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Finite element lower bound "yield line" analysis of isotropic slabs using rotation-free elements
2013-08, Al-Sabah, Salam, Falter, Holger
A new lower bound finite element method for slab analysis is presented as a practical substitute to full, non-linear, finite element methods that require expert knowledge and long running times. The method provides a general, safe and efficient lower bound solution for the analysis of reinforced concrete slabs up to failure. As it is finite element based, the method is more general than the yield line and strip methods currently in use. Furthermore, its lower bound nature makes it safer than the yield line method. The method uses a rotation-free, plate finite element modified to allow plastic “yield lines” to pass through at any direction. Yield lines are generated at the principal moment directions when the plastic moment capacity is attained. The material is assumed to be elastic perfectly-plastic. Following the general spirit of yield line analysis, the effects of a yield line are projected to the sides of the triangular element and then used to calculate the bending curvatures. The method’s efficiency is achieved by using rotation-free plate elements with a single degree of freedom per node and by the incremental solution that does not require iterations. The method’s accuracy and convergence are assessed by comparing standard cases with known results. In all cases, results were close to the theoretical values with difference of less than 1%. It is also used to solve a practical sized flat slab problem in order to demonstrate the method’s efficiency, convergence, and speed.