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How are shear forces transmitted across a reinforced concrete crack?

There are two principle mechanisms in transferring shear forces across a reinforced concrete crack, namely, aggregate interlock and dowel action.

The aggregate interlock refers to the interaction between rough surfaces of the crack. The shear stiffness of aggregate interlock is influenced by the axial tensile stiffness of the reinforcement.

When shear displacement occurs, there is a tendency for the crack to widen. In the meantime, the reinforcement restrains the crack widening, which subsequently increases in axial stress of the reinforcement. On the other hand, dowel action refers to the shear resisted by the reinforcement.


This question is taken from book named – A Self Learning Manual – Mastering Different Fields of Civil Engineering Works (VC-Q-A-Method) by Vincent T. H. CHU.

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Kanwarjot Singh

Kanwarjot Singh is the founder of Civil Engineering Portal, a leading civil engineering website which has been awarded as the best online publication by CIDC. He did his BE civil from Thapar University, Patiala and has been working on this website with his team of Civil Engineers.

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