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Pergamon

Compwrsd SrructwesVol. 49, No. 5, pp.837-842, 1993

0 1994Elwier ScienceLtd Printed in Great Britain. 004s7949/93 s6.00 + 0.00

FINITE

ELEMENT

ANALYSIS

OF HIGHWAY

SUBJECTED

TO MOVING

LOADS

BRIDGES

Department

M. A. SAADEGIWAZIRI

of Civil Engineering,

New Jersey Institute

of Technology,

Newark,

NJ 07102, U.S.A.

(Received

I

July

1992)

Abstract-A proper estimate of the dynamic effect of traffic load on the response of highway bridges is becoming increasingly important. Reduction in the ratio of dead load to total load which makes the effect of the live load more pronounced, and the adoption of ultimate-strength design method by many design codes are among those factors that make an accurate evaluation of the live load very important. This paper illustrates how a general purpose finite element package can be used to consider the dynamic effect of a moving load traversing a highway bridge. This objective is achieved by employing the load arrival time

option in ADINA. It is shown that, if the problem is modelled properly, the results are as good as the exact solution. Note that the exact solution is practically possible only for a simply supported bridge considering only the effect of the fundamental mode. Thus, using finite element a practical research study

can be performed to develop graphical design aides

for more accurate evaluation

of the impact factor.

The versatility and power of tinite element technique will also make it possible to easily investigate the

spatial nature of response to traffic load.

INTRODUCTION

Although

the

behavior

of highway

bridges has been

the subject of numerous

investigations

in the past,

the

dynamic

effect of a moving

load crossing

a bridge

 

is

still accounted

for through

a relationship

adopted

in

1927 [l]. Literature surveys of works on the dynamic

effect

of

a

traffic

load

point

to

two

factors

as

the

reasons

for the

lack

of any

change

since late

1920s:

(i) need

for a simple relationship

to

account

for

a

complex

phenomenon,

and

(ii) adequacy

of

the

adopted

equation

in light

of the fact

that

few (if any)

failures of highway bridges can be attributed

directly

to the dynamic

effect of a moving

load.

 

However, now the U.S.A. is faced with an essential

and

urgent

need

to

rehabilitate

and maintain

the

infrastructure

to provide

the required

level of service

and to cope with growing demand on the highway

system. Resources

available

to address

this

issue are

limited

and to optimize

the allocation

of these fund-

implement

new

ing

it

is essential

to

technologies.

Finite

element

technology

can play a significant

role

in management

of highway

bridges

as it relates

to

maintenance,

rehabilitation

as

well as replacement

activities.

The advancement

in this

area

has resulted

in

the

ability

to rationally

analyze

and evaluate

the

load capacity

of structural

systems with great

accu-

racy. Saving

from accurate

load ratings

of highway

bridges

can

be hundreds

 

For

example,

FHWA

estimates

of millions annually. that ‘the additional

user

costs

associated

with

commercial

traffic

detouring

around load-restricted bridges can cost from

$150,000 annually

on

the

low side,

to

$200,000 a day

on

high

capacity

bridges.’

Proper

estimate

of

the

dynamic

effect of a moving

load on the response

of

highway bridges is an essential component to accu-

rate evaluation

of load capacity of existing bridges.

Furthermore,

due to recent advancement

in the devel-

opment

of high strength materials

bridges are becom-

ing more efficient, while the live load carried by these

bridges

is increasing.

Consequently,

the ratio

of the

dead load to total load is decreasing

effect of the

live load

is becoming

and the dynamic

especially as it relates to evaluation

more important,

of the fatigue life

of the structure.

 

Previous

analytical

studies

on

the

dynamic

response

of

highway

bridges subjected

to

moving

load have implemented

special mathematical

models

(analytical

programs)

developed for this purpose that

are

not

widely

available

to

design

engineers

[2-4].

However, commercial finite element packages with

many

capabilities

are

becoming

increasingly

avail-

able to even small firms. It is the purpose of this

paper to demonstrate

the use of the load

arrival

time

option, available in programs such as ADINA

[5],

in modeling a moving load on a bridge. The accu- racy of the method along with possible pitfalls are discussed.

BACKGROUND

The

current

design

of highway

bridges

uses the

following equation

to account

for the dynamic

effect

of a moving

load

(L

in

feet)

I =

5O/(L +

125) < 0.3.

(1)

This equation

was adopted

in

1927 by

a joint

com-

mittee of American and AASHTO.

Railway Engineering

Association

837

  • 838 M.A.

SAADEGHVAZIRI

 

Obviously,

this simple

equation

can

not

account

getting

heavier.

Furthermore,

most design codes are

for many parameters

that influence the vehicle-bridge

 

adopting

 

ultimate-strength

criteria

 

and

a

more

dynamic

interaction.

Among those parameters

which

realistic

estimate

of the dynamic

effect of

live load

influence

the vehicle-bridge

interaction

the

most

is

essential

 

to

the

application

 

of

this

design

important

ones

are: dynamic

characteristics

of

the

methodology.

Indeed,

the Ontario

 

Highway

Bridge

bridge

(frequencies,

damping,

etc.) dynamic

charac-

Design

Code has taken

the

first step by relating

the

teristics of the vehicle, initial

condition

of the vehicle

‘Dynamic

 

Load

Allowance’

factor

 

to

the

natural

and the bridge, roughness of the bridge deck and

frequency

of

the

structure

rather

 

than

the

span

irregularities

 

in the approach. Extensive analytical

 

length [6]. In a report by the ASCE committee on

as well as experimental

work conducted

at

the

Uni-

loads and forces on bridges

[7] the need for research

versity

of Illinois

 

[24]

has addressed

many

of these

in areas

of bridge

loading

 

is examined.

As it relates

parameters

in details.

As

a result

of

this

work,

it

to impact,

it

is stated

that:

‘there

 

is

as

much

need

was determined that for a smoothly rolling load

to bring

uniform

practical

application

in a coherent

crossing

a span the speed parameter,

 

a, controls

the

way

to

the

large

body

of

fundamental

knowledge

dynamic

amplification.

That

is, the dynamic

deflec-

that

has

already

been

acquired

on

the

subject

of

tion

is increased

over the static

value

by an amount

bridge impact,

as there

is to further

 

expand

the field

that

depends on a. The speed parameter

is defined as

of knowledge

in

this

area.’

One

of the research

follows:

 

problems

is identified

as: Preparation

 

of Design Aids

 

ci =

V/ZLf,

 

Based on Rational

Methods

of Analysis

for Dynamic

Live

Load

Allowances

due

to

Traffic

Loading

on

where

V is the

speed

of the

load

crossing

the bridge

Highway

Bridges.

The finite

element

technique

can

(ft/sec),

L

is the

span

length

(ft),

and f is the

natural

 

provide

the means

to convert

the rational

method-

frequency

of the bridge

(Hz).

 

ologies

for calculating

dynamic load increments

to

 

Of

course

other

parameters

such

as

spacing

of

usable

charts and

other

graphical

 

design

aids.

axles relative

to

the

span

length

were also identified

 

to

be important.

The response of three-span con-

 

FINITE

ELEMENT

MODEL

 

tinuous

bridges

was

also

examined.

Consequently,

 

an alternative

 

impact

factor

was suggested

 

as

Load

arrival

 

time

option

 

follows:

 

The arrival

time

flag in ADINA

 

allows

for acti-

 

I=O.i5+cc.

vation

of the load

at a time

that

may be different

than

 

the solution

time [5]. That

is, with a nonzero

arrival

The constant

 

term represents

the

the speed parameter

 

initial

time

(ARTM)

the

loading

time

function

will

be

condition

and

effect of the accounts

for the

shifted equal

to

the

arrival

time specified. Thus,

the

dynamic interaction

between

the

vehicle

and

the

load

will be zero for those solution

 

time t ,< ARTM,

bridge. However,

this proposed

formula

which

has

a

and

it

is active

for solution

time

t

> ARTM.

Note

much

greater

relation

than

eqn

(1)

to

the

observed

that

for

t

= ARTM

the loading

is not

active. There-

behavior

of highway

bridges

under

traffic load was

fore,

for a solution

time starting

from

zero and

an

not

adopted

in

any

design

code.

ARTM

equal

to

twice

of

the

solution

time

step

The need

for change

is essential

for the

fact that

(i.e. 2At)

the corresponding

time function

and

load

bridges

are

becoming

more

slender

and

trucks

are

values are shown

in

Fig.

I.

I,(?)

 

T

I;““‘

 
 

1

7At

i

0.0

1

At

= time step

 

No. of Steps = 8

 

'

SOLUTION PER100

 

c

 

Fig.

1.

The

arrival

time

option:

associated

time

function

and

resulting

load

values.

 

Finite element analysis of highway bridges

839

#

#

of

of

elements

nodes

=

T

IS

varyng

lo

Fig. 2. A typical mesh and corresponding

Thus,

by defining

time functions

and

concentrate

loads with appropriate duration, 7p, and arrival times

one can easily simulate the effect of smoothly moving

truck with multiple axles.

Finite

element

mesh

 
 

Although

one can

use 3-D elements

to model

the

bridge and investigate

the spatial effect of traffic load,

in this work the bridge is modelled using beam

elements. The number

of elements is controlled

by the

slowest velocity

 

of the moving

load to be simulated

and the period of the bridge.

 
 

The length

of each element,

AL, is equal

to L/N,

where

L

is

the

span

length

and

N

is

the

number

of

elements.

Then,

the

time

to traverse

one

element

(i.e.

to

go from

node

i to

node

i +

l),

TV,

is equal

to

AL/V,

where

V

is

the

velocity

of the moving

load.

The ratio

of 7c, to

I”, period

of the highest mode with

significant

contribution

to

the response

of

the

sys-

tem, must

be

as

small

as possible

 

in order

to avoid

unrealistic

impact

amplification.

Furthermore,

 

to

avoid causing

a random

type of loading

the value

of

7p must

be always equal

to

7,.

That

is, the

load

must

be always acting on the system, although

it will be at

different

locations

 

at

any

given

time. Other

truck

speeds, faster than the speed used in evaluation

of 7,)

can be modelled

 

by applying

the load to every several

other node depending

on

the desired

speed

to

be

represented.

These points

are discussed

further

in

a

following

section under modeling

considerations.

 
 

Therefore,

the mesh to model

a single axle vehicle

(say 40 kips

weight) traversing

a bridge

with

span

equal

to

960” at

a velocity

of 1000 in/set

(56.8 mph)

will be as shown

in

Fig. 2. Faster vehicular

speed such

as

2000 in/set can be modelled

by applying

the

load

to

every other

node

(i.e. nodes

1, 3,

5,

., 25

with

arrival

times equal

to 0, 0.04, 0.08,

 

., 0.48 set).

For

slower velocity

of the truck

either

finer mesh can

be

used or the load duration

can be elongated

to accom-

modate

 

lower velocity.

The later option

can

 

be

employed

as long as the ratio of the load duration,

7,,,

=

24

I

 

3

I

0.06

25

 

give

different

0

 

0.96

ARTM

corresponding

to

V = 1000 in/set

 

to system period,

T,

is

low

enough

for accuracy

as

discussed

in the following

section.

 
 

RESULTS

 

In the following

examples effects of surface rough-

ness

as

well

as

the

initial

conditions

of the bridge

and the truck are not being considered.

Furthermore,

it is assumed

that

the weight of the moving

load

is

negligible

compared

to the weight

of the bridge,

and

the magnitude

 

of the moving

load is constant.

Simple-span

 

bridge

 
 

The mid-span

deflection

and moment

of

a simply

supported

beam traversed

by a constant

force ignor-

ing

damping

 

is determined

 

using

finite element

and

the results

are compared

 

to

the

exact

solution.

The

exact solution

for deflection,

Y as

given

by Walker

and Veletsos

[2], is as follows:

 
 

2PL3

m

Y=

-1 714EL.=,

 

t

 

t

 
 

sin 2nm-

 

sin 2an

2-

   

T,

Tb

sin - ,

nnt

L

 

X

1

n2(n2-cz’)

-Cl

n3(n2--cx2)

1

where P is the magnitude

of the moving

load,

EI

is

the bridge Young’s

modulus

and moment

 

of inertia,

L

is the

span

length,

c( is the speed parameter,

Tb is

the fundamental

period

of the bridge,

and

n

is

the

mode number.

 
 

To simplify the exact solution

only the fundamen-

tal

mode

is considered.

Furthermore,

the quantity

2PL3/n4EI

 

which

represents

 

the

first

term

series

approximation

 

to

the

static

mid-span

deflection

is

replaced by the exact value of mid-span

static

deflection,

y,, .

Thus,

 

the

central

deflection

takes

the following form

 
 

t

 

sin 27ca-

 

sin 2n L

 
 

Tb

T,

 

Y, = .u2

 

=

YSI

[

l-u2

 

-a1_a2

 

I

  • 840 M. A. SAADEGHVAZIRI

 

Table 1. Dynamic

amplification

factors

for exact and

FE solutions

 
 

Speed parameter,

a

 

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

 

DAD exact solution

 

1.09

1.08

1.41

1.62

1.73

1.76

DAD finite element

1.09

1.07

1.40

1.60

1.70

1.74

DAM/DAD FE

0.822

0.822

0.822

0.822

0.822

0.822

DAD = Dynamic

amplification

factor

for deflection;

DAM = Dynamic

amplification

factor

for moment.

 

which

is maximum

when

exactly

the same

as the exact value

of rt r/l2

= 0.8224

 

[2] for all values of speed parameter.

 

cos 27ru +

= cos 2n f

 

An interesting

point

to consider is the contribution

 

b

b

of higher modes to the value of the reactions.

As seen

For

different

values

of

CI the

exact

solution

is

from Figs 3 and 4, the mid-span deflection and

compared

to

the

finite

element

solution

employing

moment

are not affected by consideration

of higher

modal

superposition

method

and

considering

only

modes, however, the time history

of the left reaction

the fundamental mode (note that for typical high-

(Fig. 5) does indicate

significant

contribution

by the

way bridges tl = 0.06 to 0.2). The values of dynamic

higher

modes.

Note

that

considering

single

mode

amplification

factor

(i.e. ~/JJ,,) for both methods

are

response

there is a sudden

drop in the reaction

as the

given in Table

1. The finite element solution

compares

load passes the abutment

and enters

the span.

This is

very well to the exact solution.

The ratio of moment

due to low contribution

of the first mode (sinusoidal

amplification

factor to that for deflection for the finite

shape) to reaction

when

the

load

is

close

to

the

element solution

is also

given

in

this

table

which is

supported

end.

Considering

only

the

first

mode

the

Fig. 3. Center span deflection.

f

4@JOt

.4

/Multi modt

Time,

WC

Fig. 4. Center span moment.

 

Finite element analysis of highway bridges

 

841

 

Time,

set

 

Fig. 5. Reaction at entering abutment.

 
 

L

 

a

= 0.8: cu = VC?Lf,

 

f,

= first mode frequency

 
 

Fig. 6. A three-span bridge.

 
 

Table 2. Dynamic amplification factors for deflection (three-span bridge)

 
 

Speed

parameter, a

 

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

 

‘Exact’ solution [3]

1.06

1.14

1.30

1.20

1.74

2.02

Finite element solution

1.07

1.15

1.27

1.18

1.74

2.02

maximum

reaction

is equal

to 41.4 kips.

With

this

Similar

to

the

simple-span

bridge

the

finite

value the ratio of shear amplification

factor

to that

of

element

results

are

in

very

good

agreement

with

deflection

is equal

to 0.646 which is exactly equal

to

the

‘exact’ solution.

Some

points

to be considered

the theoretical

value

of 7~‘/48 given

by Walker

and

for a good balance

between accuracy and practicality

Veletsos [2]. For a multi-mode

 

solution

the maximum

are discussed in the next section.

 

reaction

is 46.35 kips which

is

12% higher

than

the

value obtained

by single mode solution.

Note

that

a

similar observation has been made by Walker and

 

~OD~LLING CONSIDERATIONS

 

Veletsos 121.

 
 

The effect of higher

modes

is included

simply

by

Through

two examples

it was demonstrated

that

considering

more than

one mode in the modal

super-

general purpose

finite element

packages

can

be used

position

analysis,

or

one

can

 

simply

consider

the

to

model

the

effect of

moving

loads

traversing

a

effect of all modes by performing

direct time history

bridge.

However,

there

are

a couple

of points

that

analysis

rather

than

modal

supe~osition.

This ihus-

need to be considered

in developing

the finite element

trates the power of the finite element method

and the

 

model.

contribution that it can

make

 

to

improvement

of

The first point

to consider

is the duration

of the

design guidelines.

 

loading.

This

is determined

by

the velocity

that

is

 

being represented,

which in turn

is related

to the

size

Multiple-swan

bridge

 

of the elements used. For example, if a simply

supported

bridge of length 960” is to be traversed

by

 

The

three-span

bridge

shown

in

Fig.

6

was

also

a truck

with

lOOOin/sec velocity

and

the mesh con-

analyzed

for

different

values

of CL The

results

for

sists of only

four elements

(i.e. five nodes),

then

the

a

=

0.8

are

given

in Table

2 along

with

the ‘exact’

duration

of loading

must

be 0.24 sec. However,

for

solution

evaluated

by Nieto-Ramirez

and Veletsos [3]

most

cases this

will not

give accurate

results

due

to

 

using

a special-purpose

program.

 

high ratio

of Q”.

In this example,

for

a

= 0.2

the

  • 842 M. A. SAADEGHVAZIRI

system

period

would

be 0.384, which

gives

a 0.625

of moving

loads

traversing

highway

bridges.

With

 

ratio

for rp/T.

The analysis

of the bridge results

in

a

the

power

and

versatility

of

finite

element,

an

deflection

amplification

factor equal

to

1.4, which is

analyst

can

easily

investigate

the dynamic

effect of

significantly

different

than

the exact

value of

1.08 as

multi-axles

trucks

coming

from

both

directions

at

shown in Table 1. If the mesh is refined to eight

different intervals.

Furthermore,

using 3-D elements,

elements (i.e. 9 nodes) the load duration

will decrease

the

spatial

nature

of

response

 

can

be

also

to

0.12 sec. With

this

mesh the deflection

amplifica-

 

investigated.

 

tion factor

will be 1.089, which is a very good estimte

 

of the actual

value. Further

refinements

of the mesh

changed

the results

slightly.

The

number

 

given

in

Table

1 is for

a mesh

with 24 elements.

This is taken

 

as the finite element

solution

because

further

refine-

 

ment

of the mesh

(up

to

192 elements)

did not make

any

difference

in

the

value

of the dynamic

amplifi-

 

REFERENCES

 

cation

factor.

So,

the

results

indicate

that

a mesh

I.

AASHTO,

Standard specifications for bridges.

Ameri-

 

must

be used such

that

the ratio

of to/T

is less than

can

Association

of State

Highway

 

and

Transportation

 

0.1, however,

this

ratio

does

not

have

to

be

very

Officials,

Washington,

 

DC

(1989).

 

small.

 
  • 2. W.

H.

Walker

and

A. S. Veletsos,

 

Response

of simple-

   

is the

fact that

the load

 

span

highway

bridges

to moving

vehicle.

SRS

No.

272,

 

Another

point

to consider

Department

of Civil

Engineering,

University

of Illinois,

must be always acting

on the system. That

is one

can

Urbana,

Illinois,

Sept

(1963).

not reduce the load duration

 

rather than refinement

 
  • 3. Nieto-Ramirez

and

A.

S. Veletsos,

Response

of three-

of the mesh. For example, for the problem

discussed,

 

span

continuous

highway

bridges

 

to

moving

vehicles.

one may decide

to use tP = 0.12 with a four elements

Engflg

Urbana,

Experi.

Station Bull. 489,

IL

(1966).

University

of Illinois,

mesh.

Therefore,

in

order

to

represent

the

same

  • 4. A.

S.

Veletsos

and

T.

Huang,

Analysis

of

dynamic

velocity the arrival

times are 0.0, 0.24, 0.48,

., 0.96

 

response

of

highway

bridges.

J.

Engng

Mech.

Diu.,

at

the

first,

second,

third,

.

., and

last node.

This

ASCE

%,

EM5

(1970).

 

gives a DAF

equal to 0.57, which is grossly in error.

 
  • 5. ADINA

Engineering,

 

Automatic

 

dynamic

incremen-

 

tal

nonlinear

analysis. Report

ARD

87-1,

ADINA

So, the load

duration

must

be always

equal

to

the

 

Engineering,

December

(1984).

 

time required to traverse one element.

 
  • 6. Highway

Ontario

Bridge

Design

Code,

2nd

Edn.

 

Ontario

Ministry

 

of

Transportation

 

and

Communi-

cation,

Downsview,

Ontario,

Canada

(1983).

 

CONCLUSIONS

 
  • 7. Bridge

loading:

research

needed.

Committee

on

Loads

 

and

Forces

on

Bridges

of the

Committee

on

Bridges

of

 

It

is shown

that

general

purpose

finite

element

 

the

Structural

Division.

J.

Strucf.

Die.,

AXE

108,

packages

can

be used

to model

the dynamic

effect

ST5

(1982).