Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 1407–1493 | Cite as

Shear strength criteria for design of RC beam–column joints in building codes

  • Kanak Parate
  • Ratnesh KumarEmail author
Original Research


The paper presents a comprehensive review on shear strength provisions of RC beam–column joint in various national codes viz. ACI 318-2014, NZS 3101-1:2006, EN 1998-1:2004, CSA A23.3:2004, AIJ:2010, and IS 13920:2016. The shear strength equation given in these codes are generic and simple in application, which is based on the contribution of only a few governing parameters. However, the effects of governing parameters in different codes are considered in different ways. As a result, the code prediction varies significantly among themselves as well as with experimental studies. Considering these differences, the influence of various governing parameters on the joint shear strength are evaluated. A database is compiled from 492 experimental results of beam–column joints from literature. To find the cause of variation between code prediction and experimental observations, different type of failure modes of beam–column joints is studied. Consequently, two parameters namely, aspect ratio of joint and area ratio of column to beam cross-section is observed to be affecting the code predictions considerably. The influence of these two parameters on the joint shear strength is validated with the compiled experimental results. Therefore, to ameliorate the code prediction, two approaches i.e. aspect ratio approach and area ratio approach are proposed. The first approach is based on the effect of variation of strut angle on joint shear strength, whereas, the second approach proposes various empirical modification factors based on area ratio of column to beam cross-section. By using these two approaches, it is observed that the difference between the code predictions and experimental results can be minimized considerably. These approaches make the code prediction suitable for design purpose.


Reinforced concrete Beam–column joint Design codes Joint shear strength Joint aspect ratio 

List of symbols


Area of beam


Area of column


Effective area of joint

ba1, ba2

Smaller of one quarter of column depth outside the beam face and one half of the offset of column from beam face on either side of column


Width of beam


Width of column


Effective width of joint


Compressive strength of concrete


Design strength of concrete


Factor as function of concrete grade (0.8f c 0.7 )


Depth of beam


Depth of column


Effective depth of joint


Shape factor for different types of joint


Column axial load


Shear strength from diagonal compressive strut


Horizontal component of joint shear strength


Vertical component of joint shear strength


Shear strength of joint


Joint shear strength prediction by the code


Joint shear strength from experiment


Aspect ratio of joint


Width ratio of joint


Offset distance between beam and column face on either side


Modification factor for concrete types


Effect of confinement of beams into the joint


Reduction factor for concrete compressive strength due to tensile strain in transverse direction [η = k (1− (fc/250)]


Column axial load ratio (Nc/Acfc)


Strut angle


Factored concrete tensile strength


Area ratio modification factor



The authors are thankful of Prof. C.V.R. Murty, Director, Indian Institute of Technology, Jodhpur (IITJ), India for his valuable guidance for improving the manuscript, and to the two anonymous Reviewers for their constructive suggestions for improving the manuscript.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Applied MechanicsVisvesvaraya National Institute of TechnologyNagpurIndia

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