Optimization of the end zone of prestressed concrete elements by non-linear analysis

Researchers involved:

  • Kizzy Van Meirvenne (PhD researcher)
  • Wouter De Corte (supervisor)
  • Veerle Boel (supervisor)
  • Luc Taerwe (supervisor)



Pretensioned concrete girders are widely used in the construction sector. Nevertheless, optimization is still possible considering the end zones. Regarding the end zones of prestressed pretensioned concrete girders, spalling, splitting and bursting stresses appear during the detensioning process and may cause cracks in the end zones. Previously, many researchers investigated this issue by the use of linear models and strut-and-tie models. Due to the complexity, these methods are however not accurate enough to calculate the specific reinforcement which is needed to encounter cracks.
Therefore, this issue is addressed by the use of nonlinear finite element models. These models predict the stresses and possible cracks in a more reliable manner. In the frame of this project full-size girders with end zones and multiple strands are modelled. Experimental tests on full-size girders are performed as well. Numerical and experimental results are compared with each other in order to validate the FE models and additionally parametric studies are performed on these models. Finally, also an I-shaped prestressed beam without end block and with optimised reinforcement, to encounter the additional stresses due to the prestress force transfer, is studied.  

Most important publications:

K. Van Meirvenne, W. De Corte, V. Boel, L. Taerwe, „Numerical and experimental analyss of the transfer length and its influence on the anchorage zone design of pretensioned concrete members,” in CTU conference, Dundee, 2016.

K. Van Meirvenne, W. De Corte, V. Boel, L. Taerwe, „ Verification of the bursting and spalling formulas in the fib Model Code by finite element analyses of anchorage zones of prestensioned girders” in fib symposium, Cape Town, 2016.

K. Van Meirvenne, W. De Corte, V. Boel, L. Taerwe, „ Nonlinear analysis of the end zones of prestressed concrete girders, submitted for PCI convention and national bridge conference at the precast show, Ohio, 2017.

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