In the modern construction industry, lightweight aggregate concrete (LWAC) is often used in the production of load-bearing structural members. LWAC can be up to 40% lighter by volume in comparison to normal strength concrete. On the other hand, the lack of adequate numerical models often limits the practical application of innovative building materials, such as lightweight concrete, in real projects. This trend is due to the uncertainties in design standard methods and calculation errors, the level of which is generally unacceptable to civil engineers in terms of safety and reliability. In the present paper, a comparative numerical deformation analysis of a full-scale bridge deck slab and girder has been carried out. Using the physical model proposed by the authors and the finite element software ATENA, the deformations of full–scale lightweight and traditional reinforced concrete elements under short-term effects of permanent and variable loads was compared. Depending on the safety and serviceability limit requirements, it was found that the amount of longitudinal reinforcement in lightweight reinforced concrete elements can be reduced compared to normal reinforced concrete elements with the same parameters. The results of the numerical analysis show that the deformation analysis model proposed by the authors can be a reliable tool for the design of lightweight concrete flexural members by selecting the optimum geometrical and reinforcement parameters limited by the stiffness condition.
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