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Ductility is the ability of reinforced concrete members to undergo considerable deflection prior to failure. This characteristic of reinforced concrete structural members is crucial as it provides signs of failure and prevents total collapse. This is especially significant in seismic areas.

Measures used to enhance ductility performance of reinforced concrete elements are discussed.

 Fig.1: Reinforced Concrete Beam Ductility Under Applied Loads

Measures to Increase Ductility of Reinforced Concrete Structural Members

Ductility improvement measures are as follow:

  • It is recommended to employ simple and regular structural arrangement.
  • It is advised to use greater redundancy on the system of lateral loading resistant.
  • The application of strong column weak beam principle in the design of a structure is required to prevent column failure or to avoid the formation of plastic hinges in columns.

Strong Column Weak Beam Concept

Fig.2: Desired Strong Column Weak Beam Concept

  • · Another factor may used to improve ductility is the prevention of foundation failure.
  • Undesired brittle failures such as failures due to shear, anchorage, bond, and concrete compression failure shall be avoided.
  • Use under reinforced concrete sections in order to be able to rotate significantly prior to failure.
  • Finally, it is recommended to provide lateral confinement at critical locations of columns so as to make concrete experience greater deformations.

The above measures can be implement using the right sections of applicable codes, for example, material specifications for ductility, ductile detailing of beams, columns, and frames, and using proper detailing for reinforcements at joints.

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Madeh Izat Hamakareem

Madeh Izat Hamakareem

Madeh is a Structural Engineer who works as Assistant Lecturer in Koya University. He is the author, editor and partner at

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