Review of Modeling Techniques for Analysis and Assessment of RC Beam-Column Joints Subjected to Seismic Loads

Materials (Basel). 2022 Oct 24;15(21):7448. doi: 10.3390/ma15217448.


Beam-column connections are the most critical components of reinforced concrete (RC) structures. They serve as a load transfer path and take a significant portion of the overall shear. Joints in RC structures constructed with no seismic provisions have an insufficient capacity and ductility under lateral loading and can cause the progressive failure of the entire structure. The joint may fail in the shear prior to the connecting beam and column elements. Therefore, several modeling techniques have been devised in the past to capture the non-linear response of such joints. Modeling techniques used to capture the non-linear response of reinforced-concrete-beam-column joints range from simplified lumped plasticity models to detailed fiber-based finite element (FE) models. The macro-modeling technique for joint modeling is highly efficient in terms of the computational effort, analysis time, and computer memory requirements, and is one of the most widely used modeling techniques. The non-linear shear response of the joint panel and interface bond-slip mechanism are concentrated in zero-length linear and rotational springs while the connecting elements are modeled through elastic elements. The shear response of joint panels has also been captured through rigid panel boundary elements with rotational springs. The computational efficiency of these models is significantly high compared to continuum models, as each joint act as a separate supe-element. This paper aims to provide an up-to-date review of macro-modeling techniques for the analysis and assessment of RC-beam-column connections subjected to lateral loads. A thorough understanding of existing models is necessary for developing new mechanically adequate and computationally efficient joint models for the analysis and assessment of deficient RC connections. This paper will provide a basis for further research on the topic and will assist in the modification and optimization of existing models. As each model is critically evaluated, and their respective capabilities and limitations are explored, it should help researchers to improve and build on modeling techniques both in terms of accuracy and computational efficiency.

Keywords: bar-slip; beam–column joints; interface shear; multi-spring macro-models; panel shear; pinching; zero-length elements.

Publication types

  • Review

Grant support

This publication was funded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and the Open Access Publication Fund of the University of Rostock/Rostock University Medical School.