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Concrete rebar placement factor

Concrete rebar placement factor

Concrete rebar placement factor

In the Canadian concrete code, there is a modification factor for the development length that is dependent on whether or not the rebar is "top" tension steel or "bottom" tension steel. I understand how to differentiate between the two, but what is the reason for this modification factor?

The code simply states that the factor was reduced from a previous edition, but gives no explanation as to why "top" steel requires a larger development length.


RE: Concrete rebar placement factor

This difference occurs as well in the spanish EHE code.

The reason is the top 30 cm of the members be thought less compact than the lower concrete and hence the bond there being as well lesser.

RE: Concrete rebar placement factor

That sounds a little different than our code. It states that top steel is:

"so placed that more than 300mm of fresh concrete is cast in the member below the development length or splice."

So in a wall, the horizontal rebar could be 12" above the footing (with say 7 ft of concrete above it)and be considered top bar, thereby requiring extra development length.

I think someone said once that it had something to do with air bubbles genereated in the curing process, but I can't remember the exact reason.

RE: Concrete rebar placement factor

I also heard that it is due to air bubbles forming on the underside of top bars, thus reducing bond perimeter.


RE: Concrete rebar placement factor

Fresh concrete does not have a uniform constitution through its thickness after being placed.  Water and air entrapped below the reinforcing bar decreases bond more for "upper" bars than for bottom bars (bottom 12").

RE: Concrete rebar placement factor


With extra concrete below the bar, there is the potential for the semi-set concrete to sluff downward, creating small voids directly below the bar, thus reducing its bond.

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