Bursting and Spalling in Pretensioned U-Beams

Dunkman, David A.


An experimental program was conducted at the Ferguson Structural Engineering Laboratory of The University of Texas at Austin, under the auspices of Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Research Project 5831, to investigate the tensile stresses that develop in the end regions of pretensioned concrete U-beams at transfer of prestress. Understanding the effect of these “bursting” and “spalling” stresses is essential in order to design standard details that might lead to reliably-serviceable end regions.

Two full-scale beam specimens, designed to be worst-case scenarios for bursting and spalling, were fabricated. Each beam had one square and one highly skewed end. Extensive instrumentation, including strain gages on transverse and lateral reinforcing bars, was employed in the end regions of these U-beams. Experimentally determined bursting and spalling stresses in these bars were compared to results of past projects (from the literature) investigating I-beams and inverted T-beams.

Preliminary recommendations are made for changes in the standard reinforcing details for U-beam end regions. Such recommended details will be tested in the upcoming phase of Research Project 5831.

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