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# Proceedings of the 3rd WSEAS Int.

## Analysis of a Suspension Crossing for a Pipeline Using Finite Element

Method. Influence of Elasticity Modulus
IOAN BOTH, MARIN IVAN, ADRIAN IVAN
Department of Steel Structures and Structural Mechanics
University Politehnica of Timisoara
Str. Ioan Curea, nr. 1, cam.14, Timisoara
ROMANIA
Abstract: This paper presents a suspension crossing structure having 160m span, analyzed with finite element method.
The structures behavior is different from other civil steel structures which are sensitive to the seismic action, while the
suspension crossings are very much influenced by the wind load. Lately, the Low Frequency Earthquake is considered
to have an impact on long span structures including these suspension crossings. This structure involves the use of two
different materials, having different values for Youngs modulus, and also it involves the use of two types of element,
bar and cable elements.
Key-Words: cable, crossing, erection stage, pre-stress, nonlinearity, mesh.
anchors, lateral cables, cantilever (not necessary) and the
pipe.
This type of structure has the following type of
transmitted by the hangers to the main cable. The
hangers have various lengths corresponding to the sag of
the main cable. The main cables transmit a part of the
vertical component of the force in the cable to the towers
and the horizontal component is transmitted to the
anchors. The horizontal actions, perpendicular to the
crossing, are taken by the lateral cables (wind guy
cable), connected to the pipeline by the wind ties.
The cable is a simple but important element. It is
characterized by high resistance, high flexibility, and a
very small damping. The design of suspension bridges
involves static and dynamic behavior problems since the
cable can undergo large amplitude oscillations.
In this paper there is conducted an analysis on a
suspension crossing having the span of 160m. The 3D
model was entered by means of members; cables were
modeled as cable elements taking into account initial
stress, 2nd order geometrical nonlinearity and beam local
nonlinearity; towers members and the pipe was
modeled as bar elements.
The particularity of such a structure is the fact that
the modulus of elasticity of the cable material cannot be
very well established.
The paper will give the results of the analysis of the
same structure with different values of the cables
material elasticity modulus and the effect of the seismic
actions on this structure.

1 Introduction
Transportation of fluid materials can be done using
different supports for the pipeline. In their way, the
pipelines intersect with different obstacles. A pipeline
may cross these obstacles under or above them. Each
type of the crossing has its particular difficulties and
particularities for a good design. The waterway crossing
is an example that choosing the solution is influenced by
several considerations. Among them, one can refer to the
environment impact. The environment disturbance has
to be minimized since both aquatic and terrestrial plant
and animal life can be affected by the waterway
crossings. Both crossings, under and above water, have
to take care at the hazardous and contaminated materials
during construction [1]. The under water crossing is
more likely to affect the environment because of the
instability of the river bed and from here there is just a
small step to a catastrophic event. The above waterway
crossings permit good site inspections and most of the
remains to decide which solution of the structure is
better to use: suspension crossing, cable-stayed crossing,
self-supporting or truss structure as a support for the
pipeline. The main factor that influences this decision is
the span of the crossing. For long span there are two
reasonable solutions: suspension crossing and cablestayed crossing. The last one has the advantage of
smaller anchors and possibility of building on soft soil,
but if the span increases the towers will have to increase
too much [2]. For these long spans the solution is to use
suspension crossings.
Suspension crossings have the following main parts:
towers, main cables (suspension cable), hangers,

ISSN: 1790-2769

234

ISBN: 978-960-474-180-9

Proceedings of the 3rd WSEAS Int. Conference on FINITE DIFFERENCES - FINITE ELEMENTS - FINITE VOLUMES - BOUNDARY ELEMENTS

## main cables situated at 2.0m. The towers are made of

hot-rolled profiles HEB400 as truss chords and SHS
150/4 as diagonals and struts. The hangers have a
diameter of 40mm while the main cables have a
diameter of 60mm.

2 Structural configuration

3.5

16.5

12.5

## The structure analyzed in this paper consists of a main

span of 160m and two side spans of 35m as shown in
Fig. 1. The sag of the main cable is 12.5m having the
cable sag to span ratio of 1/12.8. The distance between
hangers is 5.0m. The gas pipe is a CHS having the
diameter 700mm and the thickness 8mm. There are two

35.0

160.0

35.0

## Fig. 1 Structural configuration of suspension crossing

The pre-stressing of the cables has the value of 35kN.
The modulus of elasticity used for the analysis varies
from 1.5e5MPa to 2.0e5MPa.
The load cases that can affect the structure and need
(fluid in the pipe, additional elements for access), live
load, ice on cables, transversal wind, temperature
difference (+ and -) and pre-stress.

Element

E
[N/mm2]
M cable 1.5-2e5
L cable 1.5-2e5
Hangers 1.5-2e5
Windguy 1.5-2e5
Tower
2.1e5
Pipe
2.1e5

## 3.1 Erection stage

An intermediary step in the process of erecting a
crossing is the erection stage. The considered time
involves 40% of the cables without pre-stressing and the
wind and seismic action.
The first mode of vibration, shown in Fig. 2, has a
value of approximately 8 seconds so that the seismic
action has little influence on structure.

Table 1
A
T
Ix
Iy
[mm2] [mm4] [mm4] [mm4]
2827
0
0
0
2827
0
0
0
1194
0
0
0
1194
0
0
0
46.6e3 3.17e5 4.7e10 1.2e9
17.4e3 2.8e9 1.04e9 1.04e9

## The cross section and material properties of the

crossing are presented in Table 1, where: M-main, Llateral, T-torsional moment of inertia, E-modulus of
elasticity, A-area of the cross-section, Ix-moment of
inertia with respect to x axis, Iy-moment of inertia with
respect to y axis. The properties of the tower are given
for the entire truss structure.

## 3.2 Serviceability stage

Serviceability stage represents the final stage in erecting
the suspension crossing. In this moment all cables have
to be pre-stressed and the load cases taken into account
should be the ones mentioned at 2. Among these load
cases the most unfavorable is the wind load. The wind
load cannot be simulated very precise because, in reality,
the turbulences deform the structure in a non linear
manner. An advanced way of reproducing the wind
turbulence is to use eigenfunctions of the linearized
equations of motion. Another way of simulating wind is
to excite the structure by a non-periodic force with
varying spatial distribution [3].

3 Conceptual design
Because during the erection of the crossing, there can
appear the wind action which can influence the stability
of the structure, an analysis was performed for two
situations: an intermediary phase when not all the
elements are connected and the final phase when the
entire structure is assembled.

ISSN: 1790-2769

235

ISBN: 978-960-474-180-9

Proceedings of the 3rd WSEAS Int. Conference on FINITE DIFFERENCES - FINITE ELEMENTS - FINITE VOLUMES - BOUNDARY ELEMENTS

## especially the one corresponding to the modulus of

elasticity grater than 1.8e5MPa.

## Fig. 3 presents the first mode of vibration, having the

value of 4.8s. Again, it results that there is small
influence of usual seismic action.

E
[MPa]
1.5e5
1.6e5
1.7e5
1.8e5
1.9e5
2.0e5

## From the deformed shape of the structure there can

be observed some inconveniences. Starting from
E=1.8e5MPa the period of mode 1 is given by the period
of a windguy shown in Fig. 4. The next two values also
show that the period of mode 1 is given, not by the
global behavior of the structure, but by the vibration of
certain elements in the suspension crossing.

## Fig. 3 Deformed shape of final stage (mode 1)

4 Influencing factors
During several changes of considerations in the analysis,
it was observed that the modulus of elasticity influences
the behavior of the suspension crossing.

E
[MPa]
1.5e5
1.6e5
1.7e5
1.8e5
1.9e5
2.0e5

Mode 1
[s]
4.8003
4.8196
4.8209
4.9861
10.6128
11.0795

Mode 2
[s]
4.6589
4.6790
4.6798
4.8862
9.2572
9.7983

Mode 3
[s]
3.8833
4.0777
3.7529
3.8090
7.0128
9.3768

Table 2
Mode 4
[s]
2.9203
3.1632
2.9464
3.0037
5.1593
9.2662

## Table 2 presents the period of the same structure but

with different value for Youngs modulus. Although the
first four results have close values, from the deformed
shape it can be seen that, for the modulus of elasticity
with the value of 1.8e5MPa, the period of the structure is
given by an element that belongs to the main cable. For
the value of 1.9e5MPa, the structure has the first eigen
value due to two elements, each element belonging to
one main cable, and both elements having another eigen
value than the structure. For the last value of E, the
structure has a greater value of mode 1. The deformed
shape, in this case, has four elements with another
period than the structure as a whole.
As an overview, one can say that the deformed shape
of this suspension bridge has a point where the pre-stress
of the cables, is reduced very much, permitting some
elements to vibrate with a self period, self period that
can influence the global behavior of the entire structure.
There was conducted another analysis for the same
values of elasticity modulus but this time the prestressing of the cables had the value of 50kN.
The values in Table 3 show that the eigen periods of
the suspension crossing do not differ very much,

ISSN: 1790-2769

Table 3
Mode 1 Mode 2 Mode 3 Mode 4
[s]
[s]
[s]
[s]
4.6567 4.5497 4.3230 3.5710
4.6567 4.5499 4.3209 3.5790
4.6717 4.5562 3.6910 3.0071
5.1747 5.0377 4.1368 3.4555
5.6080 5.5663 4.5213 3.7245
4.9204 4.8444 3.8222 3.1688

## Fig. 4 Deformed shape for E=1.8MPa (mode 1)

5 Conclusion
As can be seen above the finite element most used in
designing of these suspension crossings is the cable
element.
In choosing the properties of cable element, the
material characteristic, elasticity modulus shows a
certain influence on the behavior of the structure.
Although the maximum stress that appears in the
elements of the crossing, are not because of the usual
seismic action, it could rise the question whether the low
frequency earthquakes have a decisive effect on the
structure. (This isolated seismic action was studied
mostly in nearby Japan and the control period can range,
from 3 to 10s).
The pre-stress of cables, in the analysis, will affect
the behavior of the crossing. This is important for the
analysis since the temperature is also influencing the
stress in the cables. For a cold season the change of

236

ISBN: 978-960-474-180-9

Proceedings of the 3rd WSEAS Int. Conference on FINITE DIFFERENCES - FINITE ELEMENTS - FINITE VOLUMES - BOUNDARY ELEMENTS

## temperature will induce supplementary stress, which

compared to the analysis in the paper, will give
inaccurate results.
For this, a way to simulate the effect of decreased
temperature is to run a separate step and from this step
to start the design of the suspension crossing.
Although it has been used the finite element method
the results for the analysis should be compared to a
refined FEM which can bring out the main features of a
cable response to wind, turbulent wind and vortex. The
last one is a characteristic of the wind load in the area
where the crossing has to be erected. From this it results
the necessity of aerodynamic tunnel tests for a better
observation of the suspension crossing behavior in wind
conditions.

## [3]X3. Vicenzo Gatulli, Luca Martinelli, Federico

Perotti, Fabrizio Vestroni, Dynamics of Suspended
of Wind Field and Mechanical System, Journal of
Wind Engineering and Wind Aerodynamics, No. 95,
2007, pp. 183-207.
[4]X4. Mateescu Dan, Ivan Marin, Conducte metalice
circulare cu diametru mare, Editura Politehnica,
1985
[5]X5. Ivan Marin, Lupescu T., Ivan Adrian, The nonlinear analysis of cable supported gas pipe,
Proceedings of the 9th International Conference of
Metal Structures, Orizonturi Universitare, 2000, pp.
217-228.
[6]X6. Peter A. Irwin, Bluff Body Aerodynamics in
Wind Engineering, Journal of Wind Engineering and
Wind Aerodynamics, No. 96, 2008, pp. 701-712.
[7]X7. Burton D., Cao D.Q., Tucker R.W., Wang C., On
the stability of stay cables under light wind and rain
conditions, Journal of Sound and Vibration, No.279,
2005, pp. 89-117

References:
[1]X1. ASCE Manuals and Reports on Engineering
Practice, Pipeline Crossings, No.89, 1996.
[2]X2. Zhang Xin-jun, Sun Bing-nan, Aerodynamic
stability of cable-stayed-suspension hybrid bridges,
Journal of Zhejiang University Science, No. 6A(8),
2005, pp. 869-874

ISSN: 1790-2769

237

ISBN: 978-960-474-180-9