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Evaluation of required splice lengths for reinforcing bars in masonry wall construction



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Relatively few research efforts have focused on splice length requirements for reinforced masonry, despite the significant impact of these requirements on the safety, economy, and constructability of masonry walls. The Canadian masonry provisions for splice lengths in CSA S304.1-04 are taken directly from the Canadian concrete design standard, CSA A23.3-04, and thus do not necessarily reflect factors unique to masonry construction. Provisions in American masonry standard TMS 402-13/ACI 530-13/ASCE 5-13 are based on test results of double pullout specimens, but may be overly conservative due to shortcomings of the specimen type chosen. The purpose of this study is to examine the splice lengths needed for flexural masonry elements reinforced with bar sizes typically used in Canadian masonry construction. In this study, 27 wall splice specimens and 12 double pullout specimens were constructed. The wall splice specimens were tested horizontally in four point loading, while the double pullout specimens were tested in direct tension. Results from the double pullout specimen testing suggest that the techniques used at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) are reasonably similar to those of the National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA), and are thus adequate to assess current provisions in the American and Canadian standards. A predictive equation for the tensile resistance of spliced reinforcement was developed from the results of the wall splice specimen testing. This predictive equation was then adjusted to incorporate an adequate margin of safety for calculating splice length requirements for design purposes, using a five percent quantile approach. The adjusted predictive equation was then extrapolated to determine the splice lengths corresponding to the nominal yield strength of the reinforcement. These splice lengths were compared to current code provisions. It was found that the current CSA S304.1-04 Class B provisions, used almost exclusively in construction, are conservative for No. 15, 20, and 25 bars. In contrast, the TMS 402-13 provisions were overly conservative for all three bar sizes. Changes to the bar size factors of the current provisions for both codes were recommended to bring better consistency to the requirements of the two codes, and thus ensure the safety, economy, and constructability of masonry walls.



splices, reinforcement, bond, code provisions, concrete block, wall splice specimens



Master of Science (M.Sc.)


Civil and Geological Engineering


Civil Engineering


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