Frontiers of Structural and Civil Engineering

, Volume 13, Issue 5, pp 1271–1287 | Cite as

Experimental study on flexural behavior of ECC/RC composite beams with U-shaped ECC permanent formwork

  • Zhi Qiao
  • Zuanfeng PanEmail author
  • Weichen Xue
  • Shaoping Meng
Research Article


To enhance the durability of a reinforced concrete structure, engineered cementitious composite (ECC), which exhibits high tensile ductility and good crack control ability, is considered a promising alternative to conventional concrete. However, broad application of ECC is hindered by its high cost. This paper presents a new means to address this issue by introducing a composite beam with a U-shaped ECC permanent formwork and infill concrete. The flexural performance of the ECC/RC composite beam has been investigated experimentally with eight specimens. According to the test results, the failure of a composite beam with a U-shaped ECC formwork is initiated by the crushing of compressive concrete rather than debonding, even if the surface between the ECC and the concrete is smooth as-finished. Under the same reinforcement configurations, ECC/RC composite beams exhibit increases in flexural performance in terms of ductility, load-carrying capacity, and damage tolerance compared with the counterpart ordinary RC beam. Furthermore, a theoretical model based on the strip method is proposed to predict the moment-curvature responses of ECC/RC composite beams, and a simplified method based on the equivalent rectangular stress distribution approach has also evolved. The theoretical results are found to be in good agreement with the test data.


engineered cementitious composite (ECC) durability ECC/RC composite beam permanent formwork flexural performance theoretical method 


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The authors acknowledge the funding supports of National Key Research and Development Plan, China (2016YFC0701400, 2017YFC1500700), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51778462).


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Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhi Qiao
    • 1
  • Zuanfeng Pan
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Weichen Xue
    • 2
  • Shaoping Meng
    • 3
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Concrete & Prestressed Concrete Structures of the Ministry of EducationSoutheast UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.College of Civil EngineeringTongji UniversityShanghaiChina
  3. 3.School of Civil EngineeringSoutheast UniversityNanjingChina

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