Introduction to the special issue on stability under finite deformation
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DESTRADE, M., SACCOMANDI, G. (2010) 'Introduction to the special issue on Stability under Finite Deformation'. IMA Journal of Applied Mathematics, Special Issue on Stability under Finite Deformation, 75 :475-478.
In the botanical gardens of Grenoble, France, there is small bridge, just a few metres long, made of pre-stressed concrete. The bridge dates back to 1855 and is thought to be the oldest manufactured pre-stressed structure made with concrete. In general, a pre-stressed bridge span is reinforced by parallel metallic rods embedded below the horizontal mid-plane and put under tension, so that the slab is bent slightly upwards. When the bridge is put in place, the span is subjected to its own weight and to external loads, which ensure that the concrete is compressed everywhere. Without the prestress, the weight and loads would bend the span downwards, and create a zone of tension, of which concrete cannot sustain much. This technology thus combines the compressive strength of concrete with the tensile strength of the metallic rods. We can say that the resulting structure is stabilized by prestress.