A series of research studies have recently identified an issue called strain localization in welded wire reinforced (WWR) members. This phenomenon reportedly concentrates strains at welded cross wire locations and severely limit ductility. Those that identified the phenomenon used it to imply that WWR is unsafe because it does not warn of failure. This research program is investigating details to mitigate the strain localization effect and demonstrate the WWR can be used safely. Sixteen beams have been constructed using WWR and rebar with various cross wire spacing, using a realistic design. The strain localization phenomenon was not demonstrated, but WWR slabs are somewhat less ductile than traditionally reinforced members. The WWR members were shown to provide adequate ductility for warning of impending failure visually and with a well-accepted ductility measure. Future study will focus on proving ability of WWR to provide load redistribution, investigating the effect of cross wire diameter on strain localization and developing simple and easy to use guidelines for proper WWR detailing.
Shwani, Mohamed; Sorensen, Taylor J.; Pickett, Ethan; Syndergaard, Parker; and Maguire, Marc, "Enhancing Ductility of WWR Slabs" (2017). Civil and Environmental Engineering Faculty Publications. Paper 3569.