Journal article

High-fidelity prediction of crack formation in 2D and 3D pullout tests

This paper presents the 2D and 3D numerical analysis of pullout tests on steel anchorages in concrete blocks using standard and mixed finite elements. A novel (stabilized) mixed formulation in the variables of total strain ε and displacements u is introduced to overcome the intrinsic deficiencies of the standard displacement-based one in the context of localization of strains, such as mesh dependency. The quasi-brittle behavior of concrete is described through an elastoplastic constitutive law with a local Rankine yielding criterion. The proposed formulation is shown to be a reliable and accurate tool, sensitive to the physical parameters of the pullout tests, but objective with respect to the adopted FE mesh. Furthermore, the mixed ε/u finite element is able to capture the correct failure mechanism with relatively coarse discretizations. At the same time, the spurious behavior of the standard formulation is not alleviated by mesh-refinement.

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