Influence of Design Details on Seismic Behaviour

Reinforced concrete wall base crack closure after rebar slip from foundation, followed by concrete crushing, during test performed at LEMSC (May 2019).

Contact : João Almeida

Design details can have a critical influence on the inelastic dynamic behaviour of reinforced concrete (RC) structures under seismic loading. When executed according to modern detailing rules and performance-based and capacity-based design, they will ensure a safe structural response exploring ductile energy-dissipating deformation and failure modes. Otherwise, they can trigger unexpected deformation modes and premature fragile ruptures.

Many such details have not yet been thoroughly investigated, both numerically and / or experimentally, and the engineering community is therefore often locked in a state of purely qualitative interpretation of their effects on the structural response. The influence of lap splices on the deformation capacity of RC walls was, up until recently, one among many examples. Together with several collaborators, I contribute to investigate and provide a more satisfactory and quantitative understanding of these design details, with the goal of developing experimentally-validated models for other researchers and practitioners. Another example is the design and construction of increasingly thin RC walls with a single layer of reinforcement, which is an increasingly common material-cost-saving practice in some Latin American countries. This document summarises the initial work on this subject, which opened a new line of research on out-of-plane instability of RC walls.


If you are working on any of the above topics (or related topics, such as rebar slip from foundation or joints, influence of smooth rebars, pre-code designed beam-column joints, masonry infills, etc) and have ideas of collaborative research, please contact me.