A study on the behavior of reinforced high-strength concrete corbels is carried out using nonlinear finite element analysis and a simplified softened strut-and-tie model. In the numerical analysis, eight-node isoparametric plane stress elements are employed to model the concrete material. An elastic-strain hardening plasticity approach combined with cracking damage is used in modeling the concrete behavior. The reinforcing bars are treated as embedded elements and are considered as elastic-perfectly plastic material. In the analytical method, the analysis is based on truss analogy following the provisions of Appendix A of the ACI 318-05 Code. Strength predictions of both methods correlate well with the 34 test results of corbels available from the literature. It was concluded that the adopted finite element model is a powerful tool for the analysis of such disturbed region. Also the simple truss model used proved to be a suitable design tool for these members. The finite element method can be used in conjunction with the truss analogy for optimum design.
Keywords: corbels; deep beams; finite element; non-flexural members; plasticity; shear strength; strut-and-tie models.