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Mechanics of Reinforced Concrete Beams – The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Best in 5 Minutes: Demonstrating Interactive Teaching Activities

Tagged Divisions

Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering

Page Count

9

DOI

10.18260/1-2--34965

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/34965

Download Count

50

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Paper Authors

biography

Daniel Hochstein Manhattan College

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Dr. Daniel Hochstein is an Assistant Professor at Manhattan College and he received his PhD from Columbia University in 2013. He teaches civil engineering courses in the areas of engineering mechanics and materials, probability and statistics, and structural design.His research interests include studying the mechanical and thermal properties of lightweight concrete and performing accelerated weathering, durability, and aging tests on civil engineering materials.

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Abstract

This “Best in 5-Minutes” presentation will detail a lecture given in a senior level reinforced concrete design class titled “Is The Whole Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts? – Aristotle’s Insight into the Mechanics of Reinforced Concrete”. The purpose of this lecture is to allow the students to understand how the composite nature of a reinforce concrete beam allows for its flexural strength (the whole) to be much greater than just the sum of the flexural strengths of the unreinforced concrete and steel reinforcement (its parts). This lecture begins by the instructor bringing a portion of a reinforced concrete beam into the classroom, having the students physically measure the relevant dimensions, and posing the question: “Is the whole (flexural strength) greater than the sum of its parts?”. The class then works in groups of 4-5 students to decide how they are going to answer the question. The instructor circulates around the room and guides the students through the calculations necessary to prove that the strength of the whole is indeed greater than the sum of the parts. The instructor them concludes the lecture by discussing the engineering mechanics behind why the flexural strength of a reinforced concrete beam is significantly higher than the sum of the flexural strengths of the unreinforced concrete beam and the steel reinforcement. Later in the semester is it pointed out to the students that this is not true for other types of reinforced concrete structural members, such as axially loaded columns and in the analysis of reinforced concrete beams for shear, where the strength of the reinforced concrete is calculated as merely the sum of the strength of the unreinforced concrete and steel reinforcement.

Hochstein, D. (2020, June), Mechanics of Reinforced Concrete Beams – The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34965

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