Compressive Strength of Unreinforced Struts (enhanced PDF)

By Lucas Laughery1, Santiago Pujol

1. Nagoya Institute of Technology

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At present, the majority of published literature claims that the compressive unit strength of a plain concrete strut loaded over its
full cross section is greater than the unit strength of the same strut loaded over a reduced width. The strength reduction in the latter
case is attributed to the development of internal tension resulting from lateral spreading of internal stress. This tension is thought
to cause lateral splitting failure before the strut reaches its full compressive strength. The current investigation tests the hypothesis
that unreinforced struts have lower compressive unit strength when loaded in uniaxial compression over a reduced width. This is done
through the testing of 32 unreinforced concrete specimens and the creation and analysis of a database containing all available results
to date of tests on plain concrete struts loaded in uniaxial compression. The additional testing reported herein was intended to make
up for a paucity of data from large planar bottle struts (height ≥ 12 in. [305 mm]) tested alongside control prismatic struts. Of the
32 new specimens tested, 14 were loaded uniformly across their full cross section and 18 were loaded over a reduced width. In contrast
to engineering consensus, analysis of the database including these new results suggests that the unit compressive strength of a planar
concrete strut is independent of the ratio of its cross-sectional width to the width over which it is loaded.

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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Lucas Laughery; Santiago Pujol (2017), "Compressive Strength of Unreinforced Struts (enhanced PDF),"

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