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The same goes for the mild reinforced flat slabs. Without clearly defined  column and middle strips (which is what you get when the slab is designed by FEM programs) it is difficult to tell where the rebar starts and ends and it  requires a lot of extra care in field to ensure they are layed out properly.

Ben Yousefi, SE
Santa Monica, CA

>>> GSKWY(--nospam--at) 12/02/03 07:47AM >>>
As was pointed out to me, most engineers using finite-element programs to 
design post-tensioned buildings are not designing.  They are "modeling" and 
"meshing"  and feeling quite sophisicated.  Physical realities such as as loads 
that need to get transferred to a foundation are seldom considered.  As long as 
they have convergence, they have a design.

Finite element analysis can be a great tool for those who understand what 
they are doing.  However, engineers who actually do understand at least the 
basics of post-tensioning tend to prefer "strip-based" programs because they 
provide a better feel for the design.  Experienced engineers are able to use them 
very efficiently.

To me, an engineering firm that boasts it is using "the latest finite element 
programs" for their design is signaling that they proably know very little 
about post-tensioning.

Gail  Kelley    

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