Finite Element Analysis of the Enhanced Strength of Laterally Restrained RC Slabs

Ahmed Shaat, Susan Taylor, Desmond Robinson, Barry Rankin, David Cleland

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This paper presents the numerical simulation of the ultimate behaviour of 85 one-way and two-way spanning laterally restrained concrete slabs of variable thickness, span, reinforcement ratio, strength and boundary conditions reported in literature by different authors. The developed numerical model was described and all the assumptions were illustrated. ABAQUS, a Finite Element Analysis suite of software, was employed. Non-linear implicit static general analysis method offered by ABAQUS was used. Other analysis methods were also discussed in general in terms of application such as Explicit Dynamic Analysis and Riks method. The aim is to demonstrate the ability and efficacy of FEA to simulate the ultimate load behaviour of slabs considering different material properties and boundary conditions. The authors intended to present a numerical model that provides consistent predictions of the ultimate behaviour of laterally restrained slabs that could be used as an alternative for expensive real life testing as well as for the design and assessment of new and existing structures respectively. The enhanced strength of laterally-restrained slabs compared with conventional design methods predictions is believed to be due to compressive membrane action (CMA). CMA is an inherent phenomenon of laterally restrained concrete beams/slabs. The numerical predictions obtained from the developed model were in good correlation with the experimental results and with those obtained from the CMA method developed at the Queen’s University Belfast, UK.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)57-71
    Number of pages14
    JournalCivil Engineering and Architecture
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


    • RC slabs


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