3D Thermo-Hygro-Mechanical Simulation of a RC Slab Under Restrained Shrinkage and Applied Loads: Influence of the Reinforcement Ratio on Service Life Behaviour

José Gomes*, Rui Carvalho, Carlos Sousa, José Granja, Rui Faria, Dirk Schlicke, Miguel Azenha

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review


The structural design of reinforced concrete (RC) structures requires the use of adequate methodologies for control of crack widths, in order to ensure proper service life behavior. When RC elements are subjected to the combined effect of restrained deformations and external loads, which is a relatively common situation in civil engineering structures, current design codes and recommendations generally fail to provide specific/clear instructions for measures to be taken for reinforcement design in view of crack width control. This paper intends to show the influence of different approaches for quantification of the necessary reinforcement on the service life behavior of these structures, through conduction of a parametric study. Such study is performed in order to understand how the variation of the longitudinal reinforcement affects the structural behavior of a solid one-way RC slab subjected to restrained shrinkage and external applied vertical loads (in quasi-permanent load combination). The structural behavior of the slab is simulated for 5 distinct quantities of longitudinal reinforcement, with a 3D thermo-higro-mechanical model, where the non-uniform distribution of stresses due to heat of hydration and drying shrinkage are considered. The attained results allowed conclusions to be withdrawn in regard to the expected behavior when reinforcement is underdesigned (by neglecting restraint) or overdesigned (by considering the cracking force of concrete when evaluating axial restraint). Intermediate solutions, matching some simplified approaches in the literature where found to be the most reasonable.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 3rd RILEM Spring Convention and Conference (RSCC 2020)
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-76465-4
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-76464-7
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event3rd RILEM Spring Convention and Conference: RSCC 2020 - , Portugal
Duration: 9 Mar 202014 Mar 2020
Conference number: RSCC 2020

Publication series

NameRILEM Bookseries
ISSN (Print)2211-0844
ISSN (Electronic)2211-0852


Conference3rd RILEM Spring Convention and Conference


  • One-way slab
  • Restrained shrinkage
  • Service life behavior
  • Structural design
  • Thermo-hygro-mechanical modelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanics of Materials

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