The significance of negative bending moments in the seismic performance of hollow-core flooring
Thesis DisciplineCivil Engineering
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Engineering
Hollow-core flooring units are designed as simply supported members. However, frequently in construction, continuity is established between the units and supporting structure by the addition of insitu topping concrete and steel reinforcement. This change in structural form can result in negative bending moments and axial forces being induced in the floor by seismic and other structural actions. Significant negative moments are induced by load combinations that include the effects of seismic forces due to vertical ground motion. The focus of this research was two failure mechanisms possible under these loading conditions, a flexural failure and a shear failure. Both failure mechanisms were investigated analytically and experimentally.
A brittle flexural failure was observed experimentally in a sub assembly test that contained starter bars and mesh reinforcement in the insitu topping concrete. The failure occurred at loads lower than those predicted using standard flexural theory. It appears that, due to the prestressing and low reinforcement ratio of the topping concrete, the assumption that plane sections remain plane is not appropriate for this situation. It is proposed that a strain concentration factor be introduced to account for the effects of tension stiffening. This factor improves the correlation between observed and predicted flexural strength.
The second failure mode investigated was a flexure shear failure in a negative moment zone. Flexural cracks reduce the shear strength of a reinforced concrete member. Analytical predictions suggest that some hollow-core floor details could be prone to this type of brittle failure. A flexure shear failure was not observed experimentally; however, this does not eliminate the possibility of this failure mode.
A summary of other failure mechanisms possible in hollow-core flooring is also presented. All failure modes should to be considered as part of establishing a hierarchy of failure in the design or retrofit of hollow-core floors.