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Re: Minimum number of bars in a 6 in. width conc. beam

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Martin -

I would be disinclined to place a single bar in any flexural element
(beam, joist, whatever).  In 6" you can get a pair of #7 bars with
1.5" clear cover and still get 1" hardrock agg between the bars.

What we've found in the concrete design class (okay, you guys in
professional practice stop laughing!) is that the test specimens
that are detailed with single large diameter bars never develop the
reliability that we'd like to see, *especially* in narrow beams.
Consider the potential for splitting, and the absence of a confined
core.  (You didn't mention if you're in earthquake country or not.)

Just my $0.02, and worth every penny you paid for it.  ;-)


Charles Hamilton, PhD EIT               Faculty Fellow
Department of Civil and                 Phone: 949.824.3752
    Environmental Engineering           FAX:   949.824.2117
University of California, Irvine        Email: chamilto(--nospam--at)

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