The paper introduces a new global damage evaluation method, thus obtaining a meaningful global damage index (GDI). A numerical procedure for predicting a local and global damage in civil engineering structures using the finite element method and a continuum damage model is presented. The method is adequate for computing the limit load in reinforced concrete structures and for predicting the failure mechanisms. Details of the damage model used a given together with a description of the finite element implementation and the procedure for computing the global damage parameters. Examples of applications to the non-linear analysis of a range of reinforced concrete structures presented.
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