Numerical modelling of non-uniform corrosion induced concrete crack width

Shangtong Yang, Xun Xi, Kefei Li, Chun-Qing Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
59 Downloads (Pure)


Corrosion of reinforced concrete is one of the major deterioration mechanisms which result in premature failure of the reinforced concrete structures. Crack width is often used as an effective criterion to assess the serviceability of concrete structures. However, research on prediction of corrosion-induced concrete crack width, especially by considering the corrosion as a non-uniform process, has still been scarce. This paper attempts to develop a finite element model to predict the crack width for corrosion-affected concrete structures under realistic non-uniform corrosion of the reinforcement. A non-uniform corrosion model was first formulated as a function of time. To simulate arbitrary cracking in concrete, cohesive elements are inserted in the sufficiently fine mesh which is achieved through a script written in Python. The surface crack width is obtained as a function of service time and verification against experimental results from literature is conducted. Accurate prediction of crack width can allow timely maintenance which prolongs the service life of the reinforced concrete structures.
Original languageEnglish
Article number04018120
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Structural Engineering
Issue number8
Early online date12 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2018


  • corrosion
  • crack width
  • cohesive crack model
  • reinforced concrete
  • numerical modelling
  • concrete structures


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