Analysis of the shear behavior of prestressed concrete spliced girders
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Implementation of the spliced girder technology in bridges has been growing in recent years. Increased girder lengths can now be realized by splicing shorter precast segments to produce a long span. The research conducted in this dissertation is focused on an evaluation of spliced girders using a three dimensional finite element analysis. The project consisted of a series of tests that were conducted in two phases. In Phase I, the effect of post-tensioning ducts on the shear behavior and strength of prestressed concrete girders was evaluated. In Phase II, the focus was on the behavior of cast-in-place splice regions between precast segments. Since a limited number of full scale beams could be tested, a three-dimensional advanced finite element program is an effective alternative to expensive tests. The parameters considered were grout to girder concrete strength ratio, splice to girder concrete strength ratio, concrete shear key detailing, coupler diameter, duct to web width ratio, shear span to depth ratio, and concrete shrinkage losses. The findings are described in detail. Using the experimental and analytical results, it was found that the grout to concrete strength ratio for grouted ducts should not to be less than 0.3. The effect of increasing the duct diameter to web width ratio from 0.43 to 0.57 was minimal. Splice to girder concrete strength ratio should be greater than 0.6. The addition of a shear key had no effect on the shear capacity of the girder. The coupler diameter in the splice region had no effect on the behavior of the spliced girder for coupler diameter to web width ratio up to 0.55. Including concrete shrinkage in the analysis slightly improved the correlation with observed response.