Finite Element Simulation of Externally-Prestressed Concrete Girders

Said Elkholy, Ahmed Godat, Saif Elabsi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The external prestressing (EP) technique has been noticeably used in either the strengthening of deteriorated reinforced concrete (RC) structures or the construction of long-span girders. This technique has many advantages in terms of its contribution to both flexural and shear capacity of RC girders, the ease of installation, and more convenient maintenance for tendons’ inspection and replacement. Considerable number of research have been experimentally investigated the contribution of EP tendons to enhance the capacity of RC girders. However, numerous factors were found to affect the performance of EP RC girders that require further investigation. The main purpose of this study is to develop a three-dimensional finite-element model that is able to simulate the entire behavior of EP RC girders. In this model, appropriate geometrical elements are used to represent the behavior of the concrete, steel reinforcement and EP tendons. The EP tendons are modelled with truss elements connected to the concrete at specific locations, as was the case for the laboratory experiments. Sensitivity analysis is performed for finite element modelling of specimens in order to optimize the mesh size and the number of nodes per element. The numerical predictions of the finite element model are compared with various configurations and materials of EP tendons. It is shown that the numerical predictions compare very well with experimental measurements in terms of ultimate loading capacities, load–deflection relationships and failure modes. The numerical predictions are used to provide useful information of the cracking progress and strain profiles of the simulated girders.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 3rd International Civil Engineering and Architecture Conference - CEAC 2023
EditorsMarco Casini
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9789819963676
Publication statusPublished - 2024
Event3rd International Civil Engineering and Architecture Conference, CEAC 2023 - Kyoto, Japan
Duration: Mar 17 2023Mar 20 2023

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Civil Engineering
ISSN (Print)2366-2557
ISSN (Electronic)2366-2565


Conference3rd International Civil Engineering and Architecture Conference, CEAC 2023


  • Cracking progress
  • Externally-prestressed beams
  • Finite element predictions
  • Finite element simulation
  • Geometrical modelling
  • Ultimate loading capacity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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