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A Solution for Walls and Details of Concrete Structures US

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STRUCTURES

Jaroslav Navrátil Petr Ševčík Libor Michalčík Petr Foltyn Jaromír Kabeláč

Abstract

Every concrete structure has several parts with some form of discontinuity - bracket,

opening, anchorage, etc. In spite of discontinuity regions being present in every concrete

structure, no single solution exists so far for complete design of concrete details, walls and

diaphragms. Single-purpose, specialized programs or Excel design sheets based on Strut-

and-Tie Method are currently used for the design of discontinuity regions. Conversely

scientifically oriented programs might exceptionally be used with no link-up with national

standards and regulations, and without design and optimization of reinforcement. This

practice leads to oversimplifications or on the contrary to the attempt to simulate reality. A

new method and a software tool allow engineers to design appropriate concrete dimensions

as well as location and amount of reinforcement in an efficient way, providing safe and

economical designs based on valid standards. It is based on a computer-aided

implementation of stress field models. Simplified assumptions similar to the ones used in

hand calculations are used, improved to allow ductility and SLS verifications, and based on

clear material properties. Stress fields can be seen as a generalized Strut-and-Tie Method in

which real members with stresses instead of force resultants are considered. The

verification has been done against code independent cases as well as against existing codes

with material laws as defined in the codes.

Key words: Concrete, Wall, Detail, Discontinuity, Reinforcement

1 Introduction

Design and assessment of concrete elements are normally performed at sectional (1D-

elements) or point (2D-elements) levels. This procedure is described in all standards for

structural design, and it is used in everyday practice of a structural engineer. However, it is

not always known or respected that it is acceptable only in areas where the Bernoulli -

Navier hypothesis of plane strain distribution applies (referred to as B-regions). Places,

where this hypothesis does not apply, are called discontinuity or disturbed regions (D-

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ISBN 978-80-906759-0-2 24. Czech Concrete Days (2017)

Regions). Examples of B and D regions of 1D-elements are given in Fig. 1. These are e.g.

bearing areas, parts where concentrated loads are applied, locations of an abrupt change in

the cross-section, openings, etc.

Fig. 1 A structure containing B and D regions

column support system to the wall

Although linear-elastic models used in the present practice reveal this fact, see Fig. 2, they

are unable to give a true picture of stiffness reduction, stress redistribution due to cracks,

tension stiffening, compression softening of concrete, etc. The result of linear-elastic

analysis is a color image of unrealistic internal forces and stresses with irresistible peaks,

which is useless for the engineer. Application of such results often leads to overestimation

of structural stiffness, crack formation and excessive deflection.

An example may be an exterior facade walls with window openings. Albeit also linear-

elastic calculation shows high stress concentrations at the corners of the headers, the results

are incomprehensible, and do not provide a hint for how to position the reinforcement,

which leads to cracks in the parapet walls. Problems also arise, for example, in the

transitions of the column support system to the wall, see Fig. 2. The high pressure in the

columns combined with the insufficient transverse reinforcement of the wall causes the

wall to be transversely distorted, the columns punch through it, and almost vertical cracks

occur.

It is possible to use sophisticated programs that work with nonlinear computational models

and methods in case of complicated problems of building practice. These methods,

however, can hardly be used for conceptual design of structures or structural details. They

require to have pre-designed the dimensions of members, and also positions, directions and

amount of reinforcement. In addition, they are still very challenging in terms of necessary

time and user experience. It is necessary to correctly choose material models and their

parameters, which the user often does not understand and for time reasons or for lack of

knowledge he does not make the necessary verification and validation of these models. For

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ISBN 978-80-906759-0-2 24. Czech Concrete Days (2017)

this reason, results can often be very different from reality. It is also very difficult to

interpret the results in terms of standard provisions. In fact, the models try to capture

virtual reality rather than standard code assessment. Although stochastic methods based on

probabilistic principles have been developed for these purposes, their demandingness is

even higher and unacceptable in practice.

(a) Diaphragm of box-girder bridge (b) Bracket in IDEA StatiCa [2] according to [1]

Fig. 3 Practical examples of Strut-and-Tie Method

designed using the truss analogy (Strut-and-Tie

Method). Based on structural shape, load, and

boundary conditions, the engineer proposes a

substitute truss model, on which he then

determines the load-bearing capacity of concrete

struts, nodal areas and reinforcement (ties). The

method is very simple; the truss model calculation

is fast and can be easily done. There are many

models proven by good practice and recommended

by standards, see Fig. 3.

disadvantages. Especially with regard to the

simplification of the truss model, only the ultimate

limit state (ULS) can be checked. The assessment

of crack width, stress limitation and deflection is

impossible using this method. This disadvantage

becomes a considerable constraint due to the

increasing emphasis on serviceability limit state

design (SLS).

Fig. 4 Demonstration of the variety of of a suitable truss model. There are an infinite

"correct" truss models

number of possible truss models, but only one of

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ISBN 978-80-906759-0-2 24. Czech Concrete Days (2017)

them is optimal and there is no guaranteed way to identify it, see Fig. 4. When creating the

model, we must first recognize the coherence of (i) the design of member or its detail with

(ii) its computational model. The design of shape, dimensions and reinforcement

determines the behavior of the structure and also the mode of failure. We usually know the

“weak” links in the structure in advance, or we predetermine them deliberately. Thus we in

fact create the model of the structure in the ultimate limit state.

above the support of a continuous beam that, together with a sufficient reinforcement in the

middle of the spans, results in the redistribution of moments. The creation of the model

must respect among others the fact that the tensile strength of the concrete is practically

zero and that the same is true for the flexural resistance of the concrete itself as well.

Therefore, if the concrete is attributed with the ability to transfer just the compressive

forces and the steel with the ability to transfer only the tensile forces, we get a very simple

truss model consisting of elements exclusively under tension or compression. The strut and

tie model must express the behavior of the structure in the limit state. The creation of the

model thus cannot be accidental, but it must correspond to the conditions of the lower

bound and upper bound theorems. The impact of rebar positions on mode of failure and

crack propagation can be demonstrated on the example in Fig. 4. The author’s experience

is that even professionals have inadequate knowledge of the main principles for the

creation of the models in cases of atypical details.

The interest of structural engineers in a reliable

and fast tool to design D-Regions has led to the

decision to develop new computational software

for the design and assessment of details and walls

of reinforced concrete structures, which is

commercially available under the name IDEA

StatiCa Detail [2]. This program combines the

benefits and eliminates all the above shortcomings

of the methods described in the previous chapter.

particularly relevant for atypical details and wall

structures, is the possibility of designing the

positions and directions of reinforcement by the

topology optimization method, see [4], or

Fig. 5 Identification of truss model

alternatively by linear analysis, see Fig. 5. In

particular, the design of the truss model by topology optimization identifies optimal

reinforcement locations and directions, which can greatly assist the structural engineer in

deciding how to reinforce the structure. No commercial tool used so far provides such a

feature.

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ISBN 978-80-906759-0-2 24. Czech Concrete Days (2017)

(a) Positions of reinforcement

anchorage

Fig. 6 Wall panel with an opening in IDEA StatiCa [2]

Similarly to the Strut-and-Tie Method, the specification of input data, reinforcement

design, the analysis, and the code assessment are very fast and can be done, contrary to

general nonlinear programs in the order of 10 to 20 minutes. The model has been verified

and validated, including all parameters entered into the calculation, by the prestigious

Institut für Baustatik und Konstruktion, ETH Zürich [3], [5]. Therefore no special

experience or knowledge is needed to understand the input values and the results. The

assumptions of the solution are above the models recommended by national standards.

However, all results are fully interpreted in terms of code provisions [1]. Therefore the

solution is code independent and at the same time code complying. The methods used for

the calculation and assessment are general both in terms of structural topology, see Fig. 7

and the results provided, see Fig. 8. The results are comprehensible and reflecting reality to

the full extent. They can serve not only for the assessment of ULS, but also for SLS

including crack widths, deflections and stress limitations. Note that SLS checks have not

been fully implemented yet. Auxiliary results in the form of zones of excessive tensile

concrete strains can be used to help with the assessment of crack width check in the first

version of the program.

(a) Combination of dapped end with the haunch (b) Wall with openings

and opening

Fig. 7 General topology of discontinuity regions

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ISBN 978-80-906759-0-2 24. Czech Concrete Days (2017)

(b) ULS check (c) Anchorage (d) Tensile strains

reinforcement

Fig. 8 Pier cap of bridge structure

5 Conclusion

Structural analysis and design of concrete structures is a challenging task – both because of

the natural complexity of the subject and because of the regulation an engineer has to

comply with to get the project done. The construction process has never been as fast as it is

today, and the pressure on cost-effectiveness of structures is growing with zero tolerance of

structural defects. In such an environment, engineers are pushed to work quicker, more

accurate and more reliably than ever before. And they need a different set of tools for that.

The development trend of IDEA StatiCa is to provide engineers with a generic, complete,

and easy-to-use solution for designing and dimensioning structural elements, cross-sections

and details in accordance with applicable standards. We believe that IDEA StatiCa Detail

provides a solution on the level of advanced non-linear programs, but at the same time it

will be commonly used for day-to-day practical design.

6 Acknowledgements

This project has received funding from the Eurostars-2 joint program, project ID 10 571,

code 7D16010 with co-funding from the European Union Horizon 2020 research and

innovation program. Related software IDEA StatiCa Detail was developed by IDEA RS

Ltd in collaboration with IBK ETH Zürich. Above the co-authors of this paper, following

members of the team participated in the project: IDEA StatiCa developers Michal Číhal,

Rostislav Krč, Filip Svoboda, Filip Adler and Michael Konečný and IBK ETH Zürich

researchers supervised by Prof. Kaufmann. The paper was translated from Czech language.

Literature

[1] EN 1992-1-1 Eurocode 2, Design of Concrete Structures – Part 1: General rules and

rules for buildings, European Committee for Standardization, 2015.

[2] IDEA StatiCa, User guide, IDEA RS s.r.o., www.ideastatica.com.

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ISBN 978-80-906759-0-2 24. Czech Concrete Days (2017)

[3] KAUFMANN, W., MATA-FALCON, J., Structural Concrete Design in the 21st

Century: are Limit Analysis Methods Obsolete?, In: Sborník ke konferenci 24.

BETONÁŘSKÉ DNY 2017, Czech Republic, ČBS ČSSI, 2017

[4] KONEČNÝ, M., KABELÁČ, J., NAVRÁTIL, J. Use of topology optimization in

concrete reinforcement design, In: Sborník ke konferenci 24. BETONÁŘSKÉ DNY

2017, Czech Republic, ČBS ČSSI, 2017

[5] MATA-FALCON, J., TRAN, D., T., KAUFMANN, W., NAVRÁTIL, J. Computer-

aided stress field analysis of discontinuity concrete regions, EURO-C 2018,

Computational Modelling of Concrete and Concrete Structures, Austria, in print,

2018

+420 511 205 263, navratil@ideastatica.com, URL www.ideastatica.com

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