Numerical approach about the effect of the corrosion on the mechanical capacity of the reinforced concrete beams considering material nonlinear models

Abstract Every structure is subjected to the effects of time and environment on which they are located. The consideration of these effects and their consequences in design phase is called nowadays as durability analysis of the structural system. The corrosion of the reinforcement steel through the chloride penetration inside the concrete is the main cause of the lifetime deterioration of the reinforced concrete structures. As a direct consequence, the corrosion affects the resistant capacity of the structural elements as the process evolves over time. Therefore, the appropriate prediction of the structural lifetime depends directly of the prevision capacity of those effects over the behavior of the structural systems. In this work, a mechanical model that combines the corrosion effects over the reinforcement and the concrete and steel material nonlinear responses is proposed to predict the resistant loss of reinforced concrete beams over the time. The steel and concrete nonlinear behavior was modeled by model based on unidimensional plasticity theory and damage mechanics, respectively. The Fick’s laws and empirical methods based on the Faraday’s laws were used to represent chloride penetration inside concrete and reinforced degradation, respectively. A simplified process was adopted to simulate the corrosion beginning in different times over the structure. The results showed that the rate of loss resistant capacity of the analyzed beam is higher in the first years after the beginning of corrosion and tend to stabilized in subsequent years. Furthermore, the structural behavior is very sensitive regarding the considered corrosive effects in the analyses.