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girder on a launching shoe

Per Granath*

Division of Steel and Timber Structures, Chalmers University of Technology, S-412 96 Göteborg,

Sweden

Received 30 October 1995; received in revised form 2 December 1997; accepted 19 January 1998

Abstract

A bridge girder with a slender steel web being incrementally launched is basically a “patch

loading” problem. This paper reports results from laboratory experiments, finite element analy-

ses and analytical calculations, concerning the distribution of the reaction force against an I-

shaped steel girder launched on a launching shoe with a slide bearing. A girder placed on a

launching shoe, consisting of a tiltable steel bearing with a polythene slide plate on its top,

is investigated. The design calculations for the pertinent load case are generally performed

with equations valid for the case of a uniformly distributed load. The investigations show that

the support reaction has a non-uniform distribution of bearing stress. The results also indicate

that the distribution of the support reaction can be described with an analytical model

developed here. 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords:

Notation

bf Width of flange plate

E Young’s modulus of the steel

Eb Secant modulus of elasticity of the slide plate material

I Moment of inertia of the girder

M Global bending moment in the girder

rg Radius of girder curvature due to bending moment

rs Radius of launching shoe

tb Thickness of slide bearing plate

* E-mail: Per.Granath@ste.chalmers.se

PII: S 0 1 4 3 - 9 7 4 X ( 9 8 ) 0 0 0 0 6 - 6

246 P. Granath / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 47 (1998) 245–270

tw Thickness of web plate

1. Introduction

the erection of bridge girders. It means that segments of the girders are assembled

on the ground behind an abutment, joined together and launched out incrementally,

sliding on support bearings, to their permanent position. Designing the bearing

capacity of the girder in the launching stage, mainly concerns finding the capacity

for the web plate. The load case is a “patch loading” problem also often involving

a relatively large bending moment. The web is subjected to both concentrated vertical

load from the launching supports, and horizontal stress due to the global bending

moment.

The patch loading problem has been studied by many researchers during the past

decades, see Roberts and Rockey [1], and most recently Johansson and Lagerqvist

[2]. Most researchers concentrate on the ultimate load bearing capacity without tak-

ing any special interest in the magnitude of the flange deformation into the web.

The size of this deformation can be of vital interest when designing for launching.

In addition, some contributions dealing with the patch loading problem, also with

concern to the launching conditions, have been presented [3].

When investigating this patch load problem, by experiments or analyses, the nature

of the launching support needs to be dealt with properly. That is, the distribution

length and also the shape of the distribution of the bearing stress at the support, can

influence the behavior of the web. This subject has so far mainly been dealt with in

two ways, either the force is considered to be uniformly distributed, or the support

is considered to be perfectly plane and stiff. However, the launching shoes are often

slightly curved in the longitudinal direction with the purpose of preventing the girder

from “riding” on the edges due to the global bending of the beam.

At Chalmers University of Technology an ongoing research project deals with the

patch loading problem that occurs when launching slender steel bridge girders. Ber-

gholtz and Granath [4] presented field measurements and found that the distribution

of vertical stress in the web, directly above the launching shoe, was clearly concen-

trated on the center of the bearing. When performing finite element analyses it was

also found that the stress distribution roughly corresponded to an equivalent support

reaction consisting of a uniformly distributed bearing stress along only one third of

the actual length of the shoe. These observed stress distributions indicate that the

girders are not supported along the full length of the launching shoe. Also, Granath

[5] showed that for a slender girder, subjected to a relatively concentrated load, the

ultimate limit state (ULS) is reached well before yielding occurs in the flange, i.e.

while the local curvature of the flange is still not very large. This indicates that the

web plate might lose its load-carrying capacity before the flange can form itself to

rest on the whole length of a curved slide bearing.

P. Granath / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 47 (1998) 245–270 247

Even if the girder is be supported along the whole length of the shoe before the

loading has passed the ULS, it is more likely that the launching situation should be

governed by a serviceability limit state (SLS) defined by limiting the the damage

made to the girders during launching.

To gain deeper understanding of how the web is loaded by the shoe, investigations

have been carried out with (i) experimental studies, (ii) finite element analyses, and

(iii) development of a simple analytical model for the phenomenon. These investi-

gations are presented in Sections 2–4.

2. Experimental investigation

and Wribe [6]. The aim of the investigations was to study how long the loading

length is for a steel girder on a launching shoe. However, since it would be difficult

to measure the support pressure along the girder, the measurements were instead

made at the steel web directly above the launching shoe. These data were later trans-

lated to a corresponding support pressure along the launching shoe. The tests were

carried out using one launching shoe, one test girder and only one type of slide plate.

However, the tests were performed with different kinds of loading conditions.

The type of launching shoe used is common when launching bridges in Sweden.

It is quadratic 600 × 600 mm with a height of 415 mm. The top plate has a curvature,

which is not perfectly circular, but has a radius within the range of 10–20 m. The

shoe is tiltable at mid-height around a horizontal axis perpendicular to the launching

direction, see Fig. 1. The shoe is intended for working loads up to 800 kN.

The slide plate was made of 30 mm thick polythene. The material is in Sweden

is sold under the name “Andralén Ultra DS”, has an extremely high molecular weight

and very condensed molecular chains which give a high resistance to wear. The plate

was 600 mm long and 400 mm wide.

The welded test girder was 3000 mm long, having flanges 20 × 210 mm and a

web 8 × 500 mm. The girder also had end plates with the dimensions 25 × 210 ×

560 mm. The prescribed characteristic yield stress of the material was 350 MPa.

The strains in the web plate were measured using 22 strain gauges, 11 at each

side of the web. They were placed 20 mm above the bottom flange, with a distance

of 100 mm between them. The gauges measured strain in three directions (0°, 45°,

and 90°), and were 10 mm long. Thus, the strains were measured along a 1 m long

part of the web and on both sides of it, see Fig. 2.

specimens were fabricated. These circular specimens had a diameter of 100 mm. The

thickness was still 30 mm. Six of them were made from an unused slide plate, while

the other six were cut out from a slide plate that had been used at several bridge laun-

chings.

248 P. Granath / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 47 (1998) 245–270

P. Granath / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 47 (1998) 245–270 249

The specimens were placed between plane steel surfaces, and loaded in com-

pression up to three different load levels (50, 100 and 180 kN) corresponding to

mean stress levels of 6.4, 12.7 and 22.9 MPa. For each load level two previously

used and two unused pieces of material were tested. The loading procedure was

as follows:

1. During 1 min the load was increased from zero to the desired level, while the

deformation was registered every third second.

2. Then the load was kept constant during the next 24 h, while the deformation was

registered at least every 20 min.

Fig. 3 presents results for three specimens of the previously used material, G5,

G3 and G1, one for each load level. These results are representative for all tests.

Some comments can be made regarding the test results:

앫 Due to the dimensions of the test specimens the tests can hardly be regarded as

uniaxial, and therefore the stress/strain ratio is not regarded as Young’s modulus

for the material. Instead it will just be called secant modulus, while the stress

increment/strain increment ratio will be called tangent modulus.

앫 The material is so viscous that the short term tangent modulus is both difficult

to determine and less interesting. However, for stresses less than 10 MPa it is

estimated to be 500–600 MPa.

앫 The long term secant modulus depends highly on the stress level. For stress levels

in the range of 4–10 MPa it is approximately 200 MPa, and for higher stress

Fig. 3. Test results for the slide plate material. The first three diagrams show results from the first minute

of the loading process, while the fourth diagram shows results from the later part of the loading process.

250 P. Granath / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 47 (1998) 245–270

levels, 20 MPa, it decreases to just above 100 MPa. Most of the long term effects

in the secant modulus are reached within 20–30 min after loading.

The aim was to study if friction against rotation, in the tiltable bearing, influences

the distribution of vertical stresses in the web. Fig. 2 shows the test setup. The two

jacks, one load-controlled and the other deformation-controlled, were placed at a

distance of 450 mm from the center of the bearing.

First the jacks were loaded with 150 kN each. Then the deformation-controlled

jack was released to rotate the girder 1.08°, which made the tiltable bearing rotate

0.96°. Now the strains in the web plate were registered, see Fig. 4, in which “front

side” and “back side” refer to the two surfaces of the web plate. During the release

of the jack the load level decreased to 100 kN (while the load-controlled jack still

kept its load at 150 kN). Due to this, the results are somewhat difficult to analyze.

The decrease of load was probably due to friction between the jacks and the girder.

Measurements were also done for smaller rotations, and the test was repeated with

a doubled load level. All results do, however, show the same trend as the one in

Fig. 4. The large value of the peak stress in one of the curves is probably due to

fluctuating strain data.

P. Granath / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 47 (1998) 245–270 251

This test, which comprises the main part of the laboratory tests performed, aimed

at investigating the influence of the girder curvature due to global bending moment

on the distribution of the bearing stress in the slide plate.

The setup for the test was in principle the same as the one in Fig. 2, although

now both jacks were hydraulic and load-controlled. The curvature of the girder was

varied by relocating the load cells from positions almost straight above the shoe to

positions at the ends of the girder. The loading was always symmetrical with respect

to the central axis of the bearing. The loading positions used were: 0.20; 0.40; 0.75;

and 1.40 m from the center of the shoe. The tests were performed at the following

load levels: 50; 100; 150; 200; 250; 300; and 350 kN at each load cell.

Strains were registered both immediately after each increase of load, and after

10–15 min when the received strain data had stabilized. Some results are presented

in Fig. 5, where the strains have been used to calculate the corresponding stresses

using the relation

E

vertical = (⑀ + ⑀horizontal) (1)

1 ⫺ 2 vertical

where E = 210 GPa and = 0.3.

The tests led to an important observation which is also of interest in launching

Fig. 5. Test results from the girder curvature test. Results are shown for a load level of 200 kN and

load positions 0.20 m and 1.40 m from the center. /1 is taken immediately after loading, and /2 is taken

when the data values had stabilized. Values are shown for both the front side and the back side of the

web plate. The strains were measured 20 mm above the bottom flange.

252 P. Granath / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 47 (1998) 245–270

situations. The stresses varied significantly between the two sides of the web plate.

In some tests this also caused yielding at one side of the web plate. The difference,

in the distribution of stresses, between the two sides was probably due to one, or

some, of the following reasons: the bearing was not perfectly horizontal; the bottom

flange was not perfectly perpendicular to the web; the girder was not placed with

the web vertically; or the loading was not applied vertically. All but the last of these

factors can influence girders being launched. The tensile stress at the back side of

the web could possibly be caused by bending of the web plate due to the mentioned

imperfections. It is possible to estimate the magnitude of the eccentricity by calculat-

ing the area between the front and back curves in the figure. For the test [L200a140/2]

the eccentricity was found to be 0.75 mm, less than a tenth of the web thickness.

For the curve [L200a140/1—Front], the value at the center of the bearing is some-

what lower than the values for the other front curves. However, in the later regis-

tration the corresponding curve [L200a140/2—Front] is more symmetrical. These

differences were quite common during the tests, and that is also why the registrations

were made in two steps.

friction forces arise between the bottom flange and the slide plate. This combination

of forces causes an unsymmetrical distribution of vertical stress. In this part of the

tests, the girder was pushed horizontally while strains and friction forces were stud-

ied.

The test setup was similar to the one for tests 2 and 3, see Fig. 6. The horizontal

force was introduced into the girder as shown in the right part of the diagram. To

make sure all horizontal reaction force was taken up only by the slide plate, a special

arrangement was made. The vertical load was applied via steel rollers. Between the

rollers and the load cells a horizontal massive steel bar was placed, see Fig. 6. The

bar was held still horizontally via another load cell which registered any possible

horizontal reaction forces. No such significant forces occurred.

As common at bridge launchings, the underside of the bottom flange was greased

with soap before the “launching”. However, the steel flange was not painted at all.

Several (eight) conditions of vertical loading were tested. The vertical jacks were

placed 450 and 750 mm from the center of the bearing, and the tests were performed

with the load levels 100, 200, 300 and 350 kN in each jack.

The relation between horizontal load and horizontal displacement are presented

in Fig. 7 for the loading condition: V = 350 kN, a = 450 mm. Also shown is the

change of vertical stress when the horizontal load is applied while the vertical is

held constant.

As can be seen in Fig. 7, the position of the peak stress moved away approximately

10 cm from the center of the bearing. The calculated coefficients of friction are

presented in Table 1, where the mean value is 0.193.

P. Granath / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 47 (1998) 245–270 253

Fig. 7. Test results for vertical load 350 + 350 kN, each at 450 mm from the bearing center.

The first test showed that the investigated slide plate material is highly viscous.

This makes both testing and design situations more complex. However, in real

launching situations, the load on the slide bearing is incrementally increased during

a longer period of time, so that in design situations the long term “secant modulus”

will be the most interesting one. This modulus varies with the subjected stress.

The second test showed that when the bearing is rotated by the girder, the stress

distribution is still almost symmetrical. The peak value of the stress is probably

not influenced.

In the third test, it was shown that geometrical imperfections can affect the stress

254 P. Granath / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 47 (1998) 245–270

Table 1

Load levels at the overcome of friction for the eight tests

Left vertical load Distance (mm) Right vertical load Horizontal load Friction ()

(kN) (kN) (kN)

196.7 450 + 450 208.5 82.4 0.203

295.8 450 + 450 311.8 120.5 0.198

348.0 450 + 450 360.9 131.2 0.185

100.1 750 + 750 106.3 43.7 0.212

198.5 750 + 750 208.3 67.0 0.165

297.4 750 + 750 308.9 99.5 0.164

347.4 750 + 750 361.3 116.8 0.165

distribution considerably. It was also obvious that the curvature of the girder did not

influence the distribution above the tested bearing.

The fourth test revealed a coefficient of friction varying from 0.16 to 0.25. More-

over it was found that the stress distribution is not symmetrical when friction forces

are present in the bearing.

Analyses, by means of the finite element method, have been made to simulate the

behavior of the girder in Test 3 (see above). These calculations were performed

using the program ABAQUS [7].

The girder was modeled with 8-node doubly curved shell elements with reduced

integration (S8R), cf. Fig. 8. To model the connection between the web shell

elements and the flange shell elements correctly, gaps were inserted between the

web and the flanges. These gaps were given the size of half the flange thickness,

and the corresponding nodes of the flange and web plates were tied together with

multi-point constraints simulating stiff beams. Since the problem is symmetrical with

respect to a vertical plane through the center of the bearing, only half of the girder

and bearing was modeled.

The slide plate was modeled as a number of spring elements (SPRING2) between

the flange and an “infinitely stiff tiltable bearing”, see Fig. 9. The spring elements

had stiffness only in the vertical direction, and the initial gap between girder and

slide plate (due to the different curvatures of bearing and girder) was taken into

account in the spring characteristics. The springs were included in the model at all

nodes within the area of the slide plate, which means that springs were inserted at

both corner nodes and mid-edge nodes in the 8-node elements of the bottom flange.

To distribute the pressure of the slide plate to the nodes, 3/52 of an elements area

was given to each corner node and 10/52 of the area was given to each mid-edge

node. Hence, the springs at the mid-edge nodes were more than three times stiffer

than the springs at the corner nodes. When doing this, the slide plate was considered

P. Granath / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 47 (1998) 245–270 255

Fig. 8. FE model with shell elements for (half of) the girder and spring elements for the slide plate.

to have the same width as the bottom flange. The springs were modeled as non-

linearly elastic, with a stress–strain curve according to the results of Test 1 (see

above). The relationship used is presented in Table 2.

The dimensions of the girder model were chosen according to the experimental

investigation, see above. The tiltable bearing was modeled as fully rigid and analyses

were made for two different radii of the bearing curvature: 10 m and 20 m.

256 P. Granath / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 47 (1998) 245–270

Table 2

Stress–strain curve of slide plate

0–6.4 200

6.4–12.7 170

12.7–22.9 115

22.9– 100

The material model for the steel was linearly elastic–plastic with a von Mises

yield criterion, an associated flow rule and isotropic hardening. The yield stress was

350 MPa and the stress–strain relation was chosen according to the Swedish codes,

see Table 3. The analyses were taking account of non-linear geometry, and the sol-

utions were found using the Newton–Raphson method.

Calculations have been made for two load cases with point loads placed 0.20 and

1.40 m respectively from the center of the bearing (i.e. the plane of symmetry). This

distance is denoted a. The external load was applied as a point load on a flange

element. Even though this can produce local yielding in the model it is still con-

sidered acceptable since the analyses were made using load control and since yielding

of that region is of no interest for the current problem. The load level used in the

simulation was 200 kN and then the simulations were continued up to failure. To

clarify, the load level 200 kN means that the total load on the bearing is 400 kN.

The vertical stress in the web plate (of the FE model) is presented in Figs 10 and

11, where the FE results are mirrored to make it easier to compare them with the

results of the laboratory tests. The positions of these stress values are the same as

for the ones measured in the laboratory tests, i.e. 20 mm above the bottom flange.

In the FE analyses the stresses were the same at the two sides of the web plate,

while in the laboratory tests they differed between the sides. The fact that the labora-

tory results show a somewhat higher peak stress could be due to the fact that the

FEA were made with an infinitely stiff launching shoe.

All of the following FE results are presented only for the cases with a 20 m radius

of curvature of the bearing.

The overall deformation is shown in Figs 12 and 13.

Table 3

Stress–strain curve of girder steel

0 0

350 0.166

350 1.381

470 4.857

470 ⬁

P. Granath / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 47 (1998) 245–270 257

Fig. 10. Vertical stress when loading 0.20 m from the center.

Fig. 11. Vertical stress when loading 1.40 m from the center.

258 P. Granath / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 47 (1998) 245–270

Fig. 12. Deformation when loaded 0.20 m from the center (magnified 100 times).

Fig. 13. Deformation when loaded 1.40 m from the center (magnified 100 times).

From the results of the FEM simulation it is also possible to study the behavior

of the bottom flange. The vertical displacement of the flange–web-joint is displayed

in Fig. 14. It is seen that the bottom flange is pushed into the web locally above the

slide bearing. This is most obvious for the load case with less bending moment. The

FEA data also showed that these web deformations are within the elastic range, i.e.

there is no yielding in the web at this load.

P. Granath / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 47 (1998) 245–270 259

Fig. 14. Vertical displacement of the bottom flange along the girder.

0.075 mm dip in the first 15 cm, which as a circular curvature corresponds to a radius

of 150 m. The bending stress in the flange due to this is

Etf 210.103 × 0.020

= = = 14 MPa (2)

2rg 2 × 150

The mentioned deformation of the flange will “shorten” it locally, i.e. the part of

the bottom flange that is outside the deformed part will move towards the center of

the bearing. This reduces the overall stiffness of the cross section. For the load case

with more bending moment it also seems like most of the bending deformation of

the girder is produced in that area.

The perfect geometry of the FEM simulation, and the elastic foundation of the

girder, produced a deformation of the bottom flange across the width, see Fig. 15.

(This elastic deformation was not obtained in the laboratory tests, since the flanges

were already deformed in this way due to the welding.)

The resulting pressure in the slide plate is presented in Fig. 16. This pressure was

calculated by taking the forces in the spring elements of the FE model, and dividing

these force values with the “influence area” of each node.

4. Analytical model

Since the purpose of using slide bearings is to obtain longer support lengths, it is

obvious that it would be valuable to have an expression to calculate that length. The

260 P. Granath / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 47 (1998) 245–270

Fig. 15. Vertical displacement of the bottom flange across the girder.

P. Granath / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 47 (1998) 245–270 261

load level and the distribution of the support pressure govern the loading length. To

model this distribution over the launching shoe, consideration is here taken to both

the curvature of the launching shoe and the curvature of the girder, as well as of

both the original thickness tb and Young’s modulus Eb of the slide plate, which is,

for the sake of simplicity, described as linear elastic.

When a global bending moment influences the girder it obtains a curvature with

a radius

EI

rg = (3)

M

The launching shoe is seldom perfectly plane. Instead it has a curvature rs, see

Fig. 17. Between the launching shoe and the bottom flange a slide plate distributes

the pressure of the support reaction. Since the modulus of elasticity of the steel in

the girder and bearing is in the order of 1000 times greater than the one of the slide

plate material, the deformation of the slide plate is considered to be the one influenc-

ing the pressure in the plate the most. By calculating the deformation of the slide

plate, the pressure will be found.

We accept the simplification that the pressure at each point of the slide plate

depends only on its actual thickness at just that point, i.e. we neglect the fact that

the plate is a continuum. Now, the actual thickness should most correctly be meas-

ured along a “radial” line (perpendicular to the girder curvature), but since such

262 P. Granath / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 47 (1998) 245–270

approximated to be in the vertical direction, see Fig. 17. The actual thickness t =

t(x) is then

t(x) = t(0) + rs ⫺ rg + √r2g ⫺ x2 ⫺ √r2s ⫺ x2 (4)

The support reaction R can be described with a distributed support reaction q(x)

[force/length], which is the vertical pressure acting between the slide plate and the

bottom flange along an effective support length denominated 2x0. This length varies

with the applied load, i.e. a larger support reaction will produce a longer support

length.

冕

x0

R= q(x)dx (5)

⫺ x0

where

tb ⫺ t(x)

q(x) = Eb·bf (6)

tb

and by definition

tb = t(x0) (7)

By combining Eqs (4)–(7), R can be calculated as

R=

Eb·bf

tb 冉冉 冊 x0

x0 √r2g ⫺ x20 ⫺ √r2s ⫺ x20 ⫺ r2g arcsin + r2s arcsin

rg

x0

rs 冊 (8)

If R is the known variable and x0 the unknown, then x0 can be found through

iteration. Then of course, if 2x0 is larger than the length of the slide plate, it is

necessary to modify the integral in Eq. (5).

To check that the degree of deformation in the slide plate is reasonable, it is

possible to calculate t(x = 0) from Eqs (4) and (7). The distributed support reaction

q(x) can now be found according to Eq. (6) as

E ·b

冉

q(x) = b f √r2g ⫺ x20 ⫺ √r2g ⫺ x2 ⫺ √r2s ⫺ x20 + √r2s ⫺ x2 , |x| ⱕ x0

tb 冊

(9)

q(x) = 0,

|x| ⱖ x0

It is important to remember that this expression for q(x) does not take account of

local deformation of the bottom flange (bending around an axis along the girder) or

any deformation of the flange into the web. Now, in order to investigate if this

expression well describes the real behavior, it needs to be checked against the labora-

tory results.

P. Granath / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 47 (1998) 245–270 263

In the laboratory the data were measured strains in the web plate, which then

were transformed to stresses. To verify the correctness of the analytical model its

corresponding stresses need to be described and compared with the test data. Eq.

(9) is now used to calculate the stresses in the web plate.

The easiest way to calculate stresses in the web plate is, of course, merely to

distribute q(x) over the thickness of the web, i.e. not taking any consideration of the

influence of the bottom flange. A stress distribution calculated according to such a

principle, for the previously studied girder, is shown in Fig. 18. The following input

values have been used in the calculations: Eb = 200 MPa, bf = 210 mm, tb = 30 mm,

rg = EI/M = 486 m, (with E = 210 GPa, I = 651.5 × 10⫺6 m4, M = P × a, P = 200 kN,

a = 1400 mm). The calculations were carried out for two different radii of the bearing

curvature rs: 10 m and 20 m. These calculations yielded values of x0 to 0.164 m and

0.208 m respectively. The vertical stress has then been evaluated as = ⫺ q(x)/tw

with tw = 8 mm.

Even though the correlation of the curves in Fig. 18 seems to be good, one might

argue that the stresses 20 mm up in the web plate differ substantially from the simple

q/tw description.

To determine the stress distribution further up in the web, some other method has

to be used. These stresses can be approximated in different ways, but here the theory

of elasticity is used and applied to a semi-infinite plate with a straight boundary.

According to Timoshenko [8], a concentrated force P acting perpendicularly to a

264 P. Granath / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 47 (1998) 245–270

straight boundary at a point of that boundary, see Fig. 19, causes a distribution of

stress called “a simple radial distribution”.

With the plate thickness as unity the stresses can be written

2P cos

r = ⫺

r

(10)

= 0

r = 0

The vertical stress in a horizontal plane mn, at a distance h from the straight

boundary, can then be written

2P 2P h3

y = rcos2 = ⫺ cos4 = ⫺ (11)

·h (h2 + x2)2

To establish expressions for a distributed load q at the boundary, the load can be

divided into forces P = (q dx), and Eq. (11) can be used if integration is done over

the boundary.

Consider a plate with the thickness tw on which a distributed load q(x) is acting

at the boundary between x = x1 and x = x2, see Fig. 19. At a point A at the plane

mn (where x = ␣) the vertical stress is

冕

x2

2h3 q(x)

y(␣) = ⫺ dx (12)

·tw (h + (x ⫺ ␣)2)2

2

x1

P. Granath / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 47 (1998) 245–270 265

Now, Eq. (12) can be used to calculate the stresses created by the distributed

support reaction expressed in Eq. (9). By inserting the last expression in the first

and taking x1 = ⫺ x0 and x2 = x0, the vertical stress can be calculated at any point

of the semi-infinite plate. In Fig. 20 that has been made with the same variables as

for Fig. 18, and at a height h = 40 mm (the strain gauges were placed 20 mm above

the 20 mm thick bottom flange).

However, with the q(x) of Eq. (9), the integration had to be performed numerically

except at the line of symmetry, ␣ = 0, where the vertical stress is

冕

x0

2·h3 q(x)

y(0) = ⫺ dx (13)

·tw (h2 + x2)2

⫺x0

冉 冊 冋册x0

√r2s ⫺ x20 ⫺ √r2g ⫺ x20 arctan $

h

=

2·bf·Eb

$+

r2g

√r2g + h2

arctan

冤 xo √r2g + h2

h √r2g ⫺ x20

$

冥

冥

·tw·tb

$⫺

r2s

√r + h2

2

s

arctan

冤 x0 √r2s + h2

h √r2s ⫺ x20

266 P. Granath / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 47 (1998) 245–270

The vertical stress according to Eq. (13) is also plotted, in Fig. 21, as a function

of the height h.

By regarding the stress distributions in Figs 18 and 20, it is concluded that Eq.

(9) well describes the distribution of the pressure between the girder and the bearing.

In these calculations the influence of the flange has been disregarded. For the

investigated web this seems acceptable. It is in the opinion of the author that also

for more slender webs one may disregard the influence of the flange on the membrane

stress, and the support pressure, especially for load levels at the serviceability

limit state.

5. Conclusions

First of all it is important to point out that only one bearing, one slide plate material

and one girder have been investigated in the laboratory tests.

The support reaction was, of course, found not to be uniformly distributed.

It has been shown that the distribution of the pressure between the girder and the

bearing can be calculated with the analytical model developed here, and also, that

the described FE model can be used to analyze patch loading problems. Both tools

will be valuable in the further research to find acceptable load levels for launching

of bridge girders on launching shoes.

Fig. 21. Vertical stress in the plane of symmetry of the semi-infinite plate.

P. Granath / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 47 (1998) 245–270 267

Fig. 22. Distribution of support reaction along a slide bearing. The support reaction is plotted as

⫺q(x)/tw, and all data apart from rg are the same as those used for Fig. 18.

An example of how the support pressure depends on the radius of the bearing is

shown in Fig. 22, and more formulas are found in Appendix A.

Acknowledgements

The research presented here is part of a research project performed at the Division

of Steel and Timber Structures, Chalmers University of Technology, under the super-

vision of Professor Bo Edlund. The Development Fund of the Swedish Construction

Industry (Svenska Byggbranschens Utvecklingsfond) is gratefully acknowledged for

financing the project. Other financial contributors include the road and the railway

administrations of Sweden.

Appendix A

The model presented yields four sets of formulas for the contact pressure distri-

bution depending on whether the radius of curvature due to bending of the girder

(rg) is smaller or greater than the curvature of the bearing (rs), and also if there is

contact along the whole bearing or not, see below. This is accounted for by modifying

the integration in the presented derivations.

268 P. Granath / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 47 (1998) 245–270

In the following derivations 2l is used to denomitate the length of the slide plate.

Case 1: rg ⬎ rs and x0 ⬍ l

冕 冕

x0 x0

Ebbf

R= q(x)dx = 2(t(x0) ⫺ t(x))dx =

tb

⫺x0 0

Eb·bf

tb 冉冉 冊 x0

x0 √r2g ⫺ x20 ⫺ √r2s ⫺ x20 ⫺ r2g arcsin + r2s arcsin

rg

x0

rs 冊

Now x0 can be found through iteration and the distributed support reaction is

E ·b

冉

q(x) = b f √r2g ⫺ x20 ⫺ √r2g ⫺ x2 ⫺ √r2s ⫺ x20 + √r2s ⫺ x2 , |x| ⱕ x0

tb 冊

q(x) = 0,

|x| ⱖ x0

This case is used for Fig. 22, rs = 100 m, since Case 1 would yield x0 ⬎ l.

⫺l

R0Case1 = RCase1(x0 = l) =

Eb·bf

tb 冉冉

l √r2g ⫺ l2 ⫺ √r2s ⫺ l2 冊

+ r2g arcsin

l

rg

+ r2s arcsin

l

rs 冊

The distributed support reaction is now

R ⫺ R0Case1

⫺l

q(x) = qCase1(x0 = l) +

2l

P. Granath / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 47 (1998) 245–270 269

冉 冊

R Eb·bf 1

2 √r2g ⫺ x2 ⫺ √r2s ⫺ x2 ⫺ √r2g ⫺ l2 + √r2s ⫺ l2 +

= ⫺

2l tb 2 r2g l r2s l

⫺ arcsin + arcsin

l rg l rs

Case 3: rg ⬍ rs and x0 ⬎ 0.

This case implies support only at the edges of the bearing. Here

冕

l

Ebbf

R = 兰q(x)dx = 2(t(x0) ⫺ t(x))dx

tb

x0

冉 冊 冉 冊

2

g

2

0

2

s

2

0 ⫺ l √r ⫺ l ⫺ √r ⫺ l

2

g

2 2

s

2

+

=

冉 冊 冉 冊

tb l x0 l xo

⫺ r2g arcsin ⫺ arcsin + r2s arcsin ⫺ arcsin

rg rg rs rs

The distributed support reaction is

再

Eb·bf

q(x) =

tb 冉

√r2g ⫺ x20 ⫺ √r2g ⫺ x2 ⫺ √r2s ⫺ x20 + √r2s ⫺ x2 , |x| ⱖ x0

.

冊

q(x) = 0, |x| ⱕ x0

This case was used for Fig. 22 when rs = 1000 m, since Case 3 would yield an

R less then the existing support reaction even for x0 = 0. Thus

⫺l

R0Case3 = RCase3(x0 = 0)

=

Eb·bf

tb 冉 冉 l

冊

2l(rg ⫺ rs) ⫺ l √r2g ⫺ l2 ⫺ √r2s ⫺ l2 ⫺ r2g arcsin + r2s arcsin

rg

l

rs 冊

Now the distributed support reaction is

R ⫺ R0Case3

⫺l

q(x) = qCase3(x0 = 0) +

2l

冉 冊

R Eb·bf 1

2 √r ⫺ x ⫺ √r ⫺ x ⫺ √r ⫺ l + √r ⫺ l +

2

g

2 2

s

2 2

g

2 2

s

2

= ⫺

2l tb 2 r2g l r2s l

⫺ arcsin + arcsin

l rg l rs

which is the same expression as for Case 2.

270 P. Granath / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 47 (1998) 245–270

References

[1] Roberts TM, Rockey KC. A mechanism solution for predicting the collapse loads of slender plate

girders when subjected to in-plane patch loading. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers

1979;67(2):155–75.

[2] Johansson B, Lagerqvist O. Resistance of I-girders to concentrated loads. Journal of Constructional

Steel Research 1996;39:87–119.

[3] Shimizu S. The collapse behavior of web plates on the launching shoe. Journal of Constructional

Steel Research 1994;31:59–72.

[4] Bergholtz A, Granath P. A slender bridge girder during launching. Proceedings of the Nordic Steel

Construction Conferencé 95, Malmö, Sweden. Swedish Institute of Steel Construction, Publication

150, Vol. I, 1995. ISBN 91-7127-009-4.

[5] Granath P. Behavior of slender steel girders subjected to patch loading. Journal of Constructional

Steel Research 1997;42:1–9.

[6] Gustafsson E, Wribe S. Lansering av brobalk över glidlager-Laboratorieförsök på stålbalk. Master’s

thesis (in Swedish). Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Division of Steel and Timber

Structures, Int. skr. S 94:10, 1994.

[7] ABAQUS Version 5.4. Hibbitt, Karlsson and Sorensen, Inc., Sweden, 1994.

[8] Timoshenko S, Goodier JN. Theory of Elasticity, 2nd edition, Art. 33. McGraw-Hill, New York, 1951.

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