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2019, Vol. 22(10) 2250–2263

Effect of matrix ductility on the Ó The Author(s) 2019

Article reuse guidelines:

compression behavior of sagepub.com/journals-permissions

DOI: 10.1177/1369433219837388

Abstract

Engineered cementitious composites have the characteristics of tensile strain hardening and multiple cracking. Substituting concrete

with engineered cementitious composites can effectively avoid the cracking and durability problems induced by concrete brittleness.

In this study, four steel-reinforced columns with various matrix types and load eccentricities were tested under eccentric compres-

sion. Test results indicated that steel-reinforced engineered cementitious composite columns exhibited a larger load-carrying capacity,

higher ductility, better crack control ability, and damage tolerance, compared to reinforced concrete columns. All columns finally failed

in compression as manifested by matrix crushing. However, the failure patterns between steel-reinforced engineered cementitious

composite columns and reinforced concrete columns were extremely different. Significant concrete spalling appeared in the reinforced

concrete columns, while no sign of engineered cementitious composite spalling was observed in the steel-reinforced engineered

cementitious composite columns owing to the fiber bridging effect of engineered cementitious composite. The maximum crack width

in reinforced concrete column increases almost linearly with the applied load and reaches 2 mm at most just prior to attaining the ulti-

mate strength, while the maximum crack width in the steel-reinforced engineered cementitious composite column first increases and

thereafter remains constant at approximately 60 mm with an increasing compression load. In addition to experimental work, a finite

element model was proposed to predict the load–deformation response of the steel-reinforced engineered cementitious composite

column. The prediction results are in close agreement with the test data. Finally, parametric studies were conducted to further illus-

trate the effects of matrix ductility and load eccentricity on the load–deformation curves, strain contour, and moment–load interac-

tion curves of the columns.

Keywords

column, crack control, damage tolerance, ductility, eccentric compression, engineered cementitious composites, finite element, load-

carrying capacity

(Fischer and Li, 2002a, 2002b).

Concrete cracking owing to tensile brittleness causes Over the past several decades, a type of high-

severe durability problems in reinforced concrete (RC) performance fiber-reinforced cementitious composite,

structures, manifested by serious steel reinforcement known as engineered cementitious composites (ECCs)

corrosion in RC structures in offshore or chemical with tensile strain hardening behavior and multiple

treatment environments. Replacing the steel reinforce-

ment with noncorroding fiber-reinforced polymer

(FRP) can potentially solve the corrosion problem. Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, East China Jiaotong

However, the extensive use of FRP reinforcement is University, Nanchang, China

limited owing to the two inherent drawbacks of FRP Corresponding authors:

materials, namely, the low elasticity modulus and the Fang Yuan, Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, East China

lack of ductility (Vijay and GangaRao, 2001). In RC Jiaotong University, Nanchang 330013, China.

structures, concrete brittleness also causes other major Email: fyuan@ecjtu.edu.cn

problems in terms of concrete spalling, bond splitting, Mengcheng Chen, Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture,

and loss of composite action between the steel reinfor- East China Jiaotong University, Nanchang 330013, China.

cement and concrete, which weaken the ductility and Email: mcchen@ecjtu.edu.cn

Yuan and Chen 2251

cracking properties has been developed and applied in In this study, several R/ECC columns are tested

infrastructure engineering (Kim et al., 2004; Lepech under eccentric compression. The influence of matrix

and Li, 2009, 2010; Li, 2003; Li and Kanda, 1998; Li types and load eccentricities on the column’s ultimate

and Leung, 1992). ECC and concrete exhibit similar strength, ductility, and damage tolerance—among

ranges of tensile strength (4–6 MPa) and compressive other factors—are evaluated. Subsequently, a finite

strength (30–80 MPa) but deform in a totally different element model is proposed to predict the load versus

manner under tension. Conventional concrete fails in a deformation response of the R/ECC column. Finally,

brittle manner once the first crack occurs. However, in an extensive parametric study was conducted to fur-

an ECC member, after the first cracking, the stress still ther evaluate the effect of matrix ductility on the ulti-

increase with increasing deformation until final crack mate strength of R/ECC members.

localization occurs, accompanied by multiple cracks

along the tested member. Typically, mechanical soften-

ing only begins at a tensile strain of 3%–5%, with a Experimental program

crack spacing of 3–6 mm, and a crack width of approx- Specimen preparation

imately 60 mm (Zhang et al., 2011). In uniaxial com-

pression, the ECC strain at the peak stress is nearly Four steel-reinforced columns were tested under com-

twice that of concrete (Kesner et al., 2003; Zhou et al., pression in this work. All columns have the same

2014). Existing research results indicate that the cross-sections of breadth (b) 3 depth (d) = 200 mm

mechanical properties of ECC material in shear are 3 250 mm, and lengths (L) of 1200 mm. The column

similar to those in tension (Kanda et al., 1998). FRP- specimens in this experiment can be divided into two

reinforced ECC beams without transverse steel reinfor- series. Series I consists of two columns tested under a

cement demonstrate superior mechanical performance load eccentricity of 40 mm, designed to fail in matrix

to concrete beams with closely spaced stirrups, thus crushing without reinforcement yield in tension. Series

indicating that the elimination of shear reinforcement II includes two columns tested under a load eccentri-

is feasible when concrete is replaced with ECC (Li and city of 120 mm, designed to fail in matrix crushing

Wang, 2002). A previous study also indicated that beyond reinforcement yield in tension. The corre-

ECC deforms in a compatible manner with steel rein- sponding load–eccentricity ratios (e0/r) in Series I and

forcement, thereby resulting in decreased interfacial II are 0.32 and 0.96, respectively, where r is given by d/

bond stresses and in the elimination of bond splitting 2. Each series includes one RC column and one R/

cracks and cover splitting (Fischer and Li, 2002a). ECC column. For each specimen, four steel bars with

Maalej and Li (1995) pointed out that steel-reinforced the same diameters of 16 mm were used as longitudinal

ECC-concrete composite beams with an ECC layer on reinforcements. For all specimens, ribbed steel stirrups

the tension side exhibited higher flexural strength and with diameters of 8 mm and a spacing of 100 mm were

finer cracks prior to their final failure than correspond- used as transverse reinforcements. Table 1 provides the

ing RC beams. Recently, Chen et al. (2018) proposed details of each specimen. Different specimen designa-

the use of high-strength ECC for the flexural repair of tions are employed to distinguish these columns.

RC structures with significant steel corrosion. With Specimen designations starting with the letter ‘‘E’’

this novel technique, the flexural strength of the corro- denote ECC specimens, while those starting with the

sive beam was retrieved, and the splicing of additional letter ‘‘C’’ represent concrete specimens. The Arabic

reinforcements or the removal of a large amount of numerals following the first hyphen indicate the longi-

concrete could be avoided. Experimental observations tudinal reinforcement diameter. The listed Arabic

of the cyclic response of steel-reinforced ECC (R/ECC) numerals following the second hyphen are used to dis-

flexural members also demonstrated that the energy tinguish specimens with different load eccentricities.

dissipation capacity can be improved significantly and For example, the specimen ‘‘E–16–120’’ represents an

member integrity can be better maintained when con- R/ECC column with a longitudinal reinforcement dia-

crete is replaced with ECC (Canbolat et al., 2005; meter of 16 mm and a load eccentricity of 120 mm.

Fischer and Li, 2002b; Yuan et al., 2013). Obviously,

ECC can operate in conjunction with steel reinforce-

ment to improve ductility and durability for R/ECC

Material properties

flexural members, owing to their unique properties. An increased replacement volume (80%) of cement

Previous studies have focused on the flexural beha- with fly ash was employed in the ECC composition in

vior of R/ECC members, but few experimental studies order to improve the environmental sustainability. The

have investigated the eccentric compression behavior matrix compositions of the ECC and concrete are dis-

of R/ECC members. This gives rise to the need for the played in Table 2. The fiber is made of polyvinyl alco-

conduct of additional studies on this issue. hol (PVA) fiber. The specific performance indexes of

2252 Advances in Structural Engineering 22(10)

Series Specimen ID e0 e0/r Longitudinal Shear Matrix fcu Peak load Deflection at

(mm) reinforcement reinforcement type (MPa) (kN) peak load (mm)

(mm) (mm)

E–16–40 40 0.32 4f16 f8@100 ECC 46.08 1410 3.69

II C–16–120 120 0.96 4f16 f8@100 Concrete 32.28 560 5.68

E–16–120 120 0.96 4f20 f8@100 ECC 46.08 738 5.68

Matrix Cement Fly ash Sand Coarse Water High-range PVA fiber volume

designation aggregate water-reducing fraction, %

admixture, %

Concrete 1.0 – 1.5 2.5 0.35 0.3 –

Length (mm) Diameter (mm) Tensile strength (MPa) Elongation (%) Elastic modulus (GPa) Density (g/cm3)

fiber is 2%, and the fiber number per square meter is

about 1.40 3 109. To evaluate the ECC tensile ducti-

lity, tensile tests were carried out on specimens with

dimensions of 350 mm 3 50 mm 3 15 mm. A typi-

cal ECC tensile stress–strain curve is illustrated in

Figure 1. It was found that the tensile strength

exceeded 5 MPa and the ultimate tensile strain

approached 4%. A number of ECC and concrete

cubes with dimensions of 100 mm 3 100 mm 3 100

mm were also prepared and tested in axial compres-

sion at the same time as the column tests. The mea-

sured cube strengths (fcu) of the ECC and concrete

were 46.08 and 32.28 MPa, respectively. The mechani-

cal properties of the steel reinforcement are shown in

Table 4.

The specimens were tested under compression at dif-

ferent load eccentricities. The compression load was

applied by a testing machine with a 5000 kN capacity. 6 mm were machined on each steel cap so that the load

Plate hinges were arranged at both ends of the speci- eccentricity could be controlled precisely. The load

men, and steel caps were installed at both ends of each was applied through V-shaped edges connected to the

specimen prior to loading. Grooves with depths of corresponding groove of each specimen. Three

Yuan and Chen 2253

Table 4. Material properties of steel reinforcement. data were collected automatically by a data logger dur-

ing the tests.

Diameter Yield Ultimate Elasticity

(mm) strength strength modulus

fy (MPa) fsu (MPa) Es (GPa) Test results and discussions

8 359 525 195 Failure characteristics and crack patterns

12 534 620 203

16 527 621 201 Figure 3 illustrates the specimen failure modes. Matrix

20 506 607 211 crushing was observed for all tested specimens and

local crushing of the ECC or concrete occurred near

the top ends for most specimens owing to the effects of

the end conditions. All columns finally failed in matrix

displacement transducers were arranged uniformly

crushing, but the failure patterns of the R/ECC col-

along the specimens to monitor the column deflec-

umns were extremely different from those of the RC

tions. Two displacement transducers were installed at

columns. Significant concrete spalling occurred in the

the specimen end to measure longitudinal shortening

RC columns, while no sign of ECC spalling was

during the tests. Numerous strain gauges were observed in the R/ECC columns because of the ECC

attached to the longitudinal tensile bars at an equidi- fiber bridging effect. This means that the ECC can

stant spacing of 100 mm and on the concrete surface provide more efficient confinement to the longitudinal

at mid-height at a spacing of 50 mm (Figure 2). The reinforcement compared to concrete. As a result, steel

test setup and measurement configurations are dis- buckling can be delayed and the damage tolerance of

played in Figure 2. A graded loading program was the members can be improved.

adopted for the test, and a load interval equal to one- Figure 4 illustrates the crack patterns for all tested

fifteenth of the estimated load capacity was employed specimens. For specimens with a load eccentricity of

until the peak load was reached. Each load interval 40 mm, the cracks initially occurred at approximately

was maintained for approximately 2 min. The loading 30% of the maximum load. In contrast, initial cracks

was applied slowly and continually following the peak were observed at approximately 15% of the peak load

load, until final failure occurred. All of the measured for specimens with a load eccentricity of 120 mm.

Figure 2. Details of test columns and setup (units: mm): (a) specimen dimensions and (b) measurement arrangement.

2254 Advances in Structural Engineering 22(10)

Figure 3. Failure modes for each specimen: (a) C–16–40, (b) E–16–40, (c) C–16–120, and (d) E–16–120.

curves prior to peak load.

observed along the column span for the R/ECC speci-

men, while only less than 10 evident flexural cracks

with a large crack width were found in the case of the

Figure 4. Final crack patterns of tested specimens. RC specimens. The results indicate that substitution of

concrete with ECC in the column can significantly

diminish the crack width, resulting in improved dur-

With a larger load eccentricity, the applied moment ability of the member if repairs cannot be carried out

becomes larger and the matrix cracking strength is immediately following a severe accidental event.

thus more likely to be reached. The flexural cracks ini- Figure 5 illustrates the maximum crack width versus

tially appeared on the side far from the loading point mid-height deflection (f) curves of specimens prior to

and extended toward the opposite side at increasing the peak strength. For the RC column, the crack width

loads. Crack localization occurred beyond the peak increased almost linearly with the applied load and

load for the R/ECC columns with a load eccentricity reached a value of 2 mm at most at peak load. For the

of 120 mm, while it was not observed for ECC col- R/ECC column, the crack width first increased and

umns with a load eccentricity of 40 mm during the then remained constant at approximately 60 mm with

entire loading process. It was also found from the test increases in the applied load. The significant difference

observations that at the ultimate stage, dozens of tiny in the development of the crack width was derived

Yuan and Chen 2255

increasing loads prior to the peak load (Nu). As

expected, the flexural stiffness decreased when the load

eccentricity increased. Subsequently, the compression

load decreased at increased deflections owing to crush-

ing of the concrete or ECC. The decreasing trend was

more pronounced for the RC columns than the R/

ECC columns. This is a result of the fact that the ECC

strain at the ultimate compressive strength is nearly

twice as high as that of concrete (Kesner et al., 2003;

Zhou et al., 2014), which benefits the ductility of flex-

ural members that fail in matrix crushing. It can also

be observed from Figure 6 that the ultimate strengths

of the R/ECC columns are higher than the corre-

sponding RC columns. Compared with the RC speci-

mens, the ultimate strength of the R/ECC specimens

Figure 6. Load versus mid-height deflection curves for increased by 35.6% when the load eccentricity was

specimens with different load eccentricities. 40 mm and by 31.8% when the load eccentricity was

120 mm. Owing to the higher measured compressive

strength of the ECC, it is difficult to determine

from the different cracking processes of the concrete and whether there are other attributing factors apart from

ECC. A tension-softening process occurred in conven- the higher compressive strength of the matrix that lead

tional concrete once its tensile strength was obtained, to the higher ultimate strength of the R/ECC columns.

followed by a rapid increase in crack width. However, in This will be discussed in detail in the following section

ECC materials, following initial cracking, the tensile on numerical simulations.

load continued to increase with strain hardening beha-

vior, accompanied by the formation of multiple cracks.

Each individual crack tended to open steadily up to a Strain analysis

certain crack width, and the increasing deformation Figure 7 illustrates the strain distributions along the

resulted in the formation of an additional crack. Based tensile longitudinal reinforcement at different load lev-

on the same cracking mechanism, ECC member crack- els prior to Nu for specimens C–16–120 and E–16–120

ing can reach a saturated state with small crack spacing, of series II. The longitudinal reinforcement rebar strain

until the localization of a random single crack occurs. fluctuation in the R/ECC column was less pronounced

than that in the corresponding RC column. For C–16–

120, once cracking occurred, the tensile force at the

Load versus deformation curves cracked section was almost entirely maintained by the

Figure 6 illustrates the compression load (N) versus steel reinforcement, thus leading to strain fluctuations

the mid-height deflection (f) curves of the specimens. It along the longitudinal reinforcement. In contrast, for

Figure 7. Strain distributions along tensile longitudinal reinforcement: (a) C–16–120 and (b) E–16–120.

2256 Advances in Structural Engineering 22(10)

(a) (b)

(a) (b)

Figure 8. Stress–strain relationships of (a) ECC under uniaxial tension, (b) ECC under uniaxial compression, (c) steel

reinforcement, and (d) concrete.

E–16–120, ECC still provided a tensile load at the software which cannot effectively define the perfor-

cracked section through the stress transfer of the PVA mance of ECC materials, ATENA can easily give the

fiber, thus resulting in a highly uniform distribution of performance definition of ECC materials. In addition,

the longitudinal reinforcement strain. At the same load the software has its own unique ‘‘professional’’ in

value, the strains along the longitudinal reinforcement simulating concrete cracking, failure, and yielding of

in the RC column were also significantly higher than steel bars. The typical stress–strain curves of ECC

those in the R/ECC column. For example, the maxi- obtained from uniaxial tension and compression tests

mum strains of the longitudinal reinforcement for C– are shown as dotted lines in Figure 8 (Yuan et al.,

16–120 at 0.54 Nu and 0.88 Nu were 1190 and 2149 me, 2017; Zhou et al., 2014). To simplify numerical model-

respectively, compared to 704 me for E–16–120 at the ing, the following assumptions were made for the con-

same load levels. These special characteristics of the R/ stitutive relationships of materials: (1) the stress–strain

ECC column lead to a significant reduction in the inter- relationship of ECC in tension and compression can

facial bond stresses that subsequently benefits its be, respectively, described by a bilinear (Figure 8(a))

eccentric compression response. and a polyline curve (Figure 8(b)), (2) the steel reinfor-

cement is described by a bilinear curve with strain

hardening (Figure 8(c)), (3) for concrete in tension, the

Finite element implementation stress increases linearly with strain up to the first

cracking followed by a linear descending part pointing

Stress–strain relationship

to the zero stress point (Figure 8(d)), and (4) for con-

Numerical simulations of this study were carried out crete in compression, the stress–strain relationship pro-

using the nonlinear finite element software ATENA. It posed by Hognestad et al. (1955) was adopted to

was developed by Czech Cervenka Consulting model the ascending part followed by a linear descend-

Company and is mainly used to solve RC structure ing part pointing toward the zero stress point, as indi-

problems. Compared to other finite element analysis cated in Figure 8(d).

Yuan and Chen 2257

(a) (b)

(c) (d)

Figure 9. Comparison of the predicted load versus mid-height deflection curves with measured results for specimens: (a) C–16–

40, (b) E–16–40, (c) C–16–120, and (d) E–16–120.

Three-dimensional finite element models were property parameters were the same as those described

adopted to simulate the specimens in the experiments. in section ‘‘Experimental program.’’Figure 9 shows the

In this analysis, the mesh size was selected to be 20 mm comparison of the predicted moment versus the deflec-

according to the convergence study. The brick solid ele- tion curves at the mid-height section with the mea-

ments were used for concrete and ECC. The truss ele- sured results. The total moment at the mid-height

ments were adopted for the steel reinforcement. The section is the sum of bending moments caused by the

spring elements were used to consider the bond beha- initial eccentricity and lateral deflection, expressed by

vior between the steel bars and the matrix (concrete or

ECC). The bond-slip model proposed by Wu and Zhao M m = N ðe0 + f Þ ð1Þ

(2012) was employed to model the steel–concrete inter-

It can be observed that the simulated initial stiffness

face, while the model proposed by Bandelt and

almost coincides with the measured stiffness for each

Billington (2016) was used to model the steel–ECC

specimen. The predicted ultimate strengths were

interface. The columns were loaded by displacement slightly smaller than the corresponding measured val-

control during the entire loading process. The ues, while the predicted deflections at the ultimate

‘‘Newton–Raphson’’ iterative procedure was selected as strengths were slightly larger than the measured deflec-

the solution method. Both displacement and residual tions. The values of the experimental and numerical

convergence criteria were adopted in the computation peak loads are given and compared quantitatively in

and the error tolerance was set to be 0.005. Table 5. The average ratio of the predicted to the mea-

sured ultimate moment was 0.97, and the average ratio

of the predicted to the measured deflection at peak

Verification of finite element model strength was 1.08. The larger simulated deflection was

To verify the validity of the proposed model, the tested attributed to the fact that the numerical simulation is

columns were selected for analysis. The material an ideal condition where the maximum deflection and

2258 Advances in Structural Engineering 22(10)

compression load (kN) compression load (kN) moment (kN m) moment (kN m)

E–16–40 1410.0 1481.4 61.60 60.18

C–16–120 560.0 540.3 70.38 68.43

E–16–120 738.0 721.9 92.75 90.95

Concrete Compressive Compressive strain Tensile strength ft Cracking strain etc# Ultimate strain ecu#

strength fc at peak stress ec0#

ECC Cracking strain etc Cracking stress stc Peak stress st0/sc0 Strain at peak stress et0/ec0 Ultimate strain etu/ecu

tion. By contrast, the measured maximum deflection

section may deviate from the mid-height section owing

to the geometric imperfections or loading location

errors, which results in a smaller mid-height deflection.

After the peak load point, the simulated curves deviate

from the measured curves to some extent. Increased

nonlinearity in terms of steel bar buckling and con-

crete crushing occurred in the softening stage, which

explains the simulating difficulty in this stage. In gen-

eral, a reasonable agreement is observed between the

test and numerical results.

Parametric studies

A parametric study was conducted in order to gain a

comprehensive understanding of the eccentric com- Figure 10. Comparison of moment–deflection responses

pression behavior of R/ECC columns. The control col- between RC and R/ECC columns at a load eccentricity of

umn had a length of L = 1600 mm, a cross-section of 180 mm.

b 3 d = 250 mm 3 250 mm, a concrete cover

thickness of 40 mm to the longitudinal reinforcement

center, and an initial load eccentricity of 180 mm. For Load versus deformation analysis

the control column, four steel bars with the same dia- Figure 10 shows the comparison of the mid-height sec-

meter of 16 mm were used as the longitudinal reinfor- tional moment–deflection curves of the RC and the R/

cement of the control column. Steel stirrups with ECC columns. It is observed that the moment capacity

diameters of 10 mm and spacings of 100 mm were of the R/ECC column is significantly larger than that

used as transverse reinforcements. The proposed mate- of the RC column with the same geometric dimension

rial parameters of the concrete and ECC are displayed and reinforcement layout. The peak moment of the R/

in Table 6. The elastic modulus, yield strength, ulti- ECC column is 95.68 kN m, which is 1.38 times that of

mate strength, and ultimate strain of the steel reinfor- the RC column (69.55 kN m). The larger load-carrying

cement, were assumed to equal 200 GPa, 460 MPa, capacity of the R/ECC column is mainly owing to the

610 MPa, and 0.1, respectively. ultra-high-tensile ductility characteristic of the ECC

Yuan and Chen 2259

Figure 11. Overall deformations and strain contours of RC and R/ECC columns at peak load: (a) principle tensile strain and (b)

principle compressive strain (deformation magnified 10 times).

material. Because the ultimate tensile strain of the ECC section. It can be observed from Figure 11(a) that at

material can be as high as 3%, the ECC in the tension peak load, the maximum tensile strain of concrete and

zone is typically in the tensile strain hardening stage at ECC are 3.472 3 1023 and 4.373 3 1023, respec-

the peak load and can still contribute to the tensile tively. The assumed strains at the peak stress of concrete

stress resultant. However, concrete has already cracked and ECC are 0.00015 and 0.03, respectively. This indi-

before the peak load is reached and the tensile capacity cates that cracks appear on the tensile side of the RC

of concrete is almost negligible. The participation of column at peak load, and the tension contribution of

ECC in the tensile stress resultant is equivalent to the concrete is negligible. However, the extreme tensile

increase in the longitudinal reinforcement ratio of the strain of R/ECC column is far from reaching the locali-

column members. The higher the reinforcement ratio zation strain of ECC, and ECC can thus provide stable

is, the larger the bending moment capacity is. The mid- tensile force that ultimately has a positive effect on the

height deflection at the peak load of the R/ECC col- load-carrying capacity of the R/ECC column. Figure

umn is approximately 1.64 times that of the RC col- 11(b) shows the principle compressive strains of the RC

umn, as shown in Figure 10. The ultimate strain of and R/ECC columns at peak load. The maximum prin-

ECC is much greater than that of concrete. As a result, ciple compressive strains of concrete and ECC are

the R/ECC column exhibits superior deformability 21.693 3 1023 and 23.615 3 1023, respectively. The

than the RC column when they fail by matrix crushing. maximum principal compressive strain of ECC in the R/

It is also worth mentioning that the initial stiffness of ECC column at peak load is more than two times that

the R/ECC column is very close to that of the RC col- of concrete in the RC column, thus resulting in signifi-

umn although the ECC elastic modulus is only half to cantly larger mid-height deflection of the R/ECC col-

two-fifth of that of concrete. This is mainly owing to umn compared to that of the RC column.

the excellent tensile ductility of ECC, which ensures Figure 12 shows the overall deformation and strain

that ECC always contributes to the tensile force of the contour of RC and R/ECC columns at the ultimate state.

R/ECC column. Herein, the ultimate state is defined as the point where

the applied load drops to 85% of the load-carrying capac-

ity. It can be found from Figure 12(a) that the maximum

Strain contour analysis principal tensile strains of concrete and ECC at the ulti-

Figure 11 shows the overall deformation and strain mate state are 2.090 3 1022 and 3.121 3 1022, respec-

contours of RC and R/ECC columns at peak load. tively, indicating that both the concrete and ECC at

The deformations of the columns are magnified 10 extreme tensile faces enter the tensile softening stage.

times. The loading line at the upper plate coincides However, the ECC close to the neutral axis still provides

with the constraint line at the lower plate at the verti- tensile resistance. It can be observed from Figure 12(b)

cal projection, thus resulting in the occurrence of the that the maximum principal compressive strains of con-

maximum lateral deformation at the mid-height crete and ECC at the ultimate state are 21.146 3 1022

2260 Advances in Structural Engineering 22(10)

Figure 12. Overall deformations and strain contours of RC and R/ECC columns at ultimate state: (a) principle tensile strain and (b)

principle compressive strain (deformation magnified 10 times).

Figure 13. Comparison of moment versus mid-height deflection curves between RC and R/ECC columns at various eccentricities:

(a) e0 = 45 mm, (b) e0 = 90 mm, (c) e0 = 135 mm, (d) e0 = 225 mm, (e) e0 = 270 mm and (f) e0 = 315 mm.

and 22.071 3 1022, respectively, which are evidently Effect of load eccentricities

larger than the strains of concrete and ECC at peak To study the influence of the load eccentricity (e0), a

stress. This indicates that the concrete and ECC enter the parametric study was carried out by changing the load

compression softening stage, and both the RC and R/

eccentricity e0 from 45 to 315 mm. Figure 13 shows

ECC columns fail by matrix crushing. The larger maxi-

the mid-height moment–deflection curves of the RC

mum principal compressive strain of ECC leads to larger

and R/ECC columns at each load–eccentricity level. It

mid-height curvature and thus greater deflection of the

can be observed that both of the peak moments and

R/ECC column at the ultimate state.

Yuan and Chen 2261

Figure 14. Comparison of load versus moment interaction curves between RC and R/ECC columns: (a) columns with steel bar

diameter of 16 mm and (b) columns with steel bar diameter of 20 mm.

the corresponding deflections of the R/ECC columns constant. The numerical load–moment interaction

are larger than those of the RC columns. To better curve is shown in Figure 14(b). The same variation

analyze the ultimate strength, the compression load trend can be observed. That is, the load-carrying

capacity and moment capacity at the mid-height sec- capacity of the R/ECC columns is very close to that of

tion at each load–eccentricity level are shown together the RC columns when load–eccentricity ratio is low,

in Figure 14, also known as the load–moment interac- while it is evidently larger than that of the RC columns

tion curve. It is clearly found from Figure 14(a) that when the load–eccentricity ratio is high.

the load–moment interaction curve of the RC column

is surrounded by that of the R/ECC column, thus indi-

Conclusion

cating that the replacement of concrete with ECC leads

to a larger load-carrying capacity of the column mem- The eccentric compression behaviors of R/ECC col-

ber under eccentric compression. However, the ulti- umns were systematically studied in this work. First,

mate strength improvement is greatly dependent on four columns with various matrix types and load

the load–eccentricity ratio. The strength improvement eccentricities were tested under eccentric compression.

is more pronounced for columns with higher load– The failure modes, crack patterns, and load versus

eccentricity ratios. The mechanism can be explained as deformation responses of R/ECC columns were ana-

follows. When the load–eccentricity ratio is low, the lyzed and compared with those of RC columns.

bending moment to the axial force ratio is relatively Subsequently, a finite element model was proposed

small and most of the section areas are therefore under and verified by the comparison of the simulation with

compression. The contribution of the ECC tensile the measured results. Based on the finite element

strength to the total load capacity is negligible. As the model, a systematic parametric study was carried out

load–eccentricity ratio increases, the bending moment to further evaluate the effects of matrix ductility on

to axial force ratio increases, and the tension area the strain contour distribution as well as the load–

becomes increasingly larger. In this situation, the moment interaction curves of column members. In

ultra-high-tensile ductility of the ECC causes it to play summary, the following conclusions can be drawn

an important role in the resultant tensile force. It is as from this study:

if the tensile reinforcement ratio of the R/ECC column

is significantly higher than that of the RC column. It is 1. The failure modes of all columns were compres-

well known that a higher tensile reinforcement ratio sion failures manifested by matrix crushing;

leads to a larger compression stress resultant and thus however, significant concrete spalling occurred

to a higher flexural strength. That is, the R/ECC col- in the RC columns, while no sign of ECC spal-

umn exhibits a superior mechanical performance com- ling was observed in the R/ECC columns owing

pared to the RC column when they are subjected to to the fiber bridging effect of ECC.

eccentric compression at an increased load–eccentricity 2. The maximum crack width in RC columns

ratio. To further verify this observation, an additional increased almost linearly with the applied load

case with longitudinal steel bar diameter of 20 mm and reached values as high as 2 mm prior to

was also simulated. The other parameters were kept the ultimate strength, while the maximum crack

2262 Advances in Structural Engineering 22(10)

width in the R/ECC column first increased and Hognestad E, Hanson NW and McHenry D (1955) Concrete

thereafter remained constant at approximately stress distribution in ultimate strength design. ACI Journal

60 mm as a function of increasing compression 52(12): 455–479.

loads. Kanda T, Watanabe S and Li VC (1998) Application of

3. The deformability of R/ECC columns is super- pseudo strain hardening cementitious composites to shear

ior to that of RC columns at each load– resistant structural elements. In: Proceedings of the 3rd

international conference on fracture mechanics of concrete

eccentricity level.

and concrete structures FRAMCOS-3, Freiburg, October,

4. Replacement of concrete with ECC leads to a

pp. 1477–1490. Available at: http://hdl.handle.net/

larger load-carrying capacity of column mem- 2027.42/84675

bers under eccentric compression. The ultimate Kesner KE, Billington SL and Douglas KS (2003) Cyclic

strength improvement is greatly dependent on response of highly ductile fiber-reinforced cement-based

the load–eccentricity ratio. The strength composites. ACI Materials Journal 100(5): 381–390.

improvement is more pronounced for columns Kim YY, Fischer G and Li VC (2004) Performance of bridge

with higher load–eccentricity ratios. deck link slabs designed with ductile engineered cementi-

tious composite. ACI Structural Journal 101(6): 792–801.

Lepech MD and Li VC (2009) Application of ECC for

Declaration of Conflicting Interests bridge deck link slabs. Materials and Structures 42(9):

The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with 1185–1195.

respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this Lepech MD and Li VC (2010) Sustainable pavement over-

article. lays using engineered cementitious composites. Interna-

tional Journal of Pavement Research and Technology 3(5):

241–250.

Funding Li VC (2003) On engineered cementitious composites (ECC).

The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial sup- Journal of Advanced Concrete Technology 1(3): 215–230.

port for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this Li VC and Kanda T (1998) Innovations forum: engineered

article: The work described in this study was fully supported cementitious composites for structural applications. Jour-

by a grant from the National Natural Science Foundation of nal of Materials in Civil Engineering 10(2): 66–69.

China (Grant No.: 51608199). Li VC and Leung CK (1992) Steady-state and multiple crack-

ing of short random fiber composites. Journal of Engineer-

ing Mechanics 118(11): 2246–2264.

ORCID iD Li VC and Wang S (2002) Flexural behaviors of glass fiber-

Fang Yuan https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8794-3671 reinforced polymer (GFRP) reinforced engineered cementi-

tious composite beams. ACI Materials Journal 99(1): 11–21.

Maalej M and Li VC (1995) Introduction of strain-hardening

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e strain

ec0 compressive strain of ECC at peak stress

Appendix 1 ec0# compressive strain of concrete at peak

Notation stress

ecu ultimate compressive strain of ECC

b cross-section breadth ecu# ultimate compressive strain of concrete

d cross-section depth esu ultimate strain of steel reinforcement

e0 load eccentricity etc# cracking strain of concrete

Es elastic modulus of steel reinforcement etc first cracking strain of ECC

f deflection at mid-height section etu ultimate tensile strain of ECC

fc compressive cylinder strength of concrete et0 tensile strain of concrete at peak stress

fcu compressive cube strength of concrete s stress

fsu ultimate strength of steel reinforcement sc0 compressive strength of ECC

ft tensile strength of concrete stc first cracking stress of ECC

fy yield strength of steel reinforcement st0 tensile strength of ECC

L column length

Mm moment at mid-height section

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