Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Everett E. McEwen


In practice, the design of pot bearing steel plates is usually based on assuming that stresses beneath the plate are uniformly distributed. There is also no consideration given to the effect of shear stresses transmitted through the interface between the surfaces of the Plates and the supporting concrete abutment.

However, in this analytical investigation, the behavior of pot bearing steel plates supported by concrete abutment was studied using finite elements analysis. There were no special assumptions made concerning stresses beneath the plate. Nevertheless, the interface between the surf aces of the steel plate and the concrete abutment was simulated using vertical and horizontal interface spring elements. Normal and shear stresses were permitted to be transferred through the interface with slip occurring beyond some limiting shear strength value.

Different shear transfer conditions were induced and stresses resulting in the bearing system were studied using axisymmetric and plane strain solution methods. Results indicated that assuming uniform stress distribution beneath the plate is rather too conservative. However, results from different shear transfer conditions showed that the effect of shear transfer is practically insignificant for design purposes.