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Structures 2008: Crossing Borders

2008 ASCE

Seismic Analysis and Parametric Study for a Continuous Seven Spans Post-tensioned Bridge in Quito, Ecuador

Authors: Sameh Salib, M.Sc., Ph.D., P.Eng, BDS, Senior Project Engineer, Marshall Macklin Monaghan Ltd (MMM Group Ltd), Thornhill, Ontario, Canada Maged Ibrahim, M.A.Sc., P.Eng, Senior Project Manager, Marshall Macklin Monaghan Ltd (MMM Group Ltd), Thornhill, Ontario, Canada

ABSTRACT
A continuous post-tensioned bridge over seven spans, 27m each, was recently designed and is currently under construction in Quito, Ecuador. Located in one of the most active seismic/volcanic regions of South America, several challenges were faced during the bridge design. In addition to the limits on the deck horizontal displacement because of the adjacent buildings, a substructure system of circular columns without pier-caps or framing connections into the deck was adopted to satisfy the required vertical clearance. Consequently, the post-yield behaviour of pier reinforcement could not be allowed as a hysteretic energy dissipation system since the formation of plastic hinges at such piers impairs not only the control over deck displacement but also the stability of the bridge deck. A response spectrum analysis was first conducted on a three dimensional finite element model (3D-FEM) in order to study the relationship between superstructure, bearings, substructure and foundations as well as to obtain a preliminary design of bridge components. Thereafter, a non-linear time history analysis accompanied by a parametric study was carried out considering different types of base isolation bearings. The study emphasized that the interaction between the superstructure and substructure through the bearings is a major key to achieve the target level of energy dissipation, base shear, and deformations. Herein, the FEM, seismic analysis, as well as the part of the conducted parametric study for a flat sliding friction/spring type of bearings are presented.

INTRODUCTION
The subject bridge is a part of the departure level at the New Quito International Airport (NQIA). A preliminary design of the bridge using conventional bearings resulted in too high seismic forces as well as very large columns and foundations. Due to the considerable mass of the deck and the adopted substructure/foundations system, which has neither pier caps nor deep foundations, a base isolation type of bearings was essential. The main concept behind such bearings is to lengthen the fundamental period of the bridge, which reduces the acceleration of the deck during an earthquake event and consequently lowers its inertial/seismic forces [1,2,3]. Some types of base isolation bearings dissipate seismic energy through viscous damping or internal friction or by other means for further reduction of seismic forces. Therefore, a comprehensive study was carried out in order to evaluate the effectiveness of different types of base isolation bearings prior to finalizing the bridge design. The part of this study covering a flat

Structures 2008: Crossing Borders

2008 ASCE

sliding friction/spring type of bearings is presented herein. The following paragraphs discuss in details the development of the FEM as well as the conducted parametric study.

BRIDGE DESCRIPTION
The subject bridge consists of a continuous 7 spans (27m each), 1.0m depth, solid concrete deck supported by two circular columns/shallow combined footing at each pier and abutment. The columns diameter is 1.2m at abutments and 1.5m at piers. A pedestal of 2.0m diameter is provided from about 0.5m under grade level to footings for each column at the south abutment and piers 1, 2 and 3.

Figure 1 BRIDGE ELEVATION

SEISMIC DATA
Due to the seismic sensitivity of the project site, e.g. being relatively close to an active fault with a history of frequent strong/long period earthquakes and having a thick fill layer to support the bridge footings, a specific seismic analysis was carried out. The study accounted for the site geology, soil conditions, shear wave propagation characteristics, and regional seismic activities. The response spectrum and time history data were provided by the study as well.

FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS


Model Geometry A three-dimensional Finite Element Model (3D-FEM) of the bridge was developed using the software SAP2000 [4]. This software has been used recently for several research programs addressing seismic analysis of bridges [5,6]. Shell elements were used to model the deck and footings while the columns were modeled by frame elements. A combination of Joint constraints and link members represented the bearings. Spring elements were used to model the soilstructure interaction at footings and deck back walls. See Figure 2.

Structures 2008: Crossing Borders

2008 ASCE

FIGURE 2 AN ISOMETRIC VIEW OF THE BRIDGE FINITE ELEMENT MODEL Analysis, Phase 1 This phase was considered a preliminary analysis to obtain approximate values of the forces and displacements associated with seismic loading as well as to check the proposed sizes for columns and footings. The seismic loads were applied through the response spectrum curve where the bearings were assumed to lock the tip of columns to the deck with respect to the displacement in the three global directions (i.e. column is hinged at deck). The maximum horizontal force applied at the bearings elevation as obtained from the analysis were in the order of 9000 kN and 8000 kN in the longitudinal and transverse directions respectively while the maximum horizontal displacement of the deck was about 200 mm in each direction. It should be mentioned that these values did not take place simultaneously but each value for a specific direction was obtained due to the seismic excitation of the bridge in that direction. Based on the results of this phase of the analysis, not only the obtained displacement exceeded the design limit but also the forces and their associated moments were far beyond the capacity of the proposed substructure and foundations. Therefore, it was essential to use special bearings that can dissipate some of the seismic energy before it is transferred to the substructure and foundations. Consequently, a more sophisticated seismic analysis had to be performed as detailed below. Analysis, Phase 2 Through this phase, a non-linear time history analysis was performed. A flat sliding friction/spring type of bearings was studied where the investigated parameters were as follows: Bearing Gap; the maximum relative horizontal displacement allowed between top of column and soffit of deck at bearing location (in each direction; longitudinal and transverse). This feature can be achieved through stopper plates anchored to deck and column at each side of the bearing in both directions. Gap values of 0mm, 50mm, 75mm, 100mm and infinity were investigated. It should be noted that zero gap represents the case when top of columns are hinged to deck while infinity gap represents the elimination of the stopper plates. Bearing friction coefficient; the dynamic friction coefficient of the plates sliding inside the bearing during bridge movement. Friction coefficients of 0.1, 0.2, 0.3 and 0.4 were considered in the study.

Structures 2008: Crossing Borders

2008 ASCE

Bearing spring stiffness; a component required to restore the bridge original position after the earthquake event [2] as well as to absorb most of the impact force when the stopper plates start to get in contact. Also, such springs prevent the bridge from experiencing excessive displacements during service loads, e.g. braking forces and thermal effects.

The maximum horizontal force induced at a bearing and the maximum horizontal deck displacement in both longitudinal and transverse directions for different values of gap and friction coefficient are shown in Figures 3, 4, 5 and 6. The bearing spring stiffness was taken as the minimum value required for restoring the bridge original position [2]. The friction coefficient of the abutments bearings was half of that proposed for the piers bearings. Based on the values shown on Figures 3 to 6, the following observations can be made: For a zero gap, the maximum displacements and forces obtained from the time history analysis were about 1.15 those obtained by the response spectrum analysis conducted in phase 1. The difference might be attributed to the type of analysis (linear versus non-linear) and input data (response spectrum curve versus time history curve). For a 50mm, 75mm and 100mm gap, the increase of the friction, in general, coefficient reduced the induced forces. This behaviour is consistent with the concept that introducing a gap between the top of column and soffit of deck where the bearing plates, with a friction coefficient, can slide and dissipate part of the seismic energy (prior to locking the column with the deck through the stopper plates) has a useful effect on the reduction of the induced forces. However, for a 100mm gap, increasing the friction coefficient above 0.2 increased the forces slightly. This reflects the complexity of the interaction behaviour between the bearings parameters and the overall bridge characteristics. While increasing the friction coefficient and gap is expected to reduce the forces at the bearings, the increase of friction coefficient adds to the the rigidity of the bridge, reduces the fundamental time period and magnifies the bridge acceleration/inertial force during the earthquake event. In addition, the horizontal forces at the bearings are proportional to their friction coefficient (through the vertical reaction) and gap (through the spring stiffness). Therefore, increasing the friction coefficient/gap does not always reduces the seismic forces at the bearings. For an infinite gap, comparing the results with those for a 100mm gap, both deck displacement and bearing force became higher, especially for friction coefficients 0.1 and 0.2. The reason behind that is without stopper plates, the bridge becomes more flexible, the fundamental time period is larger, and the maximum bridge acceleration during the earthquake event is less. However, as the deck is allowed to experience larger movements, the associated spring force at bearings is magnified as well. The maximum displacement of the deck obtained for the transverse direction was at the south abutment and, in general, higher than that of the longitudinal direction. This is because of the deck twist in the plan under the seismic excitation in the transverse direction. See Figure 7. This twist resulted from the height difference of the bridge columns where the southern half of the bridge has higher columns (i.e. less rigid) for both abutment and piers than those for its northern half. See Figure 1. In addition, the abutments columns and footings were smaller in size than those for the piers.

Structures 2008: Crossing Borders

2008 ASCE

5000 4500 4000 3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0 0.1 0.2 0.3

F o rc e (k N )

50mm Gap 75mm Gap 100mm Gap Infinite Gap 0.4

Coefficient of Friction

FIGURE 3 LONGITUDINAL BEARING FORCE VS. COEFFICIENT OF FRICTION


5000 4500 4000 3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0 0.1 0.2 0.3

F o rc e( k N )

50mm Gap 75mm Gap 100mm Gap Infinite Gap 0.4

Coefficient of Friction

FIGURE 4 TRANSVERSE BEARING FORCE VS. COEFFICIENT OF FRICTION

D is p la c e m e n t( m m )

300 250 200 150 100 50 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 Coefficient of Friction 50mm Gap 75mm Gap 100mm Gap Infinite Gap

FIGURE 5 LONGITUDINAL DECK DISPLACEMENT VS. COEFFICIENT OF FRICTION

D is p la c e m e n t (m m )

400 350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0 0.1

50mm Gap 75mm Gap 100mm Gap Infinite Gap

0.2

0.3

0.4

Coefficient of Friction

FIGURE 6 TRANSVERSE DECK DISPLACEMENT VS. COEFFICIENT OF FRICTION

Structures 2008: Crossing Borders

2008 ASCE

FIGURE 7 DISPLACED DECK PLAN UNDER TRANSVERSE SEISMIC ACTION

CONCLUSIONS
Based on the conducted seismic study for the subject bridge, the following conclusions can be made: Performing a non-linear time history analysis on a 3D-FEM helps to understand the behaviour of bridges especially those located in critical seismic zones and provided with sophisticated types of bearings Providing the bridge with flat sliding friction/spring seismic isolation bearings rather than conventional hinge bearings between bridge deck and columns reduces the maximum horizontal forces but not necessarily the maximum horizontal displacements Providing flat sliding friction/spring bearings with devices that lock the bridge columns with deck when a specific horizontal gap is reached can help controlling both horizontal forces and displacements Increasing the bearing friction and/or the gap prior to the deck-column locking takes place may not always reduce the forces and displacements. A parametric analysis should be carried out to obtain the optimum bearing design The deck displacement at a bearing should not be considered a direct indication to the expected corresponding force at that bearing since the relative displacement between deck and top of column (i.e. the displacement magnitude and direction of deck and top of column at every moment during the seismic excitation) governs the magnitude and direction of such forces

REFERENCES
[1] Chopra, A, K, "Theory and Applications to Earthquake Engineering", Prentice-Hall, NJ, 1995 [2] AASHTO Guide Specifications for Seismic Isolation Design, 1999 and Successive Interims, Washington, DC [3] AASHTO-LRFD Bridge Design Specifications, 3rd Edition, 2004 and Successive Interims, Washington, DC [4] Computers and Structures Inc., "SAP2000-Version11", Integrated Analysis and Design Software, Berkeley, CA, 2007 [5] Maleki, S, "Seismic design force for single-span slab-girder skewed bridges", Electronic Journal of Structural Engineering (EJSE), Vol, No # 2, 2001, 135-142 pp. [6] Dehne, Y, and Hassiotis, S, "Seismic Analysis of Integral Abutment Bridge: Scotch Road I-95 Project", 16th Annual ASCE Engineering Mechanics Conference, University of Washington, DC, 2003