Assumptions for the Effective Tensile Strength Connected with Determining the Minimum Reinforcement According to DIN EN 1992-1-1 7.3.2

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Technical Article

28 January 2020


Adrian Langhammer

Technical Article


When determining the minimum reinforcement for the serviceability limit state according to 7.3.2, the applied effective tensile strength fct,eff has a significant influence on the determined amount of reinforcement. The following article gives an overview about determining the effective tensile strength fct,eff and the input options in RF-CONCRETE.

Depending on the Type of Effects Due to Restraint

To determine the effective tensile strength fct,eff, it is necessary to define if restraints should be considered sooner or later.

Early restraint is caused, for example, by the flow of hydration heat.

Late restraint is caused, for example, by temperature stress. It is a late restraint when the concrete has reached the strength required by the standard.

If only the early restraint is taken into account and there are no other specifications regarding the tensile strength, the effective early tensile strength can be assumed according to [1] as follows:

  • After 3 days (simplified for thin structural components h ≤ 0.30 m)
    fct,eff ≈ 0.65 fctm
  • After 5 days (simplified for medium structural components)
    fct,eff ≈ 0.75 fctm
  • After 7 days (simplified for thick structural components h> 0.80 m)
    fct,eff ≈ 0.85 fctm

The specifications apply to common concrete with medium strength development (N).

Mean Tensile Strength in Relation to Time

With the formula EN 1992-1-1 3.1.2 (5) (3.4), it is possible to assume the tensile strength depending on the concrete age. Using the formula, you can set up the following functions for strength development:

Figure 01 - Strength Development fct, eff - Factor βcc

Figure 02 - Logarithmic Diagram Factor βcc

Slow and Fast Setting Concrete

For concretes hardening slowly (L) or rapidly (R), the value of the tensile strength must be reduced or increased by 0.15 fctm.

Entering in the Program

In RF-CONCRETE, you can factorize the effective tensile strength when entering it in the program:

Figure 03 - Entering Factor to Reduce fct,eff,As,min

For slowly hardening concrete, the tensile strength or the minimum reinforcement As,min can be reduced via a check box during the input to 0.85 As,min.

Figure 04 - Checkbox for Slowly Hardening Concrete

Please Note

Determining the effective tensile strength has a significant influence on the result of the minimum reinforcement, because it directly reduces it. It is therefore worth considering if you consider only early restraint. The Eurocode gives no simplified assumption that the effective tensile strength can be reduced to 50% as it is stated in DIN 1045-1.


Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Adrian Langhammer

Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Adrian Langhammer

Product Engineering & Customer Support

Mr. Langhammer is responsible for the development of the add-on modules for reinforced cocrete, and provides technical support for our customers.


Tensile strength First cracking Effects due to restraint Restraint forces


[1]   Fingerloos, F.; Hegger, J.; Zilch, K.: Eurocode 2 für Deutschland - Kommentierte Fassung, 2., überarbeitete Auflage. Berlin: Beuth, 2016



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