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Bond slip model for the simulation of reinforced concrete structures

A. Casanova
a,b
, L. Jason
a,d,
, L. Davenne
c
a
CEA, DEN, DANS, DM2S, SEMT, LM2S, F-91191 Gif sur Yvette, France
b
Laboratoire de Mcanique et Technologie (LMT), ENS Cachan, F-94235 Cachan, France
c
IUT de Ville dAvray, F-92410 Ville dAvray, France
d
LaMSID, UMR CNRS-EDF-CEA 2832, F-92141 Clamart, France
a r t i c l e i n f o
Article history:
Received 14 March 2011
Revised 23 December 2011
Accepted 5 February 2012
Keywords:
Reinforced concrete
Bond slip
Model
a b s t r a c t
This paper presents a new nite element approach to model the steelconcrete bond effects. This model
proposes to relate steel, represented by truss elements, with the surrounding concrete in the case where
the two meshes are not necessary coincident. The theoretical formulation is described and the model is
applied on a reinforced concrete tie. A characteristic stress distribution is observed, related to the transfer
of bond forces from steel to concrete. The results of this simulation are compared with a computation in
which a perfect relation between steel and concrete is supposed. It clearly shows how the introduction of
the bond model can improve the description of the cracking process (nite number of cracks).
2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction
Reinforced concrete structures may have to fulll functions that
go beyond their simple mechanical resistance. In some cases, infor-
mation about the cracking behavior related to the quasi-brittle
evolution of concrete can also become essential. For example, in
the case of containment buildings for nuclear power plants, crack-
ing has a direct impact on the transfer properties that govern the
potential leakage rate (damage permeability law [21] among oth-
ers). Predicting the mechanical behavior but also characterizing
the crack evolution (opening and spacing) are thus key points in
the evaluation of this type of reinforced concrete structures.
Cracking in reinforced concrete structures is generally inu-
enced by the stress distribution along the interface between steel
and concrete. For example, in the case of a reinforced tie, once
the rst crack appears in the weakest point of the structure, the
concrete stress in the cracked zone drops to zero while the load
is totally supported by the steel reinforcement. The stresses are
then progressively transferred from steel to concrete (Fig. 1). This
transition zone has an impact on the crack properties and is
directly inuenced by the steelconcrete interface [10]. Taking into
account these effects seems thus essential to predict correctly the
cracking of reinforced concrete structures.
Different models exist to represent the steelconcrete bond
behavior. For example, Ngo andScordelis [19] proposeda spring ele-
ment, associated with a linear law, to relate concrete and steel
nodes. To improve the description of the bond behavior, joint
elements were developed. These zero thickness elements,
introduced at the interface between steel and concrete, allow the
use of a nonlinear law[4,5,15,7,1,23]. Finally, special nite elements
are proposed to enclose, in a same element, the material behavior
(steel or/and concrete) and the bond effects [18]. Dominguez [6]
and Ibrahimbegovic et al. [12,13], among others, developed embed-
dedelements whose principle is to describe the steelconcrete bond
behavior through an enrichment of the degrees of freedom (Fig. 2).
Even if these solutions give appropriate results, one of their
main drawbacks, in the context of industrial applications, is the
need to explicitly consider the interface between steel and con-
crete. It may impose meshing difculties and heavy computational
cost which are not compatible with large scale simulations.
To overcome these difculties, a perfect relation between steel
and concrete is generally considered for structural applications and
the reinforcement is modeled using truss elements. This hypothe-
sis imposes the same strain in both materials. Although this ap-
proach simplies the simulation, it is not fully representative of
the experimental behavior (Fig. 1).
In this contribution, a model is proposed to combine the advan-
tages of the two approaches. Contrary to rened models, the
formulation does not require an explicit representation of the
steelconcrete interface (reduction of the computational effort)
and supposes the use of steel truss elements in the case where steel
and concrete nodes are not necessary coincident (Fig. 3). Moreover,
contrary to classical industrial hypothesis (perfect relation), the
presented model is also able to represent the bond effects (the
evolution of the slip between steel and concrete especially) in the
same way as ne approaches. In this sense, it represents a good
alternative to classical rened models and industrial classical
computations.
0141-0296/$ - see front matter 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.engstruct.2012.02.007

Corresponding author at: CEA, DEN, DANS, DM2S, SEMT, LM2S, F-91191 Gif sur
Yvette, France.
E-mail address: ludovic.jason@cea.fr (L. Jason).
Engineering Structures 39 (2012) 6678
Contents lists available at SciVerse ScienceDirect
Engineering Structures
j our nal homepage: www. el sevi er . com/ l ocat e/ engst r uct
The theoretical formulation of the model is presented in Section
2. It is then validated in Section 3 on the case of a reinforced con-
crete tie. Finally, the inuence of the bond effect is investigated by
a comparison with a simulation using the hypothesis of a perfect
relation.
2. Description of the bond model
In reinforced concrete structures, the relation between steel and
concrete is governed by a bond stress distributed along the inter-
face. The evolution of this bond stress is generally studied in the
form of a bond stress-relative displacement (slip between steel
and concrete) curve (Fig. 4). Therefore, the bond behavior can be
represented by a bond stressslip (ss) law f
b
dened by:
s f
b
s 1
To take this effect into account, the principle of our approach is
to introduce internal forces on both steel and concrete in the direc-
tion of the steel truss element. As concrete and steel nodes are not
necessary coincident, each steel node is thus associated with the
concrete element in which it is included and with a tangential
direction
~
t.
In this contribution, equations will be developed in the particu-
lar case of a unique steel node inside a cubic concrete element as
illustrated in Fig. 5 (initial conguration). In order to simplify the
equations,
~
t coincides with the principal direction ~x
The formulation of the model is divided into four steps:
The evaluation of the steelconcrete slip with non-coincident
meshes.
The calculation of the nodal bond forces in the steel element
direction.
Fig. 1. Distribution of stresses in steel and concrete in a reinforced concrete tie after
the rst crack (r
c
and r
s
are the stresses in concrete and steel respectively, and r
st
c
is
the concrete strength).
k
n
k
l
Concrete
Steel
Zero
thickness
k
n
k
l
Concrete
Steel
Concrete
Steel
Joint
element
Zero
thickness
Embedded element Embedded element
Degrees of freedom of concrete
Degrees of freedom of concrete
+ steel-concrete slip
Fig. 2. Examples of bond elements (at the top left: spring element, at the top right: joint element, at the bottom: embedded element).
Fig. 3. Description of the problem (steel and concrete nodes are not coincident).
Fig. 4. Shape of the bond stressslip law [9].
A. Casanova et al. / Engineering Structures 39 (2012) 6678 67
The introduction of kinematic relations in the normal
directions.
The implementation of the model within the small displace-
ments theory.
2.1. Evaluation of the relative displacement between steel and concrete
The steelconcrete slip is represented by the relative displace-
ment in the x direction between the steel (~u
s1
at node s
1
) and the
concrete at the steel node (~u
cs1
at virtual point cs
1
) (Fig. 5)
s ju
s1;x
u
cs1;x
j 2
with u
s1;x
~u
s1
~x and u
cs1;x
~u
cs1
~x.
As the meshes are not necessary coincident, the displacement in
concrete at the steel node is obtained using the shape functions,
following the equation:
u
cs1;x

8
i1
N
i
x
cs1
; y
cs1
; z
cs1
u
ci;x
3
where (x
cs1
, y
cs1
, z
cs1
) are the coordinates of cs
1
point.
N
i
(x
cs1
, y
cs1
, z
cs1
) represents the shape function of the ith concrete
node evaluated at cs
1
point and u
ci,x
its displacement in the ~x
direction.
2.2. Nodal forces in the tangential direction
From Eqs. (1)(3), the bond stress is computed:
s f
b
u
s1;x

8
i1
N
i
x
cs1
; y
cs1
; z
cs1
u
ci;x

_ _
4
The internal nodal force induced by concrete on steel,
~
F
cs1=s1
, is
calculated using the equation:
~
F
cs1=s1
dpd
s
ls~x
dpd
s
l f
b
u
s1;x

8
i1
N
i
x
cs1
; y
cs1
; z
cs1
u
ci;x

_ _
~x
with
d1 if u
s1;x

8
i1
N
i
x
cs1
; y
cs1
; z
cs1
u
ci;x
P0
d1 if u
s1;x

8
i1
N
i
x
cs1
; y
cs1
; z
cs1
u
ci;x
<0
_

_
5
where d
s
is the diameter of the steel bar and l is derived from the
length of the steel elements connected to the node s
1
. For example,
in Fig. 6:
l
l
1
l
2
2
6
The balance of the internal bond forces involves
~
F
s1=cs1
_ _
:
~
F
s1=cs1

~
F
cs1=s1
7
~
F
s1=cs1
is converted in 8 nodal equivalent forces
~
F
s1=cj
applied on each
concrete node (Fig. 7).
~
F
s1=cj
N
j
x
cs1
; y
cs1
; z
cs1

~
F
s1=cs1
8
In this rst approach, internal bond forces are redistributed on
the concrete thanks to the shape functions N
j
of the concrete nite
element. This choice can have some limits, especially when the size
of the concrete becomes signicantly higher than the steel diame-
ter. In this situation, other functions could be used, in order to take
into account the decrease of the bond effect with the size of the
concrete element.
Fig. 5. Evaluation of the relative displacement between steel and concrete.
Fig. 6. Denition of l.
68 A. Casanova et al. / Engineering Structures 39 (2012) 6678
2.3. Kinematics relations in the normal directions
Eqs. (5) and (8) relate the degrees of freedom of concrete and
steel in the tangential direction of the reinforcement. To close
the system, a perfect relation is supposed for the displacement in
the other directions. Even if this hypothesis is probably too strong,
it enables to represent, in a simple way, the main component of the
bond effect which is the tangential one. It could be improved in fu-
ture work by additional relations to represent the potential bond
effects in the normal directions (Dowel effect for example).
Two equations are thus added:
u
s1;y
u
cs1;y


8
i1
N
i
x
cs1
; y
cs1
; z
cs1
u
ci;y
u
s1;z
u
cs1;z


8
i1
N
i
x
cs1
; y
cs1
; z
cs1
u
ci;z
_

_
9
2.4. Implementation of the bond element model
This bond model has been implemented in the nite element
code Cast3M [3]. For nonlinear problems (material and/or bond
law), a Newton Raphson iterative method is used. In its classical
form, the nodal displacement {u
n+1
} at the (n + 1)th iteration is
calculated following equation:
K
n
mat
_
du
n1
_ _
F
ext
f g F
n
int;mat
_ _
10
where {u
n+1
} = {u
n
} + {du
n+1
}.
Fig. 7. Balance of the internal bond forces.
Fig. 8. Iterative diagram for the numerical resolution.
L
a
0 x
u
Cylinder of
concrete
Steel reinforcement
Fig. 9. Presentation of the problem.
A. Casanova et al. / Engineering Structures 39 (2012) 6678 69
In this expression {F
ext
} represents the external forces, fF
n
int;mat
g
the usual internal forces induced by concrete and steel and K
n
mat

the stiffness matrix at iteration n.


As describe in the previous sections, to take into account the
bond effects, kinematics relations and bond forces are added. The
kinematics Eq. (9) are introduced using the Lagranges multiplier
method. Global internal bond forces fF
n
int;bond
g are calculated from
Eqs. (5) and (8) using the distribution of the nodal displacements
at iteration n. Internal forces thus become:
F
n
int
_ _
F
n
int;mat
_ _
F
n
int;bond
_ _
11
The global stiffness matrix [K
n
] is also updated:
K
n
K
n
mat
K
n
bond
12
where
K
n
bond

@F
n
int;bond
@u

u
n
13
The system nally becomes:
K
n
fdu
n1
g fF
ext
g fF
n
int
g 14
The steps for the resolution of the system are summarized in
Fig. 8.
3. Validation and application of the bond model
In this part, the model is applied on a uniaxial problem. A rein-
forced concrete tie is studied in order to evaluate the inuence of
the bond effects on the mechanical behavior.
3.1. Presentation of the problem
A concrete cylinder reinforced with a longitudinal steel bar is
considered. A displacement is imposed at the rst end of the steel
reinforcement while the other end is blocked (Fig. 9). There are no
boundary conditions on the concrete.
For the simulation, concrete and steel are meshed by truss ele-
ments. The total length L (equal to 3 m) is divided into 100 identi-
cal trusses as illustrated in Fig. 10. The steel behavior is modeled by
a perfect plastic law (Young modulus E
s
and yield strength r
st
s
gi-
ven in Table 1). Concrete is represented by a softening law, using
an isotropic plastic model illustrated in Fig. 11 (Table 2). To repre-
sent the heterogeneity of concrete properties and in order to local-
ize the mechanical degradation, a scattered distribution of the
concrete strength r
st
c
is chosen. Fig. 12 represents the evolution
r
st
c
along concrete (from x = 0 to x = 3 m). The average strength
r
st
c;med
and the standard deviation r
y
are given in Table 3.
The bond stressslip law is represented by a linear function
(s = k
b
s where k
b
is equal to 10
10
Pa m
1
).
Fig. 10. Mesh of the tie.
Table 1
Steel parameters (S
s
is the cross section of steel).
E
s
(GPa) S
s
(m
2
) r
st
s
(MPa)
210 7.854 10
5
400
Strain
Stress
st
c

c
E
u

Strain
Stress
st
c

c
E
u

Fig. 11. Form of the softening concrete law.


Table 2
Concrete parameters (S
c
is the cross section of concrete).
E
c
(GPa) S
c
(m
2
) e
u
30 10
2
0.045%
1,8
1,9
2,0
2,1
2,2
0 0,5 1 1,5 2 2,5 3
x (m)
C
o
n
c
r
e
t
e

S
t
r
e
n
g
t
h

(
M
P
a
)
Fig. 12. Distribution of the tensile strength values along the tie.
Table 3
Parameters of the scattered distribution.
r
st
c;med
(MPa) r
y
(MPa)
2 0:03 r
st
c;med
70 A. Casanova et al. / Engineering Structures 39 (2012) 6678
3.2. Global mechanical behavior
Fig. 13 represents the global behavior of the tie. This curve can
be divided in three parts:
An elastic phase where the behavior of both materials remains
linear.
A phase of concrete cracking which is characterized by several
peaks and drops of force.
A perfect plastic phase where the behavior is only governed by
the steel plastic law (constant force).
It is to be noted that these three phases are representative of the
experimental behavior [17].
In the following sections, each phase is going to be discussed.
3.3. Elastic phase
Fig. 14 represents an example of stress distribution in both
materials along the tie during the elastic phase. As the loading is
applied directly on the reinforcement, at each end the force is
essentially supported by the steel (r
s

F
S
S
with r
s
the steel stress
and F the applied load). Then, in a transition zone, forces are grad-
ually transferred from steel to concrete through the interface:
stresses in concrete increase while stresses in steel decrease from
the end toward the middle of the tie. Finally, in the central zone,
stresses are homogeneous.
To validate the results of the simulation, an analytical resolu-
tion is proposed. This solution is obtained from the balance of
forces between steel and concrete from a = x to a = L (Fig. 15).
The external force F applied on steel is balanced by an internal
force F
s
(x) and a bond force F
bond/s
(x).
F
s
x F
bond=s
x F 15
with, considering the small displacement theory,
F
s
x S
s
E
s
du
s
x
dx
16
where u
s
(x) is the steel displacement at a = x.
0
5000
10000
15000
20000
25000
30000
35000
0 0,001 0,002 0,003 0,004 0,005
Imposed displacement (m)
F
o
r
c
e

(
N
)
Elastic phase
Development of cracking in concrete
Steel behavior
Fig. 13. Forcedisplacement curve.
0,00E+00
2,00E+05
4,00E+05
6,00E+05
8,00E+05
1,00E+06
1,20E+06
1,40E+06
1,60E+06
1,80E+06
2,00E+06
0 0,5 1 1,5 2 2,5 3
x (m)
C
o
n
c
r
e
t
e

s
t
r
e
s
s

(
P
a
)
0,00E+00
5,00E+07
1,00E+08
1,50E+08
2,00E+08
2,50E+08
S
t
e
e
l

s
t
r
e
s
s

(
P
a
)
concrete steel
Fig. 14. Distribution of the stress along the tie (elastic phase).
A. Casanova et al. / Engineering Structures 39 (2012) 6678 71
The bond force F
bond/s
(x) is evaluated integrating the bond stress
between a = x and a = L. Therefore:
F
bond=s
x pd
s
k
b
_
L
x
u
s
a u
c
ada 17
where d
s
is the diameter of the steel bar and u
c
(a) represents the
displacement in concrete at a.
In the same way, the balance on concrete is given by
F
c
x F
bond=c
x 0 18
with
F
c
x S
c
E
c
du
c
x
dx
19
and
F
bond=c
x F
bond=s
x 20
After development, Eqs. (15) and (18) give the following system:
d
3
u
s
x
dx
3
K
1
du
s
x
dx
K
2
du
c
x
dx

E
s
S
s
E
c
S
c
du
s
x
dx

F
E
c
S
c
_

_
21
with
K
1
k
b
pd
s
1
E
s
S
s

1
E
c
S
c
_ _
K
2

k
b
pd
s
F
E
s
S
s
E
c
S
c
_

_
22
After resolution, it comes:
Fig. 15. Force balance between a = x and a = L.
0,00E+00
2,00E+05
4,00E+05
6,00E+05
8,00E+05
1,00E+06
1,20E+06
1,40E+06
1,60E+06
1,80E+06
2,00E+06
0 0,5 1 1,5 2 2,5 3
x (m)
S
t
r
e
s
s

(
P
a
)
numerical analytical
Fig. 16. Stress distribution in concrete along the tie.
0,00E+00
5,00E+05
1,00E+06
1,50E+06
2,00E+06
2,50E+06
0 0,5 1 1,5 2 2,5 3
x (m)
S
t
r
e
s
s

(
P
a
)
elastic phase 1st crack distribution of strength
Fig. 17. Distribution of the stress in the concrete along the tie.
72 A. Casanova et al. / Engineering Structures 39 (2012) 6678
du
s
x
dx
Ae

K
1
p
x
Be

K
p
1
x

K
2
K
1
du
c
x
dx

E
s
S
s
E
c
S
c
Ae

K
1
p
x
Be

K
p
1
x

K
2
K
1
_ _

F
E
c
S
c
_

_
23
where
A
e

K
1
p
L
1
e

K
1
p
L
e

K
1
p
L
F
E
s
S
s

K
2
K
1
_ _
B
F
E
s
S
s

K
2
K
1
A
_

_
24
Steel and concrete stresses along the tie are nally calculated
using equation
r
s
x E
s
du
s
x
dx
r
c
x E
c
du
c
x
dx
_

_
25
The numerical results are compared with the analytical solu-
tion. Fig. 16 represents the stress evolution in concrete along the
tie. The results are similar and validate the numerical implementa-
tion in this particular case.
3.4. Cracking process
During the elastic phase, the stresses increase in concrete with
the imposed displacement. When the strength is reached in a con-
crete element, an unloading is observed in this element and the
stress drops to zero (Fig. 17). The load is then fully supported by
the corresponding steel element. Its stress becomes equal to
F
S
S
(Fig. 18). It is to be noted that this phenomenon is amplied by
the use of 1D truss element for concrete. Contrary to what happens
in 3D simulation, no evolution of the strain distribution is possible
in the concrete cross section. It has nevertheless the advantage to
directly highlight the bond effect model on the structural behavior.
x (m)
0,00E+00
5,00E+07
1,00E+08
1,50E+08
2,00E+08
2,50E+08
0,00E+00 5,00E-01 1,00E+00 1,50E+00 2,00E+00 2,50E+00 3,00E+00
S
t
r
e
s
s

(
P
a
)
elastic phase 1st crack
Fig. 18. Distribution of the stress in the steel along the tie.
0,00E+00
5,00E+07
1,00E+08
1,50E+08
2,00E+08
2,50E+08
3,00E+08
3,50E+08
4,00E+08
4,50E+08
0,00E+00 5,00E-01 1,00E+00 1,50E+00 2,00E+00 2,50E+00 3,00E+00
x (m)
S
t
r
e
s
s

(
P
a
)
Yield strength of steel Yield strength of steel
Fig. 19. Stress distribution in the steel at the beginning of the plastic phase.
A. Casanova et al. / Engineering Structures 39 (2012) 6678 73
When a concrete element is damaged, the stresses are redistrib-
uted on each side of the crack. On both sides the stress distribution
is similar what was observed during the elastic phase with a grad-
ual transfer from steel to concrete. On a global point of view, the
apparition of the rst crack coincides with the rst partial unload-
ing on the force displacement curve (Fig. 13).
After the apparition of the rst crack, stresses in concrete con-
tinue to increase until a tensile strength is reached in a second ele-
ment. Another crack appears, and a total unloading of the
considered element is obtained. The same effect is observed until
the steel stress in the cracked zones reaches it yield limit
(Fig. 19). At this step, the global force cannot increase anymore
and the distribution of Fig. 20 is obtained (ve cracks).
The crack length corresponds to the length of one nite element.
This effect can be explained by the well-known stress localization
due to the use of a softening law. It could be solved by including a
regularization technique on the concrete constitutive law
[22,20,11]. This point will not be discussed in this paper and do not
impact the interest of the proposedapproachonthe bondslipmodel.
It is to be noted that the crack position is governed, as expected,
by the strength distribution but also by the stress evolution im-
posed by the bond effects. To underline this effect, 10 computa-
tions have been carried out considering 10 different distributions
of the initial concrete tensile strength.
Fig. 21 shows the crack position along the 10 ties. In most cases
(except for one tie), 5 cracks are observed. These cracks are gener-
ally localized on one concrete element except when the distribu-
tion of strength imposes a simultaneous cracking of two
elements (the 3rd crack of tie 1 for example). It is to be noted that,
due to the transfer zone between steel and concrete, no crack can
develop at both ends. Finally, the crack spacing is constant with an
average value of about 50 cm.
As a conclusion, the order of crack apparition is rather governed
by the distribution of the mechanical strength whereas the nal
0,00E+00
5,00E+05
1,00E+06
1,50E+06
2,00E+06
2,50E+06
0 0,5 1 1,5 2 2,5 3
x (m)
S
t
r
e
s
s

(
P
a
)
final distribution of stress distribution of strength
Fig. 20. Stress distribution in the concrete at the beginning of the plastic phase.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
0 0,5 1 1,5 2 2,5 3
x(m)
t
i
e

n
u
m
b
e
r
1
1
1
2
2
2
3
3
3
3 4
4 4 5
5
3
1 2 4 3 5
1 4 2 5 3
5 1 3 2 4
3 3 1 4 2 5
5 2 4 1 3
5 2 3 1 4
2 5 1 4 3
Fig. 21. Position of cracks for the 10 ties. The numbers on the gure correspond to the order of apparition (1 for the rst crack until 5 for the fth crack). The dotted lines
correspond to the average positions of each crack.
74 A. Casanova et al. / Engineering Structures 39 (2012) 6678
state (constant average spacing) is imposed by the stress distribu-
tion related to the bond effects.
4. Inuence of the bond model
In order to evaluate the inuence of the bond effects on the
behavior of the tie, the results of the previous simulation are com-
pared with the case where steel and concrete are perfectly bound.
In this situation, steel and concrete nodes are identical and the
simulation is carried out in the same conditions as described in
Section 3. Fig. 22 illustrates the global behavior. It is once again di-
vided in three main phases (elastic phase, development of cracking
and plastic zone). During the development of cracks, a higher num-
ber of partial unloading is observed.
Fig. 23 describes the distribution of stress in both materials dur-
ing the elastic phase. Contrary to what was observed with the bond
model, stresses in steel and concrete are homogeneous along the
tie. This can be explained by the perfect relation that imposes an
identical strain in both materials. It comes:
r
s

E
s
E
s
S
s
E
c
S
c
F
r
c

E
c
E
s
S
s
E
c
S
c
F
26
r
c
increases with the load until the minimal value of the concrete
strength is reached. A crack appears in the element. Fig. 24 repre-
sents the stress distribution in concrete after the rst crack. It is
to be noted that, with the perfect relation, the stress remains homo-
geneous in the uncracked concrete. In this zone, the stress can in-
crease until the second concrete strength limit.
Contrary to what was observed with the bond model, the appa-
rition of the cracks is only governed by the strength distribution
(Fig. 25). At the nal state (Fig. 26), concrete is totally cracked be-
cause the concrete strength has been reached in every element.
It explains the high number of partial unloading on the force
displacement curve (Fig. 22). The loading is then only supported
by steel.
As expected, the perfect relation is not able to represent the
experimental situation where a nite number of cracks is observed.
Steel behavior
Development of cracking in concrete
Elastic phase
0
5000
10000
15000
20000
25000
30000
35000
0 0,001 0,002 0,003 0,004 0,005 0,006
Imposed displacement (m)
F
o
r
c
e

(
N
)
Steel behavior
Development of cracking in concrete
Elastic phase
Fig. 22. Forcedisplacement curve at the loaded end of the steel.
0,00E+00
2,00E+06
4,00E+06
6,00E+06
8,00E+06
1,00E+07
1,20E+07
1,40E+07
0,00E+00 5,00E-01 1,00E+00 1,50E+00 2,00E+00 2,50E+00 3,00E+00
x (m)
S
t
r
e
s
s

(
P
a
)
concrete steel
Fig. 23. Stress distribution in both materials along the tie (elastic phase).
A. Casanova et al. / Engineering Structures 39 (2012) 6678 75
0,00E+00
5,00E+05
1,00E+06
1,50E+06
2,00E+06
2,50E+06
0,00E+00 5,00E-01 1,00E+00 1,50E+00 2,00E+00 2,50E+00 3,00E+00
x (m)
S
t
r
e
s
s

(
P
a
)
perfect relation with bond model strength distribution
Fig. 24. Comparison of stress distributions in concrete after the rst crack apparition.
0,00E+00
5,00E+05
1,00E+06
1,50E+06
2,00E+06
2,50E+06
0 0,5 1 1,5 2 2,5 3
x (m)
S
t
r
e
s
s

(
P
a
)
with bond model perfect relation strength distribution
Fig. 25. Comparison of stress distributions in concrete after the third crack apparition.
0,00E+00
5,00E+07
1,00E+08
1,50E+08
2,00E+08
2,50E+08
3,00E+08
3,50E+08
0,00E+00 5,00E-01 1,00E+00 1,50E+00 2,00E+00 2,50E+00 3,00E+00
x (m)
S
t
r
e
s
s

(
P
a
)
concrete steel
Fig. 26. Stress distribution in both materials when concrete is totally cracked (perfect relation).
76 A. Casanova et al. / Engineering Structures 39 (2012) 6678
The introduction of the bond effects, as presented in Section 2,
solves this problem.
To highlight the differences between the two approaches (per-
fect relation vs. bond model), the crack properties are compared.
From continuum damage mechanics, one way to evaluate the crack
opening is to represent the evolution of the axial displacement in
the concrete (Fig. 27). The position of the displacement jumps cor-
responds to the position of the cracks while their values enable to
compute each crack opening. It is to be noted that other techniques
exist to obtain information about the crack properties and could be
used in more complex cases (post processing methods using crack-
ing strain [16], comparison with discrete computation [8], use of
continuumdiscrete model including displacement discontinuity
[2], etc.).
The crack properties are compared for an imposed displacement
of 1.6 mm (Table 4). As expected, a higher number of cracks is ob-
tained with the perfect relation (23 cracks vs. two with the bond
model). As a consequence, the average crack opening is higher in
the case of the bond model. The distribution of the crack opening
is also more regular.
5. Conclusions
In this contribution, a new nite element model is proposed to
represent bond effects between steel, modeled with truss ele-
ments, and the surrounding concrete. These bond effects are taken
into account through additional internal forces calculated from the
steelconcrete slip. The proposed model has been applied on a
reinforced concrete tie. A characteristic stress distribution has been
observed, related to the transfer of bond forces from steel to con-
crete. In this case, crack apparition is both induced by the hetero-
geneous characteristics of concrete (distribution of the tensile
strength along the tie) and by the transition zones where stresses
are redistributed between the materials. At the end of the simula-
tion (mechanical behavior only governed by the steel plastic law), a
nite number of crack is observed which corresponds qualitatively
to experimental observations [17].
Another simulation, using the hypothesis of a perfect relation
between steel and concrete (classical hypothesis used in structural
applications) has been also proposed. In this case, the evolution of
cracking is only governed by the distribution of the concrete
strength since the stresses distribution is homogeneous in un-
cracked zones. At the nal state, the concrete is totally cracked. It
shows how the introduction of the bond model can improve the
description of the cracking process.
Forthcoming 3D simulations will allow to also evaluate the ef-
fects of the stress distribution in the concrete cross section.
Even if these results are promising, crack evolution is strongly
related to the choice of the bond stressslip law which has a direct
inuence on the nal number of cracks.
To take this inuence into account, an investigation on the bond
stressslip law will thus be launched, based either on literature
[9,14] or on an experimental campaign to be more representative
of the experimental behavior.
Finally, the limitations of the proposed nite element model are
related to the main hypothesis. As the steel is modeled using truss
elements, one has to face the associated difculties (stress concen-
tration for example). Nevertheless, this could probably be avoided
by using regularization techniques or by proposing meshing rules
(for example, not to consider concrete elements around steel smal-
ler than the steel diameter). These points will also be investigated
in future work when considering 3D simulations.
Acknowledgement
The authors would like to thank Dr. S. Ghavamian for his helpful
discussions in the elaboration of the model.
Fig. 27. Axial displacement in concrete along the tie (for an imposed displacement of 1.6 mm on steel).
Table 4
Comparison of the crack properties for an imposed displacement of 1.6 mm.
Number of cracks Average crack opening (mm) Minimal crack opening (mm) Maximal crack opening (mm)
Bond model 2 0.475 0.47 0.48
Perfect relation 23 0.061 0.037 0.187
A. Casanova et al. / Engineering Structures 39 (2012) 6678 77
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