Reinforced concrete columns utilize steel reinforcing bars embedded within concrete to withstand heavy structural loads.

Splicing these steel bars end-to-end by overlapping becomes necessary when column heights exceed standard bar lengths available.

When splicing and joining reinforcing steel bars (rebars) in concrete columns, overlapping is necessary to transfer forces between spliced bars. Proper lapping as per codes is vital for structural integrity.

Overlapping zones need to be appropriately located and detailed ensuring continuity of force transfer.

Defining adequate overlapping lengths through codal provisions gets vital to anchor these lap splices.

Development lengths must also sufficiently transmit stresses between concrete and steel. Additionally, bar deformations like joggle lengths enhance the bond characteristic.

By clarifying code-compliant best practices for column bar splicing, it intends to emphasize the structural necessity of robust overlapping details.

Since inferior lap splice lengths severely compromise column capacity, the aim is to stress executing overlapping of reinforcing bars in compliance with codal provisions.

What is Column Overlapping?

Column overlapping refers to the interlocking arrangement of secondary column reinforcement like ties, hoops and spirals with an overlap length to confine the enclosed concrete. This aids continuity and ductile seismic response.

overlapping zone in column
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Purpose of Overlapping Columns

Key reasons for overlapping column confinement reinforcement are:

Continuity: Interlocking bars enhance integrity unlike non-overlapping closed ties

Ductility: Gives inelastic deformation capacity through continuous hoops

Concrete confinement: Improves strength and strain limits for pressure resistance

Buckling resistance: Prevents longitudinal bar buckling failures

Shear resistance: Ties supplement dowel action for shear transfer

Durability: Reduces spalling risks compared to spaced fabrication

How to Calculate Column Rebar Overlapping Length

Determining adequate overlapping length for lap splicing column bars involves the following key steps:

Step 1: Identify the critical column section for splicing based on structural analysis and design. Locate the lap splice zone away from regions of high moments.

Step 2: Determine the diameter of the main vertical column bars that need to be spliced.

Step 3: Refer design codes like ACI 318 to derive the column bar development length Ld based on the bar diameter and other parameters.

Step 4: Decide on the overlapping splice type between column bars – welded splices or non-contact lap splices.

Step 5: For non-contact type lap splice, calculate the required overlap length Lo as a multiple of bar diameter:

Lo = Overlapping Length
db = Bar Diameter

Step 6: Consider seismic provisions in IS 13920 for high seismic zones to enhance overlapping length, anchorage and ductility.

Step 7: Verify that the overlapping length is not less than the development length Ld for adequate stress transfer.

Step 8: Ensure stagger distance between adjacent splices meets design code provisions.

Step 9: Detail the desired column configuration, bar sizes, overlapping lengths and anchorage types into the construction drawings.

The above steps ensure column reinforcement continuity through adequate overlapping and anchorage to deliver robust and resilient structures safely.

Column Overlapping Rebar Overlap Length

ACI 318 gives the following equation to calculate the standard hook overlap length (loh) for column ties enclosing spliced bars:

loh = 0.3 m (12 in.) or loh ≥ 12db


loh = Overlap length of column tie hook
db = Tie bar diameter

As per ACI 318:

  • The column tie overlap length should be max of either 300 mm or 12 times the tie bar diameter
  • This ensures adequate anchorage of the spliced column bars enclosed within the ties
  • Modified hook details can reduce the length while maintaining capacity
  • Minimum overlap anchorage is essential for force transfer in lap splice zone
  • Insufficient bonding stresses can lead to joint failures under load
column overlapping types in column
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Seismic Column Reinforcement Overlap

IS 13920 indicates specific seismic needs:

  • 135° end anchor hooks instead of 90° bends
  • Overlap length ≥ 72d_b_ or 450 mm for spiral/hoops
  • Joint staggered splices for 50% bars at a section
  • Extra 20-25 mm concrete cover

These enhance earthquake resistance through confined concrete columns.

Column Tie Overlap Requirements

ACI 318 mandates:

  • Overlaps with bottom bars for C-C ties
  • Overlaps not needed for single leg rectangle ties
  • 12d_b or 300 mm overlap length

Additionally, IS 13920 specifies:

  • Overlaps with all enclosed bars
  • 135° anchors at ends
  • Additional seismic needs as highlighted before

Overlapping Hoops Column Design

Column capacity improves through triaxial confinement pressure from properly overlapped circular hoops.

Benefits include:

  • Ductility to sustain displacements
  • Shear capacity through dowel action
  • Prevention of buckling tendency failures

IS 456 limits hoop spacing to 8 times longitudinal bar diameter or lateral dimension/5 for seismic areas.

Column Bars Overlap Splicing

Lap splices connecting spliced column bars at staggered locations must meet:

  • Minimum overlap length rules of IS 13920
  • 50% splices permitted at one section
  • Joint stagger distance ≥ 5d_b or 150 mm
  • 135° end anchor hooks

This avoids planes of weakness under load reversals.

Column Stirrups Overlap Detailing

Lap detailing of stirrups differs based on shape:

  • Rectangular: Closed type don’t need overlaps
  • Circular: Overlaps mandatory for continuity

Additional rules cover:

  • End anchorage by 135° hooks
  • Corner bends shape/length
  • Splice lengths of enclosed bars
  • Concrete cover for durability

Confinement Ties Column Overlap

Lateral reinforcement like rectangular or circular ties confine concrete through triaxial compression when overlapping uniformly at controlled spacing.

Benefits include increased:

  • Ductility for seismic response
  • Shear resistance capacity
  • Prevention of buckling failures
  • Protection against concrete spalling

ACI 318 and IS 13920 define overlap, spacing limits and end anchorage.

Spiral Column Ties Overlap

Spiral reinforcement needs overlaps ≥ 72 bar diameters or 450 mm at both ends per IS 13920 seismic provisions.

This interlock provides continuous concrete confinement to achieve:

  • Ductility through triaxial compression
  • Buckling resistance for vertical steel
  • Shear capacity enhancement
  • Barlow tension benefits

Careful construction matching design assumptions is vital.

Column Ties Overlap Spacing

ACI 318 limits spacing between column tie legs to lesser of:

  • 16 times the smallest longitudinal bar diameter
  • 48 times the tie bar diameter

Reduced spacing needed for seismic zones per IS 13920 to provide adequate confinement through overlapping closed ties.

Tie overlaps must match spacing to give uniformly distributed triaxial compression.

Column Reinforcement Interlocking Ties

Interlocking tie detailing involves:

  • End anchorages for continuity
  • Overlapping adjacent ends to avoid openings
  • Closed type continuous ties
  • Corner bends shape as circular arcs
  • Anchoring bottom U-bars lap overlapped

This coherent detailing enhances effectiveness of closely spaced overlapping ties for ductile seismic response.


Overlapping secondary column reinforcement properly addresses continuity, confinement and ductility needs through interlocking detailing.

Hence civil engineers must judiciously apply IS code provisions in analysis, design and construction to deliver robust yet economical concrete columns through adequate anchoring and overlapping of reinforcing bars.

Smart analysis tools, capacity-based designs and quality-focused execution enables optimizing the vital aspect of rebar splicing and anchorage incorporating necessary overlaps meeting codal requirements for seismic resilience.

Effective overlapping and anchoring remains key for durable concrete columns to serve in structures such as residential apartments, commercial buildings, industrial facilities etc. Experienced engineers adopt codal specifications aligned to context with value engineering.

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