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SHEAR DESIGN of Pile Caps According to Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute

A pile cap (Figure 1) is a stocky reinforced structure which spreads and distributes the load from a
column or bridge pier downwards into supporting piles. Unlike standard deep beams, pile caps are
relatively wide, with a width comparable to their span, contain relatively low reinforcement and in
particular normally no transverse shear reinforcement [1].
Discrepancies exist in the provisions for the design of reinforced concrete pile caps for shear
strength between the two UK codes for structural concrete design, BS 8110 and BS 5400. These
discrepancies have arisen in the historical development of the codes, and the implication is that one
code is unsafe or the other is over-conservative [2]. The overall aim of this research has been to
investigate the real shear resistance of pile cap in order to resolve the contradiction between the

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