This paper describes the modeling and analysis procedure of a 3D, solid, nonlinear finite element (FE) model of a bridge developed in the finite element analysis software package TNO DIANA to study the structural behavior in punching shear of transversely prestressed concrete deck slabs cast between flanges of long, pretensioned girders, and compressive membrane action. The numerical research was part of a broad project involving laboratory experiments carried out on a 1:2 scale model of such a bridge in Delft University of Technology. Both the experimental and numerical results showed much higher capacities than expected and this was attributed to the development of compressive membrane action in the plane of the slab. The numerical results were then compared with the experimentally found ultimate loads of eight basic test cases and it was discovered that the nonlinear FE models can predict the load carrying capacity quite accurately with a coefficient of variation of only 11%. It was concluded that punching shear failures can be reasonably modeled with non-linear finite element analysis of 3D solid models. Furthermore, using composed elements can lead to the determination of compressive membrane forces developed in a laterally restrained slab, which was previously difficult to determine using analytical techniques.
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