DE-BONDING STRANDS AS AN ANCHORAGE ZONE CRACK CONTROL METHOD FOR PRETENSIONED CONCRETE BULB-TEE BRIDGE GIRDERS USING NONLINEAR FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS
Wisconsin bulb tee pretensioned concrete girders have being used for bridges. Their effective spans to depth ratios and higher durability have made prestressed concrete girders desirable. However, cracks were observed at the anchorage zones of these girders because of the demand. To satisfy demand, these girders are heavily prestressed. Cracks initiate during detensioning of pretensioned strands and grow more while transporting them to the resting beds. These cracks create durability concerns as cracks lead aggressive salty water to the steel strands, endangering structures’ stability. Especially, cracks in the bottom flange closer to the strands are main concerns in this research. This research primarily focused on the analyses of prestressed girder ends with modelling with nonlinear material properties to understand and recommend control methods for girder end cracking. The end zone behavior of the pretensioned girder was modelled using nonlinear material properties. The concrete nonlinearity, strain softening and stress redistribution upon cracking were also included in the behavior and the verification of tests were done by real tests on these girders. Finally, the reasons for cracks were explained by examining the principal tensile strain directions. The results of previous study showed that debonding strands can effectively control cracking. In this thesis, only debonding for cracking control method, therefore, was tested on 72W with 48 strands and 54W with 42 strands WI girders to see the real effect of debonding on anchorage zone cracks. After getting good results from tests and verifying them with Finite Element Analysis models, exact debonding percentages for other girders to eliminate cracks were presented by giving results of FEA models built for each of them.