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ST7-1.50.30.4 Using the Moving Load Module

Software

Copyright Strand7 Pty Limited. Licenced to Africon Engineering International (Pty) Ltd (AFEUSB01) on 21-Feb-2014 at 12:12 PM UTC. Not for redistribution.

Introduction

This Webnote outlines the use of the Strand7 Moving Load module for the modelling of transient loads moving

along a path, the generation of load cases relevant to the possible positions of loads moving along a path, and to

create static combination of loads moving along a path that minimises or maximises a specified response

variable.

Whilst each of these capabilities addresses different analysis types, central to them all is the definition of moving

loads in a Load Path Template. These templates have functionality which addresses some or all of the above

capabilities. Dialogs and windows in the Load Path Templates are introduced below, as they become relevant to

the functionality being presented.

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Strand7

ST7-1.50.30.4 Using the Moving Load Module

Software

Copyright Strand7 Pty Limited. Licenced to Africon Engineering International (Pty) Ltd (AFEUSB01) on 21-Feb-2014 at 12:12 PM UTC. Not for redistribution.

In Strand7, moving loads are represented using entities called Load Paths, whose characteristics are described in

a Load Path Template in the same manner as an entity property. Load Path Templates may be created

manually in the Properties/Load Paths window seen in Figure 1, or specified from a database. There are three

ways in which the load path may be interpreted (as described in the Scope section of this Webnote and

reiterated below):

1. modelling of transient loads moving along a path;

2. generation of load cases relevant to the possible positions of loads moving along a path;

3. static combination of loads moving along a path that minimise or maximise a specified response variable.

Many aspects of the Load Path Template in Figure 1 are interpreted in the same way in each context these

features are described in the remainder of this introduction. However there are some features which are

specific to just one or two of these cases or are interpreted differently in each context such features are

introduced together with their usage in the next sections.

As seen in Figure 2, a load path is split spatially into Lanes. Furthermore in the left hand spreadsheet of the Load

Path Template shown in Figure 1, Vehicles may be defined to load each lane. Vehicles are sets of loads that

travel as a coordinated group along the load path Lanes. Specifically, they are repositioned to any one of a

discrete number of positions along the length of the Lane. The number of positions along the lane is a load path

attribute defined in Attributes/Load Path/Divisions.

Each Vehicle footprint is defined relative to its own local x, y, z (longitudinal, transverse, out-of-plane)

coordinate system, whose origin may occupy the red and blue points shown in Figure 2. This local system moves

along the load path. The vehicle may consist of mechanical and thermal loads that typically travel with the local

coordinate system, but can remain stationary, or roam independently throughout the lane depending on the

context.

Lane 1

Y

X

Lane 2

x

Lane 3

n2

n1

Figure 2. The positioning of Vehicles in the Lanes of the load path, given three lanes and n divisions; Single lane vehicles

may be centred on the blue points, and Double lane vehicles may be centred on the red points.

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Strand7

ST7-1.50.30.4 Using the Moving Load Module

Software

Copyright Strand7 Pty Limited. Licenced to Africon Engineering International (Pty) Ltd (AFEUSB01) on 21-Feb-2014 at 12:12 PM UTC. Not for redistribution.

Under the Vehicle tab of the load path template (Figure 3) in the Instance panel, the number of lanes occupied

by the active (selected) vehicle in the spreadsheet may be set as:

Single Lane

Figure 2

or Double Lane

Figure 2.

defined, if a transient analysis is required. The start time

defines the delay from the beginning of the analysis

before the vehicle enters the path, and can be used to

stagger vehicles (staggering can be used on vehicles on a

single path, or on vehicles over multiple paths).

Under the Path tab in Properties/Load Paths are

settings which apply to the entire load path, such as its

display Path Colour (this tab is visible in Figure 1). The

Number of Lanes on the load path is set here, along

with the Minimum Lane Width.

Normally, the lane width is taken to be the maximum

transverse extent of the vehicle loading among all the

Vehicles (the transverse extent of double vehicles is

halved for this purpose) but if this is less than the

minimum value specified here, then the Minimum Lane

Width is used instead. The lane width is then multiplied

by the number of lanes defined on the load path to

determine the total load path width.

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Strand7

ST7-1.50.30.4 Using the Moving Load Module

Software

Specifying Loads

Loads are specified relative to each vehicles local coordinate system, in the spreadsheet on the left of the

Property/Load Path window. There are three load types available for each vehicle in the tabs at the top of the

spreadsheet; Point Force, Distributed Force and Heat Source. A single vehicle can contain all three types of

load.

Point Force

specifies forces at points (x, y), defined in the local vehicle coordinate frame

the force (Fx, Fy, Fz) is applied in the coordinate system directions specified under Axis System

may be one of two types, for the purposes of generating vehicle load cases

Grouped forces move together longitudinally along the lane with Grouped/Leading/Trailing Distributed

Forces, and Heat Sources.

Floating forces may roam anywhere independently of any other loads in the lane. The coordinates

(x,iy) are ignored, and this type is only valid in the context of static combination to optimise a response

variable in the other contexts it is treated as Grouped.

Distributed Force

specifies a force applied over a designated area defined in the local vehicle coordinate frame, with intensity

expressed per unit length of lane.

the force per unit length (Px, Py, Pz) is applied in the coordinate system directions specified under Axis

System.

may be one of five basic types, for the purposes of generating vehicle load cases.

Grouped distributed forces over rectangular patches (x: [x1, x2], y:[y1, y2]), move together

longitudinally along the lane with Point Forces, Leading/Trailing Distributed Forces, and Heat Sources.

Full-length distributed forces are applied over the entire length and specified breadth y:[y1, y2] of the

lane. Note that the x-values are ignored for this type.

Leading distributed forces are applied over the length x > 0 and breadth y:[y1, y2], and move together

longitudinally along the lane ahead of Grouped/Trailing Distributed Forces, Grouped Point Forces and

Heat Sources.

Trailing distributed forces are applied over the length x < 0 and breadth y:[y1, y2], and move together

longitudinally along the lane behind Grouped/Leading Distributed Forces, Grouped Point Forces and

Heat Sources.

Floating distributed forces are applied over rectangular patches (x: [xr + x1, xr + x2], y:[y1, y2]), which

may roam to any point (xr, 0) independently of the Grouped/Leading/Trailing Distributed Forces,

Grouped Point Forces and Heat Sources in the lane. This type is only valid in the context of static

combination to optimise a response variable in the other contexts it is treated as Grouped.

Additionally, there is a special case of the Grouped distributed force termed a Void distributed force.

This is a rectangular patch in which other loads appearing in the lane are blanked it is defined in the

same way as a Grouped distributed force with a zero magnitude force specified.

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Strand7

ST7-1.50.30.4 Using the Moving Load Module

Software

Heat Source

specifies a heat source in units of power (e.g. J/s), applied either at a point (x, y), or over a rectangular area

dxdy (a heat flux) centred at (x, y) when dx and dy are non-zero.

these Heat Sources may only move with the vehicle along the axis of travel they are effectively Grouped

loads, always.

The Point/Distributed Forces are further modified by the selection of the Adjacency and Centrifugal properties

in each spreadsheet row. The Adjacency property is only valid in the context of static combination to optimise a

response variable it shall be discussed in a later section.

When the Centrifugal property is selected for a force, it modifies the applied force on the load path to include an

extra component, directed centrifugally, which is calculated from the vertical force Fz or Pz which may be

thought of as defining the mass that gives rise to the centrifugal force. The centrifugal force is calculated as

specified in the Centrifugal tab, and applied with the same distribution over the same areas or points of

application as the causative load, Fz or Pz. The centrifugal force FC is calculated from the vertical force Fz by the

equation

FC K 0 K1 Fz

(1)

which is set in the Centrifugal tab, along with options to limit K1 and set the units in which this force is locally

calculated (Strand7 will then convert these units to whatever is being used in the rest of the load template, and

model).

Note that K0 and K1 in the above equation may

be expressed as functions of:

from the load path geometry

load case in which the load path is defined

Vehicle tab).

Note also that centrifugal loads are assumed to

act on the surface of the path, i.e. at z=0.

Centrifugal loads do not take into account the

centre of gravity of the vehicle that gives rise

to them.

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Strand7

ST7-1.50.30.4 Using the Moving Load Module

Software

An explicitly transient moving load can be generated from the load path definition using the settings in the

Dynamic panel of the Vehicle tab. Note that these settings are ignored in load influence analysis, except to

define a velocity for the Centrifugal properties. Similarly, in the context of a transient moving load the options

to permute and factor lanes presented in the Path tab, and restrict the possible combination of vehicles in the

Sets tab, are ignored.

The completed model is included as ST7-1.50.30.4 Curved Concrete Bridge - Moving Load (Final).st7.

File/Open the model ST7-1.50.30.4 Curved Concrete Bridge - Moving Load (Initial).st7, and File/Save As

another filename.

Select the tab at the bottom of the spreadsheet corresponding to the first Vehicle, as seen in Figure 1.

Select the tab at the top of the spreadsheet corresponding to Distributed forces for this Vehicle and

enter the following data in the new row to specify a 46 m patch of 10 kPa vertical load, and 1 kPa shear

load.

Mobility

x1

(m)

x2

(m)

y1

(m)

y2

(m)

Px

(N/m)

Py

(N/m)

Pz

(N/m)

Axis

system

Adjacency

Centrifugal

Grouped

-3

-2

4000

40000

Local

No

Yes

Select the tab at the bottom of the spreadsheet corresponding to the second Vehicle.

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Strand7

ST7-1.50.30.4 Using the Moving Load Module

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Select the tab at the top of the spreadsheet corresponding to Point forces for this Vehicle and

enter the following data in the rows so created to specify four point forces at the corners of a 2.56 m

rectangle.

Mobility

x

(m)

y

(m)

Grouped

Grouped

Fx

(N)

Fy

(N)

Fz

(N)

Axis

system

Adjacency

Centrifugal

1.25

10000

Local

No

Yes

1.25

10000

Local

No

Yes

Grouped

1.25

10000

Local

No

Yes

Grouped

1.25

10000

Local

No

Yes

Centrifugal tab and

option unchecked)

from the dropdown menus.

Note that by specifying this factor for K1, the relationship between vertical and centrifugal loads

FC

V2

Fz

Rg

(2)

is observed, meaning that given some total mass of the object m = Fz/g, the centrifugal force corresponds to

that needed to accelerate the mass m around the path. Equation (1) affords extra flexibility to accommodate a

departure from this strictly physical expectation, as such flexibility is demanded by many design codes.

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Strand7

ST7-1.50.30.4 Using the Moving Load Module

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Path shape and select three points along the

centre of the curved bridge model to define a

circular arc for the load path to follow.

Note that the Flat and the Curved options in Create/Load Path control the direction in which the load path is

curved, when the circular or parabolic path shape is selected. Flat load paths are curved about the local z axis of

the load path, whereas Curved load paths are curved about the local y axis as seen above. Note also that the

Divisions attribute is also initialised here (by default, to 20).

Check that gravity is applied in the negative global Y direction for the Load case in which the Load Path is

created.

Check also that the loads are being applied in the right direction.

It should be possible to see vectors representing the load condition imposed by the vehicles bearing down on

the bridge.

If the load is applied in the wrong direction, then you can either change the sign in the load path template or

as is usually more convenient use Tools/Align/Flip Entities to flip the load path definition itself.

Note also that load paths in Strand7 are treated like elements in some ways. For example, load paths may be

copied, moved and scaled after creating them. The Online Editor also offers some editing functionality for load

paths.

Before attempting a full transient solution, we will need an initial stress state without this the bridge will

experience a sudden loading due to gravity and the solution will be dominated by the transient behaviour as the

bridge bounces due to the gravity load.

Note that in the context of a non-transient (static) solution, the forces on the load path are ignored so the above

solution will include the gravitational effects of the load case only.

In Solver/Linear Transient Dynamic:

select Rayleigh Damping with the default values (i.e. a value of = 0.01 at 1 Hz and 10 Hz)

in Initial Conditions select From File from the dropdown menu, open the previously generated *.LSA file and

select the gravitational result case therein

apply the loads under Moving Load, and select the one moving load specified.

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Strand7

ST7-1.50.30.4 Using the Moving Load Module

Software

The load path is approximately 100 m long, thus at a speed of 15 m/s the slower load will take about 6 s to

reach the other side.

Under Time Steps set 100 time steps of 0.06 s, and save at every step.

Refer to ST7-1.20.20.4 Transient Dynamic Analysis Time Stepping for guidance in selecting an appropriate time

step.

Click Solve.

By scrolling through the result cases, which are at 0.06 s intervals, with face and element attributes visible, it

should be possible to see the loads move over the bridge. Note that to see the displacement contours change

appreciably, it is useful to display them relative to the initial displacement at 0 s. This is because the gravity load

typically causes more displacement than the moving load.

Results/Reference Displacement, select Specific case and choose the first result case from the dropdown

menu.

In the results, there is a point at around 4.38 s when the double lane and single lane vehicles overlap each other

in lanes 2 and 5. When using the transient solvers, there are no restrictions on the possible combination of loads

with the result that more than one vehicle can exist in the same lane. In this result case shown in Figure 8, it is

also possible to see the centrifugal loading on the bridge, which is visibly larger for the faster moving vehicle.

Note that the load path will be interpreted in exactly the same manner if the other transient solvers are used it

can be used with Quasi-static Analysis, Linear Transient Analysis and Nonlinear Transient Analysis.

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Strand7

ST7-1.50.30.4 Using the Moving Load Module

Software

along the load path in transient analysis, so it

is important to enter enough divisions to

accurately capture the smooth transition of

the vehicle as it moves over the mesh. The

default value of 20 divisions may not be

enough if your load path is long, or if your

mesh is fine. You can change the load path

divisions with Attributes/Load Path/Divisions.

Alternatively, you can specify that the load

path be automatically divided as necessary,

based on the vehicle speeds and the analysis

time step. This option is available in the

Moving Load dialog of the transient and

quasi-static solvers.

Figure 8. Overlapping moving loads progressed along the curved bridge at 4.38 s.

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Strand7

ST7-1.50.30.4 Using the Moving Load Module

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In the previous example, the load path was effectively used to generate different load cases to load the structure

in the course of a transient analysis. Naturally, it would also be possible to do this manually using Factor vs Time

tables and a set of appropriate load cases although this would be very laborious. Nonetheless, there are

occasionally situations where such a detailed approach is necessary, or the load cases themselves are required

for a further more detailed analysis.

To generate load cases corresponding to the individual movement of each

Vehicle along each lane in which it is active, we can use Tools/Convert/Load

Paths to Load Cases. This creates a separate load case for each possible position

of each Vehicle on the load path, where the number of such positions is

determined by Attributes/Load Path/Divisions.

Note that the number of load cases generated for a given load path/lane/vehicle

combination, will usually exceed the number of divisions set on the path. This is

because additional load cases are automatically generated to progressively ease

the vehicle onto and the off of the path. The number of extra cases generated is

a function of the vehicle length, the load path length, and the number of divisions

(i.e. the path segment length).

In the previous example, there were two Vehicles, six Lanes and the default 20 divisions additionally, Vehicle 1

was only active in two lanes and Vehicle 2 was only active in four lanes. If this tool is used with the previous

example, where there are 20 divisions (referring to Figure 2), the number of load cases created corresponds

roughly to:

20 2 + 20 4 = 120 load cases.

However, more load cases are created than the estimate. This is because some extra load cases arise from the

curvature of the load path and the interaction of the ends of it with the vehicle footprint. The algorithm adds

extra vehicles where it discovers that it can fit another partial vehicle on the load path, or conversely may

disregard vehicles whose loads do not intersect with any elements.

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Strand7

ST7-1.50.30.4 Using the Moving Load Module

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One of the principal uses of the load path is to define possible load configurations to determine the worst (or

best) loading condition for a given Response Variable or combination of response variables. This is typically

useful for determining the required live load case for structural design, particularly of bridges.

Building codes based on limit-state design principles (e.g. AS5100.22004 or EN1991-2: 2003) describe live loads

due to traffic that are to be applied to the structure in combination, to arrive at a design load against which the

structure must perform satisfactorily for a given limit state. Various loads relating to different traffic types are

stipulated and rules for their application, combination and possible interaction are defined. The design load is

then the combination of such loads that gives rise to the worst effects.

In Strand7, the worst case combination is determined in the following way:

Response Variables relevant to the limit-state under consideration are defined. These quantify the effect of

loading on the structure in terms of optimisation theory, these variables form the objective function that is

to be minimised or maximised.

A Load Influence analysis is made on the structure to determine the influence line or surface over the

structure. This quantifies the effect that a unit load (force or moment) on any part of the structure will have

on the Response Variables.

Then, the Load Influence Combinations post-processor may be run to determine the position and

combination of Vehicles on the load path that causes the extreme (maximum or minimum) effect on the

Response Variable the worst case loading.

This load combination may then be recorded for use as a design load in subsequent analyses. Note that the

analysis up to this point is necessarily linear.

Many of the options in the Load Path Template relate to the manner in which the Vehicles may be combined in

the Load Influence Combinations solver. One can imagine that there is a discrete number N of possible loads on

the load path, arising from each Vehicle moved to a given position in the lane in which it is active. Possible

combinations therefore, arise by picking a subset of such loads that may legitimately exist together.

The way in which the effective vehicle load cases can be combined is limited in the following manner:

Each Lane may only be loaded by a single Vehicle. Thus Double Lane vehicles prevent both lanes they

occupy from being loaded by any other vehicles.

Not all of the Vehicles or Lanes need to be active subsets of legitimate combinations are also legitimate.

The Vehicle tab introduced in Figure 3 defines the extent (Single or Double Lane) and possible location of

each vehicle.

Under the Sets tab, groups of mutually exclusive vehicles are defined by setting an identical name for each

mutually exclusive set or group.

Thus only one Vehicle from each set may appear on the load path.

Any Vehicle which does not belong to a set (its name is not entered) may combine with all other

vehicles, and itself.

A single Vehicle assigned a unique set not shared by other vehicles, can appear only once on the load

path.

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12

Strand7

ST7-1.50.30.4 Using the Moving Load Module

Software

different Vehicles, except when Point Forces are specified

at the extreme edges of lanes or when Floating Point Forces

drift to the edges of lanes. In such cases, the loads are

overlayed.

Furthermore, it is also possible to apply load factors to the

vehicle loads depending on the number of vehicles active on

the load path, in the Path tab (seen on the right in Figure 1).

Factors Bi are specified for the ith lane, and the lane

numbering itself may also be permuted. Note that these

factors are only applied to those loads in the Vehicles

spreadsheet for which the Adjacency property is checked,

and their application varies with the options:

Where in a vehicle combination, n lanes are loaded, the load factor Bn is applied to all the lanes.

Note that not all the lanes need to be loaded (as mentioned previously).

The lane numbering in this respect is flexible the numbering and subsequent factoring is adjusted to

achieve the worst case.

Typically, the worst case arises when the highest factor is applied to the lane with the greatest share of

the influence line, and the greatest load; the second highest factor is applied to the second greatest

load; and so on.

We shall use the model of a curved concrete bridge developed in the previous section as a simple example of the

recombination of vehicles on a load path to find the worst case loading. The model with the load path fully

defined is supplied as ST7-1.50.30.4 Curved Concrete Bridge - Moving Load (Load Path Defined).st7.

Alternatively the following steps may be taken to complete the Load Path Template.

Using an appropriate name, File/Save As the curved concrete bridge model with the load path containing

two vehicles.

In this new file, go to Global/Load and Freedom Cases and highlight-and-delete any load cases generated

from the use of Tools/Convert/Load Paths to Load Cases. This should leave one load case containing the

load path, in which gravity is also defined.

Property/Load Path and set the Adjacency property for all the Point and Distributed Forces in the two

existing vehicles. This will mean that the loads will be factored by the lane factors in the Path tab.

Leave the default values for the lane factors, B1 = 1.0, B2 = 1.0, B3 = 0.9 and B>3 = 0.75.

This means that the ith Vehicle added to the load path is factored by Bi thus changing the order in which the

vehicles are added will also change the factoring: the numbering is not static. If a vehicle were placed in lane 1,

and then placed again in lane 2, the second lane would attract a factor of 0.9. However, if the same vehicle were

placed in lane 2 first, and then placed in lane 1, the lane 1 vehicle would attract the 0.9 factoring. This rather

esoteric factoring option is designed to cater for the stipulation of reduction factors specified in many structural

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Strand7

ST7-1.50.30.4 Using the Moving Load Module

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codes: these factors reduce the load as more lanes are occupied because the likelihood of such a condition is

reduced as the load path is filled.

Select the Distributed Forces tab for this vehicle and Add a new Force with the properties specified below:

Mobility

x1

(m)

x2

(m)

Full Length

y1

(m)

y2

(m)

-2

Px

(N/m)

Py

(N/m)

Pz

(N/m)

Axis

system

Adjacency

Centrifugal

400

Local

Yes

Yes

This completes the setup of the Load Path Template. We are going to set a nodal Response Variable to monitor

vertical displacement of the bridge, mid-span at the outer radius in particular we are interested in the vertical

displacement downwards here. Given the loads defined above, we expect that loads concentrated at the centre

of the span and on the outer radius should serve to push this area downwards. Furthermore the distributed

load posed by the third vehicle should be redundant in comparison to the effects of the second vehicle which

poses the same total load over the 100 m length of the bridge but is concentrated over a much smaller area.

In order to determine the worst case combination, some basic linear static stress-analysis is required. Simply

running the Linear Static solver for each of the possible combinations of load would be prohibitively

computationally demanding for larger problems, however as long as the problem is considered to be linear it

can be considerably sped up. The first economy can be achieved by using linear superposition to combine each

of the basic vehicle load cases or possible footprints. The second economy can be made by using a so-called

influence line (or influence surface in two dimensions) to calculate the effects of each footprint at the Response

Variable of interest. The next step in determining the worst case is therefore to perform a Load Influence

analysis to examine the structural response.

The Load Influence solver looks at the effect of nodal unit loads applied to the structure on a specified Response

Variable, and reports the response of this (remote) variable at the location of the point unit load. The process is

illustrated in Figure 10, where the application of a 1 N load at different points along a two span continuous

bridge gives rise to a different stress response at the marker. Graphing this response over the span of the bridge

gives rise to the influence line at the bottom of this figure two and three dimensional structures are

analogous.

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Strand7

ST7-1.50.30.4 Using the Moving Load Module

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1N

pinned supports

20 MPa

-5 MPa

stress at the point marked

1N

20

-5

Figure 10. A simple example of an influence line for a two span bridge.

In Strand7, Response Variables are specified in load cases, by specifying an entity attribute at the node or

element Attributes/{Node, Beam, Plate, Brick}/Response Variable of interest. If the Response Variable is one

of stress then the response has units of MPa and the load influence solver calculates results of MPa/(Newton) of

applied force, or MPa/(Newtonmetre) of applied moment. Contouring this result, in the manner of the load

influence line in Figure 10, is useful as it allows the analyst to see exactly where on the structure exerting a force

or moment will have a significant effect on the component or limit state of interest.

Therefore only one load influence analysis is needed to provide all of the information necessary to determine

the effect of every possible vehicular footprint or combination on the response variable of interest.

the node midway along the span, on the outer radius of the deck

the node midway along the span, on the inner radius of the deck

under Load Cases select the one load and freedom case defined

click Solve.

Note that this analysis takes place in the absence of other loads such as nodal forces, tractions on elements, or

body forces. Because the structure is assumed to be linear elastic, the effect of such loads on the Response

Variable is merely superposed they do not affect the relationship between an input point force applied

somewhere in the structure, and the output response at the Response Variable.

Results/Open Results File and open the load influence results file.

In Results/Results Settings contour the influence that a unit force in the global DY direction has on the

Response Variable.

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ST7-1.50.30.4 Using the Moving Load Module

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Figure 11. Influence of 1 N in the Y direction on displacement in the Y direction on the mid-span outer radius.

There is a result case for each Response Variable defined in each of the load cases selected for solution; for this

analysis, two result cases. Note how, as expected, unit forces located close to the Response Variable under

examination cause greatest deflection.

Additionally it is apparent that forces on the opposite edge of the bridge tend to push the DY Response Variable

in the opposite direction and twist the deck, as seen in Figure 11. Therefore, there are some areas of the bridge

where applying a force in a vertical direction will force the Response Variable in the opposite vertical direction.

These areas are termed relieving areas of the response surface, as if for example the worst case downward

deflection at the response variable is required, downward forces acting on these relieving areas will force the

response variable upwards. Similarly, the relieving areas of the influence line in Figure 10 would correspond to

the areas of negative response, were the stress to be maximised.

The load influence combinations solver (Results/Load Influence Combinations) uses the results of the load

influence analysis and the definitions in the load path template to arrive at load cases that produce extreme

responses in the response variables defined in the load influence analysis. It does not perform a structural

analysis as such, but combines the loads defined in the load template and integrates over the influence surface

to arrive at the final response of a variable of interest. It is effectively an optimisation algorithm that selects load

path configurations that produce maxima and minima for specified response variables, or summations of them.

The dialog to define these combinations is shown below.

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ST7-1.50.30.4 Using the Moving Load Module

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The loads defined in the load path templates are combined such that:

all allowable combinations of the load are considered in the optimisation problem, in accordance with

section Defining Rules for Vehicle Combination.

any Leading, Trailing or Full Length loads that relieve the response variable (that occur in the relieving areas

of the influence line or surface) are removed from the load case,

Vehicles may not otherwise be partially removed though they may be completely removed from the Load

Path.

Those properties defined under the Vehicle tab, marked Dynamic are ignored, except for

In the model used so far, or the completed model ST7-1.50.30.4 Curved Concrete Bridge - Moving Load (Load

Path Defined).st7, the worst case combination of Vehicles on the bridge relating to different limit states can be

found. We shall look to optimise three responses:

1. the downward deflection of the inner edge at the mid-span

2. the downward deflection of the outer edge at the mid-span

3. the sum of these two deflections.

Close the results file (if it is open), and open the Results/Load Influence Combinations solver.

In addition to load case combinations that excite the simple minimum or maximum response at the response

variable, when there are multiple response variables it is also possible to define Multi-case variables. This allows

the sum response of response variables of the same type (e.g. total plate force along a line of plates) to be

maximised or minimised instead.

Under Single Variable (Min) in the Load Influence Combinations solver spreadsheet, select both response

variables defined previously to find the greatest downwards deflection of each.

Under Single Variable (Max) in the next tab, uncheck both response variables this would give the

maximum deflection upwards in each case, which is not of interest at the moment.

Under the new Multi Variable tab so created select both response variables and check Minimum to find the

loading that maximises the sum of the downward deflections of the two edges at the mid-span.

Click Generate to find the three load cases that optimise each of the three responses.

The three load cases can be solved with the Linear Static solver to examine the structure under the worst case

loading conditions specified above two of these load cases are shown in Figure 12.

www.strand7.com

17

Strand7

ST7-1.50.30.4 Using the Moving Load Module

Software

(a)

(b)

Figure 12. Worst case loading for (a) deflection of inner edge (b) deflection of outer edge, at midspan.

www.strand7.com

18

Strand7

ST7-1.50.30.4 Using the Moving Load Module

Software

Inspecting the loads that are generated, we see that for the deflection of the inner edge the heaviest vehicle

(Vehicle 1) is moved to the inner side of the bridge at the midspan, and for the deflection of the outer edge this

vehicle is moved to the outer side. As this vehicle cannot occur on the interior lanes of the bridge, the second

heaviest vehicle (Vehicle 2) is applied at the mid span of the interior lanes instead.

As may be expected, the loads maximising total deflection of both edges are simply the two heaviest vehicles,

situated at the mid-span.

Vehicle 2 is actually a similar total weight to Vehicle 3 but as Vehicle 3s load is spread over the ~100 m length

of the bridge, it does not produce as large deflections at the midspan. Therefore, Vehicle 3 does not appear in

the worst case loading, except for the load case maximising the outer edge deflection. Here it appears partially

on the second lane from the inside.

As can be seen in Figure 11 there exist small regions in this lane which when loaded, cause a moderate

downward deflection at the outer edge. Vehicle 3 is a Full Length load which may be blanked on relieving

areas of the influence surface. This property permits its partial application in this lane, over so-called adverse

areas. This behaviour of Full Length loads (often termed Uniformly Distributed Loads or UDL) is required by

most codes. Note that the same does not occur for the load case maximising deflection on the inside edge, for

which the influence surface has a different extent.

Note also the addition of centrifugal components and the effect of the adjacency factors on the load magnitudes

this is particularly noticeable for the point forces, which may be inspected by hovering over the plates with the

Shift key depressed and Plate selection turned on.

Summary

The moving load module can be used in two primary ways:

1. To generate load influence combinations, producing the worst case combination of a set of vehicles for a

given response variable

2. To produce a transient response of the structure to a load which moves along it through time with some

velocity

The first usage is primarily of interest to bridge designers, as the templates provided define sets of vehicles

which can be used without much effort to find the worst combination for a particular bridge. This solution uses

the load influence solver. See ST7-1.40.60.5 Bridge Load Influence Combinations for an applied example. The

specific use of each load path template to generate load influence combinations is discussed in the following

Strand7 Webnotes:

The second usage makes the load path very flexible and allows it to be used to determine how the bridge

deflects and stresses as the vehicles move across it. It can be used to model a crane on a track, a weld head

distributing heat to a work piece, or a steam roller moving over fresh asphalt, to name a few examples. This

solution uses the transient solvers (linear and nonlinear transient dynamic and quasi static). See ST7-1.40.60.6

Bridge Moving Load Analysis with Creep and Shrinkage for an applied example. Another example is found in

ST7-1.30.10.1 Nonlinear Weld Thermal Analysis.

www.strand7.com

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