Characterization of Punching Shear Capacity of Thin Uhpc Plates

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Virginia Tech

UHPC (ultra-high performance concrete) is a relatively new type of concrete that exhibits mechanical properties that are far superior to those of conventional concrete and in some cases rival those of steel. The main characteristics that distinguish UHPC from conventional reinforced concrete are the improved compressive strength, the tensile strength, the addition of steel fibers, and the resistance to corrosion and degradation. The mechanical properties of UHPC allow for smaller, thinner, lighter sections to be designed while strength is maintained or improved. The use of UHPC has been limited to a few structural applications due to the high cost of the materials and the lack of established design guidelines.

A proposed material model based on material and finite element models has served as the foundation of this research effort. The model was used to minimize the dimension of an optimum section in order to limit the material usage and maximize the performance. In the model, the top flange served as the riding surface and contained no reinforcing steel to resist shear. The lack of steel reinforcement allowed for the possibility of a punching shear failure to occur from the application of a point load such as a wheel tire patch load. The model and optimized section served as the foundation for this research, the characterization of punching shear capacity of thin UHPC plates.

A total of 12 UHPC slabs were tested to failure to determine the boundary between a flexural failure and a punching shear failure. The variables considered were the slab thickness and loading plate dimensions. The results of the testing were compared to existing models for punching shears and other failure modes, with varying success. The test results aided in the development of a design equation for the prediction of punching shear in UHPC slabs. After evaluation of the test results, recommendations are made as to which model predicts the punching shear capacity of UHPC slabs and the minimum slab thickness required to prevent a punching shear failure.

UHPC, Punching shear, Ductal, Fiber reinforced concrete