The Development of a Steel Embedded Connection for Double-Tee Beams

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Virginia Tech

The research conducted was sponsored by JVI of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. JVI has developed a steel embedded connection, referred to as a shooter. The shooter is provided in capacities, a 40 kip capacity shooter and a 50 kip capacity shooter. This steel connection is embedded near the end of a double-tee prestressed girder. Double-tee prestressed girders are a primary component used in the construction of parking garages. Typical double-tee lengths are 60 to 75 feet; however, for this research 20 ft long segments were cast and tested with the shooter installed.

This project had three main goals. The first goal was to develop a preliminary design for the reinforcement around the shooter and test the shooters' capacity in the laboratory to determine if the stated capacity was correct. Four different designs were created, two designs for the 40 kip capacity shooter and 2 designs for the 50 kip capacity shooter. Each design was placed in one stem of the double-tee and tested at the laboratory. Results from these tests indicate that that each specimen achieved the stated capacity. However, failure was not a connection failure but a shear bond failure.

The second goal was to take the information gathered from testing and develop a design model that could be used for other situations for this type of connection. The design model was created according to the guidelines in the ACI 318-08 code. Two different methods were used, a strut-and-tie model and a modified ACI code approach. From these designs it was determined that the strut-and-tie model should be used for the design of these connections; however, more research needs to be done before using the modified ACI code approach.

The final goal was to determine if finite element analysis could be used to determine if the load at which large cracks that immediately proceed failure occur could be predicted. From this analysis it was determined that a load range could be predicted in which a crack could form as well as a range of what the transfer length of the strands could be.

steel embedded connection, strut-and-tie model, Finite element method