Local bond behavior of bundled bars: Experimental investigation

Giovanni Metelli*, John Cairns, Antonio Conforti, Giovanni A. Plizzari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
41 Downloads (Pure)


The use of bundled bars in highly loaded concrete members instead of individual bars can reduce or even avoid reinforcement congestion, allowing easier placing and compaction of concrete, since bundles (with two or more side-by-side bars) are less obstructive to fresh-concrete flow. However, there is still a lack in knowledge of the fundamental phenomena related to the bond behavior of bars in bundles. Therefore, design code rules for anchorages and splices differ significantly among International Standards (Eurocode 2, fib Model Code 2010, and ACI 318–19). The present paper reports the results of more than 100 pullout tests with short embedded length with the aim of comparing the local bond behavior of bundles with that of corresponding notional individual bars. Among the three criteria usually introduced to compare bundled and individual bars, based on the concepts of “equivalent sectional area,” and “minimum or maximum sectional perimeter,” the first and the second are introduced in this paper. Experimental results show that both criteria are suitable methods for evaluating the bearing capacity of bundled bar anchorages, even if equivalent area criterion seems to be slightly more conservative. The experimental results provide also information on the bursting forces generated by the wedge action of the ribs which clearly increases with bar diameter. Finally, experimental results are compared with design rules for anchorage strength of bundled bars as prescribed by fib-Model Code 2010.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2322-2337
Number of pages16
JournalStructural Concrete
Issue number4
Early online date10 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • anchorages
  • bond strength
  • bundled bars
  • local bond-slip law
  • pullout test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials


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