Bond between smooth prestressing wires and concrete : finite element model and transfer length analysis for pretensioned concrete crossties.
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Bond between smooth prestressing wires and concrete : finite element model and transfer length analysis for pretensioned concrete crossties.

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  • Abstract:
    Pretensioned concrete ties are increasingly employed in railroad high speed

    and heavy haul applications. The bond between prestressing wires or strands and

    concrete plays an important role in determining the transfer length of pretensioned

    concrete members, but little research was done to characterize the transfer length in

    terms of steel reinforcement and concrete factors for railroad concrete ties. Federal

    Railroad Administration is sponsoring a comprehensive test program at Kansas State

    University (KSU) aimed at quantitatively correlating prestressing steel and concrete

    variables with the transfer length of pretensioned concrete crossties, and Volpe Center

    has been applying the data obtained in the KSU test program to develop bond models

    that can be used in transfer length prediction and failure analysis of concrete ties.

    This paper describes finite element (FE) model development related to the

    smooth prestressing wire whose dominant bonding mechanisms with concrete are

    chemical adhesion and friction. The commercial FE software Abaqus is employed,

    and the steel-concrete interface is discretized with cohesive elements. A user bond

    model is developed within the elastoplastic framework and implemented for

    axisymmetric and 3D cohesive elements. The bond model defines constitutive

    relations in terms of normal and shear stresses vs. interfacial dilation and slips. The

    bond behavior is initially linear elastic, followed by adhesion and friction that are

    governed by a yield function and a plastic flow rule specific for the smooth wireconcrete

    interface. The main bond material parameters are normal and shear elastic

    stiffness, initial adhesive strength, plastic slip at which adhesion first breaks

    completely, and coefficient of friction. Except for the coefficient of friction, which is

    determined with reference to the open literature, the bond parameters are calibrated

    from untensioned pullout tests and pretensioned prism tests conducted at KSU. The

    calibrated bond parameters exhibit a dependence on the nominal compressive strength

    of concrete at the time of pretension release. Because considerable concrete creeping

    has been observed in the periods between pretension release and concrete strain

    measurement in the test program, an additional concrete material parameter, basic

    creep compliance, can be calculated and applied to adjust the concrete surface strain

    data. The user bond model is then validated with transfer length data measured on

    actual concrete crossties made with a smooth prestressing wire in a tie manufacturing


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