Three Dimensional Finite Element Model of a Partially Continuous Joint
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Abstract– A detailed three-dimensional finite element model of a joint with link slab continuity was modeled under the same loading conditions as a three dimensional finite element model of a joint with a continuity diaphragm. Support conditions and material properties were homogenized between both models, and in order to determine the equivalent loading resulting from temperature gradient, a previously validated simplified line model was used. Displacements and rotations were then determined for the conditions in the detailed 3D model using the simplified line model and were applied to the corresponding elements in the 3D model. Results showed a different stress distribution between both models. The higher continuity of the continuity diaphragm provided the conditions for a better distribution of stress than the link slab in the partial continuity model. Bearing pads had different roles in both models and therefore different stress distribution and deformation profile. The higher redundancy of the continuity diaphragm resulted in less influence of the bearing pads towards joint performance in the continuity diaphragm model than in the link slab model.