American Society of Civil Engineers

Nonlinear Finite Element for Reinforced Concrete Slabs

by Kitjapat Phuvoravan, (Research Assistant, School of Civil Engineering, Purdue Univ., 550 Stadium Mall Dr., West Lafayette, IN 47907-2051. E-mail: and Elisa D. Sotelino, M.ASCE, (Professor, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, , 200 Patton Hall, Virginia Tech., Blackburg, VA 24061. E-mail:

Journal of Structural Engineering, Vol. 131, No. 4, April 2005, pp. 643-649, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: This paper presents a new finite element for the nonlinear analysis of reinforced concrete (RC) slabs. The element combines a four-node Kirchhoff shell element for concrete with two-node Euler beam elements for the steel reinforcement bars. The connectivity between reinforcement beam elements and concrete shell element is achieved by means of rigid links. By using the transformation method for rigid links, beam nodes are eliminated from the final mesh of the structure. The stiffness and resisting forces from the reinforcement are implicitly included in the new element. In this manner, this finite element is able to take into account the location of the reinforcement bars. This is in contrast to the smeared method, which is often adopted in the layered modeling of RC slabs. The new finite element is verified with experimental results. It is shown that a good agreement exists between the analyses results using the new finite element and the experimental results.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Finite element method
Nonlinear analysis
Reinforced concrete
Shell structures