Numerical modelling of non-uniform corrosion induced concrete crack width

Yang, Shangtong and Xi, Xun and Li, Kefei and Li, Chun-Qing (2018) Numerical modelling of non-uniform corrosion induced concrete crack width. Journal of Structural Engineering, 144 (8). ISSN 0733-9445

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    Abstract

    Corrosion of reinforced concrete is one of the major deterioration mechanisms which result in premature failure of the reinforced concrete structures. Crack width is often used as an effective criterion to assess the serviceability of concrete structures. However, research on prediction of corrosion-induced concrete crack width, especially by considering the corrosion as a non-uniform process, has still been scarce. This paper attempts to develop a finite element model to predict the crack width for corrosion-affected concrete structures under realistic non-uniform corrosion of the reinforcement. A non-uniform corrosion model was first formulated as a function of time. To simulate arbitrary cracking in concrete, cohesive elements are inserted in the sufficiently fine mesh which is achieved through a script written in Python. The surface crack width is obtained as a function of service time and verification against experimental results from literature is conducted. Accurate prediction of crack width can allow timely maintenance which prolongs the service life of the reinforced concrete structures.