C. Cismasiu, A. Ramos, I. Moldovan, D. Ferreira, and J. Filho. (2017). Applied element method simulation of experimental failure modes in RC shear walls. Computers and Concrete, Vol. 19, No. 4 (2017) 000-000. Key Words: Applied Element Method; Nonlinear Analysis; Cracking Pattern; RC Shear Walls
With the continuous evolution of the numerical methods and the availability of advanced constitutive models, it became a common practice to use complex physical and geometrical nonlinear numerical analyses to estimate the structural behavior of reinforced concrete elements. Such simulations may yield the complete time history of the structural behavior; from the first moment the load is applied until the total collapse of the structure. However, the evolution of the cracking pattern in geometrical discontinuous zones of reinforced concrete elements and the associated failure modes are relatively complex phenomena and their numerical simulation is considerably challenging. The objective of the present paper is to assess the applicability of the Applied Element Method in simulating the development of distinct failure modes in reinforced concrete walls subjected to monotonic loading obtained in experimental tests. A pushover test was simulated numerically on three distinct RC shear walls, all presenting an opening that guarantee a geometrical discontinuity zone and, consequently, a relatively complex cracking pattern. The presence of different reinforcement solutions in each wall enables the assessment of the reliability of the computational model for distinct failure modes. Comparison with available experimental tests allows concluding on the advantages and the limitations of the Applied Element Method when used to estimate the behavior of reinforced concrete elements subjected to monotonic loading.