Composite Construction (Concrete)

Reinforced concrete composite structure
Reinforced concrete composite structure

Composite structures, for example, precast girders with in-situ concrete, are normally modeled through the representation of beam and area elements with different properties. Together with the construction stages the resulting creep redistributions can also be easily calculated. As concerns the interpretation and further processing of the results, there is the problem that reactions are determined separately for the beam and area elements.
With the so-called design objects the reactions of any elements at defined sections can be sum up to 'gross section internal forces'. These are required, for example, for the section-related checks.

The described procedure is illustrated in the following small example:

Prestressed, Precast Girders with In-situ Concrete

Structure of the section
Structure of the section

The following figure shows the section of a simple one-span bridge, built with prefabricated parts and a subsequently applied slab of in-situ concrete.
A possible structure model is shown in the next figure. The prefabricated parts are modeled using beam elements, and the roadway slab using eccentrically coupled prismatic shell structure elements.

Structure model with beam, link and shell elements
Structure model with beam, link and shell elements

This system delivers the internal forces in the prefabricated parts and the in-situ slab.

In the first construction stage only the prestressed, precast girders exist (beam elements). These carry their dead load and the fresh concrete from the in-situ concrete slab. The illustrated internal forces exist after 50 days of creep and shrinkage.

Bending moment My
Bending moment My
Normal force Nx
Normal force Nx

In the second construction stage the in-situ concrete slab is activated. At first it is free of stress. Only through the redistribution from the creep and shrinkage do reactions arise, as indicated below:

Normal forces in the slabas as a result of C&S
Normal forces in the slab as a result of C&S
Section view of the normal forces
Section view of the normal forces

In this way any creep stage can be investigated for the different components.

Further loads affect the entire system and result in reactions in the precast girder and the slab.

The internal forces of the 'gross section' made up of the precast girder and the slab is required to perform the checks on the composite girder. Toward this end a design object is defined. With its help, the stresses of the girder and slab are integrated into internal forces, which are then combined according to standards to make the checks possible.

Location of the design object
Location of the design object

The 'gross section internal forces' curve is applied to the design object:

Bending moment My
Bending moment My
Normal force Nx
Normal force Nx
Lateral force Qz
Lateral force Qz