A beam/column element allowing the formation of multiple plastic hinges in columns or beams of a reinforced concrete (RC) framed structure is used in this work to show, through an application, its advantages with respect to conventional lumped plasticity models. Slope discontinuities can be located at any position of an Euler-Bernoulli beam span and not at the two extremes only. The model is in fact written in the framework of a modified lumped plasticity theory, and respectful of a thermodynamic approach. Flow rules and state equations are derived invoking the Theorem of maximum dissipation and using a Bresler’s type activation domain. The beam element has already been implemented in a research-oriented code to run nonlinear analyses on RC frames. The discretized loading process is separated, at each step, in two phases: a predictor and a corrector phase. Numerical examples highlight how the new finite element permits to run nonlinear analyses avoiding a mesh refinement.
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