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A multi-ber approach for modeling corroded reinforced concrete structures

Benjamin Richard
a,
*
, Frdric Ragueneau
a
, Lucas Adelade
b
, Christian Cremona
c
a
LMT/ENS Cachan/CNRS/University Paris 6/PRES UniverSud, 61, Avenue du Prsident Wilson, 94230 Cachan, France
b
IFSTTAR/University Paris-Est, 58 bd Lefebvre, 75732 Paris Cedex, France
c
Directorate for Research and Innovation, Ministry of Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and Sea, Tour Pascal, 92055 La Dfense, France
a r t i c l e i n f o
Article history:
Received 11 October 2010
Accepted 2 June 2011
Available online 12 June 2011
Keywords:
Multi-ber modeling
Corrosion
Reinforced concrete structures
Steel/concrete interface
a b s t r a c t
Taking into account the specic behavior of the steel/concrete interface is of primary importance to
predict properly the structural response of RC structures. Several constitutive models have been
proposed in the literature within the framework of nonlinear nite element method (2D and 3D). Such
approaches usually lead to high computational costs due to the large number of degrees of freedom. In
the present paper, a multiber-based model including the steel/concrete interface behavior is proposed.
Despite the fact that the kinematics of the multi-ber approach is based on the theory of beams, this
simplied strategy accounts for local phenomena such as the relative sliding between concrete and steel.
Furthermore, this steel/concrete interface constitutive model can be extended to model the loss of bond
properties due to corrosion. The numerical implementation aspects are described and local responses at
the Gauss point level are exposed in the cases of monotonic loadings with and without corrosion. The
efciency and the reliability of the proposed approach are tested on structural case studies which
highlight a good agreement between numerical and experimental results. This multiber-based model
provides a pertinent tool for the engineers concerns with the structural assessment of degraded rein-
forced concrete structures.
2011 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction
Identifying and quantifying the mechanical behavior of rein-
forced concrete structures degraded by corrosion is an important
problemin civil engineering; although many works have been done
during the past decades, this problem is still a topical question. The
corrosion of reinforcement bars is the major cause of damages for
reinforced concrete structures. It is usually associated with
carbonation or chloride penetration, which generally induces
uniform or pitting corrosion. Recently, both experimental
(Almusallam et al., 1996a, 1997; Almusallam, 2001; Cabrera, 1996;
Castel et al., 2000a,b; Rodriguez et al., 1997) and modeling
(Coronelli and Gambarova, 2004; Dekoster et al., 2003; Lee et al.,
2002; Spacone and Limkatanyu, 2000; Wang and Liu, 2004,
2006) approaches have been carried out to provide a better
understanding of the corrosion phenomenon. The assessment of
the structural performance of civil engineering structures requires
on one hand an efcient and reliable constitutive model which is
able to represent the particular behavior of the steel/concrete
interface in presence of corrosion, and on the other hand a robust
numerical framework with reasonable computational costs. Among
the numerical approaches proposed in the published literature,
most of them are quite difcult to be used due to their complexity.
In particular, special contact elements are usually included in the
nite element mesh and require a specic attention: this makes
difcult to use these approaches for large-scale civil engineering
structures.
In seismic engineering, the multi-ber numerical framework is
often used in order to decrease the global computational cost
needed to perform complex analyses of beams or walls (Kotronis
and Mazars, 2005; Mazars et al., 2004; Spacone et al., 1996). The
main hypothesis of such an approach consists in supposing that all
the cross sections remain plane but not necessarily perpendicular
to the neutral axis, according to the well known Timoshenkos
beam theory. Concrete and steel are represented by bers and the
equilibrium equations provide the nodal displacements and
rotations. The interface between each ber is subjected to the
compatibility conditions and therefore must be perfect. Some
recent works have been devoted to the development of simplied
models including the steel/concrete interface behavior
(Combescure and Wang, 2007; Wang et al., 2007). These contri-
butions are the starting point of the present paper. The key point is
to show that local and rened phenomena such as the relative
displacement between concrete and steel can be handled by
* Corresponding author.
E-mail address: benjamin.richard@lmt.ens-cachan.fr (B. Richard).
Contents lists available at ScienceDirect
European Journal of Mechanics A/Solids
j ournal homepage: www. el sevi er. com/ l ocat e/ ej msol
0997-7538/$ e see front matter 2011 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.euromechsol.2011.06.002
European Journal of Mechanics A/Solids 30 (2011) 950e961
a multiber-based model. The saving of computational costs offers
an interesting feature for assessing the structural performance of
large-scale non-linear RC structures. Furthermore, the proposed
model can be enhanced by accounting for the loss of bond prop-
erties due to corrosion. It is of primary importance to point out the
fact that the purpose of the proposed model is to describe in
a satisfactory way the overall structural behavior of RC members
degraded by corrosion and does not aim at providing accurate
local results in terms of cracking pattern, crack openings, crack
spacing, etc.
This paper is outlined as follows. In Section 2, the general
equations related to the multi-ber framework are briey exposed.
The original part for including non-perfect properties of the steel/
concrete interface is essentially described. In Section 3, the steel/
concrete interface constitutive model is exposed. Based on the
thermodynamics of irreversible processes, the rst and second
physics principles are consequently fullled providing the consis-
tency of the resulting constitutive laws. The numerical imple-
mentation related to the constitutive model is also detailed. In
Section 4, a discussion on the material parameters identication is
presented. The effect of the steel/concrete interface on the local
behavior of the steel bar is illustrated by results located at some
Gauss points. Several cases are considered under monotonic
repeated loadings, including or not corrosion. In Section 5, three
real case studies are presented. The two rst ones are an RC tie
under direct tension and an RC beam under repeated monotonic
bending loading. As no corrosion is present, these examples allow
quantifying the role of the steel/concrete interface at the structural
scale. In each case, a comparison between the numerical results
obtained with a perfect and a non-perfect steel/concrete interface
are given. The last case study is a corroded RC beam under bending
test. This example shows that the variations of the reduced load
carrying capacity can be satisfyingly captured with the proposed
multiber-based model.
2. Multiber framework with non-perfect steel/concrete
interface
This section briey presents the main equations of the multi-
ber approach. It is mainly focused on the introduction of a non-
perfect steel/concrete interface.
2.1. General framework
The multi-ber approachallows including nonlinear constitutive
laws in a nite element model built from Timoshenkos or
EulereBernoullis beam elements. A relationship between the axial
strain, the curvature, the rotation and the generalized stresses
represents the constitutive behavior operator. Each element cross
section is described using classical two-dimensional elements
(three node triangular element or four node quadrilateral element
for instance). At the cross section scale, each material is character-
izedbya one-dimensional constitutive lawlinking the normal stress
andthe shear stresses respectivelytothe axial strainandtotheshear
Nomenclature
English alphabets
(.)
i1
variable (.) at time step t
i1
(.)
i
variable (.) at time step t
i
(.)
k1
variable (.) at local iteration k 1
(.)
k
variable (.) at local iteration k
a material parameters related to nonlinear kinematic
hardening
A
d
brittleness of the steel/concrete interface
d scalar damage variable
vS(x) perimeter of the current steel cross-section
E
S
steel Young modulus
F
I
i1;k
force at the steel/concrete interface
F
S
i1;k
force in the steel rebar
f
d
threshold surface associated with damage and
isotropic hardening mechanisms
f
p
threshold surface associated with sliding and
kinematic hardening mechanisms
J
S
(.) behavior operator for the steel
J
I
(.) behavior operator for the steel/concrete interface
H consolidation function
l
I
a
anchorage length of the current steel cross-section
R rebar radius
R
i1,k
total force imbalanced
S(x) cross section at the point x
T
c
macroscopic corrosion degrees
u(x) axial displacement
u
0
vertical displacement
W function to be identied for managing the bond stress
variations due to corrosion
X back stress
Y energy rate released due to damage
Y part of the energy released due to damage
Y
0
initial threshold to activate damage mechanism
Y
R
part of strain energy released due to the expansion of
corrosion products
z internal variable corresponding to the isotropic
hardening
Z thermodynamic force related to the isotropic
hardening
Greek alphabets
a kinematic hardening variable
g kinematic hardening modulus
D3
i
total axial strain
Dl
p
Lagranges multiplier associated with sliding
3
xx
axial total strain
3
xy
tranversal total strain
3
S
xx
strain in the steel
3
I
xx
strain in the steel/concrete interface
3
I;p
xx
sliding strain in the steel/concrete interface
q(x) rotation
l partition factor
l
0
partition factor initial value
_
l
d
Lagranges multiplier associated with damage
_
l
p
Lagranges multiplier associated with sliding
m second Lams coefcient (shear modulus)
n(x) vertical displacement
n Poissons ratio
r material density
s normal stress
s
S
i1;k
stress in the steel
s
I
i1;k
stress in the steel/concrete interface
s shear stress in the steel/concrete interface
s
p
frictional shear stress in the steel/concrete interface
f
p
pseudo potential of dissipation
j Helmholtz free specic energy
u indicator function
B. Richard et al. / European Journal of Mechanics A/Solids 30 (2011) 950e961 951
strains. The major point of the multi-ber approach is to add kine-
matic assumptions to relate the global nodal displacement (beam
element) to the local strains (cross section), thanks to the well
known beam theories such as Timoshenkos or EulereBernoullis
theories. In the present study, the Timoshenkos beam theory is
considered; the cross section remains plane but not necessarily
perpendicular to the neutral axis. Therefore, considering the general
case of a bending problem, for a given cross section denoted S(x) at
the point x and for any point at a vertical location y, local strains 3
xx
and 3
xy
are linked to the axial displacement u(x), to the vertical
displacement n(x) and to the rotation q(x) according to:
3
xx

dux
dx
y
dqx
dx
; 23
xy

dvx
dx

dqx
dx
(1)
2.2. Non perfect steel/concrete interface
Let us consider a set of bers combining concrete and steel. The
fundamental idea consists in assuming that the total strain in the
steel ber can be split into two parts: a rst one is associated with
the proper strain of the steel and a second one is related to the
sliding strain occurring at the steel/concrete interface. This
assumption can be expressed by the following equation:
3
xx
l3
xx
1 l3
xx
3
S
xx
3
I
xx
(2)
where 3
xx
is the axial strain and l the so-called partition factor. The
rst term is associated with the steel and the second one to the
steel/concrete interface. The partition factor can only vary from0 to
1 by denition. Its calculation is made by imposing a local equi-
librium condition between the tension force in the steel and the
shear force acting at the steel/concrete interface. Fig. 1 illustrates
the local state stress at the steel/concrete interface when the steel
rebar is in tension.
The equilibrium condition can then be formulated according to
the following equation:
_
Sx
sSdS l
I
a
_
vSx
sSdG 0 (3)
where vS(x) and l
I
a
are respectively the perimeter and the
anchorage length of the current steel cross section, s and s are
respectively the tension stress in the steel and the shear stress at
the steel/concrete interface. Equation (2) can be rewritten consid-
ering two behavior operators for the steel and for the steel/concrete
interface denoted J
S
(.) and J
I
(.) respectively. Integrating equation
(3) and combining it to the behavior operators, it comes:
J
S
3
xx
; lSx J
I
3
xx
; 1 ll
I
a
vSx 0 (4)
Equation(4) introduces a uniquevariablewhichis thepartitionfactor.
Due to the nonlinearity of the behavior operators a classical Newton-
based numerical scheme must be implemented for solving this
equation. Let us note that the approachremains validfor anybehavior
operators, in particular relatively to the steel/concrete interface.
3. Steel/concrete interface constitutive law and numerical
implementation
In this section, the steel/concrete interface constitutive model is
detailed as well as its numerical implementation in a nite element
software.
3.1. State equations
Three different degradation stages can be observed during the
failure process of a steel/concrete interface (Lutz and Gergely, 1967).
The rst stage occurs when the chemical adhesion ends. It must be
notedthat this adhesionis veryweak andis oftenanalyzedbyelastic
models. The second stage starts withthe apparition of the rst shear
cracks between the rebar and the concrete. The third stage concerns
the post-peak domain. Sliding becomes high and the steel/concrete
interface is entirely degraded. Degradation mode II (shearing) is
entirely characterized by these three stages. Due to the Timo-
shenkos kinematic hypotheses, the degradation mode I (opening)
cannot be explicitly considered. The structural failure mode (split-
ting or pull-out failure) will be conditioned by the ability of the
concrete constitutive model to represent accurately the stress state.
From these observations, the thermodynamic framework as
described in (Lematre, 1992) can be used. Cracking effects are
taken into account by introducing a continuous damage variable d,
ranging from 0 (virgin material) to 1 (ruined material). The Helm-
holtz free energy, denoted j, is given by:
rj 1 dm3
I
xx
3
I
xx
(5)
where r is the material density and m the second Lams coefcient
(shear modulus). The scalar nature of the damage variable is
physically motivated by the fact that cracks have a single and xed
orientation at the steel/concrete interface. The amount of friction
along cracked surfaces has to be linked to the level of damage d (as
in Ragueneau et al., 2006 for a non-corroded interface); in order to
describe cyclic behaviors, energies induced by kinematic and
isotropic hardenings are introduced in the free energy expression:
rj 1dm3
I
xx
3
I
xx
dm
_
3
I
xx
3
I;p
xx
_ _
3
I
xx
3
I;p
xx
_

g
2
aaHz (6)
where 3
I;p
xx
is the inelastic sliding strain, a the kinematic hardening
variable, z the isotropic hardening variable, H the consolidation
function and g is a material parameter which needs to be identied.
Let us note that the proposed state potential is clearly thermody-
namically admissible (differentiable with respect to each variable,
convex, positive and null at the origin). The state potential
expressed by equation (6) leads to the following state equations.
The Cauchys shear stress is given by:
s
vrj
v3
I
xx
21 dm3
I
xx
2dm
_
3
I
xx
3
I;p
xx
_
(7)
The friction shear stress s
p
is obtained by:
s
p

vrj
v3
I;p
xx
2dm
_
3
I
xx
3
I;p
xx
_
(8)
This equation shows that friction shear stress is coupled with the
damage variable and the inelastic sliding strain. The released
energy rate due to damage Y is:
Fig. 1. Local stress state at the steel (in red)/concrete (in gray) interface due to the
application of a tension force to the steel rebar. (For interpretation of the references to
color in this gure legend, the reader is referred to the web version of this article.)
B. Richard et al. / European Journal of Mechanics A/Solids 30 (2011) 950e961 952
Y
vrj
vd
m3
I
xx
3
I
xx
m
_
3
I
xx
3
I;p
xx
__
3
I
xx
3
I;p
xx
_
(9)
The rst term represents the energy rate released by mode II
(shearing) and the second term, the energy rate released by
inelastic sliding and friction. The back stress X can also be dened
as follows:
X
vrj
va
ga (10)
The thermodynamic force Z associated with the isotropic hardening
is:
Z
vrj
vz
H
0
z (11)
3.2. Flow rules
3.2.1. Damage and isotropic hardening
A unique yield surface, denoted f
d
, is considered to handle the
coupled evolution of the damage and of the isotropic hardening:
f
d
Y Z Y
0
(12)
where Y
0
is an initial threshold and Y m3
I
xx
3
I
xx
a part of the energy
released by damage. Therefore, a single Lagranges multiplier
_
l
d
needs to be considered according to the normality rules:
_
d
_
l
d
vf
d
vY

_
l
d
;
_
z
_
l
d
vf
d
vZ

_
l
d
(13)
During sliding, Lagranges multiplier
_
l
d
can be computed from the
consistency conditions f
d

_
f
d
0. Considering the proposal
made by La Borderie (1991), the consolidation function takes the
following form:
Hz
1
A
d
z ln1 z (14)
where A
d
is a material parameter which can be interpreted as
a brittleness degree.
3.2.2. Coupling with corrosion
Due to the Timoshenkos assumptions, swelling cannot be
considered. Nevertheless, the bond strength variation can be
included in the constitutive law. Concerning the steel cross section
reduction and the steel brittleness decrease, these two effects are
supposed to be taken into account directly in the steel constitutive
law (Ouglova, 2004) and therefore have not been included in the
steel/concrete constitutive law.
In the present work, the bond strength variation due to the
corrosion phenomenon is considered as an additional initial
released energy rate Y
R
. This energy rate is function of a macro-
scopic corrosion degree T
c
dened in terms of steel mass loss or in
terms of steel cross section loss. This energy can be included in the
damage yield surface to modify the initial threshold, characterizing
the non-corroded behavior of the steel/concrete interface. There-
fore, equation (12) becomes:
f
d
Y Z Y
0
WY
R
T
c
(15)
where Wis a functionwhichcanbeidentiedfromexperimental pull-
out tests performed on corroded specimens (Sulaimani et al., 1990).
Empirical formulation for the W function is used in this work. More
analytical and numerical investigations are needed to express a reli-
able and predictive expression for the W function. Nowadays, litera-
ture does not report experimental observations or micro-mechanical
considerations that may provide a clear conclusion on the local
mechanisms explaining the bond variations due to corrosion. Some
researchers argue for a progressive lling of the concrete pores by
corrosion products up to cracking (loss of connement) (Fang et al.,
2006) while others propose a decrease of the friction properties due
to the consistency of corrosion products (Cairns et al., 2007).
Using equations (13)e(15), the damage variable can be explicitly
integrated; this ensures numerical robustness. For the sake of
simplicity, the calculations are not detailed and the nal result for
the damage variable is given:
d 1
1
1 A
d
Y Y
0
WY
R
T
c

(16)
The proposed approach takes into account the corrosion effects on
the steel/concrete interface in a macroscopic way. The Wfunction is
used as an artifact to represent local phenomena in a global way.
For instance, it is known that the corrosion phenomenon acts in
three different stages. First, the formation of corrosion products
will not create any stress on the surrounding concrete (rst stage).
As the total amount of corrosion products exceeds the amount of
corrosion products needed to ll the porous zone around the steel/
concrete interface, expansive pressure on the surrounding
increases with the growth of corrosion products (second stage).
When the total amount of corrosion products reaches a critical
amount of corrosion products, the internal stress will exceed the
tensile strength of concrete and cracking occurs (third stage). These
three stages are indeed taken into account through the proposed
model but in a global way. It results from these mechanisms that
bond properties between steel and concrete are reduced. This
consequence is modeled thanks to a scalar damage variable acting
on the elastic modulus of the steel/concrete interface. Moreover,
the W function plays a major role in the degradation condition of
the steel/concrete interface coming from corrosion (without any
effects related to a external mechanical loading). Since the aim of
this work is to propose a simplied approach for assessing struc-
tural behavior of corroded structures, by sake of simplicity, these
three stages have not been taken into account explicitly.
3.2.3. Sliding and kinematic hardenings
The variables for inelastic strain and kinematic hardening are
handled by a non-associative owrule in order to take into account
the nonlinear hysteretic effects in the case of cyclic loadings. Let us
note that this assumption leads to dene a single Lagranges
multiplier related to sliding. Therefore, a unique sliding yield
surface, denoted f
p
without initial threshold, is chosen as a classical
one-dimensional Von Mises criterion:
f
p
js
p
Xj (17)
Concerning the inelastic sliding strain, the associate ow rule
managing its evolution is written:
_ 3
I;p
xx

_
l
p
vf
p
vs
p
(18)
The non-associate ow rule related to the kinematic hardening
variable needs to consider a pseudo-potential of dissipation f
p
. The
main drawback due to the linearity of the Pragers kinematic
hardening can be overcome by considering the pseudo-potential
proposed by Armstrong and Frederick (1966):
4
p
js
p
Xj
a
2
XX (19)
where a is a material parameter. The non-associate ow rule
managing the evolution of the kinematic hardening is therefore:
B. Richard et al. / European Journal of Mechanics A/Solids 30 (2011) 950e961 953
_ a
_
l
p
v4
p
vX
(20)
The integration of owrules expressed by equations (18) and (20) is
performed using the return mapping algorithm proposed by Ortiz
and Simo (1986).
3.3. Numerical implementation
3.3.1. Newton based scheme for solving the equilibrium equation on
the interface
Let us consider a total axial strain increment denoted D3
i
related
to a steel ber. The total axial strain, at the current iteration, is
3
i1
3
i
D3
i
. The partition factor l
k
is initialized to l
0
, which is the
value reached at the previous loading step. The strain in the steel
and in the steel/concrete interface can then be computed according
to equation (2):
3
S
i1;k
l
k3
i1
;
_
3
I
i1;k
1 l
k
_
3
i1
(21)
Using the behavior operators dened from the knowledge of the
constitutive laws associated with the steel and to the steel/concrete
interface, the corresponding stresses are:
s
S
i1;k
J
S
3
i1
; l
k
; s
I
i1;k
J
I
3
i1
; 1 l
k
(22)
The forces in the steel rebar and at the steel/concrete interface can
then be calculated:
F
S
i1;k
s
S
i1;k
Sx; F
I
i1;k
s
I
i1;k
l
I
a
vSx (23)
The total imbalance can be expressed as:
R
I1;k
F
S
i1;k
F
I
i1;k
(24)
From the computation of the total imbalance, the next partition
factor can easily be estimated according to a modied Newton
scheme:
l
k1

R
i1;k
2pRl
I
a
m pR
2
E
S
(25)
where R is the rebar radius and E
S
is the steel Young modulus.
Equation (25) shows that the stiffness is not updated during the
iterations. The iterative process is stopped as soon as the relative
imbalance R
i1;k
=R
i1;0
is smaller than 10
6
. This value has been
setup after carrying out a sensitivity analysis considering the
accuracy versus the computational cost (number of local
iterations).
3.3.2. Implicit integration scheme of the inelastic sliding strain
The computation of the partition factor requires the estimation
of the shear stress at the steel/concrete interface based on the
sliding strain 3
I
i1;k
. The damage variable is integrated explicitly as
shown previously. However, the inelastic sliding strain implies the
use of an implicit integration scheme. The associated yield surface
is linearized around the current thermodynamic state as:
f
p

n1
f
p

_
vf
p
vX
_
n
X
n1
X
n

_
vf
p
vs
p
_
n
_
s
p
n1
s
p
n
_
z0 26
The derivatives can be computed explicitly fromthe equation of the
sliding yield surface. Moreover, corresponding increments of
sliding and back stress can be introduced such as:
_

_
X
n1
X
n
ga
n1
a
n
gDl
p
_
v4
p
vX
_
n
s
p
n1
s
p
n
2md
_
3
I;p
i1;k;n1
3
I;p
i1;k;n
_
2mdDl
p
_
v4
p
vs
p
_
n
(27)
At each iteration, equation (25) are used to compute the corre-
sponding Lagrange multiplier Dl
p
and thereafter, to update internal
variables. To perform this computation, equations (26) and (27) are
combined such as:
Dl
p

f
n
p
2md
_
vf
p
vs
p
_
n
_
vf
p
vs
p
_
n
g
_
vf
p
vX
_
n
_
v4
p
vX
_
n
(28)
4. Material parameter identication and local response
This section aims to discuss about the material parameters
identication and to expose local response at the Gauss point level.
A discussion about the limitations of the proposed model is also
provided.
4.1. Material parameter identication
The identication of material parameters associated with the
steel constitutive law is not detailed in this paper. Ouglova (2004)
performed an accurate sensitivity analysis of the steel model and
its conclusions and recommendations have been used in the
present work. The set of material parameters associated with the
steel/concrete interface can be separated as follows: one elastic
parameter (m), two parameters accounting for the damage and the
isotropic hardening mechanisms (A
d
and Y
0
respectively), one
function for the corrosion phenomenon (W), two parameters for
the kinematic hardening mechanism(g and a respectively) and one
geometrical parameter which is the anchorage length l
I
a
.
The elastic parameter m can be chosen equal to the concrete
shear modulus, as recommended by Ragueneau et al. (2006). The
damage and isotropic material parameters (A
d
and Y
0
) are identied
from pull-out tests. The bondeslip relationship can be tted by
acting on these two parameters. Especially, A
d
drives the brittleness
of the bondeslip curve although Y
0
is the threshold that has to be
overcome to activate damage and therefore it drives the maximum
shear stress. As previously mentioned, the W function must be
identied by performing several pull-out tests on corroded speci-
mens. Indeed, from one curve to another one (each curve corre-
sponding to a given corrosion degree), it can generally be observed
that the maximum shear stress decreases due to the corrosion
phenomenon. The value of the W function is chosen to t the
maximum shear stress for a given corrosion degree. This process
can be seen as an inverse analysis, aiming at calibrating the steel/
concrete interface model. Let us note that proposing an analytical
expression of such a function is quite difcult and further works
need to be done based on micro-mechanical considerations for
instance. The authors recognize that if sufcient experimental data
are missing, the W function is not easy to be identied. Neverthe-
less, the proposed approach constitutes a robust and simple
numerical framework for modeling the steel/concrete interface
including corrosion. The parameters corresponding to the
nonlinear hysteretic effects (g and a) are chosen according to the
sensitivity analysis performed by Ragueneau et al. (2000). From the
numerical experience of the authors, it can be stated that these two
parameters do not need to be highly modied from a case study to
another, excepting if cyclic pull-out tests are available. The
B. Richard et al. / European Journal of Mechanics A/Solids 30 (2011) 950e961 954
anchorage length l
I
a
is generally equal to the nite element length.
The considered material parameters for performing the local
analysis are given in Table 1. The experimental campaign from
Almusallam et al. (1996b) has been used for tting the W function.
Figs. 2 and 3 highlight the results of such a procedure considering
only the maximum shear stress (the peak value) as the identica-
tion criterion. It can be noticed a good accordance between the
experimental data and the numerical calculation (see Fig. 3).
It is noted that such good agreement was expected since the
constitutive model has been calibrated for. Nevertheless, this result
shows that experimental data such as those provided by
Almusallam et al. (1996b) can be used to calibrate the constitutive
model. Also, it is noted that the bond/slip relation could have been
identied from analytical models that take into account the effect
of the surrounding structure such as the one proposed by Lundgren
et al. (2009).
The bondeslip relationship is highly inuenced by the structure
parameters such as the cover thickness, the amount of stirrups, the
external connement, etc. Due to the beam theory formulation, the
proposed steel/concrete interface model does not take them
explicitly into account. Nevertheless, as pull-out tests are needed to
calibrate the propose model, it is assumed that the geometry of the
pull-out specimen represents in a satisfactory way the bondeslip
relationship. This leads to the fact that the structure parameters are
taken into account (in a global way) through the material param-
eters included in the proposed model.
4.2. Limitations of the proposed model
The proposed steel/concrete interface model has two main
limitations and the authors would like to point them out. The rst
one is related with the material parameters identication. The
proposed model is able to represent the bondeslip relationship as
soon as the material parameters have been calibrated in a satisfac-
tory way. Especially, the parameter related to the corrosion may be
difcult to be identied as pointed out previously. The second
limitation is related the change of failure mode. Indeed, it is well
known that the corrosion growth leads to a switch between a pull-
out failure to a splitting failure. This can be modeled by switching
the bondeslip relationship from a brittle one to ductile one. The
proposed steel/concrete interface model can be calibrated for
obtaining this effect. Nevertheless, the concrete model used in the
analysis plays an important role when such failure modes occur
since concrete cracking is responsible for the global failure of the
structure. As the multi-ber approach does not aim at representing
accurately cracking patterns (through damage patterns), the
change of failure mode is only taken into account in a structural
level (no signicant differences on the damage pattern will be
observed).
4.3. Analysis of the local response
4.3.1. Coupling effect
The main features of the proposed approach are analyzed in the
present section. To perform this analysis, the proposed model has
been implemented in the nite element software Cast3M (2007),
developed by CEA (French Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies
Commission). One single steel ber is considered in order to obtain
local results at the Gauss point level. Consequently, the anchorage
length has been chosen equal to 1.0 m and other material param-
eters are those identied in the previous section. Therefore, the
sliding strain and the sliding displacement become equal to each
other. Assuming a corrosion degree equation equal to zero, the
results obtained when a simple tension test is simulated are
depicted in Fig. 4.
Fig. 4-1 expresses the local response of the steel/concrete
interface in terms of shear stress versus sliding strain. The three
different degradation stages are taken into account and are in good
agreement with the observations published by Lutz and Gergely
(1967). The pre-peak and the post-peak behaviors are well
exhibited, making possible analyses up to failure. Fig. 4-2 shows the
local response of the steel rebar in terms of normal stress versus
total strain. An elastoplastic response is obtained. It can be noticed
an unloading step although the loading is increasing during the
computations. This is due to the fact that, from a specic loading
state, the steel/concrete interface becomes too damaged and
therefore cannot ensure the equilibrium with the steel rebar. The
equilibriumstate is therefore obtained by the unloading of the steel
ber. Fig. 4-3 represents the evolution of the partition factor versus
the number of load steps. It rst decreases, traducing the
predominance of the steel/concrete interface. It then increases up
to 0.85, reecting the predominance of the steel behavior. Finally, it
decreases drastically, highlighting the steel rebar unloading. All
these evolutions clearly show that the behaviors of the steel and of
the steel/concrete interface are coupled.
Table 1
Material parameters identication.
Material parameter Value
Shear coefcient (m) 15000$10
6
Pa
Brittleness (A
d
) 1.0$10
4
J
1
m
3
Initial threshold (Y
0
) 100 J m
3
Kinematic hardening (g) 6.85$10
9
Pa
Non linear hardening (a) 1.5$10
6
Pa
1
Anchorage length l
I
a
According to the nite element length
2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 3 3.1 3.2 3.3
x 10
9
-5
-4
-3
-2
-1
0
1
x 10
6
Y
R
(J)
W
(
Y
R
)

(
J
)
Fig. 2. W function; interpolation of experimental results.
0 2 4 6 8
0
5
10
15
20
25
Macroscopic corrosion degree (%)
M
a
x
i
m
u
m

s
h
e
a
r

s
t
r
e
s
s

(
M
P
a
)
Experimental data
Model response after identification
Fig. 3. Model response using the W function from Fig. 2.
B. Richard et al. / European Journal of Mechanics A/Solids 30 (2011) 950e961 955
4.3.2. Corrosion effect
Considering the identied W function, the same simulation as
above has been performed with a corrosion degree equal to 5.8%.
Results are given in Fig. 5. The shear stress peak associated with the
steel/concrete interface clearly decreases (Fig. 5-1). Therefore, the
steel rebar cannot be loaded at the same level than in the case of no
corrosion. Fig. 5-2 shows that the steel is not reaching the plastic
stage because the steel/concrete interface is too largely damaged to
provide a suitable stress transfer. The partition factor evolution
(Fig. 5-3) highlights a strong predominance of the steel/concrete
interface. Indeed, the latter is decreasing up to zero, sliding being
the main strain mechanism.
4.3.3. Response under repeated loading
A simple tension test under repeated loading has been simu-
lated, using the same material parameters as previously identied.
For the sake of simplicity, the corrosion degree is set to zero. Results
are presented in Fig. 6. The nonlinearities due to hysteretic effects
are clearly taken into account in the proposed model (Fig. 6-1).
Moreover, the dissipated energy within a cycle is inuenced by the
damage level; this is represented by a variation of the hysteretic
loops areas. The steel response is inuenced by the steel/concrete
interface behavior. Although the hysteretic effects are not explicitly
taken into account in the steel constitutive law, due to the fact that
the coupling equilibrium equation is satised, they appear in the
0 2 4 6
x 10
-3
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
x 10
7
Fig. 4-1. Steel/concrete interface
Sliding displacement (m)
S
h
e
a
r

s
t
r
e
s
s

(
P
a
)
0 0.02 0.04 0.06
0
2
4
6
8
x 10
8
Fig. 4-2. Steel reinforcement bar
Total axial strain
N
o
r
m
a
l

s
t
r
e
s
s

(
P
a
)
0 500 1000
0
0.5
1
Number of loading steps
P
a
r
t
i
t
i
o
n

f
a
c
t
o
r
Fig. 4-3. Partition factor evolution
Fig. 4. Local results obtained for T
c
0%.
0 0.005 0.01 0.015
0
2
4
6
x 10
6
Fig. 5-1. Steel/concrete interface
Sliding displacement (m)
S
h
e
a
r

s
t
r
e
s
s

(
P
a
)
0 0.5 1 1.5
x 10
-3
0
1
2
3
x 10
8
Fig. 5-2. Steel reinforcement bar
Total axial strain
N
o
r
m
a
l

s
t
r
e
s
s

(
P
a
)
0 500 1000
0
0.1
0.2
Fig. 5-3. Partition factor evolution
Number of loading steps
P
a
r
t
i
t
i
o
n

f
a
c
t
o
r
Fig. 5. Local results obtained for T
c
5.8%.
B. Richard et al. / European Journal of Mechanics A/Solids 30 (2011) 950e961 956
steel response (Fig. 6-2). The evolution of partition factor (Fig. 6-3)
shows the different behavior patterns along the simulation.
5. Structural case studies
In this section, several large-scale RC structures are considered
in order to show the predictive ability and the numerical robust-
ness of the proposed approach. It is noted that for all the case
studies, the concrete is modeled by mean of a continuum damage-
mechanics based constitutive. Although this framework is ther-
modynamically consistent, it has not been designed for repre-
senting quantitatively cracking (crack openings, tortuosity, .). In
the case of plain nite element analysis (2D or 3D), post-processing
techniques can be used to obtain such information (Richard et al.,
2010b). Nevertheless, since the multi-ber framework is used in
this study, no accurate information related to cracking could be
obtained and therefore, are not exposed in this section.
In addition, for all case study, the concrete is modeled by the
same constitutive law that has been proposed by (Richard et al.,
2010a). The model is expressed within the theoretical framework
of continuum damage mechanics and accounts for several dissi-
pative mechanisms. Especially, the cracking is modeled by a scalar
damage variable that leads to continuous variations of elastic
properties (Youngs modulus and Poisson ratio). The ow rule
related to the damage mechanism is not a function of the fracture
energy. Nevertheless, a brittleness of the tension softening curve is
driven by a brittleness parameter that could be linked with the
fracture energy, and therefore, this parameter is taken into account
in the concrete model. More details can be found in (Richard et al.,
2010a).
5.1. Reinforced concrete ties
5.1.1. Experimental testing setup
The rst example consists in analyzing two reinforced concrete
ties. This kind of structural components offers the advantage to
exhibit a uniform stress state along them, at least in their central
part. The steel/concrete interface works mainly in mode II.
Therefore, this example is fully appropriated when the effects of the
steel/concrete interface are studied at the structural scale.
An experimental study of reinforced concrete ties has been
performed by Mivelaz (1996). Several specimens were realized
(5 m 1 m 0.42 m). Various steel distributions were considered.
This experimental campaign aimed to analyze the effect of the steel
distribution on the concrete cracking. To reach this objective, the
specimens were subjected to a direct tension test. The measure-
ment of the structural response has been performed over the
central tie part (3.0 m). The two extreme tie parts were used to
apply the loading. In the present contribution, only two cases have
been studied. The corresponding steel distributions are given in
Fig. 7. The rebars have a diameter equal to 16 mm for both distri-
butions. The concrete as well as the steel rebars have been sub-
jected to classic tests in order to determine their mechanical
characteristics. Concerning the concrete, the Youngs modulus is
33.4 GPa, the tensile stress is 3.15 MPa and the compressive stress is
41.8 MPa. Concerning the steel, the Youngs modulus is 200 GPa and
the yielding stress is 565 MPa. In addition the Poissons ratio has
0 0.01 0.02 0.03 0.04
0
1
2
x 10
7
Fig. 6-1. Steel/concrete interface
Sliding displacement (m)
S
h
e
a
r

s
t
r
e
s
s

(
P
a
)
0 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08
0
2
4
6
x 10
8
Fig. 6-2. Steel reinforcement bar
Total axial strain
N
o
r
m
a
l

s
t
r
e
s
s

(
P
a
)
0 500 1000 1500
0
0.5
1
Fig. 6-3. Partition factor evolution
Number of loading steps
P
a
r
t
i
t
i
o
n

f
a
c
t
o
r
Fig. 6. Local results under repeated loading.
Fig. 7. Steel distribution related to the RC ties (dimensions are in mm).
B. Richard et al. / European Journal of Mechanics A/Solids 30 (2011) 950e961 957
been chosen equal to 0.2 for the concrete and 0.3 for the steel.
Moreover, a 3% isotropic hardening modulus has been assumed
(expressed in terms of percentage of the steel Youngs modulus).
5.1.2. Numerical analysis
The nite element mesh is composed of 20 beam elements in
the axial direction and 16 four-node quadrilateral elements in the
cross section including four Gauss points per elements. A sensitivity
analysis was carried out in order to check the mesh independency.
One can notice that since the multi-ber approach has not been
designed for providing local information related to cracking such
a crack path or crack openings, considering more beam elements
does not bring additional consistency to the analysis. The boundary
conditions enforce the axial displacement on one side of the rein-
forced concrete tie and a displacement equal to zero on the other
side. This last boundary condition has been considered as
a symmetry condition because only a half tie has been modeled by
sake of computational cost saving. The global solving scheme is the
modied Newton method. The experimental results are expressed
in terms of load versus average strain. This last quantity is dened
as the ratio of the prescribed displacement over the initial length of
the central tie domain (3 m). In the R3 case, the load/average curve
is only available up to a strain equal to 0.003. The concrete has been
modeled by the uniaxial version of the constitutive law proposed
by Richard et al. (2010a). The steel is characterized by a classic
elastoplastic model including isotropic hardening and the steel/
concrete interface by the constitutive model presented in Section 3.
The material parameters related to the steel/concrete interface are
given in Table 2. The corrosion degree has been setup to zero since
the RC ties are not corroded.
The numerical results (R3 and R5 ties) are presented in Figs. 8
and 9. Three main stages can be observed. The rst stage is
related to the linear elastic part of the behavior. The second stage is
related to concrete cracking. The load jumps can be explained by
the occurrence of stress redistribution phenomena between the
concrete and the steel rebars. The third and last stage is almost
linear. It is related to the damage of the concrete. Therefore, only
the steel rebars contribute to the overall equilibrium of the struc-
tural component. It can be noticed that this stage cannot be
observed in the experimental curve in the case of the R3 tie due to
the lack of data. The initial stiffness of the ties is captured satis-
factorily, whatever the nature of the steel/concrete interface.
Moreover, the peak load is better captured when the steel/concrete
interface is assumed as non-perfect. This observation highlights the
importance of the steel/concrete interface modeling. Regarding the
concrete cracking stage, one can notice two interesting facts (for
both ties). First, in the case of a perfect steel/concrete interface, the
numerical load/average strain curve is smoother, meaning that the
stress redistribution phenomena are not accurately taken into
account. Second, in the case of a non-perfect steel/concrete inter-
face, load jumps occur. The stress redistribution phenomena are
thus better described by the proposed simplied approach. It can
be concluded that taking correctly into account the steel/concrete
interface is of primary importance for such structural examples (as
conrmed by Jason et al. (2010) on a numerical benchmark).
5.2. Reinforced concrete beam under repeated loading
5.2.1. Experimental testing setup
The second structural example that is analyzed in this paper lies
in a reinforced concrete beam subjected to a three point bending
test. This structural component seems to be interesting because the
loading is more representative of standard reinforced concrete
structures.
Ragueneau et al. (2000) performed this experimental study in
order to analyze the interaction between concrete cracking and
local hysteretic effects. The three point bending test was realized by
controlling the loading in ve different steps: 10 kN, 30 kN, 50 kN,
70 kN and 90 kN (failure). To avoid fatigue effects, only ten cycles
were performed at the loading step. A schematic representation of
the geometry of the reinforced concrete specimen is given in Fig. 10.
The reinforced steel bars diameters are 8 mm and 14 mm for those
located in the top part and in the bottom part respectively. The
constitutive materials have been characterized by standard tests.
Concerning the concrete, the Youngs modulus is 28 000 MPa, the
tensile stress is 2.8 MPa and the compressive stress is 31 MPa.
Concerning the steel, the Youngs modulus is 200 000 MPa, the
yielding stress is 450 MPa. The Poissons ratios related to the
concrete and to the steel have been considered to be equal to 0.2
and 0.33. In order to take into account the hardening in the steel
constitutive model, a hardening modulus equal to 5% (percentage
of the initial Youngs modulus) has been considered. The properties
related to the steel/concrete interface are given in Table 3.
Table 2
Material parameters related to the steel/concrete interface used to simulate RC ties.
Material parameter Value
Shear coefcient (m) 13267$10
6
Pa
Brittleness (A
d
) 1.2$10
4
J
1
m
3
Initial threshold (Y
0
) 98 J m
3
Kinematic hardening (g) 6.85$10
9
Pa
Non linear hardening (a) 1.5$10
6
Pa
1
Anchorage length l
I
a
According to the nite element length
0 0.5 1 1.5
x 10
-3
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
x 10
5
Average strain
L
o
a
d

(
N
)
Exp.
Num. non perfect
Num. perfect
Fig. 8. Comparison between the experimental results in the case of the R3 tie.
0 0.5 1 1.5
x 10
-3
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
x 10
5
Average strain
L
o
a
d

(
N
)
Exp.
Num. non perfect
Num. perfect
Fig. 9. Comparison between the experimental results in the case of the R5 tie.
B. Richard et al. / European Journal of Mechanics A/Solids 30 (2011) 950e961 958
5.2.2. Numerical analysis
Two structural cases have been simulated. The rst one
considers a perfect steel/concrete interface and the second one
includes a non-perfect interface. The nite element mesh is
composed of 30 beam elements in the axial direction and 25 four-
node quadrilateral elements in the cross section including four
Gauss points per element. A sensitivity analysis was carried out in
order to check the mesh independency. For the boundary condi-
tions, the vertical displacement is set to zero on one side and both
vertical and axial displacements are set to zero on the opposite side.
The load is controlled by prescribing the mid-span displacement.
This ensures to capture the post-peak region and to provide
a numerical robustness. The global solving scheme is the modied
Newton method. The concrete model used has been proposed by
Richard et al. (2010a) and the related material parameters were
identied with respect to the experimental data as mentioned
previously. The steel reinforcement bars were modeled by a classic
elastoplastic constitutive law including an isotropic hardening. The
stirrups were neglected due to the simplied framework offered by
the multi-ber approach. The hardening modulus is equal to 5%.
The steel/concrete interface is managed by the proposed approach.
The material parameters are given in Table 3. The numerical
computations were performed by controlling the mid-span vertical
displacement to capture the post-peak domain.
The results are expressed in terms of load/mid-span displace-
ment curves and are presented in Fig. 11. A satisfying agreement
between the experimental data and respective numerical results is
obtained. The experimental results are bounded by those obtained
numerically. First, with a perfect steel/concrete interface, the initial
elastic stiffness is well described. Nevertheless, both the tension
stiffening stage and the yielding stage are overestimated. Globally,
the load/displacement curve appears as being smooth, meaning
that redistribution phenomena do not seem to be of primary
importance. Moreover, since the steel/concrete interface is
considered as being perfect, the steel rebar can yield more easily
than in the case the interface is non-perfect. Indeed, the stress
transfer between concrete and steel is complete and not degraded
whatever the load level. The numerical failure mode is a exural
one, what does not match accurately with the experiment since
a combination between a exural failure and a bond failure has
been reported experimentally. Second, with a non-perfect the steel/
concrete interface, the elastic stiffness and the concrete cracking
stages are better captured compared to the previous case. Never-
theless, the yielding stage is underestimated but remains well
described. This is due to the absence of accurate experimental data
related to the bond properties. The load/displacement curve
appears less smooth than the previous one; the stress redistribu-
tion phenomena seem to be better characterized than in the
previous case. The strength is lower since the steel/concrete
interface is starting to be damaged. Therefore, as soon as the
interface has reached a critical level of degradation, the stress
transfer between concrete and steel cannot be maintained, result-
ing in a lower strength. The numerical failure mode is a bond
failure. This has been observed by monitoring the damage variable
related to the interface along the rebar (Ragueneau et al., 2000). To
conclude, the multiber-based approach manages the mechanical
behavior of the steel/concrete interface in a satisfactory way.
Moreover, the fact that the experimental measurements ranged
between the numerical results (perfect and non-perfect steel/
concrete interface) follows the experimental observations of the
failure mode: a combination of exural and bond failures.
5.3. Corroded reinforced concrete beams
5.3.1. Experimental testing setup
This example analyzes the possibilities offered by the proposed
approach to estimate the residual load carrying capacity of
corroded components.
Mangat and Elgarf (1999) carried out an experimental
campaign to study the effect of the corrosion on the residual load
carrying capacity of reinforced concrete beams. They realized
several reinforced concrete beam specimens with dimensions
910 mm 100 mm 150 mm. The reinforcement is made of two
longitudinal rebars with 10 mm diameter. According to the
authors, these beams were under-reinforced in order to get
a global beam failure driven by the local failure of the steel/
concrete interface. Let us note that Mangat and Elgarf (1999)
included a steel U shaped collar to reinforce the specimens to
avoid any shear failure. As matter of fact, this experiment matches
with the range of applicability of the multi-ber approach. The
concrete has a Youngs modulus equal to 28 000 MPa, a Poissons
ratio equal to 0.2, a tensile strength equal to 3.45 MPa,
a compressive strength equal to 40 MPa. These properties were
measured using mechanical tests based on ASTM-C39 standard for
1500
1400
220
220
200
200
Fig. 10. Geometry, loading and boundary conditions related to the reinforced concrete
beam tested by Ragueneau et al. (2000) e the beam is simply supported e the support
and loading platens are 100 mm 10 mm (dimensions are in mm).
Table 3
Material parameters related to the steel/concrete interface used to simulate the
repeated three point bending test.
Material parameter Value
Shear coefcient (m) 11667$10
6
Pa
Brittleness (A
d
) 1.1$10
4
J
1
m
3
Initial threshold (Y0) 87 J m
3
Kinematic hardening (g) 6.85$10
9
Pa
Non linear hardening (a) 1.5$10
6
Pa
1
Anchorage length l
I
a
According to the nite element length
Fig. 11. Comparison between the load/mid-span displacement curves related the RC
beam subjected to a three point bending test.
B. Richard et al. / European Journal of Mechanics A/Solids 30 (2011) 950e961 959
the compressive strength and ASTM-C496 for the tensile strength.
The steel has a Youngs modulus equal to 206 000 MPa, a Poissons
ratio equal to 0.3, a yield stress equal to 510 MPa. Each specimen
was subjected to corrosion by prescribing a current density equal
to 2 mA cm
2
during a specic period of time. Therefore, different
corrosion degrees were obtained and each beam was subjected to
a four point bending test up to failure.
The current density used by Mangat and Elgarf (1999) is rather
high. Therefore, it is not straightforward to say that the resulting
corrosion is representative of a real one. Yuan et al. (2007) have
performed an interesting study that aims to compare corrosion
resulting from an articial climate environment and the one from
a galvanostatic test. These authors reached the conclusion that the
corrosion coming from an articial climate environment is more
representative of a real environment (type of oxides, special
distribution, etc.). From a mechanical point of view, the resulting
load carrying capacity is not modied. Therefore, the study by
Mangat and Elgarf (1999) can be considered as valid for our study.
5.3.2. Numerical analysis
The nite element mesh is composed of 28 beam elements in
the axial direction and 16 four-node quadrilateral elements in the
cross section including four Gauss points per elements. As previ-
ously, a sensitivity analysis was carried out in order to check the
mesh independency. The boundary conditions are the same as the
example: on one side, the vertical displacement is set to zero and
one the opposite side, both vertical and axial displacements are set
to zero. The load is displacement-controlled. This ensures to
capture the post-peak region and to get numerical robustness. The
global solving scheme is the modied Newton method. The
concrete was modeled by means of the constitutive law proposed
by Richard et al. (2010a). The steel reinforcement bars were
modeled thanks to the constitutive law proposed by Ouglova
(2004). No particular difculties were reported to calibrate the
steel model because all the parameters could be identied fromthe
experimental measurements. The steel/concrete interface is
managed thanks to the proposed approach. The related material
parameters are given in Table 3. Especially, the W function is given
in Fig. 2. Several four point bending tests have been simulated at
different corrosion degrees. The steel cross section reduction has
been taken into account by specifying their loss in the multi-ber
model.
The numerical results are given in Fig. 12 and a good agreement
can be noticed. The three main degradation stages experimentally
observed are well captured: the linear response, the concrete
cracking and the failure stage characterized by the total degrada-
tion of the steel/concrete interface. The effects of the corrosion
phenomenon are also satisfyingly captured. Moreover, the numer-
ical failure mode has been clearly identied as a bond failure. This
observation is made by monitoring the damage variable of the
steel/concrete interface. For all the corrosion degrees, the damage
variables reached values close to 1, meaning that only very weak
stress transfer between concrete and steel occur.
6. Conclusions
In this paper, a simplied steel/concrete model has been
proposed. This model helps to analyze the behavior of reinforced
concrete structures subjected to complex loadings including the
degradation of the steel/concrete interface. Especially, the corro-
sion phenomenon can be taken into account. Based on a multi-
ber-based approach, a constitutive law for the non-perfect
behavior of the steel/concrete interface has been introduced and
discussed. The numerical implementation of the model has been
carried out using a coupling explicit/implicit integration scheme.
This strategy improves the computation robustness versus
numerical instabilities. The material parameters identication has
been also discussed. The main features of the proposed model
have been presented at the Gauss point level in the case of
monotonic responses (repeated or not) with and without corro-
sion. From this analysis, it can be stated that the proposed model
is clearly able to reproduce a homogenized behavior based on two
elementary behaviors (steel/concrete interface and steel rein-
forcement bar). The efciency and the ability of the approach for
practical cases have been also illustrated on case studies. Three
different reinforced concrete structures were analyzed. The two
rst examples show the good accuracy obtained by taking into
account the specic mechanical behavior of the steel/concrete
interface. The rst reinforced concrete tie exhibits the possibilities
offered by the proposed approach when the steel/concrete inter-
face is subjected to a mode II-based degradation. The second case
study is a reinforced concrete beam subjected to a repeated three
point bending test. The numerical results show that the proposed
approach can be used when complex loading patterns are
considered. The last example highlights the capabilities of the
proposed approach to handle mechanical problems in presence of
corrosion. The good accordance between simulations and experi-
mental results seems to be encouraging. Despite the fact no local
information can be obtained (crack openings, damage pattern), the
proposed approach can be considered as a practical tool for civil
engineers with reduced computational costs and a satisfying
accuracy.
Acknowledgments
This research is nancially supported by the French Public
Works Laboratory, the French National Research Agency under the
research project APPLET supported by the French Research Agency
(ANR) and the French national research program CEOS-FR
(Behavior and Assessment of special RC works e Cracking and
Shrinkage) supported by the Ministry for Ecology, Energy and
Sustainable Development. The authors would also like to express
their most grateful thanks to the LMT-ENS Cachan and the CEA for
their technical help. The rst author would like to thank Elodie for
her patience.
0 0.002 0.004 0.006 0.008 0.01 0.012 0.014
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
x 10
4
Middle span displacement (m)
L
o
a
d

(
N
)
Experimental data (Tc = 0,0 %)
Experimental data (Tc = 1,25 %)
Experimental data (Tc = 2,5 %)
Experimental data (Tc = 5,0 %)
Experimental data (Tc = 7,5 %)
Numerical analysis (Tc = 0,0 %)
Numerical analysis (Tc = 1,25 %)
Numerical analysis (Tc = 2,5 %)
Numerical analysis (Tc = 5,0 %)
Numerical analysis (Tc = 7,5 %)
Fig. 12. Loadedisplacement curves obtained for various corrosion degrees (expressed
in terms of cross-section losses).
B. Richard et al. / European Journal of Mechanics A/Solids 30 (2011) 950e961 960
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