Numerical limit analysis of slab bridges with construction joints

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The conic yield criteria for reinforced concrete slabs in bending are often used when evaluating the load‐carrying capacity of slab bridges. In the last decades, the yield criteria combined with numerical limit analysis have shown to be efficient methods to determine the load carrying capacity of slabs. However, the yield criteria overestimate the torsion capacity of slabs with high reinforcement ratios and it cannot handle slabs with construction joints. In this paper, numerical limit analysis with the conic yield criteria are compared with yield criteria based on an optimized layer model. The analysis show an increasing overestimation of the load carrying capacity for increasing reinforcement degrees. Furthermore, yield criteria, which combine the conic yield criteria with an extra linear criterion due to friction, are presented for slab bridges with construction joints. The yield criteria for slabs with construction joints are used, in combination with limit analysis, to evaluate a bridge constructed of pre‐cast overturned T‐beams and in‐situ concrete. The analysis show that the load carrying capacity is overestimated, when the construction joints are not considered in the yield criteria.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2018
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventIABSE Conference 2018: Engineering the Past, to Meet the Needs of the Future - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 25 Jun 201827 Jun 2018


ConferenceIABSE Conference 2018


  • Yield criteria
  • Finite element limit analysis
  • Slab bridges
  • Assessment
  • Construction joints

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