Characteristic dynamic traffic load effects in bridges

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Title: Characteristic dynamic traffic load effects in bridges
Authors: O'Brien, Eugene J.
Rattigan, Paraic
González, Arturo
Dowling, Jason
Znidaric, Ales
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Date: Jul-2009
Abstract: When formulating an approach to assess bridge traffic loading with allowance for Vehicle-Bridge Interaction (VBI), a trade-off is necessary between the limited accuracy and computational demands of numerical models and the limited time periods for which experimental data is available. Numerical modelling can simulate sufficient numbers of loading scenarios to determine characteristic total load effects, including an allowance for VBI. However, simulating VBI for years of traffic is computationally expensive, often excessively so. Furthermore, there are a great many uncertainties associated with numerical models such as the road surface profile and the model parameter values (e.g., spring stiffnesses) for the heavy vehicle fleet. On site measurement of total load effect, including the influence of VBI, overcomes many of these uncertainties as measurements are the result of actual loading scenarios as they occur on the bridge. However, it is often impractical to monitor bridges for extended periods of time which raises questions about the accuracy of calculated characteristic load effects. Soft Load Testing, as opposed to Proof Load or Diagnostic Load Testing, is the direct measurement of load effects on bridges subject to random traffic. This paper considers the influence of measurement periods on the accuracy of soft load testing predictions of characteristic load effects, including VBI, for bridges with two lanes of opposing traffic. It concludes that, even for relatively short time periods, the estimates are reasonably accurate and tend to be conservative. Provided the data is representative, Soft Load Testing is shown to be a useful tool for calculating characteristic total load effect.
Funding Details: Other funder
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier
Journal: Engineering Structures
Volume: 31
Issue: 7
Start page: 1607
End page: 1612
Copyright (published version): 2009 Elsevier Ltd.
Keywords: Soft load testingVehicle bridge interactionWeigh-in-motionBridgeDynamicVibration
Subject LCSH: Bridges--Live loads
Bridges--Materials--Dynamic testing
DOI: 10.1016/j.engstruct.2009.02.013
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Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Critical Infrastructure Group Research Collection
Civil Engineering Research Collection

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