A novel method for implementation of corrosion-induced cracks in the finite element models of reinforced concrete structures

Document Type : Article


1 School of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden



Currently, there is a clear need for reliable procedures for condition assessment and service-life evaluation of existing infrastructures. Advanced 3D Nonlinear Finite Element (3D NLFE) analysis has proven to be capable of describing the behavior of reinforced concrete provided that detailed and appropriate condition assessment data are available. The present study aims to review and compare different procedures for coupling 3D NLFE analysis with condition assessment data to model corrosion induced cracking, and consequently to find a method with better accuracy, less computational cost, and improved robustness. This paper introduces a new method for adding cracked elements directly to the finite element model, called ReFEM. The force-displacement response, ultimate crack pattern, and failure mode from this model are compared with four other methods for a pull out test case on specimens under accelerated corrosion process. Using this method, the force displacement response for the corroded specimens was overestimated by about 70%. However, the trend was promising and the failure mode and crack pattern were correct. Moreover, the analysis continued after the peak point in the force-displacement curve which makes it possible to monitor the behavior of the specimen in the softening regime.


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