Numerical limit analysis of keyed shear joints in concrete structures

Morten Andersen Herfelt, Peter Noe Poulsen, Linh Cao Hoang, Jesper F. Jensen

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    This paper concerns the shear capacity of keyed joints, which are transversely reinforced with overlapping U-bar loops. It is known from experimental studies that the discontinuity of the transverse reinforcement affects the capacity as well as the failure mode; however, to the best knowledge of the authors, previous theoretical works and present design equations in standards do not account for this important effect. In this paper, a detailed model based on finite element limit analysis is introduced to assess the effect of the discontinuous reinforcement. The model is based on the lower bound theorem and uses the modified Mohr-Coulomb yield criterion, which is formulated for second-order cone programming. The model provides a statically admissible stress field as well as the failure mode. Twenty-four different test specimens are modelled and the calculations are compared to the experimental results. The results of the model show satisfactory agreement with the experimental observations. The model produces significantly better estimates of the shear capacity than the design equations of Eurocode 2.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalStructural Concrete
    Issue number3
    Pages (from-to)481-490
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • Shear walls
    • Precast concrete elements
    • Keyed joints
    • Limit analysis
    • Finite element
    • Numerical modelling
    • Plasticity


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