Types & Summary of Cracks in Reinforced Concrete Beams

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The occurrence of various crack patterns in the building mostly takes place during construction and/or after completion. A building component develops cracks whenever the stress in the components exceeds its strength. Stress in the building component is caused by externally applied forces/loads.

Almost all the types of cracks in Reinforced Concrete Beams are fundamentally defined by the principle cause or mechanism associated with the function of cracks.

Also Read:

Classification of Cracks Nature Wise, Width Wise & Shape Wise
Types & Summary of Cracks in Reinforced Concrete Columns

Here we have tried to provide you with an overview of almost all the types of cracks occurred in RCC beams.

Flexure Cracks in Reinforced Concrete Beams:

Flexure word also means “Bending”. Cracking in reinforced concrete beams subjected to bending usually starts in the tensile zone i.e. soffit of the beam. The width of flexural cracks in reinforced concrete beams for short-term may stay narrow from the surface to the steel. However, in long-term under continuous loading, the width of crack may get increased and become more uniform across the member.

Courtesy - Gujarat Ambuja Cements Ltd.

Member

Crack Type

Important Characteristics

Possible Reasons

R C Beam Flexure Cracks in Reinforced Concrete Beams
  • Originates in maximum moment region (in above image this region is in centre of the beam, it varies as per support Conditions of beam)
  • May be single or in groups
  • Maximum width at bottom/top of beam
  • Flexural capacity of the beam is inadequate.
  • When Cross section of the beam or main reinforcement in beam is insufficient.
  • i.e. it is loaded more than defined loads.

Shear Cracks in Reinforced Concrete Beams:

Shear cracks in reinforced concrete beams occurs in hardened stage and it is usually caused by structural (self weight) loading or movement. These types of cracks are better illustrates as diagonal tension cracks due to combined effects of flexural (bending) & shearing action.

Courtesy - Gujarat Ambuja Cements Ltd.

Member

Crack Type

Important Characteristics

Possible Reasons

R C Beam Shear Cracks In Reinforced Concrete Beams
  • Originates nearer to supports.
  • May be single or in groups.
  • Maximum width at neutral axis region or at bottom of beam.
  • Shear Capacity of the beam is inadequate.
  • Cross section or torsional reinforcement insufficient.
  • Both here happen due to loading more than designed load.

Torsional Cracks in Reinforced Concrete Beams:

Usually, beams are subjected to torsion along with bending moment and shear force. Bending moment & shear force occurs as loads acts normal to the plane of bending. However, loads away from the bending plane will cause torsional movement.

Courtesy - Gujarat Ambuja Cements Ltd.

Member

Crack Type

Important Characteristics

Possible Reasons

R C Beam Torsional Cracks in Reinforced Concrete Beams
  • Originates nearer to maximum torsion region.
  • Single generally uniform width. Appears over the whole periphery in helical form.
  • Torsional strength of the beam is inadequate.
  • Cross-section or torsional reinforcement insufficient.

Corrosion Cracks in Reinforced Concrete Beams:

Corrosion cracks in reinforced concrete beams run along the line of reinforcement. It usually separates the concrete from reinforcing bars.  It is mostly manifested by discolouration of paint or stains of rust.

Courtesy - Gujarat Ambuja Cements Ltd.

Member

Crack Type

Important Characteristics

Possible Reasons

R C Beam Corrosion Cracks in Reinforced Concrete Beams
  • Runs along the line of reinforcement.
  • Uniform width in general
  • Bond between reinforcing bars and concrete not satisfactory.
  • May be due to corrosion of bars/fire damage.

Also Read:

Identify Risk of Steel Corrosion in Concrete Structure

Shrinkage Cracks in Reinforced Concrete Beams:

Shrinkage cracks in reinforced concrete beams occur during two stages, which are a pre-hardening stage and hardened stage. In pre-hardening stage, these types of cracks are called as plastic shrinkage cracks & in the hardened stage they are known as drying shrinkage cracks. Shrinkage cracks occur when fresh concrete is subjected to a very rapid loss of moisture.

Also Read:

Types of Cracks in Concrete at Plastic State
Plastic Shrinkage Cracks – All you Wanted to Know
Plastic Settlement Cracks – All you Wanted to Know
Courtesy - Gujarat Ambuja Cements Ltd.

Member

Crack Type

Important Characteristics

Possible Reasons

R C Beam Shrinkage Cracks in Reinforced Concrete Beams
  • No regular pattern or thickness and in general superficial.
  • Curing is inadequate or no control over water-cement ratio.
  • Usage of excessively rich mix.
  • Shrinkage reinforcement, if any, insufficient.

Sliding Cracks in Reinforced Concrete Beams:

The diagonal mode of failure by sliding along the critical cracks is known as a failure by sliding and usually appears at the edge of the supports of the beam. These types of concrete cracks appear if concrete gets disturbed in a fresh state.

Courtesy - Gujarat Ambuja Cements Ltd.

Member

Crack Type

Important Characteristics

Possible Reasons

R C Beam Sliding Cracks in Reinforced Concrete beams
  • Runs vertically at the edge of supports.
  • Maximum width at bottom of beam.
  • Concrete in the beam is disturbed at an early age when adequate strength not realised.
  • May be due to disturbance of formwork at green stage or early deshuttering.

Tension Cracks in Reinforced Concrete Beams:

Tension cracks in reinforced concrete beams occur usually due to shrinkage or temperature variations. Tension cracks usually appear in those members where restraint is provided in the longitudinal movements. Usually, tension cracks tend to propagate over the full depth of the cross-section of beam.

Courtesy - Gujarat Ambuja Cements Ltd.

Member

Crack Type

Important Characteristics

Possible Reasons

Reinforced Concrete Tie Tension Cracks in Reinforced Concrete Beams
  • Appear over the whole periphery. Generally over the whole length of the member.
  • Parallel to each other.
  • Uniformly observed.
  • Capacity of the member in tension is inadequate.
  • Tensile reinforcement is insufficient.

Cracks endeavour safety of home and ultimately may put you in stress in long term.

Must Read:

Definition and Example of Natural Hazards
What is Future Life of Building?
Thing To Keep in Mind While Selecting on a Security System For a House

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