As part of the Research Tuesday series, Dr. Andrew Bechtel, Assistant Professor in the Civil Engineering department, recently gave a talk on the results he found through evaluation of steel deck institute pour-stop design tables. He was asked to examine these pour-stops by the Steel Deck Institute, from which he received funding alongside some additional funding from the School of Engineering.
Pour-stops are not designed to be structural pieces. They are designed to be accessories placed on top of structural pieces in order to help direct concrete during construction. Dr. Bechtel’s goal during the summer was to verify that a specific pour-stop design was functional and safe.
Validation testing was done in the labs of Armstrong Hall, where Dr. Bechtel took this pour-stop and physically tested it by itself, with concrete as a hydrostatic force, and with water as a hydrostatic force. He also performed computer simulations where he modeled the pour-stops virtually in order to test them in the same ways they were being tested physically in order to compare the results. Deformation and stress on the pour-stops were examined for these tests.
There was a large amount of variation in the results when comparing the experimental with the modeled results, though generally the modeling techniques agreed with what was observed during physical testing, which confirmed that tests were generally being done properly.
While this research and testing was done mainly by himself due to time constraints, Dr. Bechtel noted that he would have liked to have had some students helping him and learning from him amidst the process.