Limit load analysis of thick-walled concrete structures - a finite element approach to fracture
The paper illustrates the interaction of constitutive modelling and finite element solution techniques for limit load prediction of concrete structures.On the constitutive side, an engineering model of concrete fracture is developed in which the Mohr-Coulomb criterion is augmented by tension cut-off to describe incipient failure. Upon intersection with the stress path the failure surface collapses for brittle behaviour according to one of three softening rules — no-tension, no-cohesion, and no-friction. The stress transfer accompanying the energy dissipation during local failure is modeled by several fracture rules which are examined with regard to ultimate load prediction.On the numerical side the effect of finite element idealization is studied first as far as ultimate load convergence is concerned. Subsequently, incremental tangential and initial load techniques are compared together with the effect of step size.Limit load analyses of a thick-walled concrete ring and a lined concrete reactor closure conclude the paper along with engineering examples.
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