Experimental behavior and design of reinforced concrete exterior beam-column joints strengthened with embedded bars

Ridwan Rahman, Samir Dirar, Yaser Jemaa, Marios Theofanous, Mohammed Elshafie

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7 Citations (Scopus)
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Shear-deficient reinforced concrete (RC) beam-column joints (BCJs) represent one of the main factors behind the seismic damage suffered by existing concrete infrastructure, as well as the associated loss of life. This study presents a novel technique for strengthening shear-deficient RC BCJs. The technique involves embedding carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) or steel bars into epoxy-filled holes drilled within the joint core. Six exterior RC BCJs were constructed and tested under displacement-controlled cyclic loading. Five specimens, of which four were strengthened with embedded bars, were designed with shear-deficient joints according to the pre-1980s building codes. The remaining specimen was adequately designed according to ACI 352R-02. The test parameters are the type (steel or CFRP) and number (4 or 8 bars) of embedded bars. The unstrengthened control specimen experienced joint shear failure in the form of cross-diagonal cracks. The strengthened specimens, namely those strengthened with embedded steel bars, exhibited less brittle failure where damage occurred in the beam region at the early stages of loading, suggesting the outset of a beam hinge mechanism. Additionally, the strengthened specimens exhibited enhancements in joint shear strength, ductility, dissipated energy and stiffness of 6-21%, 6-93%, 10-54% and 2-35%, respectively, compared to the control specimen. This paper also presents a mechanics-based design model for RC BCJs strengthened with embedded bars. The proposed model covers all possible failure modes including yielding of the existing steel reinforcement, concrete crushing and debonding of the embedded bars. The accuracy of the proposed model was checked against the test results. The model gave good predictions with an average predicted-to-experimental ratio of 1.05 and a standard deviation of 0.04.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Composites for Construction
Issue number6
Early online date28 Aug 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Aug 2018


  • Analysis
  • Beam-column joints
  • Design
  • Embedded bars
  • Fiber reinforced polymer
  • Reinforced concrete
  • Shear strengthening


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