During service, cracks are caused in prestressed concrete beams owing to overload or other non-load factors. These cracks significantly affect the safety of bridge structures. The purpose of this paper is to carry out a non-linear iterative calculation for a section of a prestressed concrete beam and obtain the change in stiffness after the section cracks.
The existing stress of prestressed reinforcement was measured by performing a boring stress release test on two pieces of an in-service 16 m prestressed concrete hollow plate. Considering the non-linear effects of materials, the calculation model of the loss in the flexural stiffness of the prestressed concrete beam was established based on the existing prestress. The accuracy of the non-linear calculation method and the results obtained for the section were verified by conducting a bending destruction test on two pieces of the 16 m prestressed concrete hollow plate in the same batch and by utilising the measured strain and displacement data on the concrete at the top edge of the midspan section under all load levels.
The flexural stiffness of the section decreases rapidly at first and then gradually, and structural rigidity is sensitive to the initial cracking of the beam. The method for calculating the loss in the flexural stiffness of the section established with the existing stress of prestressed reinforcement as a parameter is accurate and feasible. It realizes the possibility of assessing the loss in the rigidity of a prestressed concrete structure by adopting the existing stress of prestressed reinforcement as a parameter.
A method for quickly determining the loss in the stiffness of structures using existing prestress is established. By employing this method, engineers can rapidly determine whether a bridge is dangerous or not without performing a loading test. Thus, this method not only ensures the safety of human life, but also reduces the cost of testing.
Conflict of interest: the authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest regarding the publication of this paper. This study was supported by “the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities” (2572017AB01) and Transportation Science and Technology Project of Liaoning Province of China (201512 and 201513).
Zhang, G., Wang, J., Liu, J., Jia, Y. and Han, J. (2019), "Analysis of loss in flexural stiffness of in-service prestressed hollow plate beam", International Journal of Structural Integrity, Vol. 10 No. 4, pp. 534-547. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSI-09-2018-0055
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