In the design and analysis of reinforced concrete members, “The mechanics of members consisting of two materials.” To compound this problem, one of the materials (concrete) behaves differently in tension than in compression, and may be considered to be either elastic or inelastic, if it is not neglected entirely.

Although we will encounter some peculiar aspects of behavior of concrete members, we will usually be close to a solution for most problems if we can apply the following three basic ideas:

Geometry of deformation of sections will be consistent under given types of loading; i.e., moment will always cause strain to vary linearly with distance from neutral axis,

etc. Mechanics of materials will allow us to relate stresses to strains. Sections will be in equilibrium: external moments will be resisted by internal moment, external axial load will be equal to the sum of internal axial forces. (Many new engineers overly impressed speed and apparent accuracy of modern structural analysis computational procedures think less about equilibrium and details).