American Journal of Civil Engineering and Architecture
ISSN (Print): 2328-398X ISSN (Online): 2328-3998 Website: Editor-in-chief: Mohammad Arif Kamal
Open Access
Journal Browser
American Journal of Civil Engineering and Architecture. 2019, 7(2), 67-114
DOI: 10.12691/ajcea-7-2-4
Open AccessArticle

Modelling of Reinforced Concrete Beam-column Joint for Cyclic Earthquake Loading

Khalid Abdel Naser Abdel Rahim1,

1Researcher in the Department of Civil Engineering, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal

Pub. Date: April 11, 2019

Cite this paper:
Khalid Abdel Naser Abdel Rahim. Modelling of Reinforced Concrete Beam-column Joint for Cyclic Earthquake Loading. American Journal of Civil Engineering and Architecture. 2019; 7(2):67-114. doi: 10.12691/ajcea-7-2-4


This paper presents a reinforced concrete beam-column joint model that was carried out for cyclic earthquake loading. The beam-column joint is the most important part of a building and modelling such an element and determining its structural behavior under the effect of seismic citations is essential to avoid losing lives and money. The non-linear analysis consisted of two types: (1) Non-linear static analysis that includes applying cyclic earthquake loading and (2) Non-linear dynamic analysis that involves applying three real historic earthquakes with different frequencies and magnitudes. The crack pattern analysis was established for non-linear static and non-linear dynamic to determine the worst-case scenario in terms of crack size. Another beneficial analysis was seismic analysis, which targeted the critical response time by which the maximum axial force, displacement and stress has occurred for applied real earthquakes. It was found that the structure sustained all the applied real earthquakes, however failure of the structure took place during the third cycle (50mm) of cyclic earthquake loading. After comparing the results with previous published work it was observed that the size of the reinforcement bars plays a major role in terms of load carrying capacity of the structure. It was observed that cracks occurred mostly under the earthquake due to the highest magnitude among other earthquakes. There was a variation in the location of cracks within the structure for each earthquake. Intermediate and major cracks occurred during the third cycle (50mm) of cyclic earthquake loading within the joint. The cracks were developed and increased as the cycle was increased leading to cracks across the joint after the forth and fifth cycles and failure of the structure. Although the critical response time for the earthquake was lower than the other earthquakes it was the most active and had a larger effect on the model. This is because the earthquake had the highest magnitude among applied earthquakes. The results obtained from the author’s model were used to suggest some recommendations on Eurocode 8: Design of structures for earthquake resistance. General rules, seismic actions and rules for buildings (2004) BS EN 1998-1: 2004 to improve the performance of beam-column joints during earthquakes. The main reasons for beam-column joint failure are due to the transverse steel which crosses diagonal cracks and begins yielding, anchorage failure of reinforcement, loss in moment carrying capacity of columns near joints and the opening and closing of cracks due to cyclic loading.

structural modelling RC beam-column joint cyclic earthquake loading static analysis dynamic analysis

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  Baptie, B., Ottemoller, L., Sargeant, S., Ford, G. and O'Mongain, A. (2005). The Dudley earthquake of 2002: A moderate sized earthquake in the UK, Tectonophysics Volume 401, Issues 1-2, 25, pp. 1-22.
[2]  Elnasha, A. S. (2002). A very brief history of earthquake engineering with emphasis on developments in and from the British Isles. Chaos, Solitons & Fractals Volume 13, Issue 5, April 2002, pp. 967-972.
[3]  Musson, R.M.W. (2007) British earthquakes, In Proceedings of the Geologists Association, Volume 118, Issue 4, pp. 305-337.
[4]  Pagni CA, Lowes LN. (2006), Fragility functions for older reinforced concrete beam-column joints. Earthquake Spectra 2006; 22(1): 215-238.
[5]  Pantelides CP, Clyde C, Reaveley LD. (2002), Performance-based evaluation of reinforced concrete building exterior joints for seismic excitation. Earthquake Spectra 2002; 18(3): 449-480.
[6]  Sirkelis GM ,Karayannis CG, Chalioris CE. (2006), Seismic performance of RC beam–column joints retrofitted using light RC jacket-experimental study. Proceedings of the 1st European Conference on Earthquake Engineering and Seismology, Geneva, Switzerland, 2006; PN 136.
[7]  Kitayama, K., Otani, S. and Aoyama, H. (1987). Earthquake resistant design criteria for reinforced concrete interior beam-column joints. Proceedings, Pacific Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Wairakei, New Zealand, August 5-8, 1987, Vol. 1, pp. 315-326.
[8]  Paulay, T., R. Park and M. J. N. Priestley (1999), Reinforced Concrete Beam-Column Joints under Seismic Actions, American Concrete Institute Journal, November 1999, pp. 585-593.
[9]  Balouch, S., (2009), Strengthening of reinforced concrete beam-column joint with steel fibre during earthquake loading – experimental study, University of Leeds.
[10]  Youssef, M. and Ghobarah, A. (2001). Modelling of RC Beam-Column joints and structural walls. Journal of Earthquake Engineering, Vol. 5: No. 1, pp. 93-111.
[11]  Ziyaeifar, M. and Noguchi, H. (2000). A refined model for beam elements and beam-column joints. Computers and Structures Vol. 76 pp. 551-564.
[12]  Eligehausen, R., Genesio, G., Ožbolt, J and Pampanin, S. (2009). 3D analysis of seismic response of RC beam-column exterior joints before and after retrofit. In: Alexander et al (eds) Concrete Repair, Rehabilitation and Retrofitting II, Taylor & Francis Group, London.
[13]  Prota, A., Nanni, A., Manfredi, G. and Cosenza, E. (2000). Seismic upgrade of beam-column joints with FRP reinforcement. Industria Italiana del Cemento, August 2000.
[14]  Almusallam, T.H. and Al-Salloum, Y. A. (2007). Seismic Response of Interior RC Beam-Column Joints Upgraded with FRP Sheets. II: Analysis and Parametric Study, Journal of Composites for Construction, Vol. 11, No. 6, pp. 590-600.
[15]  Al-Salloum, Y. A. and Almusallam, T.H. (2007). Seismic Response of Interior RC Beam-Column Joints Upgraded with FRP Sheets. I: Experimental Study, Journal of Composites for Construction, Vol. 11, No. 6, pp. 575-589.
[16]  Alsayed, S.H., Al-Salloum, Y.A., Almusallam, T.H. and Siddiqui, N.A. (2010). Seismic Response of FRP-Upgraded Exterior RC Beam-Column Joints. Journal of Composites for Construction, Vol. 14, No. 2, pp. 195-208.
[17]  Li, B. and. Kulkarni, S.A. (2009). Seismic Behavior of Reinforced Concrete Exterior Wide Beam-Column Joints; Journal of Structural Engineering, Vol. 136, No. 1, pp. 26-36.
[18]  Shah, S.P., Wang, M-L and Chung, L. (1987). Model concrete beam-column joints subjected to cyclic loading at two rates. Materials and Structures/MatOriaux et Construction, Vol. 20, pp. 85-95.
[19]  Mulas, M.G. and Filippou, F.C. (1990). Analytical procedures in the study of seismic response of reinforced concrete frames. Eng. Strut. Vol. 12.
[20]  Liu, J.L. (2010). Preventing progressive collapse through strengthening beam-to-column connection, Part 1: Theoretical analysis. Journal of Constructional Steel Research Vol. 66; pp. 229-237.
[21]  Favvata, M.J., Izzuddin, B.A., and Karayannis, C.G. (2008). Modelling exterior beam–column joints for seismic analysis of RC frame structures; Earthquake Engineering Structures and Dynamics. Vol. 37; pp. 1527-1548.
[22]  Lee, J-Y., Kim, J-Y and Oh, G-J (2009). Strength deterioration of reinforced concrete beam-column joints subjected to cyclic loading, Engineering Structures Vol. 31 pp. 2070-2085.
[23]  Lowes, L. N., N. Mitra and A. Altoontash (2004). A Beam-Column Joint Model for Simulating the Earthquake Response of Reinforced Concrete Frames, PEER.
[24]  Cofer, W.F., Zhang, Y. And. McLean, D.I. (2002). A comparison of current computer analysis methods for seismic performance of reinforced concrete members. Finite Elements in Analysis and Design Vol. 38 pp. 835-861.
[25]  Mo, Y.L., Tsai, S. P. and Led, L. S. (1998). Seismic performance behavior of beam-column connections in prestressed concrete bridges; Materials and Structures, Vol. 31, pp. 411-417.
[26]  King ES., Dakin JM (2001). Specifying detailing and achieving cover to reinforcement, Construction Industry Research and Information Association, London, 2001; CIRIA (C568).
[27]  Eurocode 8: Design of structures for earthquake resistance. General rules, seismic actions and rules for buildings (2004), BS EN 1998-1: 2004.