General specification for flexure design of beams
Beams are designed on the basis of limit state of collapse in flexure and checked for other limit states of shear, torsion and serviceability. To ensure safety the resistance to bending, shear, torsion and axial loads at every section should be greater than the appropriate values at that produced by the probable most unfavourable combination of loads on the structure using the appropriate safety factors. The following general specifications and practical requirements are necessary for designing the reinforced cement concrete beams.
a. Selection of grade of concrete
Apart from strength and deflection, durability shall also be considered to select the grade of concrete to be used. Table 5 of IS 456:2000 shall be referred for the grade of concrete to be used. In this table the grade of concrete to be used is recommended based on the different environmental exposure conditions.
b. Selection of grade of steel
Normally Fe 250, Fe 415 and Fe 500 are used. In earthquake zones and other places where there are possibilities of vibration, impact, blast etc, Fe 250 (mild steel) is preferred as it is more ductile.
c. Size of the beam
The size of the beam shall be fixed based on the architectural requirements, placing of reinforcement, economy of the formwork, deflection, design moments and shear. In addition, the depth of the beam depends on the clear height below the beam and the width depends on the thickness of the wall to be constructed below the beam. The width of the beam is usually equal to the width of the wall so that there is no projection or offset at the common surface of contact between the beam and the wall.
The commonly used widths of the beam are 115 mm, 150 mm, 200 mm, 230 mm, 250 mm, 300 mm.
d. Cover to the reinforcement
Cover is the certain thickness of concrete provided all round the steel bars to give adequate protection to steel against fire, corrosion and other harmful elements present in the atmosphere. It is measured as distance from the outer concrete surface to the nearest surface of steel. The amount of cover to be provided depends on the condition of exposure and shall be as given in the Table 16 of IS 456:2000. The cover shall not be less than the diameter of the bar.
e. Spacing of the bars
The details of spacing of bars to be provided in beams are given in clause 26.3.2 of IS 456. As per this clause the following shall be considered for spacing of bars.
The horizontal distance between two parallel main bars shall usually be not less than the greatest of the following
i. Diameter of the bar if the diameters are equal
ii. The diameter of the larger bar if the diameters are unequal
iii. 5mm more than the nominal maximum size of coarse aggregate
Greater horizontal spacing than the minimum specified above should be provided wherever possible. However when needle vibrators are used, the horizontal distance between bars of a group may be reduced to two thirds the nominal maximum size of the coarse aggregate, provided that sufficient space is left between groups of bars to enable the vibrator to be immersed.
Where there are 2 or more rows of bars, the bars shall be vertically in line and the minimum vertical distance between the bars shall be of the greatest of the following
i. 15 mm
ii. Maximum size of aggregate
iii. Maximum size of bars
Maximum distance between bars in tension in beams:
The maximum distance between parallel reinforcement bars shall not be greater than the values given in table 15 of IS 456:2000.
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