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specialist software

The twin cable arrangements tie into the western abutment DRAMA IN DA NANG
The twin cable arrangements tie into the western abutment

A Vietnamese cable-stayed bridge has been modelled in four dimensions, taking every stage of construction into account

in the analysis

U sing Bentley’s RM Bridge software to model every stage of construction has completely changed WSP Finland’s philosophy of analysing bridges, says head of bridge division, Sami Niemelä. The software allows the engineers to work in four dimensions, taking account of the effect of time on structural behaviour during construction of bridges, including a new

cable-stayed crossing in Da Nang. “We can now accurately analyse the construction of the bridge in a realistic, beginning-to-completion sequence, stage by stage,” he says. Da Nang city is a key commercial port on the South China Sea in central Vietnam and is one of the country’s four main municipalities. For centuries it has been host to visitors from around the world and is a hub in an area known for its natural beauty and World Heritage landmarks. The city announced a design contest in 2007 for the new Nguyen Van Troi – Tran Thi Ly Bridge over the River Han. The chosen design is by WSP Finland, with Esko Leppäluoto as lead designer. It is a concrete cable-stayed bridge with a backward-inclined tower and features striking twin- spiralled back cable arrangements that tie to an open park area on the western side. Visitors to the riverside park will pass under the bridge and from there gain access to the main tower, where they can take an elevator running at an angled, 12° approach to the top of the inclined tower. There, a glass-enclosed observation platform 145m over the river will offer 360° views of the port city. The six-lane bridge will be 731m long and 34.5m wide, with a main span of 230m. Although designed primarily for vehicular traffic, it will also accommodate pedestrians with two 3.5m-wide footpaths. Cantilevered construction is proposed for the main span;

all other spans will be cast using conventional scaffolding. Construction of the US$100 million bridge is due to begin this year, with a 2011 targeted completion date. Although working to a tight timescale, WSP engineers have been able to run multiple intensive analyses of the structure in every construction stage as well as its built condition. Features of the Bentley’s RM Bridge software include linear and non-linear structural analysis and construction engineering. WSP Finland chose the software for its accuracy and dependability in stage-by-stage erection of concrete cable-stayed structures. It helped engineers address a full spectrum of structural, material, performance, and construction issues. The WSP team also used the specialised RM Bridge Addcon application to optimise the stressing sequences of stay cables through linear and non- linear analysis. The team of 25 first created a space frame model for static analysis of the bridge system and from there began a range of analyses to help optimise the structure. Design loading and combinations were applied in accordance with AASHTO LRFD and Vietnamese 22 TCN-272-01 bridge design specifications. Permanent loads, traffic loads, wind loads, temperature changes and settlements were calculated, applied and analysed. Tests and simulations helped the team plan for the effects of a host of possible events, such as ship collisions or earthquakes: the bridge is required to withstand an earthquake of magnitude six. RM Bridge was also used to determine and design for creep and shrinkage over time. WSP found the application of the software’s 4D modelling capabilities to be highly

effective. This incorporates the time dimension in the construction engineering, allowing engineers to model the entire cantilevered construction sequence. The stage-by-stage analysis enabled the team to determine long-term effects on materials including creep and shrinkage and cracking of the concrete. “This capability has categorically changed our philosophy of how we analyse bridges for construction,” says Niemelä. “In the past, we concentrated on calculating the final stage – the bridge in service – and would then work backwards, segment by segment, using rough calculations to estimate creep and shrinkage. You always question to some degree whether the estimate is sufficient. RM Bridge has changed all that.” The team can now carry out accurate analysis stage by stage in a sequence spanning from the beginning to completion. “The software performs intensive calculations that would be impossible to do by hand,” he says. “Using RM Bridge, I have a high level of confidence in our design.” The model can also be used in construction. The software can perform calculations at each cross-section at any point in construction, stating the moments and calculating the stresses, he adds. Material and structural conditions can be analysed in real-time at any stage. Designers used the optimisation tool in the design of stay cable tensioning. The main span cables are in a single plane along the centre line of the bridge, while the back cables, twisted into a wing-like arrangement, are anchored on both sides of the bridge outside the deck, parallel to the river bank. The cables penetrate the tower, giving the simplest force transfer from main span cables to back span cables and to the tower. RM Bridge was used to design strength limit states taking account of combined flexure and axial forces, shear and torsion effects. Service limit states for maximum stress in the reinforcement were also calculated and used for crack-width checks. Bentley Systems says that its RM Bridge software enables users to develop and analyse a consistent bridge model in a continuous cycle, which substantially reduces the total engineering time required. The information is seamlessly reused, refined, and reprocessed across the design, engineering, and construction phases, avoiding the need

specialist software

avoiding the need specialist software ■ ■ ■ ■ Different stages of the construction can be

Different stages of the construction can be modelled in RM Bridge.

for repeat input of information. The software system has been designed as a comprehensive tool specifically for bridges that can streamline analytical tasks. The software has been developed by bridge engineers directly engaged on projects including the major long-span cable-stayed crossings such as Stonecutters Bridge and Sutong Bridge. RM Bridge is a family of integrated software applications developed to allow users to solve engineering or construction problems in a single engineering environment. Specialised applications offer analysis of cable sagging, wind dynamics, large deflections, wind tunnel simulation, erection control, cantilevered construction, incremental launching and rolling stock. A new tool soon to join the family is RM Bridge Cast, for segment-by-segment casting and fitting of precast bridges

casting and fitting of precast bridges ■ Bridge Information Modeling – It’s everything to do

Bridge Information Modeling – It’s everything to do with the bridge.

Bridge Information Modeling (BrIM) is a compelling new methodology for project delivery that dramatically improves bridge quality and reduces risk. Using the Bentley bridge solution for BrIM, engineers develop and employ an unprecedented depth of information about the bridge as they streamline the entire bridge development process, design through construction engineering.

Join the world’s top engineering consultancies. Choose the Bentley bridge solution for BrIM – and the satisfaction of delivering safe, sustainable bridges on time and on budget.

Only Bentley can take you there.

Only Bentley can take you there. © 2010 Bentley Systems, Incorporated. Bentley, the “B”

© 2010 Bentley Systems, Incorporated. Bentley, the “B” Bentley logo, and LEAP are either registered or unregistered trademarks or service marks of Bentley Systems, Incorporated or one of its direct or indirect wholly- owned subsidiaries. Other brands and product names are trademarks of their respective owners.

Bd&e Issue 56 2009