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Computers and Structures 84 (2006) 904–916

A fibre model for push-over analysis of underdesigned

reinforced concrete frames
Edoardo Cosenza, Gaetano Manfredi *, Gerardo M. Verderame
Department of Structural Analysis and Design, University of Naples Federico II, Via Claudio, 21, 80125 Napoli, Italy

Received 10 January 2005; accepted 1 February 2006


Most of the existing reinforced concrete buildings were designed according to early seismic provisions or, sometimes, without applying
any seismic provision. Some problems of strength and ductility, like insufficient shear strength, pull-out of rebars, local mechanisms, etc.,
could characterize their structural behaviour. The above mentioned topics lead to a number of problems in the evaluation of the seismic
behaviour of reinforced concrete (RC) frames. Therefore the assessment of existing RC structures requires advanced tools. A refined
model and numerical procedure for the non-linear analysis of reinforced concrete frames is presented. The current version of the model
proposed is capable of describing the non-linear behaviour of underdesigned reinforced concrete frames including brittle modes of fail-
ure. Selected results of an experimental–theoretical comparison are presented to show the capabilities of this model. The results show the
capacity of the model of describing both the global behaviour and the local deformation at service and ultimate state.
 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Non-linear; RC frames; Beam; Column; Bond; Hook

1. Modelling of reinforced concrete frames more popular. They still keep the basic hypothesis of sub-
dividing the structure in mono-dimensional elements, even
Many models for the non-linear analysis of RC frames though they could be defined as a hybrid between point by
are proposed in the literature. They can be classified point and member by member models. The constitutive
depending on the level of discretization [1] in point by point laws of concrete and steel are introduced [2]; in recent ver-
model, member by member models and global models. The sions the hypothesis of perfect bond is removed [3] and
choice of the most suitable model depends on the goals of shear collapse is taken into account [4]. Some authors
the analysis and by the structural properties. Structures introduced a joint element accounts for inelastic shear
characterized by brittle mechanisms require a non-linear deformation and bar bond slip in program DRAIN-2DX
analysis and then the use of highly discretized models; on [5,6].
the other hand, for structures with flexural collapse mech- Manfredi and Pecce [7] proposed for beams and col-
anisms, member by member or global models can be used to umns a fibre element that introduces explicitly the bond
obtain reliable predictions. A good balance between com- law s–s. Limkatanyu and Spacone [8] showed that the
putational effort and level of reliability of the results should accurate representation of the bond–slip behaviour is cru-
be achieved in choosing the model by taking into account cial in predicting the response of RC frames subjected to
the amount of basic information that each model requires. both static and dynamic loadings.
In the last few years, fibre models have become more and In the assessment of the seismic capacity of existing
underdesigned RC structures all the brittle failure modes
are potentially active, and this occurrence requires the
Corresponding author. Tel./fax: +39 081 7683491. development of a reliable numerical model in terms of
E-mail address: (G. Manfredi). behaviour and material properties [9]. In this paper a

0045-7949/$ - see front matter  2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
E. Cosenza et al. / Computers and Structures 84 (2006) 904–916 905

flexural – shear panel zone

T interaction


bending moment fixed-end
with axial force rotation

N interior
joint hooked rebar pull-out
Mi+1 column

manfredi - pecce exterior


strut model anchorage

infills footing

fardis-panagiotakos hooked rebar pull-out

Fig. 1. The main mechanisms influencing non-linear behaviour of reinforced concrete frames.

numerical model for reinforced concrete frames is pre- slippage of rebars), the rotation at the beam–column inter-
sented, which is an extension of the model proposed in face is computed taking into account either the bond
Manfredi and Pecce [7]. The model is able to predict the between concrete and steel or the constitutive law of the
main mechanisms influencing the non-linear behaviour of hooks.
reinforced concrete frames (Fig. 1). In particular, the pro- The influence of shear forces on the behaviour of the
posed model considers an explicit introduction of advanced beams was modelled by Priestley et al. [11]; such a model
constitutive bond–slip relationships that allow to describ- is based on a reduction of the shear strength depending
ing the structural behaviour in the large post yielding field on the local ductility, as expressed in terms of linear varia-
for elements under bending and axial forces and to intro- tion of the curvature. The model introduced here repre-
duce refined models for beam–column joints [13]. sents an improvement of Priestley’s since it enables the
sectional ductility at any step of the analysis to be directly
2. Element formulation determined and then evaluate the shear strength of those
sections located in the plastic regions. Therefore, along
The beam–column element is characterized by a spread with predicting ductile (i.e., flexural) and brittle (i.e., shear)
of plasticity and distributed cracking: it belongs to the fibre failures, this method allows also failures characterized by
model family. The mechanical properties of the cross-sec- low ductility due to the bending–shear interaction to be
tion are evaluated by considering the constitutive laws of determined.
the materials. The model for infill walls is based on the shear model by
The classic hypothesis of perfect bond between concrete Fardis and Panagiotakos [12]. It takes into account the
and steel is removed and a stress–slip bond constitutive law strength reduction due to the cracking of the panels and
is introduced [10]. Such an aspect allows for a more reliable the post-strength degradation. It is based on four different
assessment of the tension stiffening effect, for both elastic steps: initial shear behaviour of the uncracked panel,
and plastic field, and avoids the approximations due to behaviour of the cracked panel as equivalent strut, its insta-
the assumption of the plastic hinge length. bility after the maximum strength and final stage after com-
For the column, it is possible to consider the variation of plete failure characterized by constant residual strength.
axial forces due to lateral loads, and the related effects in
terms of overall strength and deformation capacity. Also, 2.1. The flexural model
considering the axial deformation allows for a detailed sim-
ulation of the interactions between columns and infill walls. The column is considered as a mono-dimensional ele-
In the beam–column joints, that plays a significant influ- ment, by introducing a simplified deformation model for
ence on the structural response, both in terms of strength the cross-section, as shown in Fig. 2. As mentioned before
(i.e., shear failure of the panel or pull-out of the rebars) the hypothesis of perfect bond between steel and concrete is
and deformation (due to the cracking of the concrete and removed. Thus, calculations in the generic cross-section
906 E. Cosenza et al. / Computers and Structures 84 (2006) 904–916

• compatibility equation for the steel bar and the concrete

b(y) in tension:
dc ds
yg ¼ es ðxÞ  ect ðxÞ ð4Þ
H h z where Ac, Act and As are the area of the concrete in com-
As pression, of concrete in tension, of the steel bars and U is
dt the bar diameter, respectively.
c ds/dx εct(x)
Considering the three functions ec(x), es(x), ect(x) as gov-
erning unknowns, the solution can be achieved by resolving
two non-linear algebraic equations and two differential
Fig. 2. Deformation model for the cross-section.
equations of the first order, linear and non-linear respec-
tively. Since strains have been adopted as unknowns, the
comprised between two subsequent cracks are performed solution in terms of stress is unique in any case, even
considering a linear strain diagram (i.e., concrete in com- though the constitutive laws show a descending branch.
pression and steel in tension). At any integration interval the boundary conditions have
Another significant hypothesis is based on pre-defining to be associated to the differential equations system. In par-
the distance, Dl, between cracks (sub-element) which occur ticular for x = x* and for x = x* + Dl, that means in the
in those sections where the cracking moment value is over- section corresponding to the crack formation, the stress
come. However, this is not a basic hypothesis in the pro- (or strain) is immediately obtainable. In these sections
posed model since the sections where cracks open could rct = ect = 0.
also be determined as the analysis proceeds by computing Is then possible to separate the first two equations from
where the tensile stress of the concrete reaches the limit ten- the others to obtain the value of ec(x) and es(x) in the end
sile strength. Using the strain method, the problem is gov- section of the sub-element.
erned by subsequent parameters: the maximum It is to be noted that Eqs. (1) and (2) are coupled to the
compressive strain in the concrete ec(x, yg), the tensile strain differential equations (3) and (4) by means of the two
in the steel es(x), the tensile strain in the concrete ect(x) and parameters rct(x) and ect(x) describing the behaviour of
the slip between steel rebar and the surrounding concrete in the concrete in tension. By neglecting the ect(x) term in
tension s(x). Eq. (4), usually smaller if compared to es(x) particularly
The material constitutive laws, concrete in compression when the steel is yielded, the differential equations (3)
rc = rc(ec), concrete in tension rct = rct(ect), steel in ten- and (4) form a system in the es(x) and s(x) terms, separate
sion/compression rs = rs(es) and the steel/concrete bond– from the global equilibrium of the section. In such an
slip relationship s = s(s, x), should be added to the above hypothesis it is then necessary to use Eqs. (1) and (2),
parameters. related to the global equilibrium of the section at the point
The set of equations is composed by the force equilib- where x = x* and x = x* + Dl, in order to obtain bound-
rium equation of the cross-section, the moment equilibrium ary conditions, while inside the element the problem
equation around its geometric axis, the force equilibrium depends on the differential equations. That simplifies the
equation of the rebar and a compatibility equation between computational effort, and gives a solution in terms of
steel rebar and tensile concrete. The problem is formally s(x) and es(x) which is very close to the effective value.
solved by the subsequent system of equations: The numerical solution of the differential set of equations
is quite difficult due to the non-linear constitutive laws and
• force equilibrium of the cross-section: the fact that the bond relationship depends on the distance
Z Z of the section from the crack. The problem can be solved
rc ðx; yÞbðyÞ dy  rct ðxÞbðyÞ dy  As rs ðxÞ ¼ N ðxÞ only by following a numerical approach; in particular, a
Ac Act
discretization is carried out using the finite difference
ð1Þ method, by dividing the region included by two cracks
• moment equilibrium around the geometric axis of the into (n  1) parts having lengths equal to Dx, as shown
cross-section: in Fig. 3.
Z Z The mechanical properties of the cross-section are eval-
rc ðx; yÞybðyÞdy þ rct ðxÞybðyÞdy þ As rs ðxÞðh  y g Þ ¼ MðxÞ uated in a detailed way, using a fibre approach for material
Ac Act properties and introducing the appropriate constitutive
ð2Þ laws. The latter aspect enables the model to account also
for specific issues such as the instability of steel rebars in
• translational equilibrium of the steel bar:
compression or confinement effects. The pre-cracking stage
drs 4 (i.e., moment M < Mcr) is determined based on the hypoth-
 sðxÞ ¼ 0 ð3Þ
dx U esis of linear elastic behaviour.
E. Cosenza et al. / Computers and Structures 84 (2006) 904–916 907

N x x=x* x=x*+ l
x=x*+Δl N

εs,1 τi τi+1 εs,n
M1 dc,1 dc,n
i=1 i i+1 i=n
N N Δll
σs,1 σs,n εs,i εs,i+1

x=x* Δll x=x*+ l

x=x*+Δl εs,m

Fig. 3. Beam/column element and cracked sub-element subdivision.

A reliable evaluation of the average steel strain es,m D/m d/m

lim ¼ ð9Þ
within the sub-element is possible as DM m !0 DM m dM m
Z Dl
es;m ¼ es ðxÞ dx ð5Þ
Dl 0 2.2. The axial model
where es(x) is the distribution of steel strain along the entire
sub-element and Dl is the length of the sub-element. During the loading process, the non-linear behaviour of
Generally, for a portion subjected at the ends by the the concrete, and the cracking and the plastic deformations
moments M1 and Mn (see Fig. 3) a relationship average of the section result in a change in the axial deformability.
moment Mm  average curvature /m of the sub-element, The proposed fibre model allows the assessment of the
can be uniquely defined; in particular, the moment Mm actual axial behaviour of the member by defining both
can be defined, assuming its linear variation between two the axial deformability of the section (cracked and
ends, as the average of moments in cracked sections, while uncracked) and the sub-element defined by two consecutive
the average curvature /m can be obtained solving the sub- cracks.
element as In general, in the case of bending combined with axial
load, if the strain at the geometric axis level of the element
/m ¼ ð6Þ is assumed as a reference, and for symmetric cross-sections,
h  d c;m
the axial strain can be expressed as
where dc,m represents the average neutral axis depth, con-  
sidering its linear variation between the values taken at eo ¼ es  /  h  ð10Þ
the ends of the sub-element, es,m is the average steel strain 2
and h is the effective depth of the cross-section, where eo is the axial strain, es is the strain in steel, / repre-
respectively. sent the curvature, and h and H are the effective depth and
Defining M im and /im as the moment and the average geometric height of the cross-section, respectively.
curvature at the ith step, while M iþ1
m and /m the corre- Considering two consecutive cracks, it is possible to
sponding quantities at the i + 1th step, the moment Mm compute the axial deformability of cracked sections. As
relative to an average curvature within /im and /iþ1 m can the analysis moves away from the cracked section, the ten-
be determined as their linear interpolation, that is sile stress is progressively transferred from the steel rebar
M iþ1 i to the surrounding concrete and then the steel strain
m  Mm
M m ¼ M im þ iþ1 i
ð/m  /im Þ ð7Þ decreases; this results also in a decreased curvature of the
/m  /m
generic section belonging to each sub-element.
and similarly the curvature /m relative to a given moment The remarks on the tension stiffening effect outlined in
Mm within two known values Mi and Mi+1, is determined the previous section allow to be observed the increased
as stiffness of the sub-element lowers the axial strain of the
/iþ1 i generic section compared to the axial strain in the cracked
m  /m
/m ¼ /im þ ðM m  M im Þ ð8Þ section.
M m  M im
If, for the seek of simplicity, the stress of the tensile con-
In particular, the incremental ratio D/m/DMm in the crete, ect is neglected, an approach similar to the above
previous expression can be interpreted as the average flex- discussed allows to define the axial strain of the generic sec-
ural tangential deformability of the sub-element; actually, tion belonging to the sub-element described by two consec-
as DMm tends to 0, the ratio D/m/DMm becomes the deriv- utive cracks. The average axial strain of the sub-element
ative of the curve / = /(M), that is can be obtained by averaging the axial strains of different
908 E. Cosenza et al. / Computers and Structures 84 (2006) 904–916

sections of the sub-element. Supposing to adopt the ajj

K 33 ¼ ð17Þ
approximate approach, the axial strain for the generic sec- ðaii  ajj  a2ij Þ
tion i belonging to the sub-element can be defined as aii
K 66 ¼ ð18Þ
  ðaii  ajj  a2ij Þ
es;i H aij
eo;i ¼ es;i   h ð11Þ K 36 ¼ ð19Þ
h  d c;m 2 ðaii  ajj  a2ij Þ
where dc,m represents the average neutral axis depth.
Via equilibrium the following mixed terms can be deduced:
The sub-element average axial strain can be then
obtained averaging the axial strains of the different sec- ðajj  aij Þ
K 32 ¼ K 35 ¼ ðK 33 þ K 66 Þ=L ¼ ð20Þ
tions, as follows: ½ðaii  ajj  a2ij Þ  L
  ðaii  aij Þ
es;m H K 62 ¼ K 65 ¼ ðK 36 þ K 66 Þ=L ¼ ð21Þ
eo;m ¼ es;m   h ½ðaii  ajj  a2ij Þ  L
h  d c;m 2
H Finally, from equilibrium and compatibility, the following
¼ es;m  /m  h  ð12Þ translational stiffness are obtained:
K 22 ¼ K 55 ¼ K 25 ¼ ðK 23 þ K 26 Þ=L
Therefore, as already stated for the flexural model, if the
axial load and the axial strain at the ith step are defined as ðaii þ ajj  2aij Þ
¼ ð22Þ
Ni and eio;m , while Ni+1 and eiþ1
o;m are the axial load and the ½ðaii  ajj  a2ij Þ  L2 
axial strain at next step, the average axial tangential defor-
mability of the sub-element can be defined as To these stiffness coefficients, those relative to extensional
terms must be added. In a similar way, applying the prin-
eo;m  eio;m ciple of virtual work, the extensional strain coefficients of
fmN ¼ ð13Þ
N iþ1  N i the element are calculated and the stiffness coefficients
2.3. Stiffness matrix element’s
3. Special elements and detailing formulation
In order to evaluate the stiffness matrix of the element,
the flexural and axial tangential deformability of the sub- 3.1. The fixed-end rotation model
element within two subsequent cracks have been defined;
in particular, average flexural and axial deformability (or The proposed joint model is governed by the slippage
stiffness) are the following: between the anchored rebar and concrete, while the stiff-
ness of the panel is assumed as infinite and, therefore, does
d/m dM m not affect the joint deformability. The slip of steel rebars at
fmM ¼ kM
m ¼ ð14Þ
dM m d/m the joint–element (i.e., beam or column) interface is evalu-
de o;m dN m ated by a procedure similar to that above described for the
fmN ¼ k Nm ¼ ð15Þ
dN m deo;m flexural model; a force equilibrium equation (3) for the
rebar and a compatibility equation (4) between steel rebar
Within the considered uncracked element intervals, the
and concrete in tension control the problem. The strain of
average flexural and axial stiffness are defined by the corre-
the element can be obtained if the boundary conditions in
sponding quantities evaluated assuming the concrete gross
terms of steel strains are provided in the two end sections of
Each term belonging to the stiffness matrix can be eval-
In the section at the interface between joint and beam
uated starting by the flexibility coefficients of the corre-
element, x = Lh the boundary condition is obtained using
sponding auxiliary beam. The generic flexibility
the equilibrium equations (1) and (2) and considering the
coefficient can be evaluated applying the principle of vir-
section s part of the element; in the section, x = 0
tual work; in particular, for the rotational coefficient it
the boundary conditions depends on the behaviour of the
anchorage detailing (see Fig. 4). From a theoretical point
M iM j of view, in this section, two limit boundary conditions
aij ¼ dx ð16Þ can be identified:
L kM

where L is the element’s length, Mi and Mj are the moments • if the anchorage is not present, straight rebar is charac-
diagrams evaluated on the auxiliary element with ith and terized by a free end, thus a unrestricted slippage occurs,
jth unitary action, while k M
m is the actual average flexural so that es = 0;
tangential stiffness of the sub-element, as previously stated. • if anchorage is rigid, slip at the inner end of the rebar is
The compatibility conditions provide the following stiff- equal to zero s = 0, and a steel stress develops on the
ness matrix rotational terms: anchoring device.
E. Cosenza et al. / Computers and Structures 84 (2006) 904–916 909

Fig. 4. Fixed-end rotation model.

Commonly, anchorage devices have a stress–slip shear strength of the element is noted, due to a decreasing
response that lies between the above boundaries, so that or absent shear resistant mechanisms in the concrete.
both slip and steel strain are not zero and are dependent The influence of shear forces on the behaviour of the
upon the response of the end anchorage. In particular, beams was modelled by Priestley et al. [11]; such model is
when the rebar is terminated with an end hook, the steel based on a reduction of the shear strength depending on
element can be treated as composed by the hook plus the the local ductility, expressed in terms of curvature varying
straight portion [13]. with a linear trend. The introduced model represents an
The steel–concrete interaction in the straight region is improvement of Priestley’s because it enables the sectional
described by the s–s bond law, while the hook can be mod- ductility at any step of the analysis to be directly deter-
elled as a translational non-linear spring whose behaviour mined and then the shear strength of those sections located
is governed by the stress–slip, rs,h–sh relationship [14] com- in the plastic regions to be evaluated. Therefore, along with
puted in the common section between the hook and the predicting ductile (i.e., flexural) and brittle (i.e., shear)
straight part, as depicted in Fig. 4. failures, this method allows to determine also failures char-
Therefore, for the generic flexural moment in the inter- acterized by low ductility due to the bending–shear interac-
face section, it is possible to calculate the end rotation h tion (see Fig. 5).
related to slip sj as Usually, the shear capacity of a frame element is given
sj by three terms regarded as independent: a concrete compo-
h¼ ð23Þ nent Vc which is function of the section ductility level, a
h  dc
compression strength component Vp and finally a Vs
where dc represents the neutral axis depth, sj is the slip of component, whose extent is function of the transverse
steel rebars and h is the effective depth of the cross-section, reinforcement quantity. So
respectively, in the joint–element interface section.
V ¼VcþVpþVs ð24Þ
Once the M–h function is known, the joint deformability
can be computed. This can be done by considering the The concrete resistance component Vc, valid both for circu-
beam–column intersection as a rotational non-linear spring lar and rectangular elements, decreases as ductility in-
whose behaviour is represented by the M–h relationship. creases, according to following equation:
The model proposed for the joint can also be used for the
interfacial section between columns and footing; in this case, Flexural Response

the longitudinal rebars of the columns are terminated into

the footing similarly to exterior joints of a RC plane frame.
Shear Force, V

Flexural Response

3.2. Shear–flexural interaction model Shear Capacity

As regards the behaviour of bending elements carrying Flexural Response

high shear forces, refined models must be introduced to
evaluate the shear strength and take into account the ele- μφ=1
ments decreasing flexural ductility due to shear interaction. Curvature ductility,, μφ
The shear strength of beam/column elements basically
depends on their ductility level. In plastic areas, decreasing Fig. 5. Bending–shear interaction: failures mode.
910 E. Cosenza et al. / Computers and Structures 84 (2006) 904–916
Vc ¼c fc0 Ae ð25Þ imum strength; (d) the final stage of the panel when the
failure is achieved and the residual strength remains con-
where c depends on section curvature ductility level, l/, stant. The main parameters of the model are
following a linear relationship, while Ae is the actual shear
strength area considered as 80% of the section’s geometric • initial stiffness of the uncracked wall, K1, obtained on
area only. average as Gwtwlw/hw, where Gw is the shear modulus
It is assumed that the presence of the axial load, N deter- obtained by the diagonal compressive test;
mines a shear strength mechanism due to the formation of • secant stiffness, K2, equal to the equivalent strut stiffness
a sloped compressed strut. Therefore, the shear strength Vp computed with the elastic modulus, Ew, equal to the
is given by the horizontal component of the diagonal com- modulus of the panel in diagonal direction and with
pression strength as the strut cross-section dimensions according to Main-
H  dc stone [15];
Vp ¼N  ð26Þ
2L • cracking load, Vcr that can be computed as the product
where H is the geometric section height, L is the length of of the shear strength, fws (obtained by the diagonal com-
column from the critical section to the point of contraflex- pressive test) with the plan dimensions of the panel,
ure, and dc is the neutral axis depth. Vp does not decrease fwstwlw;
with increasing ductility. • maximum load, Vmax equal to 1.3Vcr.
The transverse reinforcement, contribution, Asw, on
shear strength is based on a mechanism that does not The model is implemented by introducing a diagonal
decrease with increasing ductility. The shear strength is compressive strut.
then given by
4. Global stiffness matrix
Asw fyh h0
Vs ¼ cot b ð27Þ
s The models of different elements, constituting the beam
where h is the distance between the outside edge of the stir- element and the column element, have been previously dis-
rups, s is the stirrups spacing and b is the slope of the com- cussed one by one; in particular, the flexural and nodal ele-
pressed diagonal strut with respect to the centroid of the ments are serially jointed to form the beam or column
element. element. In this viewpoint, a flexibility matrix of the
beam/column element can be defined as the sum of the
3.3. Infill model single sub-elements flexibility matrix, i.e.
Felem ¼ Fflex þ Fjnt ð28Þ
Infill walls can represent in some cases a crucial source
of strength for the structure. Their presence and high stiff- where Fflex is the flexibility matrix of the flexural element,
ness can play an important role on the global response of while Fjnt is the flexibility matrix of the nodal element.
the building and on the local performance of RC elements. It is important to point out that the above stated matrix
The masonry panels are implemented introducing the varies within every loading step, for the non-linearities
model proposed by Fardis and Panagiotakos [12] that associated with the moment-curvature, or the moment-
correlate the shear force V on the infill wall, with the hori- rotation, and involves some variations in elements charac-
zontal displacement D (see Fig. 6). In the resultant diagram teristics. Therefore, the matrix represents the tangential
four different segments can be analyzed which represent flexibility matrix of the beam/column element.
respectively: (a) the initial shear behaviour of the According to the process shown so far, the stiffness
uncracked panel; (b) the equivalent strut behaviour of the matrix of each beam or column element can be deduced;
cracked panel; (c) the instability of the panel over its max- in particular, for what it may concern columns, the geomet-

V Vmax
hw K3=(0.5%-10%)K1

lw Vres =(5%-10%)Vmax

Fig. 6. Infill model: shear force versus horizontal displacement.

E. Cosenza et al. / Computers and Structures 84 (2006) 904–916 911

ric stiffness matrix is considered as well. The whole struc- The residual section deformations are the errors made in
ture stiffness matrix can be formally drawn with respect the linearization of the section force–deformation relation-
to the stiffness method as follows: ship. The residual section deformation are integrated along
X the element to obtain the residual element deformations
Kstruct ¼ ðKbeam þ Kcol Þ ð29Þ
sj=1. The residual section deformation and the residual ele-
ment deformation are determined but the corresponding
where Kstruct is the whole structure matrix, Kbeam represents
deformation vectors are not updated. The presence of
the beam element matrix while Kcol represents the column
residual element deformation violates the compatibility of
element matrix.
the element. In order to restore the element compatibility
corrective forces DQj¼2 ¼ Kj¼1 el s
must be applied at
5. Solution algorithm j¼1
the ends of the element, where Kel is the updated element
tangent stiffness matrix. A corresponding section force
In a finite element that is based on the stiffness method
increment DDj¼2 ¼ bKj¼1 el s
is determined inducing sec-
of analysis the section deformations are obtained directly
tion deformation increment—f j¼1 bKj¼1 el s
from the element’s end deformations by the deformation
Thus, in the next iteration j the state of the element
interpolation function; the corresponding section resisting
change as Qj=2 = Qj=1 + DQj=2 and the section forces
forces are determined from the section force–deformation
Dj=2 = Dj=1 + DDj=2 and deformations dj=2 = dj=1 + Ddj=2
relationship. The integral of the section resisting forces
are updated, where Ddj¼2 ¼ rj¼1  f j¼1 bKj¼1 elem s
over the element length yields the element resisting forces.
Convergence is achieved when the selected convergence
In a finite element that is based on the flexibility method,
criterion is satisfied. The presented non-linear analysis
the first step is the determination of the element forces from
method offers several advantages. Equilibrium along the
the current element deformation using the stiffness matrix.
element is always strictly satisfied, since the section forces
Thus, the force interpolation function yields the section
are derived from the element force by the force interpola-
forces. The first problem is the determination of the section
tion functions. While equilibrium and compatibility are
deformation from the given section force, since the non-lin-
satisfied along the element the section force–deformation
ear section force–deformation is commonly expressed as an
is only satisfied within a specified tolerance when the con-
explicit function of section deformation; another problem
vergence is achieved. When all elements have converged
arises from the fact that changes in the section stiffness pro-
the ith Newton–Raphson iteration is complete. The ele-
duce a new element stiffness matrix which change the ele-
ment force vectors are assembled to form the updated
ment forces for the given deformation. These problems
structure resisting forces. The new structure stiffness matrix
are solved in Taucer et al. [16] by a special non-linear solu-
is formed by assembling the current element stiffness
tion method.
matrix. The structure resisting forces are compared with
At the ith Newton–Raphson iteration it is necessary to
the total applied load. If the differences is not within the
determine the element resisting forces for the current ele-
specified tolerance, a new Newton–Raphson iteration
ment deformation:
qi ¼ qi1 þ Dqi ð30Þ
To this end an iterative process denoted by j is introduced 6. A numerical–experimental comparison
inside the Newton–Raphson iteration. With the initial
element tangent stiffness matrix Kj=0 = Ki1 and the given In order to give an example of the capabilities of the
element deformation increments Dqi the corresponding ele- proposed model a numerical–experimental comparison is
ment force increments are presented; the experimental reference is a full-scale RC
building, designed according to criteria and construction
DQj¼1 ¼ Kj¼0
el Dq
ð31Þ methods used in the last 40 years [17] in a large part of
The section force increments DD can be determined South Europe and tested in the laboratory of the Joint
from the force interpolation function. With the section flex- Research Center of Ispra.
ibility matrix f j=0 = fi1 the linearization of the section In particular, pseudo-dynamic tests on two full-scale RC
force–deformation relationship (moment-curvature) yields frames (having the same structure, materials and geometry
the section increments: but one with infill walls and one without) have been per-
formed (Fig. 7). Numerical–experimental comparisons on
Ddj¼1 ¼ f j¼0 DDj¼1 ð32Þ
both of them allowed assessing the feasibility of the pro-
The section deformations are updated d = d + Ddj.
j j1
posed model with reference to the non-linear behaviour
According to the section force–deformation relationship of RC frames and to the interaction problems between
section deformations dj correspond to resisting forces the RC elements and the masonry panels.
R and a new tangent flexibility matrix f j=1 . The frame was designed for gravity loads and lateral
The section unbalanced forces Dj¼1 u ¼ Dj¼1  Dj¼1
R are forces equal to about 8% of its mass. The structure has four
determined and they are then transformed to residual floors, typical floor height of 2.70 m and 3 spans; two of
section deformations rj¼1 ¼ f j¼1 Dj¼1
u . them are 5.00 m long, while the third has a length equal
912 E. Cosenza et al. / Computers and Structures 84 (2006) 904–916

Fig. 7. Geometry of the Ispra frame: elevation view.

to 2.50 m. The beam layout is the same at each floor, with 6.1. The bare frame
equal cross-section and reinforcement, with a slab thick-
ness of 15 cm. The columns have rectangular cross-sec- The comparison with experimental results shows that
tions, constant dimensions along the height and placed the use of a bond slip model significantly improves the
along their weak axis. prediction capacity over the use of rigid bond model, but
The infill frame has wall panels in each span (Fig. 7). In several analyses [9] highlight that much of this difference
particular, on each span the openings are located as derives from bond–slip in the foundations and in the beam
follows: column joints, respect to beam column elements, as demon-
strated also by others authors [19].
• left span: windows openings with dimensions of In this direction a comparison between the results
1.20 · 1.10 m at each of the four levels; obtained by applying the proposed model and the experi-
• central span: door opening with dimension of mental curves is proposed in Fig. 9, which depicts the story
2.00 · 1.90 m and windows openings at the other levels shear versus the interstorey drift. Two different numerical
with dimensions of 2.00 · 1.00 m; analyses have been carried out, graphically shown using
• right span: no openings. two different color curves: the grey curve represents the
numerical result obtained through a rigid joint hypothesis
In order to verify the potentialities of the proposed not including the fixed-end rotation effect, while the black
model the experimental pseudo-dynamic tests are simu- one is obtained through a strained joint hypothesis includ-
lated assuming in approximate way that the push-over ing the fixed-end rotation effect.
analysis results are similar to the envelope of the cyclic test. If the joint is assumed to be stiff, the prediction of both
The push-over analysis has been developed using the pro- strength and tangent stiffness overestimate the experimen-
posed numerical model and applying a pre-defined distri- tal results, while when the deformability of the joint is con-
bution of horizontal forces; in particular, the distribution sidered allows a very satisfactory agreement with test is
has been selected in order to model the first linear mode achieved. The graph shows the numerical outcomes for a
of vibration. concrete strain in compression up to ec = 0.5%.
The gravity loads, applied on the frames during the This result highlights the large influence of the fixed-end
tests, have been defined simulating dead and live load. In rotation on the local and global behaviour of the structure.
Fig. 8 load values [18] are reported in order to perform In particular, for low values of the story shear the two
the frame analysis; the uniform loads on the beams and curves are overlapped; in fact, the low flexural moment at
the point loads on the top of the columns represent a the end of beam–column elements supplies, in the hypoth-
scheme of the loads really applied on the tested frame. esis of deformable joint (black curve), a low slip demand in
E. Cosenza et al. / Computers and Structures 84 (2006) 904–916 913

12.7 kN/m
44.3 kN 76.1 kN 60.2 kN 28.4 kN

2.70 m
15.1 kN/m
56.4 kN 88.2 kN 72.3 kN 40.5 kN

2.70 m

15.1 kN/m
56.4 kN 88.2 kN 72.3 kN 40.5 kN
2.70 m

15.1 kN/m
56.4 kN 88.2 kN 72.3 kN 40.5 kN
2.70 m

5.00 m 5.00 m 2.50 m

Fig. 8. Scheme of the frame gravity loads.

Storey 1 300 Shear, V [kN] Storey 2 300 Shear, V [kN]

200 200

100 100
drift [mm] drift [mm]
0 0
-40 -30 -20 -10 0 10 20 30 40 -40 -30 -20 -10 0 10 20 30 40
-100 -100

-200 -200
with fixed end rotation with fixed end rotation
without fixed end rotation -300 without fixed end rotation

Storey 3 200 Shear, V [kN] Storey 4 150 Shear, V [kN]

drift [mm] drift [mm]
0 0
-80 -60 -40 -20 0 20 40 60 80 -40 -30 -20 -10 0 10 20 30 40
-150 with fixed end rotation
with fixed end rotation
without fixed end rotation
-200 without fixed end rotation -150

Fig. 9. Numerical simulation of bare frame: effect of the fixed-end rotation.

the tensile reinforcement and therefore a low joint defor- 6.2. The infill frame
mation. As the story shear increases, the black curve shows
a lower stiffness, as consequence of an increasing joint The interaction between infill walls and RC members
deformability, and it is in agreement with the experiments. can be seen to behave as something in between a shear
In all cases, the numerical analyses appear to agree with the panel and a diagonal strut [20]. The boundary stress are
lab evidence. very different for those two cases: in the latter, the reaction
914 E. Cosenza et al. / Computers and Structures 84 (2006) 904–916

N N Linear model
SHear model M

Axial deformation

Non-Linear model
N Axial deformation

Linear model
STrut model M

Axial deformation

N Non-Linear model
N Axial deformation

Fig. 10. Infill/RC column interaction models.

of the wall panel affects the axial loads of both columns was studied using the flexural model discussed in Section
and beams; in the former, the axial loads do not change. 2.1 while the axial behaviour is modelled considering two
This means that the choice of an appropriate model repre- different hypotheses: using the model described in Section
sents a crucial step toward a reliable assessment of the 2.2 (non-linear model), that allows evaluating the non-lin-
frame characterized by the interaction between bare struc- earities depending on section cracking and reinforcement
ture and infill walls. In order to validate this opinion, a the- yielding, and using a simple linear model (linear model)
oretical–experimental comparison was carried out on the with a constant axial stiffness during the incremental
infill frame tested at Ispra. The RC elements of the frame analysis. The masonry panels were analyzed by a model

Storey 1 800 Shear, V [kN] Storey 2 800 Shear, V [kN]

ST-NL 600 ST-L
400 SH-L 400
200 200
drift [mm] drift [mm]
0 0
-4.0 -3.0 -2.0 -1.0 0.0 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 -5.0 -4.0 -3.0 -2.0 -1.0 0.0 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0
-200 -200

-400 -400

-600 -600

-800 -800

Storey 3 600 Shear, V [kN] Storey 4 400 Shear, V [kN]

SH-L 200 SH-L
drift [mm] drift [mm]
0 0
-3.0 -2.0 -1.0 0.0 1.0 2.0 3.0 -2.0 -1.5 -1.0 -0.5 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0

-600 -400

Fig. 11. Numerical simulation of infilled frame: effect of models on frame drift.
E. Cosenza et al. / Computers and Structures 84 (2006) 904–916 915

column 1 800 Shear, V [kN] column 4 800 Shear, V [kN]

600 600 ST-L
400 400 SH-L

200 200
axial displacement [mm] axial displacement [mm]
0 0
-1.00 -0.50 0.00 0.50 1.00 -1.00 -0.50 0.00 0.50 1.00
-200 -200

-400 -400
-600 ST-L -600
-800 SH-L -800

column 5 800 Shear, V [kN] column 8 800 Shear, V [kN]

600 600 ST-L
400 400 SH-L

200 200
axial displacement [mm] axial displacement [mm]
0 0
-1.00 -0.50 0.00 0.50 1.00 -1.00 -0.50 0.00 0.50 1.00
-200 -200

-400 -400
-600 ST-L -600
-800 SH-L -800

Fig. 12. Numerical simulation of infilled frame: effect of models on column response.

implementing that proposed by Fardis and Panagiotakos bars change the bond mechanism. The axial deformability
[12]; in particular, both shear and strut models were used of elements influencing the interaction between frames and
for the panels. The basic hypotheses are summarized in infill walls is also taken into account. The joint model
Fig. 10. allows considering the contribution of the fixed-end rota-
Fig. 11 shows a comparison between the model out- tion when straight and/or hook ends are present.
comes and the experimental curves, in terms of story shear Overall the model allows for the assessment of the seis-
versus the interstorey drift. It highlights how different mic capacity of underdesigned RC structures, where
approaches provided similar global results, while the differ- smooth bars, non-linearities for low levels of load, low
ence emerges at high levels, where the strut model gives lar- quality of constructive details and consequent potential
ger values than the shear one in terms of deformability. for brittle failure modes require sophisticated tools for
This is due to different column axial loads in the two mod- the numerical simulation.
els, which is more evident at high floors where low gravity The previous numerical–experimental comparisons show
loads lower the axial stress. the model’s potentialities and how it is able to highlight
All this is expressed in Fig. 12 where story shear versus strains and strengths of frames subjected to extensive
axial displacements are reported for the exterior columns non-linear behaviour of elements. As regards the influence
of the first two floors. It shows how the predictions of of joint deformability on global behaviour of structure, the
the shear model do not fit the experimental evidence; the model superbly simulates the strain increasing due to the
adoption of a linear axial model rather than a non-linear fixed-end rotation, as the ISPRA test points out.
one does not make a great difference. On the other hand, The proposed model can be used in the push-over analy-
the strut model allow for a good agreement with experi- sis under seismic loading of reinforced concrete buildings
mental records; the choice of a non-linear axial model where the structure is subjected to an incremental static
results in a excellent simulation which is able to reproduce analysis under a pre-defined pattern of horizontal forces.
the non-linear behaviour of the columns due to the interac-
tion with infill walls and to the decrease of axial load under References
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