Techno Press


Steel and Composite Structures   Volume 11, Number 1, February 2011, pages 1-19
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12989/scs.2011.11.1.001
 
Plastic load bearing capacity of multispan composite highway bridges with longitudinally stiffened webs
Harald Unterweger, Andreas Lechner and Richard Greiner

 
Abstract     [Full Text]
    The introduction of the Eurocodes makes plastic design criteria available also for composite bridges, leading to more economical solutions compared with previous elastic design rules. Particularly for refurbishment old bridges with higher actual traffic loads, up to date outside the scope of the Eurocodes, strengthening should therefore be avoidable or at least be necessary only to a minor extent. For bridges with smaller spans and compact cross sections, the plastic load bearing capacity is clearly justified. In this work, however, the focus is placed on long span continuous composite bridges with deep, longitudinally stiffened girders, susceptible to local buckling. In a first step, the elastic - plastic cross section capacity of the main girder in bending is studied as an isolated case, based on high preloads acting on the steel girder only, due to the common assembling procedure without scaffolding. In a second step, the effects on the whole structure are studied, because utilising the plastic section capacity at midspan leads to a redistribution of internal forces to the supports. Based on the comprehensive study of an old, actual strengthened composite bridge, some limitations for plastic design are identified. Moreover, fully plastic design will sometimes need additional global analysis. Practical recommendations are given for design purposes.
 
Key Words
    plastic moment capacity; nonlinear global analysis; existing composite highway bridges.
 
Address
Institute of Steel Structures, Graz University of Technology, Lessingstra
 

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