Predicting shear type crack initiation and growth in concrete with non-linear finite element method
Sammanfattning: In this thesis, the possibility to numerically describing the behaviour that signifies shear type cracking in concrete is studied. Different means for describing cracking are evaluated where both methods proposed in design codes based on experiments and advanced finite element analyses with a non-linear material description are evaluated. It is shown that there is a large difference in the estimation of the crack width based on the calculation methods in design codes. The large difference occurs due to several of these methods do not account for shear friction in the crack face.The finite element method is an important tool for analysing the non-linear behaviour caused by cracking. It is especially of importance when combined with experimental investigations for evaluating load bearing capacity or establishing the structural health. It is shown that non-linear continuum material models can successfully be used to accurately describe the shear type cracking in concrete. A method based on plasticity and damage theory was shown to provide accurate estimations of the behaviour. The methods based on fracture mechanics with or without inclusion of damage theory, overestimated the stiffness after crack initiation considerably. The rotated crack approach of these methods gave less accurate descriptions of the crack pattern and underestimated the crack widths. After verification of the material model, realistic finite element models based on plasticity and damage theory are developed to analyse the cause for cracking in two large concrete structures. The Storfinnforsen hydropower buttress dam is evaluated where the seasonal temperature variation in combination with the water pressure have resulted in cracking. With the numerical model the cause for cracking can be explained and the crack pattern found in-situ is accurately simulated. The model is verified against measurements of variation in crest displacement and crack width with close agreement. The construction process of a balanced cantilever bridge, Gröndal Bridge, is numerically simulated and a rational explanation of the cause for cracking is presented. It is shown that large stresses and micro-cracks develop in the webs during construction, especially after tensioning the continuing tendons in the bottom flange. Further loads from temperature variation cause cracking in the webs that is in close agreement with the cracking found in-situ. The effect of strengthening performed on this bridge is also evaluated where the vertical Dywidag tendons so far seem to have been successful in stopping further crack propagation.
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