Post-doc: Numerical Models for Damaged RC Structures
Existing reinforced concrete (RC) structures may be damaged due to a specific loading history, deterioration mechanisms (e.g. reinforcement corrosion) and accidental loading. Hence, uncertainties regarding structural safety may arise. A detailed assessment by nonlinear finite element analysis is one of the possibilities to reduce these uncertainties.
This research aims to explore the capabilities of advanced numerical models for concrete fracture in the assessment of existing RC structures. For reliable predictions, existing damage should be taken into account. An ideal approach would be to include in the model the loading scenarios that caused the damage. However, this will generally not be feasible due to a lack of required data. The approach in this research is to take existing damage in concrete as a starting point of the structural analysis, i.e. existing damage is treated as an input variable for the analysis. The information on damage in a structure should be obtained from accurate measurement techniques (e.g. acoustic tomography). This assessment approach requires a coupling between advanced numerical models and measurement techniques for damage in concrete. “Advanced numerical models” for concrete fracture refer to the use of discrete models (e.g. XFEM) and nonlocal continuous models (e.g. gradient-damage models). The challenge is to apply these techniques, which are mainly developed for localised fracture problems in plain concrete, to RC structures.
This research is a joint activity of TNO and Delft University of Technology. The post-doc is sponsored by TNO.
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