Predicting the response of continuous RC deep beams under varying levels of differential settlement
This paper investigates the effect of differential support settlement on shear strength and behavior of continuous reinforced concrete (RC) deep beams. A total of twenty three-dimensional nonlinear finite element models were developed taking into account various constitutive laws for concrete material in compression (crushing) and tension (cracking), steel plasticity (i.e., yielding and strain hardening), bond-slip at the concrete and steel reinforcement interface as well as unique behavior of spring-like support elements. These models are first validated by comparing numerical predictions in terms of load-deflection response, crack propagation, reaction distribution, and failure mode against that of measured experimental data reported in literature. Once the developed models were successfully validated, a parametric study was designed and performed. This parametric study examined number of critical parameters such as ratio and spacing of the longitudinal and vertical reinforcement, compressive and tensile strength of concrete, as well as degree (stiffness) and location of support stiffness to induce varying levels of differential settlement. This study also aims at presenting a numerical approach using finite element simulation, supplemented with coherent assumptions, such that engineers, practitioners, and researchers can carry out simple, but yet effective and realistic analysis of RC structural members undergoing differential settlements due to variety of load actions.
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