The purpose of this paper is to present the implementation in a finite element (FE) code of a recently developed material model for the analysis of cracked reinforced concrete (RC) panels. The model aims for the efficient nonlinear analysis of large‐scale structural elements that can be considered as an assembly of membrane elements, such as bridge girders, shear walls, transfer beams or containment structures.
In the proposed constitutive model, the equilibrium equations of the cracked membrane element are established directly at the cracks while the compatibility conditions are expressed in terms of spatially averaged strains. This allows the well‐known mechanical phenomena governing the behaviour of cracked concrete elements – such as aggregate interlock (including crack dilatancy effects), tensile fracture and bond shear stress transfer – to be taken into account in a transparent manner using detailed phenomenological models. The spatially averaged stress and strain fields are obtained as a by‐product of the local behaviour at the cracks and of the bond stress transfer mechanisms, allowing the crack spacing and crack widths to be obtained directly from first principles. The model is implemented in an FE code following a total formulation.
The fact that the updated stresses at the cracks are calculated explicitly from the current spatially averaged total strains and from the updated values of the state variables that are used to monitor damage evolution contributes to the robustness and efficiency of the implementation. Some application examples are presented illustrating the model capabilities and good estimates of the failure modes, failure loads, deformation capacity, cracking patterns and crack widths were achieved.
While being computationally efficient, the model describes the complex stress and strain fields developing in the membrane element, and retrieves useful information for the structural engineer, such as concrete and reinforcement failures as well as the crack spacing and crack widths.
Pimentel, M. and Figueiras, J. (2013), "Efficient finite element analysis of large‐scale structures based on a phenomenological approach to RC membrane behaviour", Engineering Computations, Vol. 30 No. 6, pp. 774-791. https://doi.org/10.1108/EC-May-2012-0100
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