Research Activities: 2003

Finite Element Modeling of Reinforced Concrete (RC) Bridge Decks with ABAQUS




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Sequential Number


Matching Research Agency

University of Missouri-Kansas City

Principal Investigator

Ganesh Thiagarajan, Ph.D., P.E.
Assistant Professor
University of Missouri-Kansas City
School of Interdisciplinary Computing and Engineering
5100 Rockhill Road, 350J RHFH
Kansas City, MO 64110
p(816) 235-1288

Student Involvement

One graduate student will be involved in the completion of the project

Project Objective

To establish an efficient and reliable finite element analysis technique for RC structures, especially bridge decks which is capable of predicting stresses, strains and damage in such structures. The objective of using ABAQUS is its unique ability to model concrete and steel as distinct elements thus enabling the application of different constitutive models for both the materials.

Project Abstract

The finite element method is still a predominant technique for the analysis of RC structures and can be a very effective tool to offset expensive experimental techniques. One commercially available finite element code, ABAQUS, has the unique ability to model the nonlinear behavior of concrete and steel as independent entities. This project will establish the methodology of modeling a typical RC bridge deck using ABAQUS and predict displacements, strains and stresses under normal traffic loads.


Anticipated Benefits

The following benefits are anticipated from the analytical work:

  • A technique to accurately model a RC bridge deck using advanced finite element methods will be established.
  • A level of effectiveness which has the potential to save costly experimentation procedures will be achieved.

Modal Orientation

Finite element analysis of reinforced concrete bridge decks


Project Start Date:01/01/2004
Project End Date:08/31/2005

Relationship to other Research/Projects


Technology Transfer Activities


Transportation Research Board Keywords

Finite elements, RC bridge decks, ABAQUS, non-linear behavior modeling