Secondary effects of prestressing develop in statically indeterminate structures (e.g., continuous beams) due to the restraint of deformations imposed by hyperstatic restraints. These effects may significantly influence internal forces and stresses in prestressed structures. Secondary effects are influenced by the redundancy of a structural system, which raises the question of whether they will remain constant after a change in the structural system, e.g., due to the development of plastic hinge(s) in a critical cross-section(s) or after the development of a kinematic mechanism, or if they will disappear when the structure changes into a sequence of simply supported beams. The paper deals with an investigation of the behavior of continuous post-tensioned beams subjected to an ultimate load with significant secondary effects from prestressing. A total of 6 two-span beams prestressed by tendons with different bonds were tested in a laboratory with a load that changed their structural system into a kinematic mechanism. The internal forces and secondary effects of the prestressing were controlled through measurements of the reactions in all the supports. The results revealed that the secondary effects remained as a permanent part of the action on the experimental beams, even after the development of the kinematic mechanism. The results obtained confirmed that secondary effects should be included in all combinations of actions for verifications of ultimate limit states (ULS).
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