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Time-dependent modelling of RC structures using the
3
cracked membrane model and solidication theory
4 Kak Tien Chong, Stephen J. Foster, R. Ian Gilbert
*
5 The School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
6 Received 19 July 2007; accepted 30 August 2007
7
8 Abstract
9 A non-linear nite element model is presented for the time-dependent analysis of reinforced concrete structures under service loads.
10 For the analysis of members in plane stress, the model is based on the cracked membrane model using a rotating crack approach com-
11 bined with solidication theory for modelling creep. The numerical results are compared with a variety of long-term laboratory measure-
12 ments, including development of deections and cracking with time in a reinforced concrete beam, time-dependent change in support
13 reactions of a continuous beam subject to support settlement and creep buckling of columns. The numerical results are in good agree-
14 ment with the test data.
15 2007 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
16 Keywords: Concrete structures; Cracking; Creep; Finite elements; Serviceability; Shrinkage
17
18 1. Introduction
19 Most design codes oversimplify design procedures for
20 determining the mechanical response of reinforced concrete
21 structures under service loads and focus, in the main, on
22 instantaneous behaviour. Failure to adequately recognize
23 and quantify the non-linear eects of cracking, creep and
24 shrinkage can lead to excessive deections and crack
25 widths and miscalculation of support reactions.
26 The in-service behaviour of a reinforced concrete struc-
27 ture depends on many factors, including the quality of
28 bond between the reinforcing steel and the concrete. The
29 composite interaction between the two materials is estab-
30 lished and maintained by the bond stress, which eectively
31 transfers load between the steel and concrete. The model
32 developed in this research is an extension of the nite ele-
33 ment implementation of the cracked membrane model
34 (CMM-FE model) of Q1 Foster and Marti [10,11] to include
35 the time-dependent deformation in the concrete caused
36 by creep and shrinkage.
37 When modelling time eects in concrete structures, the
38 growth of the concrete tensile strength with time, the reduc-
39 tion in volume with time due to shrinkage and the eects of
40 creep under load are all important parameters in the estab-
41 lishment of a rational model. For the cases of shrinkage
42 and the development of concrete strength with time, rela-
43 tively simple time functions may be adopted based on con-
44 trol test measurements. The modelling of creep, however, is
45 more complex as the loading history must also be consid-
46 ered. In this study, the solidication model of Bazant and
47 his colleagues is used. This creep model is capable of
48 accounting for any loading history and includes creep
49 recovery [16]. The application of the solidication
50 approach to the cracked membrane model is described sub-
51 sequently and numerical examples are presented.
52 2. Background to the CMM
53 Based on the tension chord model [16,18], Kaufmann
54 and Marti [15] formulated the cracked membrane model
0045-7949/$ - see front matter 2007 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
doi:10.1016/j.compstruc.2007.08.005
*
Corresponding author. Tel.: +61 2 9385 6002; fax: +61 2 9313 8341.
E-mail address: i.gilbert@unsw.edu.au (R.I. Gilbert).
www.elsevier.com/locate/compstruc
Computers and Structures xxx (2007) xxxxxx
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55 (CMM) for the analysis of reinforced concrete membranes
56 subject to in-plane stresses. Stresses on an orthogonally
57 reinforced, cracked, element subjected to plane stress are
58 shown in Fig. 1. In the CMM formulation, the crack faces
59 are taken as stress free and able to rotate, that is
60 r
cn
= s
cnt
= 0 and the nt axes are aligned with the princi-
61 pal 12 axes. Further, between the cracks, a portion of the
62 tensile forces transfers from the steel to the concrete, via
63 bond, and this results in a reduction in the stress in the rein-
64 forcing steel and an increase in the tensile stress in the con-
65 crete. This is known as tension stiening.
66 With these assumptions, the stresses at the cracks are
67 given by
68
r
x
r
c2
sin
2
h r
c1
cos
2
h q
x
r
sx
1a
r
y
r
c2
cos
2
h r
c1
sin
2
h q
y
r
sy
1b
s
xy
r
c1
r
c2
sin h cos h 1c 70 70
71 where h is the angle between a vector normal to the cracks
72 and the global x-axis (p/2 6 h 6 p/2); r
x
, r
y
and s
xy
are
73 the in-plane normal and shear stresses in the global xy-
74 coordinate system, respectively; r
c1
and r
c2
are the concrete
75 stresses in the principal 12 directions (ordered as r
1
Pr
2
);
76 q
x
and q
y
are the steel reinforcement ratios in the global x-
77 and y-directions; and r
sx
and r
sy
are the steel stresses at the
78 cracks in the reinforcement in the x- and y-directions,
79 respectively. The principal tensile stress r
c1
reduces to zero
80 shortly after cracking but is included here to maintain the
81 link to concrete fracture. From Eq. (1) and Fig. 2, the mean
82 stresses in the steel and concrete are related to the stresses
83 at the crack by
q
x
r
sx
q
x
r
sx
r
ctsx
; q
y
r
sy
q
y
r
sy
r
ctsy
2 85 85
86 where r
sx
and r
sy
are the mean stresses in the reinforce-
87 ment and r
ctsx
and r
ctsy
are the mean concrete tension sti-
88 ening stresses in the x- and y-directions, respectively.
89 In the determination of the concrete tension stiening
90 components, consider a uniaxial tension chord with a sin-
91 gle steel bar of diameter B, as shown in Fig. 2a. Sigrist
92 [18] proposed that the bond between the bar and the con-
93 crete be modelled using a stepped, rigid-perfectly-plastic
94 bond shear stressslip relationship (Fig. 2b). From this
95 Sigrist [18] and Marti et al. [16] developed the tension
96 chord model and showed that the maximum spacing
97 between cracks (which occurs when the concrete tensile
98 stress midway between the cracks just reaches the tensile
99 strength of concrete f
ct
) is
100
s
rm0

f
ct
1 q
2s
b0
q
3
102 102
103 If the spacing between two cracks were to exceed s
rm0
, a
104 new crack would form midway between the cracks. The
105 minimum crack spacing is therefore s
rm0
/2. The maximum
106 concrete stress that can develop between two cracks spaced
107 s
rm0
/2 apart is f
ct
/2. For any pair of cracks in a tension
t
n

xy

1
+

x

sx

x
xy
xy
1

cnt
sin

cnt
cos

cnt
sin

cnt
cos

cn
sin

ct
sin

ct
cos

cn
cos

+
a
b d
c
y sy
Fig. 1. Orthogonally reinforced membrane subject to plane stress: (a)
applied stresses; (b) axis notation; (c) and (d) stresses at a crack.
b
dx
x

A
c
s
rm
dx
N N

c
+ d
c

s
+ d
s

b0

b1
a
Fig. 2. Tension chord model: (a) dierential element; (b) bond shear
stressslip relationship (after [16]).
2 K.T. Chong et al. / Computers and Structures xxx (2007) xxxxxx
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108 chord with a fully developed crack pattern, the crack spac-
109 ing s
rm
is limited by
110
s
rm
ks
rm0
4 112 112
113 where 0.5 6 k 6 1.0. For a tension chord of sucient
114 length, on average, k = 0.75 and the maximum tension sti-
115 ening stress midway between adjacent cracks is kf
ct
.
116 In two dimensions, the tension stiening factors are
117 given by [15]
k
x

Dr
cx
f
ct

s
rm
s
rmx0
cos jh
r
j
; k
y

Dr
cy
f
ct

s
rm
s
rmy0
sin jh
r
j
5
119 119
120 where Dr
cx
and Dr
cy
are the x- and y-component stresses of
121 the tension stiening stress; s
rm
is the crack spacing mea-
122 sured normal to the cracks and s
rmx0
and s
rmy0
are the max-
123 imum crack spacings for uniaxial tension in the x- and y-
124 directions, respectively, and are obtained by substituting
125 q
x
or q
y
for q in Eq. (3), as appropriate.
126 As the distribution of the bond shear stresses are known
127 via the tension chord model, the stresses in the steel and the
128 concrete between the cracks can be determined for any
129 known stress in the steel at the cracks. Thus the mean
130 and maximum steel stress can be expressed as functions
131 of the mean (or average) strain, e
m
. Before yielding of the
132 reinforcing steel, the mean tension stiening stresses are
133
r
ctsx

s
bx
s
b0
k
x
f
ct
2
; r
ctsy

s
by
s
b0
k
y
f
ct
2
6
135 135
136 In Eq. (6), s
b
is the bond shear stress and is given by
137
s
bx

e
mx
E
s

2s
rmx
6 s
b0
; s
by

e
my
E
s

2s
rmy
6 s
b0
7
139 139
140 where E
s
is the elastic modulus of the reinforcing steel. The
141 mean stress in the steel r
sm
is related to the mean stress in
142 the concrete by
r
sm
r
sr
r
cts
1 q=q 8 144 144
145 where r
sr
is the steel stress at the crack. After yielding of
146 the reinforcement, the bond strength is reduced and Eqs.
147 (6) and (7) require modication. For service conditions,
148 however, the steel is rarely at yield and the reader is re-
149 ferred to Kaufmann [14] and Foster and Marti [11] for de-
150 tails of the calculation of mean steel and concrete stresses
151 post yield.
152 As discussed by Foster and Marti [10], the crack spacing
153 given by Vecchio and Collins [19] is a reasonable approxi-
154 mation to the exact solution and is given by
s
rm

cos jh
c
j
s
rmx0

sin jh
c
j
s
rmy0
_ _
1
9
156 156
157 where the principal stress angle midway between cracks is
158 approximated as equal to the angle at the crack (that is
159 h
c
% h). Lastly, with the crack spacing determined, the
160 instantaneous crack width is calculated by considering elas-
161 ticity across the continuum:
162
w
cr
s
rm
e
1
m
12
e
2
kf
ct
=2E
c
10 164 164
165 where e
1
and e
2
are strains in the major and minor principal
166 directions, respectively, m
12
is Poissons ratio for expansion
167 in the 1-direction resulting from stress in the 2-direction, k
168 is the uniaxial tension stiening factor and E
c
is the initial
169 elastic modulus for concrete. For a fully developed crack
170 pattern in a tension chord of sucient length, the maxi-
171 mum crack spacing is 1.33 times the average crack spacing
172 (k = 0.75 in Eq. (4)) and, similarly, the maximum crack
173 width is 1.33 times the average crack width.
174 For nite element (FE) implementation, the CMM-FE
175 model employs a rotating crack concept [9] that assumes
176 that cracks are normal to the principal tensile directions
177 and are able to rotate accordingly. Therefore, crack faces
178 are taken as free of shear stresses.
179 The CMM-FE model has the advantage over previous
180 models of being conveniently formulated in terms of equi-
181 librium at the cracks, rather than average stresses across
182 the element. This provides two distinct advantages over
183 earlier compression eld models: rstly, by maintaining
184 equilibrium at the cracks the link to limit analysis is pre-
185 served; and, secondly, the eects of tension stiening and
186 tension softening are decoupled with separate models for
187 each. For details of the constitutive relationships used in
188 the nite element modelling see Foster and Marti [11].
189 3. Instantaneous behaviour of concrete and steel
190 The bilinear softening stressstrain model of Petersson
191 [17] is used for concrete in tension. It is dened by the ten-
192 sion softening parameters a
1
, a
2
and a
3
as shown in Fig. 3c.
193 The factors a
1
, a
2
and a
3
are adjusted for a specic fracture
194 energy, G
f
, for a given characteristic length. For the case of
195 the distributed, smeared, cracking element used in this

cr
f
ct
f
ct

c
E
c
1
f
ct

tp

u
2
9
1
3
+

c
E
c
1
f
ct

tp

2 tp

1
f
ct

3 tp
ct rm
f
f s
G
5
18
=
a
b
c

u
Fig. 3. Concrete in tension: (a) linear-elastic model for uncracked
concrete; (b) bilinear softening model for cracked concrete [17]; and (c)
total tensile stressstrain relationship.
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196 study, the characteristic length is the crack spacing and the
197 tension softening factors are
a
1

1
3
; a
2

2
9
a
3
a
1
; a
3

18
5
E
c
G
f
s
rm
f
2
ct
11
199 199
200 A tri-linear stressstrain model is adopted to model the
201 reinforcing steel with the properties as dened in Fig. 4.
202 4. Time-dependent behaviour of concrete
203 The major factors aecting the time-dependent behav-
204 iour of reinforced concrete structures are creep and shrink-
205 age of the concrete. At any time t after rst loading, the
206 total strain equals the sum of the instantaneous, creep
207 and shrinkage strains. That is
et e
ci
t e
cp
t e
sh
t 12 209 209
210 where e
ci
, e
cp
and e
sh
are the instantaneous, creep and
211 shrinkage strains, respectively, and e e
x
e
y
c
xy

T
.
212 Before cracking, the instantaneous strain is equal to the
213 concrete elastic strain, whereas, post-cracking the instanta-
214 neous strain consists of components of the concrete elastic
215 strain and the concrete cracking strain, dened in a total
216 stressstrain relationship as described by the tension soft-
217 ening parameters a
1
, a
2
and a
3
.
218 For nite element implementation, creep and shrinkage
219 strains are treated as inelastic pre-strains updated with time
220 and applied to the structure as equivalent nodal forces
221 given by
222
P
0

N
e
_
V e
B
T
De
0
dV 13
224 224
225 where N
e
is the number of elements used to model the
226 structure, B is the strain-displacement matrix, D is the
227 material constitutive stiness matrix and e
0
is the inelastic
228 pre-strain which is the sum of the creep and shrinkage
229 strains at time t.
230 As time eects due to creep are signicantly aected by
231 the age of the concrete at rst loading, the growth in the
232 concrete tensile strength with time is an important consid-
233 eration. In this study, the change of the tensile strength
234 with time and the development of shrinkage strain of con-
235 crete are modelled by a time-dependent function
236
F t
At
B t
14
238 238
239 where A and B are empirically tted parameters for each
240 material property and are obtained from test and control
241 data and t is time after casting or the commencement of
242 drying, as appropriate.
243 4.1. Shrinkage
244 Shrinkage is the time-dependent and load-independent
245 strain resulting from the reduction in volume of concrete
246 at constant temperature (due primarily to loss of water
247 resulting from drying and hydration). Shrinkage is taken
248 to be direction independent and the shrinkage shear strain
249 is taken as zero. Thus for plane stress problems, the shrink-
250 age strains in global axes are
e
sh
t e
sh
t e
sh
t 0
T
15 252 252
253 where e
sh
(t) is negative and the magnitude of the shrinkage
254 strains is calculated by Eq. (14), with the appropriate
255 parameters A and B determined from tests. In this study
256 shrinkage is assumed to occur uniformly throughout the
257 structure, the diusion process in the drying of concrete
258 is not considered.
259 4.2. Creep
260 The creep model adopted here is the solidication creep
261 aging model of Bazant and Prasannan [3] using Kelvin
262 chains to describe the viscoelastic component (Fig. 5a).
263 In this model, the aging aspect of concrete creep is due to
264 growth, on the microscale, of the volume fractions v and
265 h of the load-bearing solidied matter associated, respec-
266 tively, with the viscoelastic strain e
v
and the viscous strains
267 e
f
and is a consequence of hydration of the cement parti-
268 cles. This process is described schematically in Fig. 5b in
269 which creep strain is additive to the elastic and shrinkage
270 strains and the volume fractions of he load-bearing solidi-
271 ed matters v(t) and h(t) of the creep component grow with
272 time t. Bazant and Baweja [1,2] proposed E
0
= 1.6E
c.28
,
273 where E
c.28
is the elastic modulus at 28 days.
274 The total creep strain at time t is decomposed as
e
cp
t e
v
t e
f
t 16 276 276
277 where e
v
and e
f
are the viscoelastic (recoverable) and vis-
278 cous strains (non-recoverable), respectively, as shown in
279 Fig. 5b. The viscoelastic and viscous strain rates are given
280 by
281
_ e
v
t
_ ct
vt
17a
_ ct
_
t
0
_
Ut t
0
drt
0
17b
_ e
f
t
rt
g
0
ht

rt
gt
17c
283 283
284 where t
0
is the concrete age at application of the load; c(t) is
285 the viscoelastic microstrain; U(t t
0
) is the microscopic
286 creep compliance function of the solidied matter associ-
f
u

s
E
s
E
d
E
w
E
u
1
1
1
1
f
sy

sy
f
w

w
Fig. 4. Tri-linear stressstrain model for reinforcing steel.
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287 ated with the viscoelastic component; and g
0
and g(t) are
288 the eective viscosity of the solidied matter and the appar-
289 ent macroscopic viscosity, respectively, associated with the
290 viscous component. The viscous component is a linear
291 function of stress calculated directly from Eq. (17c),
292 whereas the viscoelastic component is evaluated by solving
293 the superposition integral given by Eq. (17b). From these
294 relationships, Bazant and Prasannan [3] derived the analyt-
295 ical expression for the creep compliance of concrete
296
Ct; t
0
q
2
Qt; t
0
q
3
ln 1 t t
0

0:1
_ _
q
4
ln
t
t
0
_ _
18
298 298
299 where q
2
, q
3
and q
4
are empirical parameters determined
300 from control tests and Q(t, t
0
) is a binomial integral. As
301 no closed formed solution exists for the integral Q(t, t
0
),
302 an approximation is used (Ref. [3]).
303 The analytical expression for the creep compliance given
304 by Eq. (18) is used in this study for the determination of the
305 empirical parameters q
2
, q
3
and q
4
for a given set of exper-
306 imental creep data. In numerical implementation, the expli-
307 cit calculation of Q(t, t
0
) is not required.
308 To facilitate the numerical creep analysis, the integral-
309 type equation given by Eq. (17b), is converted into a
310 rate-type constitutive equation that allows the stress his-
311 tory to be stored implicitly. For the creep model adopted,
312 the rate-type equation is described using a Kelvin chain
313 (Fig. 5a). For a constant stress, r, applied at time t
0
, biaxial
314 viscoelastic microstrain vector is given by
315
ct r

N
j1
1
E
j
1 e
tt
0
=sj
19
317 317
318 where s
j
= g
j
/E
j
is the retardation time of the jth Kelvin
319 chain unit, E
j
and g
j
are the viscoelastic microstrain, the
320 elastic modulus and viscosity of the jth Kelvin chain unit,
321 respectively, and N is the total number of Kelvin chains.
322 Comparing Eqs. (19) and (17b) for a constant stress r
323 applied at time t
0
, the microscopic creep compliance func-
324 tion may be expressed in the form of a Dirichlet series
325
Ut t
0

N
j1
1
E
j
1 e
tt
0
=s
j
_ _
A
0
20
327 327
328 where the A
0
term is added to include the negative innity
329 area of the retardation spectrum in the discretization of the
330 spectrum.
331 Fig. 6 shows the numerical integration of the retardation
332 spectrum using the trapezoidal rule with intervals D(lns
j
).
333 The relationship for the discretization of the Kelvin chains
334 is given by
A
j
Ls
j
Dln s
j
Ls
j
ln 10Dlog s
j
21 336 336
337 where A
j
= 1/E
j
and L(s
j
) describes the retardation spec-
338 trum and is given by Bazant and Xi [5] as
Ls
0:023s
2:8
0:9 3s
0:1

1 3s
0:1

3
_ _
3s
3
2
q
2

0:193s
2:8
0:9 3s
0:1
0:013s
2:8
1 3s
0:1

2
_ _

3s
3
2
q
2
22
340 340
ln
L( )
j
Retardation spectrum
A
0
ln
2
ln
3
ln
4
ln
5
ln
6
ln
1
A
1
A
2
A
3
A
4
A
5
A
6
Fig. 6. Discretization of a continuous retardation spectrum.
j =1
j =2
j =N

/E
0

v
( ) t-t
= ( ) ( ) t-t d t

sh

E
1
E
2
E
N

N
h t ( ) dh t ( )
v t ( ) dv t ( )

a b
Fig. 5. Solidication theory for concrete creep: (a) Kelvin chain description for viscoelastic component; (b) schematic representation of the solidication
creep model [3].
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341 For a suciently smooth creep curve the retardation time
342 discretization interval can be taken as D(logs
j
) = 1 for each
343 adjacent Kelvin chain [5]. Lastly, the negative innity area
344 is calculated as
A
0
q
2
ln 1 t t
0

0:1
_ _

N
j1
1
E
j
1 e
tt
0
=sj
_ _
23
346 346
347 4.3. FE implementation of creep
348 By Eq. (17a), the viscoelastic creep component is
349 expressed in the form
De
v
t
i1

Dc
i1
v
i1=2
24
351 351
352 where the subscripts i and i + 1/2 indicate the reference to
353 time t
i
and the time in the middle of a logarithmic time step
354 t
i+1/2
, respectively, where
t
i1=2
t
0
t
i1
t
0
t
i
t
0

0:5
25 356 356
357 and t
0
is the age at rst loading.
358 By Eqs. (17b) and (20), and the relationship c =

N
c
j
,
359 the change in viscoelastic microstrain Dc is obtained as
Dc
i1

N
j1
c
j
i1
c
j
i
GDrA
0
26
361 361
362 where G is the biaxial volumetric growth matrix and is gi-
363 ven by
G
1 m 0
m 1 0
0 0 21 m
_

_
_

_ 27
365 365
366 The viscoelastic microstrain at time t
i+1
for the jth Kelvin
367 chain is a modied form of that derived by Bazant and Pra-
368 sannan [4] and is
c
j
i1
c
j
i
e
Dy
j

Gr
i1
E
j
1 e
Dy
j

1 k
j
E
j
GDr 28
370 370
371 where
Dy
j

Dt
s
j
; k
j

1 e
Dy
j
Dy
j
; Dr r
i
r
i1
29
373 373
374 The volume of the solidied matter at mid-time of a loga-
375 rithmic time step, v
i+1/2
, is then given by
v
i1=2

1
t
i1=2


q
3
q
2
_ _
1
30
377 377
378 The change in the viscous, non-recoverable, component of
379 creep is evaluated from Eq. (17c). Considering the change
380 over a nite time step, we write
381
De
f
t
i1

Dt

Gr
i1=2
g
i1=2
31
383 383
384 where r
i1/2
= r
i1
+ Dr/2. Substituting the apparent mac-
385 roscopic viscosity, dened as g
i1=2
q
1
4
t
i1=2
, into Eq.
386 (31), the change in viscous strain is then written as
De
f
t
i1

Gr
i1=2
q
4
Dt
t
i1=2
32
388 388
389 Lastly, the changes in viscoelastic and viscous strain com-
390 ponents are added to the creep strain components obtained
391 from the previous converged time step giving
392
e
v
t
i1
e
v
t
i
De
v
t
i1
33a
e
f
t
i1
e
f
t
i
De
f
t
i1
33b 394 394
395 The sum of the creep strain components from Eq. (33) are
396 then added to the shrinkage strains to give the total inelas-
397 tic pre-strains, e
0
. The inelastic pre-strains are then con-
398 verted to equivalent nodal forces by Eq. (13) and applied
399 to the nodes of the FE model.
400 5. Time-dependent crack widths
401 In a time-dependent analysis, the tension in the concrete
402 between cracks (tension stiening) induces tensile creep
403 deformation and drying shrinkage causes shortening of
404 the concrete between the cracks. Adding these components
405 to the instantaneous crack widths of Eq. (10) gives the
406 time-dependent crack width
407
w
cr
t s
rm
e
1
t
r
cts:crt
E
0
e
cp
t e
sh
t m
12
e
2
t
_ _ _ _
34 409 409
410 where r
cts:cr
is the tension stiening stress component in the
411 crack opening direction. In Eq. (34), the tension stiening
412 and creep components contribute to the expansion of the
413 concrete between the cracks and, hence, reduce the crack
414 opening; whereas, drying shrinkage causes a volume reduc-
415 tion in the concrete between the cracks resulting in a wid-
416 ening of the cracks. As the inuence of shrinkage
417 dominates the behaviour, the cracks widen with time.
418 6. Experimental corroboration
419 Three examples are used to demonstrate the FE formu-
420 lation. The rst example consists of two simply-supported
421 beams subjected to third point sustained loading. The
422 time-dependent cracking of the beam was investigated with
423 particular attention given to the development of exural
424 cracks within the constant moment region. The second
425 example is to simulate the time-dependent change in the
426 reactions at the supports of a series of continuous beams
427 subjected to support settlements at dierent ages of the
428 concrete. This example demonstrates the eects of varying
429 load-histories on load redistribution in continuous beams.
430 Finally, a series of eccentrically loaded columns subjected
6 K.T. Chong et al. / Computers and Structures xxx (2007) xxxxxx
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431 to sustained loading and prone to creep buckling are ana-
432 lysed including the eects of geometric non-linearity.
433 6.1. Example 1: four-point bending test under sustained load
434 Gilbert and Nejadi [13] tested a series of beams and one-
435 way slabs under sustained load for a period of 380 days to
436 investigate the growth of cracks with time. Beam 1a is
437 modelled using the formulation described above with the
438 dimensions of the beam shown in Fig. 7. The beam was
439 loaded at age 14 days.
440 Material tests on standard 150 mm diameter cylinders at
441 28 days gave the mean concrete strength as f
cm
= 24.8 MPa
442 and modulus of elasticity E
c
= 24950 GPa. The tensile
443 strengths were obtained from indirect tension (Brazil)
444 tests on 150 mm diameter cylinders tested at 14, 21 and
445 28 days and were f
ct.14
= 2.0 MPa, f
ct.21
= 2.6 MPa and
446 f
ct.28
= 2.8 MPa, respectively. For FE modelling, the
447 growth of concrete tensile strength with time was taken
448 from Eq. (14) with A
fct
4 MPa and B
fct
12 days. The
449 shrinkage constants were calculated from measurements
450 on shrinkage companion specimens giving A
sh
= 950 le
451 and B
sh
= 45 days in Eq. (14). The bond shear stress s
b0
452 was taken as that determined by Gilbert and Nejadi [13]
453 for their tests and was s
b0
= 4.5 MPa. The concrete fracture
454 energy G
f
was taken as 75 N/m and Poissons ratio was
455 assumed to be m = 0.2. The reinforcing steel was taken as
456 elastic-perfectly plastic with a yield strength of 500 MPa
457 and elastic modulus of 200 GPa. The self-weight of the
458 beam was included in the analysis using gravity loading
459 with the weight of the reinforced concrete taken to be
460 23.5 kN/m
3
.
461 For the solidication creep modelling, the asymptotic
462 elastic modulus of concrete was taken to be E
0
=
463 1.6E
c.28
= 40 GPa. The empirical material constants q
2
, q
3
464 and q
4
were determined by tting the compliance data
465 obtained from a creep test under a 5 MPa sustained stress
466 undertaken in conjunction with the laboratory tests. The
467 calculated values of the constants were q
2
= 186.5 le/
468 MPa, q
3
= 1.0 le/MPa and q
4
= 23.7 le/MPa. The Dirich-
469 let series was discretized into eight Kelvin chain units for
470 storing the deformation history of the viscoelastic strain.
471 The corresponding elastic moduli for each link in the chain
472 E
j
and retardation times s
j
are given in Table 1. The nega-
473 tive innity area is A
0
= 52.8 MPa
1
.
474 The FE mesh (Fig. 7c) consisted of 199 nodes and is
475 made up of 108 plain concrete elements, 54 reinforced con-
476 crete elements and two sti elastic support elements. The
477 characteristic lengths were taken to be the crack spacings
A
A
L/3
L = 3500
L/3 L/3
18.6 kN 18.6 kN a
b c

x
= 0.01676

y
= 0

x
= 0

y
= 0
250 48
2N16
bars
348
Fig. 7. Details for Gilbert and Nejadis [13] beams: (a) elevation; (b) cross-section; and (c) FE mesh.
Table 1
Kelvin chain data used for model corroboration
jth
unit
s
j
(days)
E
j
(MPa)
Gilbert and Nejadi
[13]
Ghali et al.
[12]
Bradford
[7]
1 0.0001 0.08480 0.11054 0.19612
2 0.001 0.07214 0.09404 0.16685
3 0.01 0.06209 0.08094 0.14361
4 0.1 0.05411 0.07054 0.12516
5 1 0.04778 0.06229 0.11051
6 10 0.04276 0.05574 0.09889
7 100 0.03877 0.05054 0.08966
8 1000 0.03560 0.04641 0.08234
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0.00
0.05
0.10
0.15
0.20
0.25
0.30
0.35
0.40
0.45
0 100 200 300 400
Time (days)
C
r
a
c
k

w
i
d
t
h

(
m
m
)
Experimental
FEM
Beam B1-a
maximum
average
Fig. 9. Comparison of changes in crack width with time for beam B1-a
[13].
Beam B1-a
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
0 100 200 300 400
Time (days)
M
i
d
s
p
a
n

d
e
f
l
e
c
t
i
o
n

(
m
m
)
Experimental
FEM ( =0.75)
Fig. 8. Midspan displacement with time for beam B1-a [13].
(b)
9
1
4
.
4
2
1
3
3
.
6
9
1
4
.
4
A A
Dial
gauge
25.4 25.4
209.6
212.7 212.7
Stirrups
6.35 at 152.4
Dial gauge
Threaded bar Calibrated rod
Section A-A
a b
c
d
Applied deflection

x
= 0.049090

y
= 0.004091

x
= 0

y
= 0.004091
Fig. 10. Details of the Ghali et al. [12] continuous beams: (a) longitudinal layout of a beam set; (b) section of the test; (c) cross-section of the beam; and (d)
FE mesh.
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478 as calculated by the tension chord model with k = 0.75.
479 Due to symmetry, only half the beam was modelled.
480 The measured and calculated variations of mid-span
481 deection with time are plotted in Fig. 8. The average
482 and maximum crack spacings, in the constant moment
483 region, calculated by the FE analysis were 220 mm and
484 293 mm, respectively, and compare reasonably with the
485 measurements of 190 mm and 210 mm, respectively, con-
486 sidering the experimental variation of crack spacings in
487 reinforced concrete beams. Lastly, the maximum and aver-
488 age crack widths versus time curves are plotted in Fig. 9 in
489 the constant moment region. Overall, good agreement was
490 obtained between the FE results and the measured test
491 data.
492 6.2. Example 2: time-dependent forces induced by settlement
493 of supports of continuous beams
494 Ghali et al. [12] undertook a series of tests to investigate
495 time-dependent changes in support reactions for continu-
496 ous beams subjected to support settlement. The tests con-
497 sisted of four pairs of two-span continuous beams with
498 each beam pair tested in a vertical position so as to elimi-
499 nate the bending caused by self-weight. Rollers were placed
500 at each free end of the specimen with the mid-support set-
501 tlement introduced by means of threaded bars tying the
502 beams together. Details of the tests and the testing arrange-
503 ments are shown in Fig. 10. Each pair of the beams was
504 subjected to a nal mid-support settlement of 1.65 mm
505 but with varying deection increments at varying times in
Table 2
Details of application of deections for Ghali et al.s [12] beams
Test
no.
Age (days) of application
of deection increment
Deection
increment
(mm)
Duration for each
increment (min)
1 2 3 4 5
1 9 1.65 30
2 12 12
1
8
12
1
2
13
1
4
14
1
4
0.33 10
3 12 13 15
1
4
20 26
1
3
0.33 10
4 11
1
2
15 27
1
4
41
1
4
72
1
4
0.33 10
0.0
2.0
4.0
6.0
8.0
10.0
12.0
14.0
16.0
18.0
20.0
0 50 100 150 200 250
Age (days)
R
e
a
c
t
i
o
n

a
t

m
i
d
-
s
u
p
p
o
r
t

(
k
N
)
Experimental
FEM
Test 1
0.0
2.0
4.0
6.0
8.0
10.0
12.0
14.0
16.0
18.0
0 50 100 150 200 250
Age (days)
R
e
a
c
t
i
o
n

a
t

m
i
d
-
s
u
p
p
o
r
t

(
k
N
)
Experime ntal
FEM
Test 2
0.0
2.0
4.0
6.0
8.0
10.0
12.0
14.0
16.0
18.0
0 50 100 150 200 250
Age (days)
R
e
a
c
t
i
o
n

a
t

m
i
d
-
s
u
p
p
o
r
t

(
k
N
)
Experimental
FEM
Test 3
0.0
2.0
4.0
6.0
8.0
10.0
12.0
14.0
16.0
0 50 100 150 200 250
Age (days)
R
e
a
c
t
i
o
n

a
t

m
i
d
-
s
u
p
p
o
r
t

(
k
N
)
Experimental
FEM
Test 4
a b
c d
Fig. 11. Comparisons of the FEM and experimental time-dependent reaction at the mid-support for the Ghali et al. [12] controlled deection specimens.
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506 the loading history. The testing period was up to 300 days
507 with details of the age at application of the settlements
508 given in Table 2.
509 The FE mesh for the beams is shown Fig. 10d, with only
510 one half of each beam being modelled due to symmetry.
511 The mesh consisted of 374 nodes and contained 320 rein-
512 forced concrete elements and three sti elastic support
513 elements.
514 The time-dependent properties of the concrete were not
515 reported by Ghali et al. [12]. The creep compliance and
516 shrinkage functions recommended in the CEB-FIP Model
517 Code [8] were used in the nite element analysis assuming
518 a relative humidity of 65%. Ghali et al. tested a number
519 of concrete cylinders to obtain the compressive strengths
520 at ages from 7 days to 190 days and approximated the
521 growth of concrete compressive strength at age t by
f
cm
t
37:9
7=t 0:75
35
523 523
524 The tensile strength at time t was taken to be f
ct
t
525 0:4

f
cm
t
_
. The concrete parameters used in the analysis
526 were: E
0
= 1.6E
c.28
= 46.3 GPa, f
cm
= 38 MPa, f
ct.28
= 2.5
527 MPa, A
f
ct
2:8 MPa; B
f
ct
3:5 days, s
b0
= 4 MPa, m =
528 0.2, A
sh
= 450 le, B
sh
= 60 days, q
2
= 142.3 le/MPa,
529 q
3
= 6.4 le/MPa, q
4
= 16.3 le/MPa and A
0
= 40.4 MPa
1
.
530 The elastic moduli and corresponding retardations times of
531 the Kelvin chain units are given in Table 1 and the concrete
532 fracture energy G
f
was taken to be 75 N/mm. The reinforc-
533 ing steel was assumed to be elastic-perfectly plastic with
534 yield stress = 400 MPa and elastic modulus = 200 GPa.
535 The changes in the mid-support reactions with time for
536 the FE modelling results are compared with the measured
537 data in Fig. 11 for each of the four beams tested. Generally
538 good agreement is observed with the key trends being cap-
539 tured well.
A A
5
0
0
0
1
2
5
0
1
2
5
0
1
2
5
0
1
2
5
0
e
T
B
e
Strong wall
Dial gauge
Dial gauge
Dial gauge
Steel channel section
Eccentric loading
Tensioning cable
Test column
Hydraulic jack
Load cell
I-section loading arm
150
Section A-A
Stirrups 10 at 150
2N12
2N12
Clear cover 15 mm
Fig. 12. Details and testing arrangements for columns [7].
Table 3
Loading details for Bradford [7] columns
Specimen C1 C2 C3 C4 C5
e
T
(mm) 50 50 50 50 50
e
B
(mm) 50 25 0 25 50
Load (kN) 70.0 70.0 80.0 80.0 85.0
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540 6.3. Example 3: creep buckling of RC columns
541 Bradford [7] tested a series of eccentrically loaded slen-
542 der reinforced concrete columns loaded at various eccen-
543 tricities for 280 days. Five identically reinforced ve
544 metre long columns were tested with varying end eccentric-
545 ities. The test arrangement and the cross-section details of
546 the specimens are shown in Fig. 12 with details of the load-
547 ing given in Table 3.
548 The columns were modelled using 1200 four-node rein-
549 forced concrete elements (200 rows each consisting of six
550 elements across the column width) with 1407 nodes (see
551 Fig. 13). As the geometric non-linearity due to second
552 order eects has a considerable impact on the stresses in
553 the column, the analyses were undertaken using an updated
554 Lagrangian formulation to model the geometric non-
555 linearity.
556 The compressive strength, shrinkage and creep proper-
557 ties were taken as those measured by Bradford. That is:
558 f
cm
= 29.3 MPa, A
sh
= 420 le; B
sh
= 90 days; q
2
= 80.2
559 le/MPa, q
3
= 2.5 le/MPa, q
4
= 38.5 le/MPa and A
0
=
560 22.8 MPa
1
. The remaining material properties were taken
561 as: E
0
= 1.6, E
c.28
= 35.4 GPa, f
ct.28
= 2.2 MPa, A
fct
2:2
562 MPa; B
fct
12 days, s
b0
= 3.5 MPa, m = 0.2 and G
f
=
563 75 N/mm. The self-weight of the columns was included in
564 the analysis using gravity loading with the weight of the
565 reinforced concrete taken to be 23.5 kN/m
3
. The stress
566 strain relationship for reinforcing steel was taken to be
567 elastic-perfectly plastic with an elastic modulus of
568 200 GPa and a yield strength of 500 MPa.
569 The calculated deections at mid-height and top and
570 bottom quarter points with time are compared with the
571 measured results in Fig. 14. Overall, a good correlation is
572 observed between the numerical results and the laboratory
573 measurements.
574 7. Conclusions
575 A non-linear nite element model has been developed to
576 calculate the response of two dimensional reinforced con-
577 crete structures subjected to time-dependent deformations.
578 The model builds on the nite element implementation of
579 the cracked membrane model of Foster and Marti [11]
580 incorporating the time-dependent deformations of creep
581 and shrinkage in the concrete. Creep was modelled using
582 the solidication creep aging model of Bazant and Prasan-
583 nan [3].
584 Numerical results obtained using the nite element
585 model have been compared with the measurements taken
586 in a variety of laboratory tests, including a simply-sup-
587 ported beam tested under sustained loading for a period
588 of 380 days by Gilbert and Nejadi [13], a series of two-span
589 continuous beams tested by Ghali et al. [12] and subjected
590 to support settlements over a period of 250 days; and a ser-
591 ies of slender reinforced concrete columns tested by Brad-
592 ford [7] subjected to a sustained eccentric compression
Fig. 13. FE mesh and reinforcement details for columns [7].
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593 loading for 280 days and prone to creep buckling. Overall,
594 good correlations were observed between the results of the
595 FE models and the laboratory measurements, including the
596 growth of cracks, the changes in deection and the redistri-
597 bution of load with time.
598 Acknowledgements
599 This research was funded by the Australian Research
600 Council Discovery Grant No. DP0210039. The support
601 of the ARC is gratefully acknowledged.
602 References
603 [1] Bazant ZP, Baweja SCollaboration with RILEM Committee TC 107-
604 GCS. Creep and shrinkage prediction model for analysis and design
605 of concrete structures model B3 (RILEM recommendation). Mater
606 Struct 1995;28:35765.
607 [2] Bazant ZP, Baweja S. Justication and renements of Model B3 for
608 concrete creep and shrinkage 1. Statistics and sensitivity. Mater
609 Struct 1995;28:41530.
610 [3] Bazant ZP, Prasannan S. Solidication theory of concrete creep. I:
611 formulation. J Eng Mech ASCE 1989;115(8):1691703.
612 [4] Bazant ZP, Prasannan S. Solidication theory of concrete creep. II:
613 verication and application. J Eng Mech ASCE 1989;115(8):170425.
0.0
5.0
10.0
15.0
20.0
25.0
30.0
35.0
40.0
45.0
50.0
0 100 200 300
Time since loading (days)
D
e
f
l
e
c
t
i
o
n
s

(
m
m
)
Exp (top) FEM (top)
Exp (mid) FEM (mid)
Exp (bot) FEM (bot)
Column C1
0.0
5.0
10.0
15.0
20.0
25.0
30.0
0 100 200 300
Time since loading (days)
D
e
f
l
e
c
t
i
o
n
s

(
m
m
)
Exp (top) FEM (top)
Exp (mid) FEM (mid)
Exp (bot) FEM (bot)
Column C2
0.0
5.0
10.0
15.0
20.0
25.0
0 100 200 300
Time since loading (days)
D
e
f
l
e
c
t
i
o
n
s

(
m
m
)
Exp ( top) FEM (top)
Exp ( mid) FEM (mid)
Exp ( bot) FEM(bot)
Column C3
0.0
2.0
4.0
6.0
8.0
10.0
12.0
0 100 200 300
Time since loading (days)
D
e
f
l
e
c
t
i
o
n
s

(
m
m
)
Exp (top) FEM (top)
Exp (mid) FEM (mid)
Exp (bot) FEM (bot)
Column C4
-6.0
-5.0
-4.0
-3.0
-2.0
-1.0
0.0
1.0
2.0
3.0
4.0
5.0
0 100 200 300
Time since loading (days)
D
e
f
l
e
c
t
i
o
n
s

(
m
m
)
Exp (top) FEM (top)
Exp (mid) FEM (mid)
Exp (bot) FEM (bot)
Column C5
Fig. 14. Comparison of computed deections with test data for columns [7].
12 K.T. Chong et al. / Computers and Structures xxx (2007) xxxxxx
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ARTICLE IN PRESS
Please cite this article in press as: Chong KT et al., Time-dependent modelling of RC structures using the ..., Comput Struct (2007),
doi:10.1016/j.compstruc.2007.08.005