The Nordic Concrete Federation (NCF)
This paper discusses the possibility and challenges of the assessment of the structural integrity and safety of existing reinforced concrete (RC) structures by virtue of the nonlinear finite element method (FEM). The possibility and viability of applying this tool to predict the mechanical behaviour of existing RC structures are discussed through two sample applications, which deal with the estimation of the actual loading capacities of a RC column-slab joint strengthened by steel plates and a RC parapet element with inadequate transverse reinforcements according to current design codes. The numerical results demonstrate that when properly used, the nonlinear FEM is able to effectively remedy the inadequacy of conventional design and analysis procedures. Some remaining challenges for the utilisation of nonlinear FEM to assess existing RC structures are then discussed.
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