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The Effect of Splice Length and Distance between Lapped Reinforcing Bars in Concrete Block Specimens



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The tensile resistance of No. 15 lap spliced reinforcing bars with varying transverse spacing and lap splice length was evaluated in full-scale concrete block wall splice specimens. The range of the transverse spacing between bars was limited to that which allowed the bars to remain within the same cell, and included the evaluation of tied spliced bars in contact. Two-and-a-half block wide by three course tall double pullout specimens reinforced with contact lap splices were initially used to determine the range of lap splice length values to be tested in the wall splice specimens such that bond failure of the reinforcement occurred. The double pullout specimens were tested in direct tension with six replicates per arrangement. Three values of lap splice length: 150, 200, and 250 mm, were selected from the testing of the double pullout specimens and tested in the wall splice specimens in combination with three values of transverse spacing: 0, 25, and 50 mm, with three replicates per configuration. A total of twenty-seven two-and-a-half block wide by thirteen course tall wall splice specimens reinforced with two lap splices were tested in four-point loading. Both the double pullout and the wall splice specimens were constructed in running bond with all cells fully grouted. The tensile resistance of the lap spliced bars in the double pullout specimens was measured directly. The contact lap splices with a 150, 200, and 250 mm lap splice length developed approximately 38, 35 and 29% of the theoretical yield load of the reinforcement, respectively. The difference between the mean tensile resistances of the three reinforcement configurations tested in the double pullout specimens was found to be statistically significant at the 95% confidence level. Different than expected, the tensile resistance of the lap spliced reinforcing bars in the double pullout specimens was inversely proportional to the lap splice length provided. For the short lap splice lengths used in this investigation, the linear but not proportional relationship between bond force and lap splice length known from reinforced concrete is believed to have caused this phenomenon. An iterative sectional analysis using moment-curvature response was used to calculate the tensile resistance of the lap spliced reinforcement in the wall splice specimens. The calculated mean tensile resistance of the reinforcement increased with increasing lap splice length, and was greater when the bars were in contact. Securing the bars in contact may have influenced the tensile capacity of the contact lap splices as higher stresses are likely to develop as a result of the bar ribs riding over each other with increasing slip. Results of the data analysis suggest that the tensile resistance of non-contact lap splices within the same cell is generally independent of the spacing between the bars. A comparison of the experimental results for the wall splice specimens with the development and splice length provisions in CSA S304.1-04 and TMS 402-11 indicate that both the Canadian and U.S. design standards are appropriate for both contact and non-contact lap splices located within the same cell given the limited test database included in this investigation.



Concrete block masonry, Double pullout specimens, Wall splice specimens, Lap splices, Transverse bar spacing, Non-contact lap splices, Bond and development



Master of Science (M.Sc.)


Civil and Geological Engineering


Civil Engineering



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