Detailing of Reinforcement in Concrete Structures

Presented by:

  • Professor Ian Gilbert Centre for Infrastructure Engineering and Safety, The University of New South Wales


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Detailing of the structural elements and the connections between them, perhaps more than any other single factor, decides the success or failure of a concrete structure. Good detailing ensures that the reinforcement and the concrete interact efficiently to provide satisfactory behaviour throughout the complete range of loading. Successful detailing requires an understanding of structural and material behaviour beyond that possessed by structural engineering graduates, and often not possessed by more experienced designers. The number of examples of poor detailing in many standard details commonly used be structural designers is testimony to a fundamental weakness in this aspect of structural design. Too often detailing is the last thing considered by the engineer, or worse, not seriously considered at all. Yet it is critical if full strength is to be achieved and if in-service performance is to be satisfactory. It should be remembered that reinforcement that ensures satisfactory behaviour under service load conditions may not provide good collapse characteristics and, conversely, reinforcement details that provide adequate strength and ductility do not necessarily ensure serviceability. Detailing must be considered when designing for both the ultimate load and the service load conditions. 

In this seminar, guidelines for successful detailing in structural elements and connections are outlined. The reasons for providing reinforcement and the sources of tension in concrete structures (some of which may not be immediately obvious) are also discussed. The importance of adequate anchorage for reinforcement is stressed and appropriate details are recommended for a wide range of reinforced concrete members and connections. Several common examples of poor detailing are also discussed.

Ian is Emeritus Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of New South Wales. He is Deputy Director of the UNSW Centre for Infrastructure Engineering and Safety within the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He has almost 40 years experience in structural design and is a specialist in the analysis and design of reinforced and prestressed concrete structures. He has published widely, with five books and over three hundred and fifty technical papers and reports. His books include 

  • Time Effects in Concrete Structures (Elsevier Science Publishers, Amsterdam, 1988); 
  • Design of Prestressed Concrete (E & FN Spon, London, 1997); 
  • Engineering Statics, UNSW Press, Sydney, 1999; and 
  • Time-dependent Behaviour of Concrete Structures, Spon Press, London, 2011. 

Professor Gilbert has been active in the development of the Australian Concrete Standard AS 3600 for over 30 years and he is one of the contributing authors of the Commentary to AS3600-2009. He has been the recipient of numerous awards for excellence in research and teaching, including the 1999 Chapman Medal (awarded annually by the Institution of Engineers, Australia since 1921 for the most significant contribution to the science and practice of structural engineering) and the Concrete Institute of Australia’s 2011 National Award for Excellence for his book Time-dependent Behaviour of Concrete Structures. In 2011, he was awarded Honorary Membership of the Concrete Institute of Australia for his “outstanding contribution to the development and use of concrete in Australia”. He is currently the Deputy Director of the UNSW Centre for Infrastructures Engineering and Safety and an elected member of the National Council of the Concrete Institute of Australia.

This event will start at 6:15pm in the Turner Theatre at The University of Melbourne, Botany Building, Parkville (Building 122, Grid E13 on this map.)

Refreshments will provided from 5:45pm in the Staff Common Room, 3rd Floor, Engineering Block C (Building 174, Grid L17 on this map.)

All of the IStructE Evening Technical Meetings are free to attend unless stated otherwise.