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Dynamic properties and damage identification of partially cracked reinforced concrete structures

Principal investigator: Dr Stana Zivanovic
Coinvestigators: Dr Benoit D. Jones, Dr Irwanda Laory, Prof. Roger P. Johnson
Research staff: Dr Ninoslav Peshic
Project duration: 2013-2014
Funding body: Research Development Fund (Strategic Awards), University of Warwick (£22.5k) and ARUP (in-kind £10k)


Reinforced concrete (RC) and composite steel‐concrete structures represent a significant part of the UK construction industry, worth £100bn/year. As a structural material, concrete possesses an excellent resistance to compressive stresses, while due to its low tensile strength it cracks when exposed to even modest tensile forces. As a consequence, the majority of RC structures in service are partially cracked.

There exists no reliable methodology for design of the partially cracked RC structures to dynamic loading. Traditional estimation of structural dynamic properties based on knowledge of static behaviour is outdated, since modern structures are increasingly slender and light, and more sensitive to dynamic loading. The lack of design guidance is a serious obstacle in contemporary design given that fast urbanisation, the everchanging nature of buildings, and demands for sustainable use of materials require an advanced level of understanding of in‐service behaviour of RC structures, and timely warnings of their deterioration.

This project integrates expertise in structural engineering, concrete mechanics, damage detection and system identification to: 1) develop a methodology for quantification of dynamic properties of RC elements at different levels of cracking and 2) provide an efficient vibration‐based methodology for detection and quantification of damage in concrete elements. In collaboration with ARUP, this project will provide new knowledge with respect to design of RC structures under dynamic loading, and it is expected to lead to design of more efficient and sustainable design solutions.


Pesic, N., Zivanovic, S., Dennis, J. and Hargreaves, J. (2015) Experimental and Finite Element Dynamic Analysis of Incrementally Loaded Reinforced Concrete Structures. Engineering Structures, 103, 15–27 [Free download (final manuscript) with permission of Elsevier].