Reducing cracking damage due to thermal and external loads using polypropylene fiber in concrete beams
Davidson, Adam Kyle
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The ACI and AASHTO codes provide tensile stress limits in order to limit cracking in reinforced concrete beams. Often cracking occurs that cannot be explained or is blamed on poor construction practices. One loading that is often not considered in design is thermal gradient loading, the loading caused by differential heating or cooling of a composite slab and girder system. Although the AASHTO code provides guidance for the design of thermal gradients, this form of loading is often not considered for typical slab and girder systems. To investigate this issue, experimental work was performed to determine the significance of thermal gradient loading on initial cracking and subsequent damage caused by cracking for two concrete T-sections with fiber reinforcing and two without fiber reinforcing. Results indicated that concrete without fiber was more effective than concrete with fiber.