DESIGN AND PRODUCTION OF PRESTRESSED LSHAPED BLEACHER SEAT UNITS
John B. Kelly, P.E.
Chief Engineer Construction Products Corp. Lafayette, Indiana
Kenneth J. Pike, P.E.
Division Sales Manager Featherlite Precast Corp. Lexington, Kentucky
Bleacher seat units, like any other unsymmetrical section, may develop unexpected stress concentrations if the design does not consider that the applied loads are not perpendicular to the bending planes. This paper presents a suggested technique for computing stresses realistically, and for locating the prestress forces to handle these stresses. It also describes the manufacture, handling, shipping and erection of the units.
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the design, manufacture, shipment, and erection of precast and prestressed con crete Lshaped bleacher units for a college amphitheater. Fig. 1 shGws the general plan of one quadrant of the amphitheater and Fig. 2 shows a typi cal secticn through several bleacher units. There were two basic shapes of sec tions (see Fig. 3). The physical dimen sions and service loads were estab lished by the architect. The service loads were:
Vertical
Transverse = 10 lb per linear ft Longitudinal = 24 lb per linear ft
= 100 lb per sq ft
Spans ranged from 6 to 38 ft, with spans less than 11 ft being precast. Dead loads varied from 35 to 100 lb per sq ft and included the dead load of the unit itself and all superimposed dead loads such as seats and hung ceil ings. Before the design of the section was begun much thought was given to the various possible methods of producing, handling, and erecting these segments. Because all of these bleacher units were required to have a very smooth and consistent walking surface and many of them would be exposed to view on the bottom, it was decided to cast these un'ts in the inverted position. The units
PCI Journal/SeptemberOctober 1973ҟ
_{7}_{3}
10
5 10 20 30 40 SCALE I"= 20
Fig. 1. Plan of typical quadrant of amphitheater.
would be stripped from the bed by using a vacuum lifter, rotated into their shipping and erected position, and then stored in that position. Erecting loops of galvanized aircraft cable were cast in the end of each piece. This method would ensure that no lifting or inserts would have to be burned off and patched causing undesirable blemishes in the units.
DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS
The design was based on ACI 318 71, Building Code Requirements for Reinforced Concrete. Flexure, shear, and torsion were investigated. The de sign criteria for materials used were as follows:
f ci = 4500 psi
74
_{f} = 6000 psi
Prestressing steel
_{1}_{/}_{2} in. diameter strand with an ulti mate strength of 270 ksi. Mild steel reinforcement: Grade 60
Stresses at transfer
Compression: 0.6 (4500) = 2700 psi Tension (during rotation):
7.5/4500 = 503 psi Tension (after rotation):
3/4500 = 301 psi
Stresses after all losses
Compression: 0.45 (6000) = 2700 psi
Tension: 6i/6000 = 465 psi In designing the sections for flexure, stresses were checked in the inverted and upright position considering a 25 percent dead load impact factor and
Fig. 2. Detail showing units bearing on seat angles at steel bents.
initial prestress. Stresses were also checked for inplace service loads with effective prestress. Three critical points (Points a, b, and c) were selected for the stress analysis (see Fig. 4).
Design steps The detailed analysis was done using the following steps:
1. Calculate the bending moments and stresses at Points a, h, and c due to
3 3/4"
dead load in the manufactured and erected positions.
2. Compute the bending moments
and the resulting stresses at Points a,
b, and c due to live loads (inservice position).
3. Determine the stresses at Points
a, b, and c due to prestress forces at each of the 25 possible strand locations designated A through Y. The location of the strand is determined by the
Fig. 3. Typical cross section _{o}_{f} bleacher units.
PCX Journal/SeptemberOctober 1973ҟ
_{7}_{5}
IT Spa. At 2"
rl
Fig. 4. Cross section _{o}_{f} bleacher unit _{s}_{h}_{o}_{w}_{i}_{n}_{g} strand location and points where
stresses are determined.
position of the form relative to the stressing header blocks. See Fig. 4 for the locus of strands A through Y.
4. Calculate the range of prestress
required at the critical points (Points a,
b, and c) for each condition of applied loads. The sum of prestress and applied stress should not exceed the allowable stresses. From Item 3, above, select the strand combination which will meet all prestress range requirements. 5. By finding the principle axis, check the ultimate moment criteria. The calculations for Steps 1, 2, and 4 above are summarized in Table 1. See Table 2 for a summary of the cal culations described in Item 3 above. It was assumed for purposes of simplifying the analysis that the bleach er unit is able to freely deflect under service loads and is only supported at the bent lines. This should be some what conservative since in Section A of Fig. 1 the unit below the one being analyzed will be somewhat stiffer and
76
should provide some resistance to the deflection of the analyzed unit under service loads. In Section B of Fig. 1,
when all the units are the same length
it is improbable that all the units will
be subjected to maximum loads at the same time. Therefore, some resistance
to the free deflection of the unit being
analyzed will probably be provided In the longer bleacher units, handling points for stripping the products from the form had to be moved in from the end of the member to approximately 0.2L to control stresses in all positions.
Analysis of shear reinforcement was conservative in that the worst case was considered for design of all members.
A 38 ft long Type I unit was selected
and loaded with 100 lb per sq ft live
load. The member was designed as if
only the vertical leg of the section was carrying the shear load. As can be seen
in the sample problem, only _{m}_{i}_{n}_{i}_{m}_{u}_{m}
shear reinforcement was required. Analysis of torsional reinforcement
Q
W
ro
^o
0
ti
CO
w
Table 1. Summary of stresses (psi) in 25ft span Type I bleacher unit.
Stripping and turning
^{a} 

DL(1.25) 
—704 
— 503 

Allowable 
+2700 
Prestress 
+ 201 
Range 
+3404 
Prestress pattern
V
B
U
+307
2 39
x170
^{+}^{3}^{5}^{9}
^{b}
^{c}
+518 
—298 
— 503 
— 503 
+2700 
+2700 
—1021 
^{—} ^{2}^{0}^{5} 
+2182 
+2998 
+134 
— 59 
—290 

+536 
+590 
}236 
—117 
^{+}^{6}^{8}^{2} 
^{+}^{1}^{2}^{4} 
Handling after turning
a 
b 

DL 
+563 
—414 
^{—} ^{2}^{0}^{1} 
—. 201 

Allowable 
+2700 
+2700 
Prestress 
— 764 
+ 213 
Range 
^{+}^{2}^{1}^{3}^{7} 
^{+}^{3}^{4}^{1}^{4} 
^{+}^{3}^{0}^{7} 
^{+}^{1}^{3}^{4} 

+121 
^{+}^{5}^{3}^{6} 
+170
^{+}^{3}^{5}^{9}
+236
^{+}^{6}^{8}^{2}
c
+238
^{—} ^{2}^{0}^{1}
+2700
— 439
+2462
^{—} ^{5}^{9}
—290
+590
—117
^{+}^{1}^{2}^{4}
_{I}_{n} _{s}_{e}_{r}_{v}_{i}_{c}_{e}
a 
b 

DL+LL+SDL 
+1248 
_{—}_{9}_{1}_{8} 

Trans. LL 
+ ҟ4 _{—} 8 

Longit. LL 

Total applied 
_{+}_{1}_{2}_{5}_{2} 
_{—}_{9}_{2}_{6} 

^{—} ^{4}^{6}^{5} 
—465 

Allowable 
+2700 
+2700 

Prestress 
—1717 
+461 

Range 
+1448 
+3626 

+273 
+119 

+47 

+107 
77 
+151
+318
1210
+607
c
_{+}_{5}_{2}_{8}
+ 9
_{+}_{5}_{3}_{7}
—465
+2700
—1002
+2163
— 53
—258
+525
—104
+110
I
0.85 fc' = 5100 p.s.i.
a/2
Id
STRESS
T
_{C}
Fig. 5. Stress block and orientation of unsymmetric Type I bleacher unit.
was based on those conservative as sumptions made in the flexural analysis and checking the worst possible case, i.e., maximum span and maximum load.
It can be seen in the same problem
that the torsional stress is less than
1.5V a criterion given for conven tionally reinforced concrete members.
DESIGN EXAMPLE
The following design example is for
a 24 ft long Type I bleacher unit.
However, the shear and torsion in vestigation was based on a 38 ft long Type I bleacher unit.
x
^
Fig. 6. Diagram showing sign conven tion for calculating moment.
78
Section properties The section properties of this unit are:
= 5.277 in.
_{Y}_{^}_{.}
Yy= 14.06 in.
_{I}_{,} 
= 6780.48 in. 
_{I}_{,} 
= 33505.25 in.4 
_{I}_{5} _{,} 
= —8564.84 in.4 
_{I}_{^}_{y}_{/}_{1} _{6}_{,} 
_{=} .1.263 
_{I}_{'}_{Y}_{/}_{I} Y 
= 0.256 
_{(}_{I}_{.}_{y}_{)}_{2}_{/}_{I} _{5} _{=} 10818.775 in.4
_{(}_{I}_{"}_{y}_{)}_{2}_{/}_{I} _{y} = 2189.403 in.4
The following sign convention (see Fig. 6) was adopted for calculating the moment:
Any moment causing compression in
a positive quadrant is positive. If M, causes compression above the xaxis, _{w}_{h}_{e}_{r}_{e} _{y} values are positive, then M,
is positive.
For calculating the stress it was as sumed that positive values denote com pression while negative values indicate
tension.
Stresses The general expression for calculat ing stress at a point in an unsymmetri cal section is:
Table 2. Summary of stresses (psi) at Points a, b, and c (see Fig. 4) for various strand locations (A. through Y) in 25ft span Type I bleacher unit
Strand
^{l}^{o}^{c}^{a}^{t}^{i}^{o}^{n}
^{t}^{b}^{i}
a
Ifni
^{i}^{t} ^{I}^{t}
A 
+158 +142 
+126 

B 
+134 +121 
+107 

C 
+108 _{+} _{9}_{7} 
+ 86 

D 
+ _{+} 84 + 76 
67 

E 
+ 58 + 52 
+ 46 

F 
+ 34 + 31 
+ 27 

H 
16 — F — 14 
13 

1 — 42 — 38 
— 
34 

J 
— 66 — 59 
_{—} 
53 
_{K} 
— 92  83 
_{—} 
74 
L 
—116 —104 
_{—} _{9}_{3} 

M 
—142 —128 
—114 

N 
—166 —149 
—133 

_{O} 
—192 —173 
—154 

P 
—216 —194 
—173 

Q 
—241 —217 
—193 

R 
—266 —239 
—213 

S 
—114 —103 
— 
91 
T 
+ 37 + 33 
_{+} 30 

U 
+189 +170 
+151 

V. 
+341 +307 
+273 

W 
+493 _{+}_{4}_{4}_{4} 
_{+}_{3}_{9}_{4} 

X 
+644 +580 
+515 

Y 
{797 +717 
+638 
* Stress calculated using Eq. (1) before losses.
j 
Stress after initial losses (about 10 percent). 
t 
Stress after final losses (about 21 percent). 
^{f}^{*}
b
fEn1
tilt
—302 
—272 
—242 

—249 
—224 
—199 

—196 
—176 
—157 

—143 
—129 
—114 

— 90 
— 
81 
— 72 

— 38 
— 34 
— 30 

+ 15 
+ 14 
+ 12 

+ 68 
+ 61 
+ 
54 

+121 
+109 
+ 
97 

+174 
+157 
+139 

+227 
+204 
+182 

+279 
+251 
+223 

+332 
+299 
+266 

+335 
+347 
+308 

+433 
+394 
+350 

+491 
+442 
+393 

+543 
+489 
+434 

+596 
+536 
+477 

+485 
+437 
+388 

+373 
+336 
+298 

+262 
+236 
+210 

+149 
+134 
+119 

_{+} 
38 
+ 34 
+ 30 
tbt*
c
_{t}_{f}_{n}_{i}
tf{t
+717 
+645 
+574 

+656 
+590 
+525 

+ 
5 95 
+536 
_{+}_{4}_{7}_{6} 

+ 534 
+481 
+427 

+ 
47 
3 
+426 
_{+}_{3}_{7}_{8} 
+412 
+371 
+330 

+351 
+316 
+281 

+289 
+260 
+231 

+227 
+204 
+182 

+166 
+149 
+133 

+105 
_{+} _{9}_{5} 
+ 84 

+ 44 
+ 40 
_{+} _{3}_{5} 

_{—} _{1}_{7} 
_{—} _{1}_{5} 
_{—} _{1}_{4} 

— 78 
— 70 
— 62 

—139 
—125 
—111 

—200 
—180 
—160 

—261 
—235 
—209 

—322 —290 
—258 

—258 
—232 
—206 

—194 
—175 
—155 

—130 
—117 
—104 

— 66 
— 59 
— 53 
—ҟ1 _{—}_{ҟ}_{1} _{—}_{ҟ}_{1}
_{—} _{7}_{4} 
— 
67 
— 
59 
+ 62 
+ 56 
+ 50 
—185 
—167 
—148 
+127 
_{+}_{1}_{1}_{4} 
_{+}_{1}_{0}_{2} 
f= A+
Mx—Ms(Iv Ixv
y+
I (I^v) 2
a,—
Iv
M." — M. i jam) _{x}
Iy_— (I _{I}_{x}
(1)
The stresses are then checked at
Points a, b, and c (see Fig
dead load in the manufactured condi tion, and dead load plus all live loads in the final, or erected position. These stresses are summarized in Table 1. The effect of the prestressing strands
4) due to
was calculated for each of the possible strand locations (see Table _{2}_{)}_{.} _{M}_{o}_{r}_{e} discussion of the stress calculations is given under "Design Considerations." For production convenience, strand
patterns were selected that would be
suitable for a wide range of span lengths. When the span lengths were increased to a point that a new pat tern had to be devised, every effort was made to arrive at one that would match up with an existing pattern, with the unneeded strands being blan keted. For spans over 30 ft, it was necessary that bond be broken to pre vent overstress in the end regions.
Strength The ultimate moment capacity was checked. For this particular example it was found that the section had an ulti
PCI Journal/SeptemberOctober _{1}_{9}_{7}_{3}_{ҟ}
_{7}_{9}
mate moment capacity equal to 978 in.kips. This was greater than the load factored moment of:
_{1}_{.}_{4} _{D} _{+} _{1}_{.}_{7} L = 737 in.kips
and also greater than 1.2 times the cracking moment.
Camber Camber was investigated. The sec tion under dead load and prestress in the final position was calculated to have a sweep of 0.02 in. and a camber
of 0.02 in. After the member was cast, a careful physical measurement of the camber verified these calculations by yielding "zero" readings. This was es pecially important because "zero" cam ber and sweep were considered a nec essary architectural feature.
Shear reinforcement The design was checked for vertical shear reinforcement. The maximum end reaction occurs in a 38 ft span Type I bleacher unit.
100 psf x 2.83 = 283 lb/ft.
4in
nominal _{■}_{}_{} 5 1/2 in
CG
5.28 In
r
Fig. 8. Loadings for torsion analysis.
80
Vu = 1.4 (2.75 x _{1}_{0}_{0}_{)} _{+}
1.7 (2.75 x _{1}_{0}_{0}_{)} _{2}
= 16,198 lb
It was decided. to use deformed wire fabric for shear reinforcement. The bars are spaced on _{3}_{}_{i}_{n}_{.} _{c}_{e}_{n}_{t}_{e}_{r}_{s}_{.} If we assumed that the vertical leg only takes the shear:
16,198
_ Vu — 0.85 (5%) (15.45) = 224 _{p}_{s}_{i}
Using the PCI Design Handbook, this 'end shear is less than _{2}_{5}_{0} _{p}_{s}_{i}_{.} Therefore; only a minimum A„ is re quired for shear reinforcement. From page 551 of the PCI Design Handbook:
BD = 5.5 (15.45) = 84.98 _{s}_{q} _{i}_{n}_{.}
Ap, f3,,, — 8 (0.153) (270)
60
f^ҟ
= 5.51
Use A„ = 0.05 sq in. every _{3} _{i}_{n}_{:}
Use D 5/6 deformed wire fabric as shown in Fig. _{7}_{.}
Torsion
Torsion was investigated for the longest span (38 ft) used on the project. The torsionproducing load was ap plied as shown in. Fig. _{8}_{.} _{S}_{i}_{n}_{c}_{e} _{t}_{h}_{e} front edge of the walking surface is always supported by the adjacent unit, it was assumed that loads imposed in this region would be delivered to the supporting unit and so would not in duce torsion. The calculations are as follows:
M = 283 (17 — 14.06) + 10 _{(}_{5}_{.}_{2}_{8}_{}_{4}_{)}
= 844.8 in.lb per ft
T,, = 1.7 _{M} (844.8)
= 27,288 _{i}_{n}_{.}_{}_{l}_{b}
Summation of _{x}_{2}_{y}_{:}
Horizontal leg _{4}_{2} _{X} _{3}_{4} _{=} _{5}_{4}_{4} _{i}_{n}_{.}_{3} Vertical leg _{5}_{.}_{5}_{2} _{X} _{1}_{9}_{.}_{3} _{=} _{5}_{8}_{4} _{i}_{n}_{.}_{3}
1128 _{i}_{n} _{,}_{3}
By Section 1116 _{o}_{f} _{A}_{C}_{I} _{3}_{1}_{8}_{}_{7}_{1}_{:}
V t"
_{_}
3(27,288)
0.85(1128)
= 85 psi
By Section _{1}_{1}_{.}_{7}_{.}_{1} _{o}_{f} _{A}_{C}_{I} _{3}_{1}_{8}_{}_{7}_{1}_{:}
1.5/6000 = 116 _{p}_{s}_{i}
This stress is greater than _{8}_{5} _{p}_{s}_{i}_{,} Therefore, effects of torsion may be neglected. The above analysis was done assum ing the section was nonprestressed. Thus, the application of prestressing would make . the torsion analysis even more conservative.
FABRICATION
As was mentioned earlier, the design had to account for stresses resulting from the manufacturing techniques that were devised to provide the specified appearance. As bridge beam and dou= ble tee producers we were rarely con cerned with turning over a prestressed concrete product that had to be manu factured upside down, or with locating lifting devices so as to minimize the necessity of job site patching. The first problem, stripping without using loops or inserts, was solved easily. A twopad vacuum lifter (see Fig. _{9}_{)} removed the products efficiently and economically. Next came a tougher problem, i.e., how to turn precast and prestressed beams (that vary from _{6} _{t}_{o} _{3}_{8} _{f}_{t} _{i}_{n} length) through 180 deg 'and be con .fident of not damaging them. Many
ideas involving vacuum lifters, motors,
belts, pulleys, sand beds, and compli cated machines were advanced, but all were discarded as being expensive,
slow or uncontrollable. The method de veloped consisted of using two twopart wheels that are clamped on the prod
PCI Journal/SeptemberOctober _{1}_{9}_{7}_{3}_{ҟ}
_{8}_{1}
Fig. 9. Twopad vacuum lifter remov ing units.
Fig. 10. Unit being placed into rollover assembly.
Fig. 11. Beamwheel assembly being rolled.
Fig. 12. Unit being lifted with second lifter prior to being stored.
82
uct. The entire assembly was then rolled over, with the beam acting as an axle. Fig. 9 shows the vacuum lifter hold ing the product as it is being lifted from the form. The Travelift then car ries the lifter and product to the site of the rollover process and sets the product (see Fig. 10) into the lower halves of the wheels. The upper halves of the wheels are clamped in place and the vacuum lifter is released to return to the bed to strip the next piece. In Fig. 11 the beam wheel assembly is rolled 180 degrees. In this case the wheels were located at the ends of the product, but the longer pieces re quired that the wheels be located at the onefifth points to reduce bending stresses. The rolling was done with relative ease and the assembly was balanced throughout the turn. This was assured by locating the centroid of the product at the radius center of the wheel. With the product upright a second Travelift (see Fig. 12) hooked into the lifting loops, the wheel was unclamped and the product was car ried to the storage area and stacked on bearings. Concealed pick up points were pro vided by flexible lifting loops. The lift ing loops were made of galvanized air craft cable and were used for all sub sequent handling and for erecting. Fig. 13 shows end details before concrete is placed. The lifting loops are tied to the shear steel and exit over the header at what will be the bottom of the product. Note the header arrangement for making a skewed end. The lifting loops were concealed by a caulked joint when erected. Fig. 14 shows the placing operation. Concrete was delivered by readymix trucks and compacted with internal vi brators. The uniformed surface was given a troweled finish and then steam curing was applied. The form was 220 ft long and pro
duced am average of nine pieces per day. The stripping operation took _{1}_{1}_{/}_{a} hours and the entire daily process took from 8 to 10 hours. The project had a total of 17,200 lineal ft of product (740 pieces) and was completed in 80 production days. There were over 250 different mark numbers required for the job, so repetition was not common. Careful attention to dimensional and tolerance requirements resulted in a nearly flawless job. Only two pieces had to be remade and both resulted, from shipping or handling damage. A few inserts had to be corrected in the field, but this only took one manday for the whole job. Credit for this per formance belongs to the detailers, the bed leadman, and the quality control technicians.
SHIPPING
Fig. 15 shows products being loaded for truck delivery. Timber bearings were made to allow the products to nest together without touching. In Fig. 16 we see a complete load tied down and ready for shipment. Note the lift ing loops in the ends of the products. Delivery was made at a rate of four truck loads per day carrying a maxi mum weight of 42,000 lb of product. Loading time was 30 to 45 minutes per load. Drivers commented that the method of stacking made a very stable load.
ERECTION
Erecting proceeded without any ma jor difficulty. The erecting subcon tractor would unload and erect four truck loads (24 to 28 pieces) in 3 to 4 hours, with welding and removal of lifting loops being done concurrently. The job site was limited on storage space so erecting was generally done directly from the delivery truck.
PCI Journal/SeptemberOctober
_{1}_{9}_{7}_{3}
Fig. 13. Reinforcement details prior to concreting.
Fig. 14. Concreting operation.
Fig. 15. Units being loaded for truck delivery.
Fig. 16. Stacked units ready for ship ment.
_{8}_{3}
CONCLUSION
At the time of the design of this project the authors were unaware of any literature that dealt with the de sign of Lshaped bleacher units. Also, they did not have access to a com puter but relied on the accuracy of a
desk calculator. Thus, it is possible that other more sophisticated methods of analysis might be available today However, it should be mentioned that since the amphitheater was con structed, the bleacher units have shown no cracking or any other distress. Also, the camber and deflection were as pre dicted in the calculations.
Discussion of this paper is invited. Please forward your discussion to PCI Headquarters by February 1, 1974, to permit publication in the March April 1974 PCI JOURNAL.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION
More complete details of the Numerical Example are available from PCI Headquarters at cost of reproduction and handling at time of request.
84
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