Strength of Materials, Vol. 42, No.

2, 2010

CRACK IDENTIFICATION IN REINFORCED CONCRETE BEAMS USING ANSYS SOFTWARE L. Dahmani,a A. Khennane,b and S. Kaci
a

UDC 539.4

Three-dimensional nonlinear finite element model of reinforced concrete beam has been developed in this study. The general purpose finite element package, ANSYS 8.0, is employed for the numerical analyses. Using SOLID65 solid elements, the compressive crushing of concrete is facilitated using plasticity algorithm while the concrete cracking in tension zone is accommodated by the nonlinear material model. Smeared reinforcement is used and introduced as a percentage of steel embedded in concrete. Comparison with hand calculated results is presented for the concrete beam. Convergence of analytical results is showed. The capability of the model to capture the critical crack regions, loads and deflections for various types of loadings in reinforced concrete beam has been illustrated. Keywords: nonlinear finite element modeling, reinforced concrete beam, ANSYS software, cracks, static analysis. Introduction. Concrete structural components require the understanding into the responses of these components to a variety of loadings. There are several methods for modeling the concrete structures through both analytical and numerical approaches [1, 2]. Finite element (FE) analysis is a numerical one widely applied to the concrete structures based on the use of the nonlinear behavior of materials. Finite element analysis (FEA) provides a tool that can simulate and predict the responses of reinforced and prestressed concrete members. A number of commercial FEA codes are available, along with the advanced modules for complex analyses. The use of FEA has increased because of progressing knowledge and capability of computer packages and hardware. Any attempts for engineering analyses can be done conveniently and fast using such versatile FEA packages. Nonlinear material models have been integrated in many of general purpose finite element codes, i.e., ABAQUS, ANSYS, STRAND7, or MSC NASTRAN. Those nonlinear models play a vital role in nonlinear response analyses since each material component tends to possess the complicated stress-strain behavior. Among those packages, ANSYS [3] provides a three-dimensional element (SOLID65) with the nonlinear model of brittle materials similar to the concrete materials. The element features a smeared crack analogy for cracking in tension zones and a plasticity algorithm to take into account the concrete crushing in compression zones. It is eight-node solid isoparametric element with the integration points for the cracking and crushing checks. The linear elastic behavior governs the analyses until exceeding either the specified tensile or compressive strength values. Once the principal stresses at the integration points reach the tensile or compressive strength, the cracking or crushing of concrete elements can be formed. Then, the cracked or crushed regions will form in perpendicular with the locally redistributed residual stresses to the direction of principal stress. These require the nonlinear iterative solution with high performance computer [4, 5]. 1. Finite Element Modeling. 1.1. Reinforced Concrete. An eight-node solid element (SOLID65) was used to model the concrete. The solid element has eight nodes with three degrees of freedom at each node – translations in the nodal x, y, and z directions. The element is capable of plastic deformation, cracking in three orthogonal directions, and crushing. The geometry and node locations for this element type are shown in Fig. 1. Mouloud Mammeri University, Tizi-Ouzou, Algeria. bUniversity of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia. Translated from Problemy Prochnosti, No. 2, pp. 141 – 153, March – April, 2010. Original article submitted September 12, 2007. 232 0039–2316/10/4202–0232 © 2010 Springer Science + Business Media, Inc.
a

0.000 200.3.0). 2b).4. the volumetric ratio of reinforcing steel to concrete along with the direction of the steel had to be provided for each volume. In a concrete element.0). 233 .3. Both cracking and crushing failure modes are accounted for. In this case. This method of discretization is useful in simple concrete models. and Poisson’s ratio. varied between 0. Failure Criteria for Concrete. in order for the program to account for the reinforcing steel. SOLID65: 3D reinforced concrete solid (ANSYS 8. After cracking. In the first method. To model concrete reinforcing. b. a criterion for failure of the concrete due to a multiaxial stress state can be calculated [7.2.3 Fc 28 (MPa) 30 – Ft 28 (MPa) 3 – Fy (MPa) – 240 Fig. The model is capable of predicting failure for concrete materials. Consequently. The value of b t ranges from 0 to 1. ANSYS requires input data for material properties as follows: elastic modulus E b . elastic modulus.TABLE 1.5 [1. shear transfer coefficient b. but convergence problems were encountered at low loads with b less than 0..000 Poison’s ratio 0. The required steel properties include density. 2a).2 0.0 representing a rough crack (no loss of shear transfer) (ANSYS 8. The second idealization of steel reinforcement is the smeared concrete element method (used in this paper). 8]. 1. with 0 representing a smooth crack (complete loss of shear transfer) and 1. the reinforcing is simulated as spar elements with geometric properties similar to the original reinforcing (Fig. the shear transfer coefficient used in this study was equal to 0. Poisson’s ratio n. the concrete and the reinforcing are discretized into elements with the same geometrical boundaries and the effects of reinforcing are averaged within the pertaining element (Fig. The value of b used in many studies of reinforced concrete structures. FE Model Input Data. the elastic modulus of the concrete element is set to zero in the direction parallel to the principal tensile stress direction. which are indicated in Table 1. The two input strength parameters – i. Therefore. however.e. and compressive uniaxial stress-strain relationship for concrete. 1. These elements can be directly generated from the nodes in the model. The shear transfer coefficient. one of two methods is usually followed.2 and 0. ultimate uniaxial tensile strength (modulus of rupture) f r . Material Properties for ANSYS FE Model Material Density (kg/m ) Concrete Reinforcing steel 2400 7850 3 Elastic modulus (MPa) 30. 1. Since the SOLID65-3D concrete element simulates tension and compression in reinforcing bars. For concrete. ultimate uniaxial tensile and compressive strengths – are needed to define a failure surface for the concrete.2. Steel Reinforcement. cracking occurs when the principal tensile stress in any direction lies outside the failure surface [1]. 6]. represents conditions of the crack face. A number of preliminary analyses were attempted in this study with various values for the shear transfer coefficient within this range. ultimate uniaxial compressive strength f c . 2. Cracks can also be idealized into either the discrete type or the smeared type. 1.

6. and the element effectively disappears. 1. Finite element model and boundary conditions. If the convergence behavior is abrupt. for the reinforced concrete solid elements. automatic time stepping 234 . 1. At the completion of each incremental solution. 10] for updating the model stiffness. Therefore. Crushing occurs when all principal stresses are compressive and lie outside the failure surface. Nonlinear Solution. automatic time stepping will increase the load increment up to a selected maximum load step size. 3. and after loading. the elastic modulus is set to zero in all directions [3].1. In other words. In this study. It was found that convergence of solutions for the models was difficult to achieve due to the nonlinear behavior of reinforced concrete. Load Stepping and Failure Definition for FE Models. the stiffness matrix of the model is adjusted to reflect nonlinear changes in structural stiffness before proceeding to the next load increment. smeared element for concrete reinforcing. FE Discretization. the total load applied to a finite element model is divided into a series of load increments called load steps. automatic time stepping in the ANSYS program predicts and controls load step sizes. a concrete element without reinforcement and a concrete element with a smeared reinforcement (Fig. 2. In nonlinear analysis.a b Fig.6. Based on the previous solution history and the physics of the models. As an initial step. the model is divided into a number of small elements. 3). A beam is composed of two regions. if the convergence behavior is smooth. the convergence tolerance limits were increased to a maximum of 5 times the default tolerance limits (0.5. 1. a finite element analysis requires meshing of the model (Fig. and the convergence tolerance limits were initially selected by the ANSYS program. 4). Discrete vs. For the nonlinear analysis.5% for force checking and 5% for displacement checking). subsequently. Fig. in order to obtain convergence of the solutions. The ANSYS program uses the Newton–Raphson equilibrium iterations [3. stress and strain are calculated at integration points of these small elements [9]. convergence criteria were based on force and displacement.

30 30. Behavior at First Cracking. The maximum and minimum load step sizes are required for the automatic time stepping. (iii) the advantage of performing numerical simulation instead of experimental tests in saving time and costs. Comparisons were made in this region to ensure deflections and stresses were consistent with the FE model and the beam before cracking occurred. The stresses in the concrete and steel immediately preceding initial cracking were analyzed. The maximums exist in the constant-moment region of the beam during load application. will bisect the load increment until it is equal to a selected minimum load step size. which occurs in the constant moment region. subsequent cracking occurs as more loads are applied to the beam. and is a flexural crack. The results in Table 2 indicate that the FE analysis of the beam prior to cracking is acceptable. Calculations to obtain the concrete stress. (ii) the applicability of ANSYS software for analyzing and predicting of crack patterns in the reinforced concrete beam. 4. The analysis of the linear region can be based on the design for flexure [1. Results. A comparison of values obtained from the FE model and Appendix is shown in Table 2. The first crack can be seen in Fig.602 N that induces stress just beyond the modulus of rupture of the concrete (3. 5.1.2. The cracking pattern(s) in the beam can be obtained using the Crack/Crushing plot option in ANSYS. In the non-linear region of the response.32 Centerline deflection (mm) 0.TABLE 2. Deflection and Stress Comparison at First Cracking Model Hand calculation ANSYS Extreme tension fiber stress (MPa) 3. Vector Mode plots must be turned on to view the cracking in the model. This is where we expect the maximums to occur.20 Reinforcing steel stress (MPa) 28.303 Load at first cracking (N) 40. Cracks grow in the constant moment region.0 MPa) as shown in Table 2. steel stress and deflection of the beam at a load of 42.000 N.2 MPa at the centerline when the first crack occurs.602 N applied to the beam. Behavior beyond First Cracking. 2. The load at step 42602 was analyzed and it coincided with a load of 42. deflections and stresses become more difficult to predict. yielding of steel until failure of the concrete beam. and the beam starts cracking out towards the supports at a load of 50. 2.602 Fig. Concrete element with smeared reinforcement. Once cracking occurs. The stress increases up to 3.476 N calculated in Appendix.293 0.476 42. This compares well with the load of 40. The initial cracking of the beam in the FE model corresponds to a load of 42. The goal of this study is to show: (i) the different phases of the FE model behavior from initial cracking. 6] for a reinforced concrete beam.602 N are given in Appendix.15 3. 235 . 2.

First crack of the concrete model. yielding steel and nonlinear concrete material now define the flexural rigidity of the member. Yielding of steel reinforcement occurs when a force of 94. Load–Deflection Response. Cracking at 50.000 N. Fig. the beam can no longer support additional load as indicated by an insurmountable convergence failure.000 and 90. cracking has reached the top of the beam. 9). Noteworthy is that just before the collapse few splitting (compressive) cracks appear at the upper part of the beam due to crushing failure of the concrete. The ability of the beam to distribute load throughout the cross section has diminished greatly.5. 6. At 94. Stage I manifests the linear behavior of uncracked elastic section. Stage II implies initiation of concrete 236 . At this point the displacements of the beam begin to increase at a higher rate as more loads are applied. and failure is soon to follow. Load–deflection behavior of concrete structures typically includes three stages. 2. diagonal tension cracks start to form at load of 70. Severe cracking throughout the entire constant moment region occurs (Fig.3. the beam has growing flexural cracks.000 N is applied. 2.000 N.000 N. Therefore. Also. This cracking process is depicted in Figs. In addition.000 N. 6 and 7. Figure 8 shows successive cracking of the concrete beam after yielding of the steel occurs. 5. more cracks have now formed in the constant moment region. greater deflections occur at the beam centerline. At load of 114.000 N.4.000 and 60. Strength Limit State. The cracked moment of inertia.000 N. 2. Significant flexural cracking occurs in the beam at 60. At 110. Behavior at Reinforcement Yielding and Beyond It.Fig. as well as diagonal tensile cracks.

The entire load–deformation response of the model produced well correlates with the hand calculated results (see Appendix). 10. 7.000 and 90.0 utilizes the Newton–Raphson method for the incremental load analysis. The full nonlinear load–deformation response is shown in Fig. Fig. This gave confidence in the use of ANSYS and the model developed. 9.0 m ordinarily reinforced concrete beams. ANSYS 8.000 N. 8 Fig. Finite element models of 3. Conclusions. Increased cracking after yielding of reinforcement. Further cracking at 70. cracking and Stage III relies relatively on the yielding of steel reinforcements and the crushing of concrete. 237 . Failure of the concrete beam. where the response calculated using FE analysis is plotted. In nonlinear iterative algorithms.0 using the dedicated concrete elements have accurately captured the nonlinear flexural response of these systems up to failure.Fig. 8. The dedicated element employs a smeared crack model to allow for concrete cracking with the option of modeling the reinforcement in a distributed or discrete ways. Fig. In terms of using finite element models to predict the strength of existing beams. 9 Fig. constructed in ANSYS V8. the assignment of appropriate material properties is critical.

10. The good results attained suggest that. Load–deflection response of the concrete beam. – flexural failure of the reinforced concrete beam is adequately modeled using a finite element package. and the load applied at failure is very close to hand-calculated results. in spite of the relative simplicity of the analyzed structure and of the employed models. satisfactory prediction of the response of reinforced concrete structures may be obtained. This will provide the proper modeling parameters needed for later use. Usage of ANSYS smeared reinforcement approach for beams with moderate shear span failed to produce satisfactory results. The moment that occurs from the existing forces M max = 238 42. The following conclusions can be stated based on the evaluation of the analyses of the reinforced concrete beam: – the load applied to cause initial cracking of the reinforced concrete beam well correlates with hand calculations. The particular concrete finite element does not consider one of the most important fracture mechanics parameters – the fracture energy GF . The failure model of concrete [8] adopted by the commercial code ANSYS is adequate to determine the nonlinear behavior of reinforced concrete structures. Appendix Analysis of reinforced concrete beam for flexure at applied load of 42. 11). 140 N × cm. This means that in the case of concrete beam with no reinforcement no solution will be obtained. any model should be calibrated with reliable experimental data. To ensure that the finite element model yields results that can be used for study. 4 . That is likely to be more realistically achieved by using a discrete reinforcement approach. Recommendations for Future Work. The literature review and analysis procedure utilized in this paper has provided useful insight for future application of a finite element package as a method of analysis.Fig. 602 × 280 = 2982. The Maximum Moment.602 N (see Fig. in comparison with the hand-calculated values.

2 Æ 16 ® r = 0. Transformed Area of Steel.096 cm 2 distributed at each side of the concrete cross section. 333. 096 × 21. 63 2 ] = 227. The gross moment of inertia IG = bh 3 20 × 50 3 = = 208. The stresses at the extreme tension fiber are calculated using a transformed moment of inertia of the concrete and steel reinforcement (Fig. 0192 cm 2 . 12 12 Stresses in Concrete and Steel. 894. 096 × 47. 5 = = 25. 11. A1 + A2 50 × 20 + 2 × 20. 34 + 50 × 20 × 0.Fig. 0192 = 40. 333. n =10. and beam reinforcements (dimensions in cm).192 cm 2 . Fig. loading. 12. 4 cm 2 .096 Transformed Moment of Inertia: I tr = [ I G + Bd 2 ]concrete + [ Ad 2 ]steel = [208. ( AS ) t = 10 AS = 10 × 4. 20. Material Properties. 12). Distance from the Top Fiber to the Neutral Axis of the Transformed Moment of Inertia: y= A1 y1 + A2 y2 50 × 20 × 25 + 2 × 20. 87 2 ] + [2 × 20. Transformed cross section. 239 . Geometry. 34 cm 4 . 0401AS = 4. 87 cm.

Swanson Analysis Systems (1998). Seventh Edition. PA (1998). Bergamo (1975).. Final Report SPR 316. 476 N. I tr 227. 894. Plasticity for Structural Engineers. 4 × 227. p. 602 × 280 3 Pl 3 = = 0. I tr 227. 240 . 4. London (1989). J. ANSYS Inc. Y. K. Swanson Analysis Systems (1998). 532. Willam. of the Int. W. Pittsburgh. Y. 7. “Modeling of the shear force transferred between cracks in reinforced and fibre reinforced concrete structures. I tr 280 × 24. 5. ANSYS Theory Reference. ANSYS – Engineering Analysis System. Bathe. Miller. J. Vol. 10. 174. William and E. 3. 140 × 21.” in: Proc. 4 N/cm 2 = 28. ISMES. D. ANSYS 8. Kachlakev and T. 48EI 48 × 3 × 10 6 × 221. 4 3 × 10 2 N/cm 2 = P P = 40. K. J.13 = = 315. The deflection at the centerline of the concrete beam at load of 42. Springer-Verlag. K. Chen and D. 8. The load at first cracking: f ct = Myb . H. M. PA (1998). Concrete and Concrete Structures: Numerical Modeling and Applications. University of Colorado (Private communication) (1982).The stress at the extreme tension fiber is then calculated f ct = Myb 2982. 1. 894. 2. F. Canonsburg.. Warnke. “Constitutive model for the triaxial behavior of concrete. Hemmaty. REFERENCES 1. Bangash. Finite Element Procedures. Theoretical Manual (for ANSYS Revision 8. New York (1988). Prentice-Hall Inc. of the ANSYS Conf. 4 Deflections. 140 × 24. Vol.3 N/mm 2 (MPa).04). 19. 894. 8 N/cm 2 = 3.0 Manual Set. Oregon State University (2001).602 N: D max = 42. Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering. 9.. D. Han. 0293 cm. New Jersey (1996).” in: Proc.. 4 Loads at First Cracking.13 . 6. J. 63 n= × 10 = 2830. 4 The stress in the steel at this point is calculated fs = Myb 2982.15 N/mm 2 (MPa). FE Modeling of Reinforced Concrete Structures Strengthened with FRP Lamiates. Elsevier Science Publishers Ltd.

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