Thursday, September 12, 2013

Peak shear stress distribution in finite element models of concrete slabs

On September 2nd, I gave a presentation with the title: "Peak shear stress distribution in finite element models of concrete slabs" at the Fifth International Conference on Structural Engineering, Mechanics and Computation in Cape Town, South Africa.

What I presented at this conference was not part of my PhD research, but related to a side project that we did together with the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment.

The abstract of the paper associated with this presentation is the following:
For the evaluation of existing slab bridges in the Netherlands, the governing shear stress resulting from composite dead load and live loads is determined from a finite element model. It is necessary to determine over which length (expressed as a multiple of the effective depth) the peak shear stress can be distributed for comparison to the design shear capacity. To answer this question, a numerical model is compared to an experiment. A continuous reinforced concrete slab, representing a half-scale slab bridge, is tested under a concentrated load. The support consists of 7 bearings equipped with load cells, measuring the reaction force profile, that can be compared to the stress profile determined in the finite element model. The comparison of measured reaction force profiles over the support to finite element models results in a research-based distribution width that replaces the rules of thumb that were used until now.

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