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What is the purpose of setting minimum amount of longitudinal steel areas for columns?

In some design codes it specifies that the area of longitudinal steel reinforcement should be not less than a certain percentage of the sectional area of column. Firstly, the limitation of steel ratio for columns helps to guard against potential failure in tension. Tension may be induced in columns during the design life of the concrete structures. For instance, tension is induced in columns in case there is uneven settlement of the building foundation, or upper floors above the column are totally unloaded while the floors below the column are severely loaded. Secondly, owing to the effect of creep and shrinkage, there will be a redistribution of loads between concrete and steel reinforcement. Consequently, the steel reinforcement may yield easily in case a lower limit of steel area is not established.

In addition, test results showed that columns with too low a steel ratio
would render the equation below inapplicable which is used for the design of columns:


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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One comment on "What is the purpose of setting minimum amount of longitudinal steel areas for columns?"

Mbali says:

M currently doing civil engineering and I will love to engage with u n learn mo in civil engineering itself

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