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Unexpected cracking in a RC pier cap - A case study
, I. Geevar, M. Prasad, D. Adrija
Published in Federation Internationale du Beton (fib)
Pages: 3504 - 3512
This paper presents an investigation on structural cracking observed in a reinforced concrete (RC) pier cap supporting a prestressed concrete box girder of 13m span, with a carriage way width of 20m. The pier cap is designed to carry the heavy concentrated loads transmitted to the pier through elastomeric bearings. Unexpected vertical cracks were observed at service loads on the sides directly under the bearings. A site visit revealed that the elastomeric bearings were compressed on one side with loss of contact on the other. The crack width measurements showed a crack width as high as 1mm at some locations, where the cover provided was found to be 100 mm, which is more than the proposed cover of 50 mm. A detailed analysis using nonlinear finite element analysis (NLFEA) was performed to understand the causes of these cracks using two models: one with full contact of the bearings and the other with half contact. The complete crack pattern was obtained from NLFEA which showed cracking at a similar location as that at the site. The cracking occurred at a lower load in the model with half contact at bearings. This clearly established the reason for cracking as the reduced contact area at the bearings. The wide cracks were perhaps due to the unexpected high cover at the corner location. The safety of the structure at ultimate loads was also checked using NLFEA and strut-and-tie method, and is seen that the structure is safe at ultimate loads. © 2019 by the fib. All rights reserved.
About the journal
JournalFIB 2018 - Proceedings for the 2018 fib Congress: Better, Smarter, Stronger
PublisherFederation Internationale du Beton (fib)