18
Buckingham’s pi theorem, 15–17
similitude, 17–18
Pi, See Buckingham’s pi theorem
Pile caps, 8
Pipes, diagonal tension in, 76
Pirelli skyscraper, 321
Pisa, Tower of, 331, 334
Plain concrete, 41–88
size effects, 42–3
Point load representation, 197–8
Poisson’s ratio, 9, 47, 89, 125, 135–6, 142, 184, 201–2, 244
microconcrete slabs, 188–90
slabs, 188–9
Portland Cement Association flat-plate model, 81–3
Post-tensioned concrete, 149
Pressure-vessel modelling, 322–3
Pre-stressed concrete beams, 79–81
Pre-stressed concrete pressure vessel, 322–5
Pre-stressed concrete structures 147–82
behaviour, 153–4
bridge model, 168–81
similitude for, 154–60
loading, 156–7
materials, 160–4
model pre-stressing tendons, 162–4
pre-stressing losses, 157–60
prototype pre-stressing tendons, 161–2
stressing techniques, 164–8
types of, 148–53
partial, 152–3
post-tensioned, 149
pre-tensioned, 149
unbonded tendons, 149–52
Pre-stressing, 128–9
Pre-stress loss modelling, 157–60, 174–7
anchorage, 160
creep, 158–9
elastic shortening, 160
friction loss, 159–60
model pre-stressing tendons, 162–4

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prototype pre-stress tendons, 161–2
relaxation, 157–8
shrinkage, 158–9
Pre-tensional concrete, 149
Prototype testing, 24–6, 161–2
Pseudo-dynamic testing, 232–4
Punching shear, slabs, 191
Quasi-static cyclic activity, 323

Reaction frames, 137–8

Rectangular beam impact testing, 278
Reinforced concrete. See Concrete and also Microconcrete
model bonding, 63–72
Reinforced pipe tension, 76
impact testing, 285–7
seismic loading, 245–6
slabs, 187–8
strain gauges, 220–1
beam-slab, 220
vertical, 220
wall, horizontal, 220
wall-frame cages, 214–17
Relaxation, pre-stress loss, 157–8
Reproducibility, results, and impact modelling, 305–6
Restoration, of ancient monuments, 329, 331, 333–4
Restrained fluid pressure loading, 197–8
Ribbing, wire, 68–9, 106, 109, 110
Rolling, 109–11
Roman architecture, 311–12
Rotation measurement, 133–4

Santo Domingo Dam (Venezuela), 319

Scale, and modelling, 4–5
Scaling factor, and similitude, 18–22
reinforced concrete, 20–2
Scordelis model, 28–32
Sealing of specimens, compression, 48
Segmental fold plate dome, model, 37
Seismic loading, 229–71
and earthquake simulation, 236–62
pseudo-dynamic tests, 232–4
quasi-static cyclic action, 232
scope of, 231
technique for, 231–6
Seismic modelling, 229–71
design of, 246–52
artificial masses, 246–7
dimensions, 251–2
gravity and, 249–51
neglecting vertical force, 248–51
Service load beam cracking deflection, 113–14
in slabs, 191–2
flexural, 131
in-plane, 191–2
punching, 191
transfer, 189
microconcrete slabs, 189
ultimate strength, 114
Shell surfaces, 37
Shrinkage, pre-stress loss, 158–9
Similitude, 17–22
bond, 69–72
earthquake simulation, 239–42
flexural cracking, 72–4
pre-stressed concrete models, 154–60
loading requirements, 156–7
modelling losses, 157–60
scaling factors, 18–22
reinforced concrete, 20–2
Single-cell simply supported box bridge, 26–8
Size effects, 90–1
complete structures, 81–3
flat plates, 81–3
concrete, 41–88
in compression, 43–52
data evaluation, 49–51
factors influencing, 42–3
plain, 42–3
sealing, 48
statistical variation and, 42–8
stress-strain and, 51
cracking, 72–5
flexural, 72–4
number of cracks, 75
width, 74–5

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Page 348
slabs, 190–2
cracks, 190–1
ductility, 191
flexural shear, 191
in-plane shear, 191–2
punching shear, 191
structural concrete elements, 75–81
combined stress, 76–9
diagonal tension, pipes, 76
pre-stressed concrete beams, 79–81
in tension, 52–9
analysis, 56–7
data evaluation, 57–8
flexural testing, 53
indirect, 53–6
stress-strain, 58–9
Size, and modelling, 4–5
Skew slab bearings, 192–4
Skew slabs, 184–7, 198–9
Central Parque (Caracas), 326
Pirelli (Milan), 321
Slabs, 182–208
behaviour, 183–7
bridge, 203–4
flat, 203–4
impact testing, 279
microconcrete. See Microconcrete
reinforcement, 187–8
strain gauges, 220
simulation of, 192–200
curvature, 201–2
instrumentation, 200–3
loading, 197–200
optical techniques, 202
size effects, 190–102
cracking moment, 190
cracking space, 190–1
cracking width, 190–1
ductility, 191
flexural shear, 191
in-plane shear, 191–2
punching shear, 191
skew, 184–7
Small-scale modelling, 2–4
SPD method. See Pseudo-dynamic testing
Specimen sealing, 48
Speckle holography, 202
Static loading, multi-storey frames, 209–27
fabrication, 214–17
instrumentation, 217–21
data handling, 221
displacement, 217–19
strain gauges, 219–21
loading, 221–23
history, 222–23
test specimens, 210–14
Statistical variation, and size effects, 47–8
Steel-wire ribbing, 68–9
Stirrups, 221
Strain, 200–2
gauged hoops, 220
gauges, 128–9
instrumentation, 130–3
modelling impact, 297
multi-storey frame static loading, 219–21
beam/slab reinforcement, 220
beam stirrups, 221
hoops, 220
horizontal wall reinforcement, 220
load cells, 221
vertical reinforcement, 220
rate, 43
model, 59–61
seismic modelling, 260
slabs, and instrumentation, 200–2
see also Stress aspects and Stress-strain
Strength, ultimate, 114
see also Compressive strength and Tensile strength
direct models, combined, 76, 78–9
instrumentation, 135–6
pre-, 128–9
pre-, concrete beams, 79–81
see also Pre-stressed concrete structures
scale factors, 247
state, 43

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Page 349
Stress-strain relations
and compression, 51–2
microconcrete mixes, 94–8, 105–6
aggregate-cement ratio, 98
cube strength, 95, 98
glass bead fraction, 98
reinforcement, 212–13
tension, 58–9
Stressing technique, pre-stressed concrete, 164–8
Structural concrete, 41–88
size effects, 62–3
Structural design, relative effort, 6–7
Structural failure, 314–15
‘Superglue’, 131
Support reactions, and impact modelling, 294–5
Supports, 139
and slab simulation, 192–4
Surface deformation, 106–9
Swimming pools, 2–3
Tacoma Suspension Bridge, 314
T-beam impact testing, 278
Tendons, pre-stressed concrete
model, 162–4
prototype, 161–2
unbonded, 149–52
Tensile strength
microconcrete mixes, 93–4
microconcrete slabs, 189
of slabs, 189
testing, 112–13
diagonal, reinforced pipes, 76
simultaneous seismic loading, 244
and size effects, 52–9
analysis, 56–7
data evaluation, 57–8
flexural test, 53
indirect, 53–6
stress-strain, 58–9
impact, 273–309
machine, 43
microconcrete models, 119–46
pre-stressed concrete, 147–82
Time-compression factor, 247, 250
Top slabs, 203–4
Train-induced vibrations, bridges and, 335–8
Transducer deflection gauges, 134
Trichloroethylene, 130
Tube furnace, 111–12
Turbo-alternators, 329, 332
Two-span box bridge, 121–7, 141–2

Ultimate strength, 114

Unbonded tendons, 149–52
Units, for modelling, 13–14, 19, 23
University of Illinois tests, 50, 52
see also Cornell University and McGill University
Unrestrained fluid pressure loading, 197–8

Vajont Dam, 316

Vertical force neglecting models, and seismic loading, 248–51
partial neglect, 250–1
total neglect, 249–50
Vertical reinforcement, 220
testing, 234–6
forced, 235–6
free, 235
trains, on bridges, 335–8
Volumetric theory, 90–1

Wall-frame cage reinforcement, 214–17

Water gain, 42
Water loss, 42
Weakest Link Theory, 90
Weibull’s volumetric theory, 90–1
Whiffletree distribution, 221–2
Wire deformation, 68–9, 106, 109–10
Wires, testing, 64–9
Cornell University studies, 64–5
knurled/roller, 66–8
laboratory deformed, 68–9
McGill University studies, 65–6

Young’s modulus, 9–10, 52, 136

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