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4 Convergence Difficulties
Different convergence problems may occur during modeling and analyzing reinforced
concrete structures. In addition, there are several methods to solve the problems
considering the definition of mesh, boundary condition and loads. Some common
solutions for convergence problem are mentioned in this part. Sometimes ABAQUS
cannot analyze the problem in some points and it is required to divide the increments
into smaller steps. In these cases, in the time step definition in ABAQUS, the
minimum time increment should be defined lower than the default values and thus,
the maximum number of increments should be increased. Apart from solving the
convergence problem, it also leads to more accurate results. However, it needs high
computational capacity and is time consuming.
In parts where reinforcement and concrete nodes coincide, convergence problems
occur due to distortion of elements with less stiff material because of high
reinforcement stress. Thus, coinciding reinforcement and concrete element nodes
should be avoided. In some cases due to local instabilities such as surface wrinkling,
material instability or local buckling, the results cannot converge in aforementioned
zones. Therefore, it is recommended to specify automatic stabilization, which can be
introduced in time steps. Automatic stabilization can be defined by either specifying a
dissipated energy fraction or specifying a damping factor. According to
Malm and Ansell, this stabilization, if a relatively small amount is used, does not
interfere with
the concrete behavior and thus, it is an appropriate manner to overcome such this
According to Malm, the most effective way of handling convergence problems is to
increase the
tolerances and the number of iterations [35]. Parameters, which are recommended to
change in
step module, are:
0 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08 0.1 0.12 0.14 0.16 0.18 0.2
Plastic stress [MPa]
Plastic strain
Stress-Strain (True)
Stress-Strain (Nominal)
, which is a convergence criterion for the ratio of the largest residual to the
average flux norm for convergence [34]. The default value is 0.005 and it should be
increased to
solve convergence problem.
I0, which is the number of equilibrium iterations without severe discontinuities after
which the
check is made whether the residuals are increasing in two consecutive iterations [34].
value is 4 and it can be increased up to 3-4 times the default value.
IR, which is the number of consecutive equilibrium iteration without severe
discontinuities at
which the logarithmic rate of convergence check begins [34]. The default value is 8
and it can
be increased up to 3-4 times the default value.
IA, which is the maximum number of cutbacks, allowed for an increment [34]. The
value is 4 and it can be increased up to 3-4 times the default value.
In addition, there are many other methods to avoid convergence problems, e.g. if the
value of fracture energy is smaller than the actual value, the analysis would be
aborted due to
unstable material behavior and the solution will be to increase the fracture energy,
setting it
higher than its real value in the concrete properties. Nevertheless, it changes the
quality and therefore it seems not to be an appropriate solution.
In concrete smeared cracking, an inappropriate value of shear retention factor leads
to an
unrealistic crack pattern and leads to convergence problems. A solution is to define
values of retention factor with the use of an exponential function instead of a linear
dependent on the strains.
In concrete damaged plasticity, the viscosity parameter can affect the convergence
For static problems, if there are still convergence difficulties, it is recommended to
use the
concrete damage plasticity model in ABAQUS/Explicit. Since ABAQUS/Explicit is a
solver, in order to eliminate the dynamic effects of loading, the load should be applied
velocity with very low speed. Therefore, after analysis, the kinetic energy of the whole
has to be very small in comparison with the strain energy.