Rigid-plastic seismic design of reinforced concrete structures

Joao Domingues Costa, R. Bento, V. Levtchitch, Mogens Peter Nielsen

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    In this paper a new seismic design procedure for Reinforced Concrete (R/C) structures is proposed-the Rigid-Plastic Seismic Design (RPSD) method. This is a design procedure based on Non-Linear Time-History Analysis (NLTHA) for systems expected to perform in the non-linear range during a lifetime earthquake event. The theoretical background is the Theory of Plasticity (Rigid-Plastic Structures). Firstly, a collapse mechanism is chosen and the corresponding stress field is made safe outside the regions where plastic behaviour takes place. It is shown that this allows the determination of the required structural strength with respect to a pre-defined performance parameter using a rigid-plastic response spectrum, which is characteristic of the ground motion alone. The maximum strength demand at any point is solely dependent on the intensity of the ground motion, which facilitates the task of distributing required strength throughout the structure. Any artificial considerations intended to adjust results according to empirical observations are avoided, which, from a conceptual point of view, is considered to be an advantage over other simplified design procedures for seismic design. The procedure is formulated using a step-by-step format followed by a design example of a 4-storey-R/C-plane-frame. Results are compared with refined NLTHA and found to be extremely encouraging.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEarthquake Engineering & Structural Dynamics
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)55-76
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


    • simplified design procedures
    • extreme loading scenarios approach
    • reinforced concrete
    • Theory of Plasticity
    • rigid-plastic spectrum
    • rigid-plastic material


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