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General aspects of the structural behavior in the Messina Strait Bridge design

L. Catallo & L. Sgambi M. Silvestri

University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy Structural Engineer, Rome, Italy

ABSTRACT: The behavior of long span suspended bridges is influenced by different and complex aspects that need to be treated and evaluated deeply, organic and systematic. The Performance approach in the design process, strictly linked with the new philosophy of the Performance-based Design, allows a rational approach of the design problematic, with the possibility of optimizating the different parameters and levels of detail. To do that, it must be clear which are the peculiar aspects that the design of this typology of bridge must concern, above all referring to the geometrical non linearity of the system. Moreover, big attention must be paid in the realization of the main topics of the entire design process, represented by the structural modeling of the system, which allow to estimate realistically the structural response to the action that act during the exercise phase. 1 INTRODUCTION The subject of this study is the Messina Strait Bridge, linking mainland Italy with Sicily. The main span of the Messina bridge (3300 m) will approximatly equal the two world longest span bridges added together: the current longest span bridge, the Japan's Akashi Kaikyo Bridge (1991 m main span) and the Humber Bridge (1410 m main span). The total length of the deck, 60 m wide, is 3666 m (including side spans). The deck is formed by three box sections, outer ones for the roadway and the central one for the railway. The roadway deck is composed of three lanes for each carriageway (two driving lanes and one emergency lane), each 3.75 m wide, while the railway section is composed of two tracks. clearance for navigation of 65 m with the most unfavorable load conditions over a width of 600 m. The bridge suspension system relies on two pairs of steel cables, each with a diameter of 1.24 m and a total length, between the anchor blocks, of 5300 m.

Figure 2. Deck cross section of the Messina Bridge.

2 PERFORMANCE-BASED DESIGN For advanced systems, like long span suspension bridges (i.e. Messina Bridge), it is necessary to set the global design process in the philosophy of the Performance-based Design (P.B.D.), rather than in the conventional specifications-based design. This study utilizes a performance-based design methodologies to evaluate the performances of a suspension bridge that meet, as economically as possible, the uncertain future demands that both ownerusers and nature will put upon them.

Figure 1. Longitudinal section of the Messina Strait Bridge.

The height of the two towers has been increased by more than 6 m (up to 382.6 m), in the new preliminary project for the Bridge over the Strait of Messina, in order to provide a minimum vertical

Performance-based design is the application of accurate simulation models to arrive at a system that satisfies all requirements. The premise is that performance levels and objectives can be quantified, that performances can be analytically predicted, and that the costs for performance improving can be evaluated, so that rational trade-offs can be made based on life-cycle considerations rather than construction costs alone. There is a need to treat these structures and the systems that service them as complete optimized entities and not as the sum of a number of separately designed and optimized sub-systems or components. The challenge will be to identify critical areas needing to be studied in order to develop new and more advanced design criteria. A special emphasis will be on the development of performance-based design, including issues related to new analytical and experimental studies, and new technologies. Five items can be identified in order to develop a practical PBD approach: 1. Detailed objectives for bridge components that constitute overall structure performance levels. The engineer must create an inventory of all ele-

ments (Fig. 4) both structural and nonstructural - according to a standard categorization system of assemblies, referred as an assembly taxonomy. 2. Numerical values for these objectives and the minimum allowable probabilities of achieving them. 3. A theoretical framework for determining whether a design meets its objectives. 4. Detailed procedures to implement this theoretical framework. 5. A plain language to formalize or simplify the implementation procedures. The first of these points, can be represented by a Performance Matrix, reporting the Performance requirements into the lines and the bridges components into the columns. Ideally, objective statements and quantified performance criteria for each cell or group of cells in the Performance Matrix, shown in Figure 3, should be prepared.

Figure 3. Performance Matrix for the Messina Strait Bridge.

Obviously, the more complete and rational list of parts and attributes given in the matrix is, the better it is to be used as a guide for the preparation of objective statements and quantified criteria. The key performance parameters need to be clearly defined, and adequate methods of measuring or calculating them should be identified or specified. The latter may involve the use of technical standards and/or prediction models, and it has to take into account the context of performance.

In particular, the Structural decomposition in the Performance Matrix can be achieved by the substructuring of the structure at different levels: macro-level, meso-level and micro-level. The flowchart of Figure 4 represents the structural breakdown of the Messina Suspension Bridge: the whole system is firstly divided into substructures (macro-level), then into components (meso-level) and finally into elements (micro-level). For every level, all variables are eventually recognized.

Figure 4. Breakdown of the Messina suspension bridge.

In this way, for each variable, it is possible to modify and optimize the structural behavior in order to achieve a specified performance objective, including the relationships between global and local performances. The performance matrix must be a support during the design process and it will be able to permit to check, in every phase of the design, if the performance requirements are identified and achieved. 3 MODELING The most important phase of the design process is the construction of the analytical model, which should be able to predict the most realistic system behavior as far as possible, as it is necessary in the PBD. In this context, before the beginning of modeling phase, it is also necessary to plan a manage-

ment model for human activity reliability. So, through the control of human factor, a potential source of mistake, and through a proactive attitude, it is possible to perform the design in according to the Theory of Excellence. Moreover, with regard to the analytical phase, computed results are rarely exact, because modeling error exists, which refers to the difference between a physical system and its mathematical model. On the other hand, modeling error can be referred to reasonable and considered approximations made deliberately rather than by mistake, and to uncertainties, often about the actual nature of loads and boundary conditions. Small changes in requirements entail large changes in the structure and configuration, and small errors in the programs that prescribe the behavior of the system can lead to large errors in the desired behavior. May require multiple, redundant design to reduce the risk assigned to potential additional unknown reply of the structure.

Figure 5. Global model of the Messina Strait Bridge.

Figure 6. Details of the global model of the Messina Strait Bridge.

In this work, some relevant aspects are briefly reported: Geometric nonlinearity, which arises when deformations are large enough to alter the distribution or orientation of applied loads, or the orientation of internal resisting forces and moments. Research of the initial undeformed shape, when the bridge is loaded with gravity and permanent loads. Redundant analysis, which permits to analyze the three-dimensional model in different finite element analyses programs, and to confront the results in terms of kinematics and static quantities. Validation of the results obtained by analyses.

4 GEOMETRIC NONLINEARITY 4.1 Introduction For structural systems with non linear behavior a realistic description of the response under all load levels can be obtained only by taking into account the actual non linearities. In structural mechanics, nonlinearities include (Cook 1997): Material nonlinearity, in which material properties are functions of the state of stress or strain. Examples include nonlinear elasticity, plasticity and creep. Geometric nonlinearity, in which deformation is large enough that equilibrium equation must be written with respect to the deformed structural geometry. Moreover, loads may change direction

as they increase, as when pressure inflates a membrane. Contact nonlinearity, in which a gap between adjacent parts may open or close, the contact area between parts changes as the contact force changes, or there is sliding contact with frictional forces. Because of the slenderness of geometrically nonlinear elastic structures, such as suspension bridges, large displacements and large rotations cannot be ignored. In this work, only the geometric nonlinearity have been considered. For these structures, responses are nonlinear even if strains are within elastic range. Therefore, the analysis of geometrically nonlinear elastic structures has to consider the nonlinear relation between strains and displacements (Imai & Frangopol, 2002). The essential difficulty of geometrically nonlinear analysis is that equilibrium equations must be written with respect to the deformed geometry, which is not know in advance. Nonlinearities make the problem more complicated because equations that describe the solution must incorporate conditions not fully know until the solution in know: the actual configuration, loading condition, state of stress and support condition. The solution cannot be obtained in a single step of analysis. The analysis has to be developed through several steps, updating the tentative solution after each step and repeating until a convergence test is satisfied. The usual linear analysis is only the first step in this sequence. Nonlinear analysis can treat a great variety of problems, but in a sense it is more restrictive than linear analysis because the principle of superposition does not apply; it cannot scale results in proportion to load or combine results from different load cases as in linear analysis. Accordingly, each different load case requires a separate analysis.
8,0 7,0 6,0 5,0 4,0 3,0 2,0 1,0 0,0 -200 300 800 1300

4.2 Modeling consideration In the study of nonlinear geometric problems, it is necessary to define the approach with which it follows the structural response, during the load history. It is possible to distinguish: Eulerian approach: the knowledge of the displacement field, for successive time instants t, permits to form successive states of motion, from which is not possible to observe the motion of a singular elementary particle. Lagrangian approach: it exams the motion of the elementary particles, assuming the points coordinates of them as the unknown quantities in the successive time instants. With regard to the configuration in which it is defined the point coordinates, it is usual to distinguish between Total Lagrangian and Update Lagrangian formulation. In both, the kinematics and static variables are referred respectively to the initial and undeformed configuration, and to the deformed calculated configuration. 5 RESEARCH OF THE INITIAL UNDEFORMED SHAPE One of the main problems to consider, before the model construction, is the research of the initial undeformed configuration, that the bridge deck assumes after the gravity and permanent loads application. Such configuration is better represented by a sixth order parabola with upwards concavity (Fig. 7). The achievement of such configuration, when the gravity and permanent loads are applied, is a problem which is strongly afflicted by geometric nonlinearity.

Configurazione Design Configuration (IUDC) Initial Undeformeddi Riferimento di Progetto (CRP)

y = 2E-19x - 2E-15x + 5E-12x - 8E-09x + 1E-06x + 0,0076x + 1,3293 2 R = 0,9998

1800 2300 2800 3300

Figure 7. Sixth order parabola.

The problem has been performed and solved by three different methods: Impressed displacements method (SI). Sag method (CF). Temperature variation method (TE).

5.1 Impressed displacements method This method starts with the implementation of the bridge finite element model, in which the initial bridge deck geometric configuration, with no

loads, is the initial undeformed design configuration (IUDC). After loads (gravity and permanent) application, the bridge deck will be deformed, but in reality, after these loads application, it shall arrive at the IUDC. So, it has been added a further load condition which returns the deck configuration in the IUDC. In this particular case, it has impressed vertical and horizontal displacements on each anchor blocks (main cable extremities), to simulate a tug in the cable. It puts particular attention to do coincide both these configurations in the middle of the main span. After a sufficient number of iterations, necessary to calibrate the four displacements (horizontal x, vertical y), it has been established the following values: Calabrias anchorage: x = -8,30 m; y = -1,00 m; Sicilians anchorage: x = -8,70 m; y = -1,00 m. Also not having the same long profile perfectly, this method has permitted to understand the cinematic deck behavior, after the application of most of loads conditions. The tie of inner joint is responsible of the dragging of the tower towards the anchorages, because of impressed displacements. It studies displacement influence on the deck behavior and on the remaining model, by releasing horizontal displacement in the connection node, between main cable and the top of the tower. It is come to conclusion, that this method meaningfully influences only static and cinematic aspects of the towers. 5.2 Sag method. In order to better understand the towers behaviour, it has been constructed a different threedimensional bridge model, using the sag method to research the initial undeformed shape. This method provides the definition of a initial geometric deck and cable configuration, which present a rise of the parabola such as, under gravity and permanent loads, the bridge deck will arrive on the IUDC. Also in this case, it is necessary a sufficient number of iterations to calibrate the rise of parabola, because the problem is strongly geometric nonlinear and the principle of superposition does not apply. In figure 9, it is represented the procedure to define the rise of the parabola: First of all it is considered the unloaded bridge configuration (CI0), corresponding with the IUDC.

Then, gravity and permanent loads have been applied, so the deck configuration deforms and becomes (CD0). The midspan deflection f is correlated to the sag ratio k = Hc/Lc, where Hc is the sag of main cable unloaded and Lc is the main span length. Then, the sag f0 is correlated to the configuration (CI0) and to the parameter k0. the model has been analyzed again with a new deformed configuration (CD1), obtained by summing the tipped deformed configuration CD0 to the IUDC: CI1 = CI0 + f0. At this point, an iterative process starts, that assumes CI(i) as initial unloaded configuration. This is equal to the sum of the previous configuration CI(i-1) and the sag of the previous step f(i-1) multiplied for k(i-2)/k(i-1). This parameter is necessary to take into account the geometric nonlinearity of the system. After a sufficient number of iterations, it achieves an initial configuration with a middle span sag equal to 81 m, that must be sum to IUDC altitude. 5.3 Temperature variation method In the previous cases, both methods permit to understand, with particular regard, meaningfully cinematic deck behaviour. This method permits to understand also the static behaviour. Gravity and permanent load application involves stress state establishment, which correspond a strain state. Using the axial extension of the main cable and of the hangers as references for the application of temperature variation that it causes the same shrinkage, a first step till the IUDC under loaded is obtained. Also in this case, the process is iterative. To each span, it is associated the pertinent main cable temperature variation, while the hanger temperature variations are calibrated in the way of coinciding the deck configuration with IUDC. The models, constructed in this way, are reliable 6 RESULTS VALIDATION Results validation has been operated in order to compare the structural response, when environmental and anthropic loads are applied and using different research procedures for the initial undeformed configuration. A combination of three different loads (Fig.8) has been applied: Highway load Railway load; Wind load for the first level.

Figure 8. Loads applied.

In particular, three different commercial calculation codes have been used: LUSAS, Sap 2000, ANSYS. In Lusas two different models have been implemented: in the first the impressed displace-

ments method has been used for the research of the initial undeformed configuration, while in the second the sag method has been used. In Sap 2000 other two different models have been implemented: in one the impressed displacements method has been used for the research of the initial undeformed configuration, while in the second the temperature variation method has been used.

CI 0 = CRP CD0 = f 0 CI 1 = CI 0 + CD0 = CRP + CD0

f 1 = CD 1 ( CI 1 + CRP )
f1 ' = f1 k0 k1

CI 2 = CI 1 + f 1 '

CI 2 = CI 1 + [CD1 (CI 1 + CRP)] f 2 = CD2 (CI 2 + CRP) f2 '= f2 k1 k2

k0 k1

CI i = CI i 1 + f i 1 '

CI i = CI i 1 + [CDi 1 (CI i 1 + CRP )]

f i = CDi (CI i + CRP) fi ' = fi
Figure 9. Determination of the IUDC with unsag method.

k i 2 k i 1

k i 1 ki

In Ansys, only one model has been implemented, using temperature variation method. Results (vertical displacement, horizontal displacement, longitudinal displacement) have been reported in the following diagrams, represented by different lines. As one can see in Fig.10, different

calculation codes lead to different results, according to the particular solution method adopted and to the technique used to search the initial undeformed shape. In particular, as far as regards vertical displacements, results from different codes show a good accordance; on the other hand, the

horizontal displacements show quite different trends, with a disagreement of some meters. In the specific case of longitudinal displacements, among all the methods used to search the initial shape, the sag method is the only one leading to unacceptable results. As afore mentioned, methods validation passes through a critic analysis of the obtained results. 7 CONCLUSIONS This paper synthesizes the main aspects involved in the design of complex structures, such as long

span suspension bridges, starting from the conceptual phase to the critic evaluation of the results. In this context, the paper shows that a traditional prescriptive approach reveals unsatisfactory, while a more general performance-based approach leads to a more accurate design. This methodology allows to determine all performance requirements at different levels of structural substructuring. The core process is represented by the modeling phase which should predict the mechanical behavior of the structure in a realistic manner.

Vertical Displacement
2 0 -200 -2 -4 m -6 -8 -10 300 800 1300 1800 2300 2800 Lusas SI SAP TE Ansys TE 3300 SAP SI LUSAS CF

2 0 -2 -200 -4 m -6 -8 -10 -12

Horizontal Displacement
300 800 1300 1800 2300 2800 Lusas SI SAP TE Ansys TE 3300 SAP SI Lusas CF

0,30 0,20 0,10 0,00 -200 -0,10 -0,20

Lusas SI SAP TE Ansys TE


Longitudinal Displacement








Figure 10. Response diagrams.

In this way the performance achievement can be verified. In the specific case of long span suspension bridges, the modeling process is characterized by some peculiar aspects, among which the research for the initial undeformed shape is one of the most important. With regard to this problem, the paper shows the results from three methods, each of them being implemented with three different commercial codes. 8 REFERENCES
Cook, R.D., Malkus, D.S. & Plesha, M.E. 1989. Concepts and application of finite element analysis. Wiley & Sons. United States.

Gimsing, N.J. 1997. Cable supported bridges. Wiley & Sons. United States. Imai K., Frangopol D.M., 2002. System reliability of suspension bridges. Structural Safety 24 (2002) 219-259

9 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The financial support of Stretto di Messina Spa is acknowledged. Anyway, the opinions and the results here presented are responsibility only of the Authors and cannot be assumed to reflect the ones of Stretto di Messina SpA.