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Using the Moving Load Module


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.

Load Types for each Vehicle

Tabs for Vehicle definitions

Figure 1. A basic Load Path Template in Strand7.

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Moving Load in Strand7


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.

Load Paths and Templates


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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The Vehicle Tab


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

the vehicle is one lane wide

it effectively moves along the lane centrelines

the loads are centered about the blue points in


Figure 2

or Double Lane

the vehicle is two lanes wide

it effectively moves along the lane boundaries

the loads are centred about the red points in


Figure 2.

The direction, velocity and start time can also be


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).

Figure 3. The Vehicle tab.

The Path Tab


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.

Figure 4. The Path tab

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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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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.

Adjacency and Centrifugal Loading


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:

path radius R and path length L calculated


from the load path geometry

gravitational acceleration g relevant to the


load case in which the load path is defined

and vehicle velocity V (entered on the


Vehicle tab).

This is discussed in detail in the next section.


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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Transient Moving Loads


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.

Transient Moving Load Example

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

Create a new load path template in Property/Load Path.

Under the Path tab in the new template:

set six lanes for the load path

and set the Min. lane width to 4 m.

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

Add a new Force

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

Note that 100004 = 40000 N/m.

Under the Vehicle tab for Vehicle 1, seen in Figure 3 above:

make it a Double lane vehicle

set the checkboxes to activate it in lanes 1 and 5 only.

set it to move Forward in these lanes

enter a Velocity of 15 m/s

enter a Start time of 0 s.

Add a second Vehicle.

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

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

Add four new Forces

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

Under the Vehicle tab for Vehicle 2:

make it a Single lane vehicle

set the checkboxes to activate it in lanes 2, 3, 4 and 5 only

set it to move Backward in these lanes

enter a Velocity of 30 m/s

enter a Start time of 3 s.

To finish entering the loading, go to the


Centrifugal tab and

enter (V*V)/(R*g) under K1

elect not to limit K1 (by leaving this


option unchecked)

select units of metres and Newtons


from the dropdown menus.

Figure 5. The Centrifugal tab.

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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In Create/Load Path, select a Flat circular


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.

Flat load path

Curved load path

Figure 6. Flat vs Curved load paths.

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.

Solver/Linear Static and solve for the deflections due to self-weight.

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 Full System solution

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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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.

Figure 7. Setting up the linear transient dynamic solver window.

Results/Open Results File for the linear transient results file.

Create a contour plot of vertical DY displacement.

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.

Create an animation by using Results/Animation and selecting Multi Case.

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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The vehicles move from division to division


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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Generating Load Cases from a Load Path


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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Combining Loads on a Load Path for the Best or Worst Case


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:

Traffic types are defined as Vehicles on a load path.

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.

Defining Rules for Vehicle Combination


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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Consequently, there can be no interaction of loads from


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:

Figure 9. The Sets tab

All lanes same factor

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).

Each lane different factor

Each lane i is factored by its corresponding Bi.

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.

Load Influence Combinations Example


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.

In the Path tab:

Set the option Each lane different factor.

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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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.

Still in Property/Load Paths, Add a third Vehicle to the load path.

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.

The Load Influence Solver


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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1N

pinned supports

20 MPa
-5 MPa

response variable; bending


stress at the point marked

1N

MPa /(N) in the -y direction


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.

Attributes/Node/Response Variable and select

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

then apply a Response Variable in the global DY direction for both.

Solver/Load Influence and

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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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


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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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

the Velocity which is used as an input to the Centrifugal tab.

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.

Click Add to add a new Multi Variable response to optimise.

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.

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(a)

(b)

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

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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:

ST7-1.40.60.9 Applying AS 5100.2 Moving Load

ST7-1.40.60.10 Applying EN 1991-2 Moving Load

ST7-1.40.60.11 Applying BS 5400-2 Moving Load

ST7-1.40.60.12 Applying AASHTO-LRFD Moving Load

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.

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