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Reinforced conc bms with widely-spaced transverse reinf ... FEMA 356

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In reinf conc bms with transverse reinf spacing s >
d/2, FEMA 356 6.4.4 says  Vs  shall be assumed not
more than 50% effective, and it goes on to say that
for s >= d, Vs = 0.

Obviously the transverse reinforcement becomes less
and less effective as the spacing increases beyond
d/2, and zero at s = d, but I can't believe it
instantly drops 50% if the spacing is just a little
bit beyond d/2.
 
Does anyone know if there a research/testing basis for
this FEMA requirement?  
 
Also, why not say the shear steel is 100% effective at
d/2, dropping linearly to 0% effective at d?

Thanks,
d a v e  e v a n s


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