A combination of finite difference and finite element methods was employed to develop a model for predicting the temperature development and thermally induced stresses in early-age concrete members (such as bridge footings, piers, columns, girders, and slabs). A two-dimensional finite difference (FD) scheme was utilized for heat generation and transfer within a hydrating concrete member. A finite element (FE) plane strain model was then established to compute the thermal stresses in the concrete subjected to the temperature changes. The FD-FE model can be easily created using any programing language, and the methodology can be used to predict the temperatures and stresses as well as assess the possibility of early-age cracking in concrete members.
Part of the book: Finite Element Methods and Their Applications