Structural concrete in the 21st century

In this article, prof. Walter Kaufmann and his colleague from ETH university in Zurich, Jaime Mata-Falcón, focus on limit analysis methods for reinforced concrete structures, specifically their ability to be used for structural engineering software purposes.

Limit analysis methods, whose origins date back to the early days of reinforced concrete, are powerful tools for the design, dimensioning and detailing of concrete structures. They are transparent, allow to trace the flow of forces and give the engineer control over the design. However, they are typically used as hand calculations, making their application tedious and time-consuming since iterations are required and several load-cases need to be considered. In addition, they are not directly applicable for checking serviceability criteria. Therefore, design in engineering practice is ever more often based on linear elastic finite element calculations. In order to ensure that limit analysis methods such as stress fields and truss models will continue to be used for reinforced concrete dimensioning and detailing, these models must be brought up-to-date by implementing them in user-friendly computer programs without impairing their advantages of transparency and control over the design. Currently, the authors are involved in the development of such a program, which will hopefully contribute to the survival of stress field and truss modeling in structural concrete design.

Read the attached article prepared for Czech Concrete Days, 2017.

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