Calibration of Australian Standard AS3600 Concrete Structures: part I statistical analysis of material properties and model error

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Journal of Structural Engineering, 2016, 17 (4), pp. 242 - 253
Issue Date:
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© 2016 Engineers Australia. Assessment of the reliability of design models developed for Australian Standards is of paramount importance for determination of public safety. Poorly calibrated models and safety factors can lead to overly safe and uneconomic construction or, worse, to an insufficient level of safety. This study investigates the reliability of the models used in the Australian Concrete Structures Standard AS3600–2009 for the design of beams and slabs in bending and shear and columns under combined bending and axial loading. The study is in two parts; in Part I, strength and variability of over 20,000 concrete cylinders cured under standard conditions and tested at 28 days are statistically analysed. The data were collected from all cities and regional areas in Australia and for all concrete strength grades; similarly, variability of reinforcement product is analysed. Next, reliable databases of laboratory tests for beams, slabs and columns were established for members failing in flexure, shear and compression and model errors, and their variability, determined for the code design models. It is concluded that improvements in the production of concrete and of bar products, over time, have led to reduced variability in their materials properties–with potential for increasing code strength reduction factors and, thus, reducing excessive conservatism in design. This is assessed in Part II of this study.
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