This paper evaluates the shear strength of simply supported palm kernel shell (PKS) concrete and normal weight concrete (NWC) beams subjected to four-point loading. The primary variable of the investigation was evaluation of shear capacity of reinforced PKS concrete and NWC beams with and without shear reinforcement. Four pairs of reinforced concrete (RC) beams with similar geometrical properties were designed and tested with two replicate beams per design. Measured shear strengths at failure were compared with theoretical predictions calculated using BS 8110, ACI 318-05 and EC2. All but one specimen failed as a result of diagonal-tension. PKS beams exhibited lower ultimate shear capacities, smaller crack widths but higher displacements at failure. The performance of the EC 2, BS 8110 and ACI 318-08 code equations in predicting the shear resistance of PKSC and NWC beams is also presented. Based on the test results, it is concluded that shear capacity provisions of ACI give a conservative estimate of shear capacity of PKS lightweight concrete beams while the EC 2 gives a very close prediction of the shear capacity of PKS RC beams. The results of this study increases knowledge on the structural properties of PKS concrete, the efficient use of PKS and reduce the indiscriminate disposal of the PKS as a waste material.
Key words: Palm kernel shells, normal weight concrete (NWC), Shear strength, BS 8110, ACI 318, EC 2.
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