Numerical Investigation of Influential Parameters Concerning the Experimental Testing of RC Frames Under Cyclic Loading

E. Kirtas*, D.J. Kakaletsis
Department of Civil Engineering,Surveying Engineering and Geomatics, Technological Educational Institution of Central Macedonia, GR-62124 Serres, Greece.

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© 2013 Kirtas and Kakaletsis

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Civil Engineering, Surveying Engineering and Geomatics, Technological Educational Institution of Central Macedonia, GR-62124 Serres, Greece; Tel: +302321049323; E-mail:


Numerical simulations have been widely used to study the inelastic response of reinforced concrete structures under earthquake loading. Yet, due to the complex nature of structural inelastic behavior, experimental results are often required to verify the efficiency of applied numerical schemes. In this paper, experimental results of bare reinforced concrete frame models are employed to validate numerical calculations using the code Seismostruct. Moreover, numerical simulations investigate the influential parameters related to the physical experiment configuration and numerical analysis options and determine their effect on the obtained structural response. The experimental setup concerns a well-defined case study of a reinforced concrete frame under cyclic horizontal loading. The fixed base frame is subjected to increasing horizontal forces, leading to the development of plastic hinges at the structural elements. The adopted numerical approach describes successfully the inelastic behavior of the frame, as indicated by the obtained results of the overall structural response as well as the plastic hinge formation at cross section level. Comparison of the plastic hinge formation mechanism in particular, raises interesting remarks on the conditions and constraints of the physical experiments and highlights the valuable contribution of numerical simulations in their design.

Keywords: Fiber analysis, distributed plasticity, influential parameters, numerical simulations, physical experiments, plastic hinges, RC frames.