Incorporation of pre-existing longitudinal cracks in finite element analyses of corroded reinforced concrete beams failing in anchorage
Journal article, 2020

Transportation infrastructure is of fundamental importance and must be regularly assessed to ensure its safety and serviceability. The assessment of ageing reinforced concrete bridge stock may need to consider corrosion and cracks, as the likelihood of deterioration increases with age. This work accordingly investigates the incorporation of pre-existing anchorage zone corrosion cracks into the finite element modelling of reinforced concrete beam structural behaviour. Three methods of accounting for cracks were applied: (1) modifying the bond stress–slip relation, (2) weakening elements at the position of the crack, and (3) weakened discrete crack elements. The results show that modifying the bond stress–slip relation results in accurate predictions of the ultimate capacity when one-dimensional reinforcement bars are used in the model. Weakening elements at the position of the crack provides reasonable results when the anchorage is modelled with three-dimensional reinforcement bars and a frictional bond model. The implementation of discrete cracks was found to be unsuitable for the studied load situation, as compressive stresses formed perpendicular to the crack. It was concluded that the capacity of the studied case could be well estimated based on visual measurements, without knowledge of the exact corrosion level.

reinforced concrete

digital twin modelling

reinforcement anchorage zone

Concrete–steel bond slip

nonlinear finite element analysis

pre-existing crack modelling


Mattias Blomfors

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering

Karin Lundgren

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering

Kamyab Zandi

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering

Structure and Infrastructure Engineering

1573-2479 (ISSN) 1744-8980 (eISSN)

Digital Twin I – Comprehensive Condition Assessment for Resilient Transport Infrastructure under Normal Service Conditions and Extreme Climatic Events

Formas, 2018-01-01 -- 2020-12-31.

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance


Subject Categories

Infrastructure Engineering


C3SE (Chalmers Centre for Computational Science and Engineering)



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