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This thesis was aimed at the development of a finite element based software package for the analysis and design of prestressed concrete slabs. Many of the existing packages used in this area carry out a simplified two dimensional analysis of the slab which does not account for the secondary stresses set up by the presence of openings and notches in the slab. In an attempt to overcome this particular weakness, a finite element analysis package was written to help produce a more rigorous analysis of the stresses developed in prestressed concrete. The aims of the research were the examination of prestressed concrete theory, the identification of a suitable finite element model and the implementation of both theory and model through a purpose written software package. A combination of two finite element models, plate bending and plane stress, were used to simulate the effect of the axial stress imparted to the concrete by the strands and the moment applied to the section due to the eccentricity of the strands. The stresses encountered at transfer and during service conditions were examined in the software. Good programming practices such as minimised storage structures and the development of an efficient matrix solver were integral to the development of an effective software tool. Finally, the results produced by the software were examined and compared with those calculated using an established finite element analysis package. Ansys was chosen for this purpose as it has the flexibility to be applied to this particular package. The process of writing the software showed that an extensive amount of work was involved in debugging the code. An understanding was developed of the stages of evolution through which software of this type passes before completion. The software produced results that were broadly in line with those predicted by Anysys. However, the arduous task of setting up the model in Ansys showed that software tailored for use in the prestressed concrete field that would produce reasonably accurate results would have a place in industry.
Hogan, Ronan (Thesis), "The computerised design of prestressed concrete slabs" (2006). Masters. Paper 26.