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  - Purpose of the Package
- What is reinforced concrete?
- An overview of the package
- Reinforced Concrete Construction
- Some basic definitions
- Conventions

Objectives of design

Material Properties

Beams in Flexure




Reinforcement Detailing

Strut-and-tie Modelling



Shear Walls


RCAUS: 1. Introduction

Purpose Of The Package

The purpose of the package is to explain the principles and aims of the design of reinforced concrete structures. The package has been written for engineering students and assumes the user has a working knowledge of structural design and a thorough grasp of an appropriate level of mathematics.

Much of the theory described in the package is fundamental, however the detailed design of a reinforced concrete structure or member usually has to conform to the requirements of a standard or code of practice. For most members and structures in Australia this is AS 3600 Concrete Structures, 2009 (including Amendment 1) published by Standards Australia, and which is referred to throughout this package as the Standard. Although the package does give background and explanation to some of the Clauses in the Standard the Package is not a Commentary on it nor is it a text book on the design of reinforced concrete structures.

Users should remember that the scope of the package differs from that of the Standard, ie it does not cover prestressed concrete, nor is it comprehensive, ie although design for earthquake actions is mentioned the requirements are not discussed in any depth.

How to use this package

The topics in the order presented form a logical progression through the subject matter, and we recommend that you study them in this order some assumption is made in later topics that the reader is familiar with the matter presented in earlier topics. However users may move through the package in any order and the menu down the left-hand side of the screens allows users to quickly move around the package and/or refresh their memory of earlier topics as required.

Overview of the Package

The package starts by discussing the properties of concrete and the need for a composite material, reinforced concrete, and its behavior; then moves on to explain the method of design, limit states.

It then discusses material properties and loads, and then considers how to provide adequate durability and fire resistance within the design process.

The package examines methods of analysing a structure, generally to satisfy strength criteria, to find the moments and forces at critical sections, and then looks at redistributing the moments.

It then discusses how to analyse the sections by looking at stress-strain relationships and their application to -

  • pure flexure (bending),
  • flexure plus an axial compressive force,
  • and finally shear.

    Generally, the individual structural elements, beams, columns, etc., are not considered separately, since this would involve a lot of repetition. The package has been structured to explain the fundamental principles, which can then be applied to the appropriate element. For example:

    The topic on flexure applies to the design of beams, slabs and walls loaded horizontally.

    The topic on axial force plus flexures applies to the design of columns and walls loaded vertically.

    There are numerous questions and exercises for you to test yourself to make sure that you really understand the subject. There are also several 'see what happens' pages where you can adjust the parameters, click a button, and see the result. These include the analysis of a three-span continuous beam, and the analysis of sections subject to flexure, shear, and axial load plus flexure.

    What is Reinforced Concrete?

    Reinforced concrete is concrete in which steel bars ( reinforcement ) are embedded in such a way so as to resist the applied forces acting on the member. This definition excludes a number of types of reinforcement which are used to successfully reinforce concrete, eg steel fibres , prestressing tendons , and non-metallic materials such as carbon rods . Reinforced concrete is a popular construction material because it can be cast into a variety of forms ranging from simple beams and slab-on-ground floors in domestic structures to complicated ribbed floors in commercial and monumental buildings. Further it is a strong, durable material which is readily available in most locations and can be used to produce attractive and economical buildings and structures.

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