This paper describes an experimental investigation of the shear behavior of beams consisting of steel Reinforced Engineered Cementitious Composites (R/ECC). This study investigates and quantifies the effect of ECC's strain hardening and multiple cracking behavior on the shear capacity of beams loaded in shear. The experimental program consists of R/ECC beams with short (8 mm) randomly distributed Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA) fiber and conventional Reinforced Concrete (R/C) counterparts for comparison with varying shear reinforcement arrangements. Beams were loaded until failure while a Digital Image Correlation (DIC) measurement technique was used to measure surface displacements and crack formation. The shear crack mechanisms of R/ECC are described in detail based on findings of DIC measurements and can be characterized by an opening and sliding of the cracks. Multiple micro-cracks developed in a diagonal arrangement between the load and support points due to the strain-hardening response of ECC in tension. The strain-hardening response strongly influenced the shear response of the beam specimen.
- Reinforced ECC