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When designing a bearing plinth, should anti-bursting reinforcement be provided? Under BS 5400, it was only mentioned in the section for end block anchorages of tendons. How should the code be interpreted?

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BS5400 has been superseded and withdrawn, so you probably shouldn't be using it.

That said, when I last used it, I did provide bursting reinforcement for bearing plinths.

In general, just because something isn't explicitly stated, it doesn't mean you shouldn't use your engineering judgement / common sense. If you recognise the possibility of bursting failure, you need to do a design check for bursting failure. This will either tell you that reinforcement isn't needed, or give you the required reinforcement against said failure.

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