It is widely known that as the structure of the size increases, its nominal strength decreases. In this paper, the effect of size on punching shear has been quantified for transversely post-tensioned deck slabs cast between flanges of precast concrete girders. A 1:2 scaled model of the bridge was constructed in the laboratory, and experimental and numerical analyses were carried out. However, in order to apply these results on a real bridge, simply using the geometrical scale factors is not sufficient and a structural size effect has to be taken into account. Since a full-scale experimental study was not possible due to the costs involved, a numerical approach using finite element analysis software package TNO DIANA was used to model both the prototype and the real bridge, and a comparison was made to estimate the effect of size on the bearing capacity. It was found that increasing the transverse prestressing level had a positive effect on the punching shear strength of the deck slab. Furthermore, a lower size effect was observed with higher transverse prestressing levels. It is concluded that if a suitable size factor is used, either numerical or small-scale experimental studies can be reasonably used to investigate existing structures.
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