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CONTENTS
Volume 3, Number 6, December 2006
 

Abstract
Poor strength test results are sometimes not an indication of low concrete quality, but rather inferior testing quality. In a compression test, the strain distribution over the ends of the specimen is a critical factor for the test results. Non-uniform straining of a concrete specimen leads to locally different compressive stresses on the cross-section, and eventual premature breaking of the specimen. Its effect on a specimen can be quantified by comparing the compressive strength results of two specimens, one subjected to uniform strain and another to a specified strain gradient. This can be done with the help of a function that relates two parameters, the strain ratio and the test efficiency. Such a function depends on the concrete strength and cross-sectional shape of the specimen. In this study, theoretical relationships between the strain ratio and test efficiency are developed using a concrete stress-strain model. The results show that for the same strain ratio, the test efficiency is larger for normal strength concrete than for high strength concrete. Further, the effect of the strain gradient on the test result depends on the cross-sectional shape of the specimen. Implementation of the results is demonstrated with the aid of two examples.

Key Words
compressive strength; concrete; strain; stress; testing.

Address
Civil Engineering Department, American University of Sharjah, P.O. Box 2666, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Abstract
This paper presents the investigations towards developing a better understanding on the contribution of steel fibers on the tensile strength of high-performance fiber reinforced concrete (HPFRC). An extensive experimentation was carried out with w/cm ratios ranging from 0.25 to 0.40 and fiber content ranging from zero to 1.5 percent with an aspect ratio of 80. For 32 concrete mixes, flexural and splitting tensile strengths were determined at 28 days. The influence of fiber content in terms of fiber reinforcing index on the flexural and splitting tensile strengths of HPFRC is presented. Based on the test results, mathematical models were developed using statistical methods to predict 28-day flexural and splitting tensile strengths of HPFRC for a wide range of w/cm ratios. The expressions, being developed with strength ratios and not with absolute values of strengths and are applicable to wide range of w/cm ratio and different sizes/shapes of specimens. Relationship between flexural and splitting tensile strengths has been developed using regression analysis and absolute variation of strength values obtained was within 3.85 percent. To examine the validity of the proposed model, the experimental results of previous researchers were compared with the values predicted by the model.

Key Words
silica fume; crimped steel fibers; fiber reinforcing index; high-performance fiber reinforced concrete; flexural strength; splitting tensile strength; modeling.

Address
Structural Engineering Division, Department of Civil Engineering, Anna University, Chennai-600025, India

Abstract
A multi-species model based on the Nernst-Planck equation has been developed by using a finite volume method. The model makes it possible to simulate transport due to an electrical field or by diffusion and to predict chloride penetration through water saturated concrete. The model is used in this paper to assess and analyse chloride diffusion coefficients and chloride binding isotherms. The experimental assessment of the effective chloride diffusion coefficient consists in measuring the chloride penetration depth by using a colorimetric method. The effective diffusion coefficient determined numerically allows to correctly reproduce the chloride penetration depth measured experimentally. Then, a new approach for the determination of chloride binding, based on non-steady state diffusion tests, is proposed. The binding isotherm is identified by a numerical inverse method from a single experimental total chloride concentration profile obtained at a given exposure time and from Freundlich

Key Words
chloride; durability; multi-species; predictive model; concrete.

Address
T.Q. Nguyen and V. Baroghel-Bouny; Laboratoire Central des Ponts et Chauss?s, Paris, FrancernP. Dangla; Laboratoire des Matriaux et Structures du G?ie Civil, Champs sur Marne, France

Abstract
Stress wave propagation through concrete is simulated by finite element analysis. The concrete medium is modeled as a homogeneous material with smeared properties to investigate and establish the suitable finite element analysis method (explicit versus implicit) and analysis parameters (element size, and solution time increment) also suitable for rigorous investigation. In the next step, finite element analysis model of the medium is developed using a digital image processing technique, which distinguishes the mortar and aggregate phases of concrete. The mortar and aggregate phase topologies are, then, directly mapped to the finite element mesh to form a heterogeneous concrete model. The heterogeneous concrete model is then used to simulate wave propagation. The veracity of the model is demonstrated by evaluating the intrinsic parameters of nondestructive ultrasonic pulse velocity testing of concrete. Quantitative relationships between aggregate size and testing frequency for nondestructive testing are presented.

Key Words
concrete; nondestructive testing; ultrasonic pulse velocity; finite element analysis; explicit dynamic analysis; digital image processing; heterogeneous model.

Address
Ismail Ozgur Yaman; Middle East Technical University, Civil Engineering Department, Ankara, 06531, TurkeyrnZekai Akbay; DaimlerChrysler AG, Truck Group, Sindelfingen, 71059, GermanyrnHaluk Aktan; Wayne State University, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 5050 Anthony Wayne Dr. #2164, Detroit, MI, 48202, USA

Abstract
This paper develops an artificial neural network (ANN) model for uniformly loaded restrained reinforced concrete (RC) slabs incorporating membrane action. The development of membrane action in RC slabs restrained against lateral displacements at the edges in buildings and bridge structures significantly increases their load carrying capacity. The benefits of compressive membrane action are usually not taken into account in currently available design methods based on yield-line theory. By extending the existing knowledge of compressive membrane action, it is possible to design slabs in building and bridge decks economically with less than normal reinforcement. The processes involved in the development of ANN model such as the creation of a database of test results from previous research studies, the selection of architecture of the network from extensive trial and error procedure, and the training and performance validation of the model are presented. The ANN model was found to predict accurately the ultimate strength of fully restrained RC slabs. The model also was able to incorporate strength enhancement of RC slabs due to membrane action as confirmed from a comparative study of experimental and yield line-based predictions. Practical applications of the developed ANN model in the design process of RC slabs are also highlighted.

Key Words
artificial neural network; membrane action; reinforced concrete slab; ultimate strength, yield-line method.

Address
Dept. of Civil Engineering, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto, ON, M5B 2K3, Canada


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