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=
=
(
 
+
(

+ \ (
= =
(
 
+
(

\ (
(2)
where EI
d
and m
d
denote respectively the deck transverse stiffness and mass per unit length
averaged over the deck length,
, p i
k and m
p,i
are respectively the ith pier stiffness and mass (i
= 1,2,..,N
p
) and L is the deck length.
The effective mass of the system is:
,
1
2
p
N
d i
eff p i
i
m L x
m m sin
L
=
 
= +

\
(3)
so that the participation factor, useful to compute the seismic response, is obtained as
eff
m / m.
The global system damping factor can be expressed as [11]:
( )
( )
2
d p el d d p p
d p
d p
c c
k k
k k
k k
+
+
= =
+
+
(4)
where
d
and
p
denote respectively the deck and pier damping factors.
2.2. Nonlinear behaviour properties and nondimensional characteristic parameters
In this section, simple approximate expressions are shown for the relation between the system
global ductility capacity and the piers local ductility capacity in the case of elastic deck and
homogeneous and equallyspaced piers with elastic perfectlyplastic behaviour. The
expressions of the generalized tangent stiffness and nonlinear restoring force of the system for
a given Z, ( )
tan
k Z and ( ) f Z , can be written as [9]:
( ) ( )
2
2
1
1
1
2
p
N
i
tan p p i
i
x
k Z k k H Z sin
L
=
 
( = +

\
(5)
( ) ( )
2
2
1
1
1
2
p
N
eff
i
p i
i
m
x
f Z k Z H Z sin
m L
=
(
 
( = +
(

\ (
(6)
where ( ) H denotes the Heaviside step function, assuming the value 1 if the argument is
positive and the value 0 if it is negative, k
pi
= k
p
for i = 1,2,..,N
p
, and ( )
i
Z = ductility
demand at the ith pier as deduced from the sinusoidal transverse displacement shape.
In Eq. (5) and (6), the non dimensional characteristic parameters
2
and , already introduced
in Tubaldi and DallAsta [12], are employed. They are defined as:
3
3
,
2 1
4 4
1
= ,
p
N
p i
p
i
d d p
k L
k L
EI EI N
=
= =
(7)
Parameter
2
is a measure of the pierstodeck stiffness ratio. Low values of
2
correspond to
a stiff deck relative to the supports whereas high values correspond to a slender deck relative
to the supports. Limit case
2
= 0 corresponds to a simplysupported beam with no
intermediate restraints. Parameter = 1/N
p
describes the distribution of the piers along the
bridge, it is inversely proportional to the number of piers N
p
, and assumes values spanning
from 0 to 1. Case = 1 (N
p
= 1) corresponds to support stiffness concentrated at a single point
whereas limit case = 0 (
p
N ) corresponds to continuously distributed supports. Both
parameters can be used to assess the accuracy of the sinusoidal shape in approximating the
transverse motion of the bridge.
In the frequent case of = 1 (twospan bridge) or = 1/2 (threespan bridge), the response
curve f Z reduces to a bilinear curve. Given the value
p
of the pier ductility capacity, a
simple expression for
eq
is obtained [9]:
( )
( )
1
2
2
1 2
1
1
2
eq
p p
(
+
( = +
+ (
(8)
where = 1 for = 1, and = 1.5 for = 1/2.
It is stressed that the obtained expression contains only non dimensional parameters. Fig. 2
plots the values of
eq
vs.
2
for different values of
p
ranging from 1 to 5, and for = 1
(continuous lines) and = 1/2 (dotted lines).
2
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
0 2.5 5 7.5 10 12.5 15
=1
p=1
=1/2
p=2 p=3 p=4 p=5
e
q
Fig. 2: Equivalent global ductility capacity vs
2
for different = 1/N
p
and
p
values.
Overall, the global ductility capacity
eq
of the bridge is reduced with respect to the local
ductility capacity of the piers
p
. This is a consequence of the contribution to elastic strain
energy provided by the bending of the elastic deck restrained at the abutments. This
contribution is controlled by the stiffness ratio
2
and it is such that
eq
tends asymptotically to
p
for increasing values of
2
, as expected. It can also be observed that the convergence rate
strongly changes and it is higher for small values of
p
. Once
2
is fixed, the equivalent
ductility
eq
that can be achieved reduces only slightly by decreasing = 1/N
p
. Furthermore,
for low values of
2
up to 1.5, which are frequent in real bridge configurations, the value of
eq
is almost independent from the value of
p
and is inferior than 1.5. Thus, the dissipation
capacity of such a system with dual load path behaviour is expected to be very small. This is
an important aspect because the global ductility capacity is related to the response
modification factors (Rfactors) currently used in antiseismic codes for the design of bridges
by means of a reduced response spectrum [13].
2.3. Influence of deck yielding on bridge capacity
In presence of the abutment restraint, the deck may bend significantly and attain its yield limit
under the transverse seismic action. In general, deck yielding may occur due to the yielding of
the steel girders or of the slab rebars up to a distance of 0.1B from the slabs edge [3]. In
evaluating the deck limit curvature, account should be made of the state of stress induced by
the non seismic loads, and also of the construction phases.
The maximum displacements admissible for the deck and the piers can be evaluated explicitly
and compared for the assumed sinusoidal distribution of curvatures. An available ductility
d
can be defined as the maximum ductility capacity that can be exploited by the piers before the
deck yields. It is shown in [9] that the expression of
d
depends on a set of dimensionless
geometrical parameters: the piers height to section width ratio (H/D), the deck length to width
ratio (L/B), the pier to deck aspect ratio (H/L). Obviously, also the deck and pier yield
curvature influence the expression of
d
. The reduced value of the global equivalent ductility
eq
can be obtained from Eq. (8) by substituting
p
with
d
.
A separation between the range of situations where the dissipative capacity of piers is reduced
by deck yielding and those situation where this does not occur can be obtained by introducing
the critical height H
cr
, whose expression is reported in [9]. According to this expression, deck
yielding is more likely to occur before piers failure in short bridges with a wide deck, for
reduced values of the pier crosssection diameter and for critical piers that are far from
midspan. In highway overpasses the problem of deck yielding may be particularly relevant,
since these structural configurations are characterized by wide superstructures and short span
lengths.
3 CASE STUDY
In order to investigate the accuracy of the proposed analytical formulation, different
configurations of two and threespan regular bridges with a continuous SCC deck
transversally restrained at the abutments are considered as case study (Fig. 3). These bridges
are representative of a class of regular mediumspan bridges commonly used in the
transportation network.
50m 40m 40m
H/D=3
a)
H/D=5
H/D=9
H/D=3
H/D=5
H/D=9
40m 40m
b)
H/D=3
H/D=5
H/D=9
Fig. 3: SCC bridges configurations for different H/D values: a) threespan bridges, b) twospan
bridges.
The deck, of width B = 12 m, has been designed for the nonseismic loading conditions
[14][15]. The reinforced concrete piers have a circular crosssection of diameter D = 1.8 m.
Three different values of the piers slenderness are considered, i.e., H/D = 3, 5, and 9. These
values correspond to pier effective heights (including the distance of 1.81m between the deck
centre of weight and the pier top) of H = 7.21 m, 10.81 m, and 18.01 m. The configurations
considered are expected to cover a wide range of seismic responses and failure modalities: for
low H/D values system failure is likely to occur due to excessive curvature in the piers,
whereas for high H/D values it may be due to deck yielding.
The proposed model and formulation are applied to the analysis of the bridges. The
corresponding analytical (AN) results are then compared with the results obtained by applying
incremental dynamic analysis (IDA) [16] to refined threedimensional nonlinear finite
element (FE) models of the bridges built in Opensees [17]. The effects of recordtorecord
variability have been taken into account in IDA by considering a set of natural ground motion
records from the PEER database [18] and the analysis results have been averaged.
Fig. 4 shows the relation between the sum of the pier and abutment reactions (respectively R
p
and R
ab
) and the displacement of thee deck centre (d
nc
), obtained for the threedimensional
nonlinear finite element models of the twoand threespan bridges corresponding to H/D = 3,
H/D = 5, and H/D = 9.
d
nc
[m]
R
[
k
N
]
0
2000
4000
6000
8000
10000
12000
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5
Rp [kN] Rab [kN]
H/D =3
H/D =5
H/D =9
pier failure
deck yielding
a)
0
2000
4000
6000
8000
10000
12000
14000
16000
18000
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2
d
nc
[m]
R
[
k
N
]
H/D =3
H/D =5
H/D =9
pier failure
deck yielding
Rp [kN] Rab [kN] b)
Fig. 4: Reaction forces at piers R
p
and at abutments R
ab
vs. control node displacement d
nc
for a) three
span SCC bridges, and b) two span SCC bridges.
In general, the R
p
d
nc
relationship is nonlinear while the R
ab
d
nc
is almost linear. This is the
consequence of the different behaviour of the resisting mechanisms involved in this dualload
path system. In the case of the threespan bridges, failure is due to pier attaining their ultimate
displacement capacity for H/D = 3 and H/D = 5, and due to deck yielding for H/D = 9. For the
intermediate case corresponding to H/D = 5, also the deck is close to failure (i.e., an almost
balanced failure is attained). In the case of the twospan bridges, failure is due to deck
yielding for H/D=5 and 9, whereas for H/D = 3 a balanced failure of the piers and the deck is
observed. The values of the critical pier height estimated according to IDA results are
H
cr
/D5.5 for the threespan bridges and H
cr
/D = 3 for the twospan bridges.
Table 1 reports the results of the comparison between the analytical (AN) and finite element
(FE) results in terms of the following parameters: the elastic fundamental transverse vibration
period T
el
, the equivalent ductility capacity
eq
, the available ductility
d
, the ultimate control
node displacement Z
u
, the pier and abutment reactions at failure, R
p
and R
ab
, and the deck
centre transverse bending moment at failure M
d
.
In general, the analytical model provides satisfactory estimates of the parameters considered,
for all the bridge configurations analyzed. The values of the vibration periods and of the
ultimate displacements are practically equal to the values evaluated by using refined FE
models. On the other hand, the analytical model underestimates the pier and abutment
reaction forces and the transverse moments at failure, and slightly overestimates the ductility
capacity. The underestimation of the piers and of the abutment reactions by the analytical
model is due to the influence of higher modes of vibration on these quantities ([8][10]), which
is naturally taken into account only by IDA. The underestimation of the abutment reactions by
the analytical model is also responsible of the slight overestimation of the global ductility
capacity of the bridges analyzed. It is noteworthy that a better estimate of the base shear and
of the transverse deck bending moments by the analytical model could be obtained by
including higher modes effects as in [8] or [10].
Finally, it is stressed that the global ductility capacity of the considered bridges is
significantly reduced with respect to the piers ductility capacity, in consequence of the dual
load path (elastic plus inelastic) behaviour and of the deck premature yielding that poses a
limit on the maximum allowable displacements in the case of slender piers.
Table 1: Comparison between analytical and FE results.
Threespan bridge Twospan bridge
H/D=3
(
2
=3.59)
H/D=5
(
2
=1.07)
H/D=9
(
2
=0.23)
H/D=3
(
2
=0.43)
H/D=5
(
2
=0.13)
H/D=9
(
2
=0.03)
AN FE AN FE AN FE AN FE AN FE AN FE
T
el
[s] 0.66 0.67 1.03 1.06 1.42 1.42 T
el
[s] 0.45 0.43 0.55 0.54 0.61 0.59
Z
u
[m] 0.219 0.220 0.439 0.458 0.473 0.464
Z
u
[m] 0.192 0.187 0.192 0.185 0.192 0.183
eq
[] 1.65 1.46 1.24 1.18 1.07 1.03
eq
[] 1.13 1.12 1.06 1.04 1.00 1.03
d
[] 4.86=
p
4.86=
p
4.29=
p
4.29=
p
1.66 1.65
d
[] 4.86=
p
4.86=
p
2.19 2.13 0.79 0.76
R
p
[kN] 4361.8 4259.0 2907.9 3111.3 1743.8 2204.1
R
p
[kN] 2638.3 2656.3 1743.8 1923.2 1041.1 1225.4
R
ab
[kN] 4357.2 5733.5 8310.1 9636.6 8945.6 9800.7
R
ab
[kN] 15167.8 16239.5 15128.1 15726.0 15051.7 15805.0
M
d
[E+05kNm]
0.864 0.978 1.688 1.775 1.857 1.857
M
d
[E+05kNm]
1.960 1.960 1.960 1.960 1.960 1.960
4 CONCLUSIONS
This study addresses the dynamic nonlinear behaviour and collapse modalities of multispan
continuous bridges with dissipative piers and transverse restraint between the deck and the
abutments. These bridges are modelled as continuous simplysupported beams resting on
discrete supports with elastic perfectlyplastic behaviour representing the dissipative piers. A
variational formulation is employed to describe the seismic problem, and the solution to this
problem is sought by assuming a transverse sinusoidal deformed shape for the bridge.
Closedform expressions of the properties of an elastoplastic SDOF system equivalent to the
bridge are given in terms of non dimensional parameters describing the ratio of the deck to
pier stiffness and the piers stiffness distribution along the bridge. In particular, the system
global ductility capacity is expressed as a function of the local piers ductility capacity and of
these characteristic parameters describing. Furthermore, the geometric nondimensional
parameters controlling whether failure is due to piers rupture or due to deck yielding are
posed in evidence.
The analytical formulation is tested by assessing the ultimate behaviour of a set of threespan
steelconcrete composite bridges with abutment transverse restraint and homogeneous piers.
Three values of the ratio between the piers height and diameter are considered, in order to
cover different types of seismic responses and failure modalities. The accuracy of the
simplified model is evaluated by means of comparison with the results of incremental
dynamic analysis applied to refined nonlinear finite element bridge models. Based on the
comparison, it is concluded that the proposed analytical model predicts with sufficient
accuracy the properties of the bridges at their elastic response and at collapse. In particular, it
provides accurate estimates of the fundamental system vibration period, the ultimate
displacement, the global ductility capacity, the deck section most prone to yielding, and the
critical pier height that corresponds to a balanced failure of the deck and the piers. Less
satisfactory estimates are obtained for the response quantities notably influenced by higher
modes of vibration, such as the pier and abutment reactions.
REFERENCES
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[2] Dezi L., Architectural and structural design of short and medium span composite bridges,
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[3] European Committee for Standardization (ECS). Eurocode 8  Design of structures for
earthquake resistance, EN1998, Brussels, 2005
[4] Calvi G. M., Recent experience and innovative approaches in design and assessment
of bridges, 13th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering, August 16,
Vancouver, Canada, 2004
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concrete composite bridges exhibiting dual load path, Earthquake and Structures, 1(1),
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