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# Prestressed Concrete Structures

Appendix

Parabolic tendon layout for a symmetric mid span and asymmetric end span
Symmetric mid span
Based on symmetry with regard to the centre of the span, the tendon layout in the beam from
fig. 1 can be approximated by two parabolas:
The layout function at a midspan is:
g(x) = C1.x2
(The origin of the assumed coordinate axis system coincides with the lowest point of the
parabola. As a result, only the coefficient of x2 is not equal to 0). The derivates of this
function are, respectively:
and

g(x) = 2.C1.x
g(x) = 2.C1

## The layout function at the support is:

h(x) = C2.x2 + C3.x + C4
with its derivates:
and

h(x) = 2.C2.x + C3
h(x) = 2.C2
(x2,y2)
(x1,y1)
R
h(x)

Figure 1

g(x)

h(x)

Appendix

## The following boundary conditions apply:

At the support (x2,y2):
1. The elevation relative to the origin is y2 = h(x2).
2. The tangent line is horizontal, which results in a first derivate h(x2) = 0
3. The curvature radius has a known value (mostly 4 6 m) following the specifications of
the prestressing system: h(x2) = 1/R
At the transition point (x1,y1) from the concave span parabola to the convex support
parabola:
4. The elevation of the span parabola is equal to the elevation of the support convex
parabola : g(x1) = h(x1)
5. the tangent inclination of both parabolas are equal : g(x1) = h(x1)
From the 3rd condition it follows (with respect to C2):
h ''( x2 ) 2 C2

1
1
C2
2 R
R

(1)

From the 2nd condition and equation (1) it follows (with respect to C3):
h '( x2 ) 0 2 C2 x2 C3 0 C3

x2
R

(2)

From the 1st condition and equations (1) and (2) it follows (with respect to C4):
x22
1 x22
h( x2 ) ( x2 x2 ) C4 y2 C4 y2
R 2
2 R

(3)

With the aid of the equations (1), (2) and (3) h(x) is obtained:

1 x2
x2
1
( x2 x) y2 2
( x 2 2 x2 x x22 ) y2
R 2
2 R
2 R
1

( x x2 ) 2 y2
2 R

h( x )

(4)

From the 5th condition the constant C1 is obtained by substituting the yet unknown x1 in the first
derivate of equation (4):

g '( x1 ) h '( x1 ) 2 C1 x1

x1 x2
R

C1

x1 x2
2 R x1

(5)

From the 4th condition and the equations (4) and (5):
g ( x1 ) h( x1 )

x1 x2 2
1
x1
( x1 x2 ) 2 y2
2 R x1
2R

Appendix

## From this x1 is obtained :

y2
R x2
x2
With the aid of the equations (5) and (6), g(x) is obtained:
x1 2

y2
R x2 x2
x2
1
2
g ( x) C1 x
x2
x2
2
y2
x
2 R (2 R x2 )
2R 2
x2
y2

(6)

(7)

Appendix

0,20 m
(10 , 0.85)
(x1,y1)
0,85 m

20 m
Figure 2

R= -5

0,20 m

## Example calculation of the tendon profile at a midspan

Data:
Rmin = -5 m (negative value due to convex curvature)
Coordinates (x2,y2) = (10 m, 0,85 m)
Problem:
Determine the tendon layout in this midspan
Solution:
From equation (6):
x1 = 9,15 m
From equation (5): C1 = 9,29.10-3
From equation (1): C2 = - 0,1 m
From equation (2): C3 = 2
From equation (3): C4 = -9,15 m
Substituting x1 in equation (4): y1 = 0,778 m

## Prestressed Concrete Structures

Appendix

End span
This second example can mainly be derived from the previous example (figure 3). In this case
the layout of the tendon can also be determined with the aid of two parabolas:
At the span section and at the end support (anchor; left hand side) the parabola is:
g(x) = C1.x2
Again, it is assumed that the origin of the coordinate system coincides with the lowest point
of the parabola, though the location of the origin is not known in advance.
At the mid support, the parabola is defined by:
h(x) = C2.x2 + C3.x + C4
y

(x3,y3)

(x2,y2)
(x1,y1)

x
g(x)

R
h(x)

Figure 3

## The following conditions apply:

At mid support, at location (x2, y2)
1. The elevation with regard to the origin is h(x2) = y2. From equation (3) results C4. The only
difference with the symmetrical solution is that C4 still is expressed in the unknown x2.
2. The tangent line is horizontal at the mid support: h(x2) = 0. From equation (2) results
C3,also expressed in the unknown x2
3. The expression for the curvature at the mid support is h(x) = 1/R from which C2 results in
accordance with equation (1)
At the transition point from the span parabola to the support parabola, at location (x1, y1):
4. The elevations are equal: g(x) = h(x). From equation (6) results x1 , also expressed in the
unknown x2
5. The first derivates are equal: g(x) = h(x). From equation (5) results C1 , also expressed in
the unknown x2
At the end support at location (x3,y3):
6. The elevation is y3 which implies that: g(x3) = y3
7. x3 results from x3 = x2 -
From the 6th and 7th condition and equation (7):

g ( x3 )

1
x2
2R 2
y2

x32

( x2 ) 2
y3
x22
2R
y2

(8)

Appendix

## The result from this equation:

x2

y3 2
( 2 R y3 ) 2 R y3
y2

y3
1
y2

(9)

Appendix

0,20 m

(x2,0,85)
(x1,y1)

(x3,0,5 m)
0,50 m

R= -5 m

1,25 m

0,20 m
20 m
Figure 4

## Example calculation of the tendon profile at end span

Data:
Rmin = -5 m (negative value due to convex curvature)
Span = 20 m
Elevation at (x2,y2) is y2 = 0,85 m
Elevation at (x3,y3) is y3 = 0,5 m
Problem:
Determine the tendon layout in this end span
Solution:
From equation (9): x2 = 11,48 m and x3 = -8,52 m
From equation (6): x1 = 10,47 m
From equation (5): C1 = 6,894.10-3
From equation (1): C2 = -0,1
From equation (2): C3 = 2,296
From equation (3): C4 = -12,33
Substituting x1 in equation (4) : y1 = 0,795 m