The aim of this study is to expand the application of the nonlinear softened truss model for membrane elements on beam-column joints. The softened truss model employs three equations for equilibrium, three for compatibility and four equations for the constitutive laws of materials. The constitutive equations for both the concrete and steel are based on the actually observed stress-strain relationships. The model has three important attributes. The first is the nonlinear association of stress and strain. The second, and conceivably more noteworthy, is the softening of concrete in compression due to tensile strains in the perpendicular direction. The third is that the influence of the concrete tensile stresses between cracks on the average stress-strain relationship for reinforcing steel and the influence of orthogonal tensile stresses on the compression stress-strain relationship for concrete can be considered in the model. For beam-column joints, one of the most important factors influencing the behaviour is certainly the bond conditions of the beam bars. In this study, the softened truss model is expanded to take into account the influence of this important factor into account. In the revised version of the model, full strain compatibility does not exist between the steel reinforcement and the surrounding concrete and thus the factors influencing the bond-slip between concrete and reinforcement is adequately considered. The improved softened truss model is applied on 51 exterior beam-column joint tests. It is apparent from the results that the revised model gives very accurate predictions of the shear strength of joints and is an improvement on the existing version of the model proposed by Hsu. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.