The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 75 (1997) > Issues > Issue 19 > A Plasticity Approach to the Assessment of Shear in Concrete Beam-and-Slab Bridges
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A Plasticity Approach to the Assessment of Shear in Concrete Beam-and-Slab Bridges

This paper describes the development of a general 3-dimensional collapse mechanism approach for the assessment of shear in concrete beam-and-slab bridges. The present empirical rules for shear assessment of existing structures do not allow for the enhancement in shear capacity which an individual beam within a concrete structure might exhibit over and above its isolated (2-dimensional beam) strength. A rational approach, using the theory of plasticity in its standard form, is applied to this problem in an attempt to model the overall collapse mechanism which would have to occur in a concrete beam-and-slab bridge for the structure to actually fail. Some improvement (over the existing British assessment Codes of Practice for concrete bridges) in the predictions for shear strength of such structures is found. While the theory of plasticity relies on several assumptions of doubtful validity for concrete structures, the present method is shown to have potential as a possible assessment tool for bridges. T.J. Ibell, C.T. Morley and C.R. Middleton