Drop-weight testing of slender reinforced concrete beams
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionStructural Concrete. 2021, 22 (4), 2070-2088. https://doi.org/10.1002/suco.202000395
The work presented herein sets out to investigate experimentally, via drop-weight testing, the behavior of slender reinforced concrete (RC) beam specimens under impact loading. During testing, the behavior of each specimen is established through the combined use of conventional instrumentation and a high-speed video camera. The primary objective of this work is to investigate the reasons that trigger the observed shift in specimen behavior (compared to that established from static tests) with increasing levels of applied loading rate and intensity. Analysis of the test data reveals that during drop-weight testing only a portion of the element span reacts to the applied load (as indicated by the deformation and cracking profiles recorded) which in turn affects the mechanics underlying specimen behavior and therefore, significantly influencing the mode of failure ultimately exhibited. The observed localized response becomes more prominent by increasing the loading rate and intensity of the imposed impact loading. In addition to the above, the strain-rate sensitivity of the material properties of concrete does not appear to have a significant effect on the behavior of the specimens tested. The aforementioned observations appear to be in conflict with current design practice raising questions concerning the effectives of the design solutions produced.