Predicting Shear Capacity of NSC and HSC Slender Beams Using Artificial Intelligence

Document Type



The use of high-strength concrete (HSC) has significantly increased over the last decade, especially in offshore structures, long-span bridges, and tall buildings. The behavior of such concrete is noticeably different from that of normal-strength concrete (NSC) due to its different microstructure and mode of failure. In particular, the shear capacity of structural members made of HSC is a concern and must be carefully evaluated. The shear fracture surface in HSC members is usually trans-granular (propagates across coarse aggregates) and is therefore smoother than that in NSC members, which reduces the effect of shear transfer mechanisms through aggregate interlock across cracks, thus reducing the ultimate shear strength. Current code provisions for shear design are mainly based on experimental results obtained on NSC members having compressive strength of up to 50MPa. The validity of such methods to calculate the shear strength of HSC members is still questionable. In this study, a new approach based on artificial neural networks (ANNs) was used to predict the shear capacity of NSC and HSC beams without shear reinforcement. Shear capacities predicted by the ANN model were compared to those of five other methods commonly used in shear investigations: the ACI method, the CSA simplified method, Response 2000, Eurocode-2, and Zsutty's method. A sensitivity analysis was conducted to evaluate the ability of ANNs to capture the effect of main shear design parameters (concrete compressive strength, amount of longitudinal reinforcement, beam size, and shear span to depth ratio) on the shear capacity of reinforced NSC and HSC beams. It was found that the ANN model outperformed all other considered methods, providing more accurate results of shear capacity, and better capturing the effect of basic shear design parameters. Therefore, it offers an efficient alternative to evaluate the shear capacity of NSC and HSC members without stirrups.


Civil and Environmental Engineering | Construction Engineering and Management | Structural Engineering


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