Recommendations for finite element analysis for the design of reinforced concrete slabs
In the bridge design community the usage of 3D finite element analyses has increased substantially in the last few years. Such analyses provide the possibility for a more accurate study of the structure than what is possible by using more traditional design tools. However, in order to use the full strength of the finite element method in daily design practice a number of critical issues have to be addressed. These issues are related either to the FE-modeling itself (geometry, support conditions, mesh density, etc.) or to the post processing of the obtained results (stress concentrations, choice of critical sections, distribution widths and so on). The purpose of this report is to address these problems and provide recommendations and guidelines for the practicing engineers.
The recommendations given here are based on what was found in literature combined with engineering judgement and considerations from engineering practice. The recommendations are believed to be conservative, implicating a potential for improvement based on increased knowledge on the response and distribution of shear in concrete slabs and how this is reflected by linear FE analysis. This also means that, in many cases, there may be other alternatives that are equally correct as the ones suggested in this report.