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Procedia Engineering 57 (2013) 851 – 858

11th International Conference on Modern Building Materials, Structures and Techniques,


MBMST 2013
The Dynamic Amplification Factor of the Bridges in Latvia
Ilze Paeglitea ∗, Ainars Paeglitisb
a, b
Institute of Transport Infrastructure Engineering, Riga Technical University, Kalku st.1, LV-1658 Riga, Latvia

Abstract

The paper presents a study of the dynamic amplification factors (DAF) obtained from the results of the dynamic load tests of bridges
carried out from 1990 untill 2012 in Latvia. The study of the DAF was carried out for bridges designed according to the Eurocodes and
previous Structural Codes used in Latvia. The dynamic properties of the bridges were obtained by loaded lorries passing the bridge
roadway with different speeds and with or without road bumps. The obtained values of the DAF were analysed and compared to the
values of the built-in traffic load models provided in the Eurocode 1. The actual DAF values for even bridge deck surface in most cases
were smaller than the values adopted in the Eurocode 1. For bridges designed according to the Eurocodes and older Structural Codes the
values of the DAF were similar.

© 2013
2013TheTheAuthors.
Authors. Published
Published Ltd. Open
by Elsevier
by Elsevier Ltd.access under CC BY-NC-ND license.
Selection and
Selection andpeer-review
peer-reviewunder responsibility
under of theof
responsibility Vilnius Gediminas
the Vilnius TechnicalTechnical
Gediminas UniversityUniversity.

Keywords: bridge, dynamic, dynamic amplification factor, load testing.

1. Introduction

Highway bridges are subjected to the dynamic forces imposed by moving vehicles. All moving vehicles generate
additional dynamic effects on the bridges. Usually they are indicated by the dynamic amplification factors (DAF)
introduced in the bridge design codes. The DAF of a bridge is defined as the maximum total load (including dynamic part)
effect divided by the maximum static load effect [1]:

ε ( dyn )
DAF = (1)
ε ( stat )

where ε ( stat ) – maximum static strain, ε ( dyn ) – maximum dynamic strain.


Many studies have been dedicated to the investigation of the influence of the DAF on the bridge behaviour [2–4]. The
DAF is an important parameter in the design of the highway bridges and shall be taken into account by the evaluation of the
bridge load carrying capacity. The value of the DAF depend on many factors: bridge span length and natural frequency,
from the vehicle speed, weight and dynamic characteristics, the condition of the bridge structures – roadway roughness,
expansion joint's condition and others. In the Structural Codes the dynamic effects of all the vehicles on all bridges are taken
into account by multiplying the static live load by DAF or are built-in value of a live load model. In general, in codes, the
DAF is given as a function of the bridge span length. However, the obtained load test results showed DAF dependence on
the road surface conditions, vehicle weight and passing speed.


* Corresponding author.
E-mail address: ailze.paeglite@rtu.lv; bainars.paeglitis@rtu.lv

1877-7058 © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. Open access under CC BY-NC-ND license.
Selection and peer-review under responsibility of the Vilnius Gediminas Technical University
doi:10.1016/j.proeng.2013.04.108
852 Ilze Paeglite and Ainars Paeglitis / Procedia Engineering 57 (2013) 851 – 858

In the Eurocode 1 (EN 1991-2:2003 Actions on structures. Traffic loads on bridges) the load models have built-in DAF
values, which depend only on the shape of the influence line and bridge length [5]. The DAF values used in the Eurocode 1
for 2-line bridge roadway are presented in the Fig. 1.

Fig. 1. DAF – dynamic amplification factor built-in in the Eurocode 1 [6]

In the previous Structural Codes used in Latvia (SNIP 2.05.03-84), the DAF (1+μ) could be obtained from the formula
(2) for steel and composite bridges and from the formula (3) for reinforced concrete highway bridges.

15
(1 + μ ) = 1 + (2)
37.5 + λ

45 − λ
(1 + μ ) = 1 + (3)
135

where λ – span length or loaded lengths of the influence line. Formulas (2) and (3) showed that the DAF depends only from
the length of the loaded influence line. It means that the dynamic effects applied to the bridge decreases with the
enlargement of the span length. The graphical interpretation of the DAF for various bridge span lengths is given in Fig. 2.
This paper studies the actual DAF values obtained from the dynamic load tests for the bridges designed according to the
Eurocodes and SNIP codes. The aim of this paper is to clarify the correspondence of the actual DAF values and the values
included into the bridge design, likewise compare DAF values obtained by various roadway pavement conditions and
various lorry speeds.

Fig. 2. DAF values from the Structural Codes (SNIP 2.05.03-84) previously used in Latvia [2]

2. Dynamic load test

The load test is an essential way to understand the behaviour and the fundamental characteristics of newly constructed
bridges before they are allowed to go into service. A Static and dynamic load test is a part of the acceptance procedure for
new bridges in Latvia and in many other countries around the world [7–13]. The bridge load tests in Latvia are carried out
according to the requirements of the national standard LVS 190-11 “Bridge inspection and load testing”. The dynamic load
tests provide information about the natural frequency and damping ratio of the bridge including the overview of the
variations of the DAF depending on vehicle speed.
Ilze Paeglite and Ainars Paeglitis / Procedia Engineering 57 (2013) 851 – 858 853

The Dynamic load testing is carried out by introducing vibrations in the bridge structure and measuring its properties.
Different methods for bridge excitation are available, but the most often used in Latvia are the impact of the heavy weight
and the passage of a loaded truck. The passage of a loaded truck makes the most real effect of the structure hence it gives
the reasonably accurate dynamic results.
Dynamic properties of the bride, including DAF, were obtained by analysis of the vibration response diagrams.
The vibration responses were obtained by vibration sensor Noptel PSM-200, that is based on a laser transmitter and an
optoelectronic receiver connected to the object (Fig. 3). Example of obtained vibration responses are given in Fig. 4. The
operator directs the safe, visible laser light at the receiver and locks it in a steady position. The receiver recognizes the beam
on the optical screen and measures its position accurately up to 500 times a second. The transmitter can be at a distance of 1
to 350 meters from the receiver, depending on the environmental conditions.
As a vibration inducer are used vehicles passing the bridge roadway with speeds of 20 km/h and 40 km/h. The average
one lorry weight was about 250 kN (25 tons) with 3 or four axles, and about 160 kN (16 tons) with two axle trucks.

Fig. 3. Vibration sensor Noptel PSM-200 installed on the bridge before the dynamic load test

Fig. 4. The Vibration response diagram obtained by the Noptel PSM-200

The dynamic load tests include the vehicle driving over two different roadway condition – even roadway pavement and
uneven. Uneven pavement is used to model damages (damaged pavement or ice caused bumps) on it. The bumps in the
pavement surface will be formed with timber planks approximately 5 cm high and 10 cm wide installed on the path of the
vehicles. The length of the planked roadway depends on the length of the span and could cover approximately 2/3 of it. The
distance between the planks is approximately 3 to 3,5 m (Fig. 5).

Fig. 5. Vehicles driving over the planked roadway


854 Ilze Paeglite and Ainars Paeglitis / Procedia Engineering 57 (2013) 851 – 858

3. Obtained results

This study includes dynamic load test results of 65 bridges. These results were obtained from 1991 until 2012. The
bridges are divided into two groups: 35 bridges designed from 1991 until 2000 according to the SNIP Code and 31 bridges
designed from 2001 until 2012 according to the Eurocodes. Both groups include bridges with reinforced concrete and
composite – steel concrete structure.
Fig. 6 and 7 show the DAF value distributions for even pavement condition with the vehicle passing speed of 40 km/h.
Fig. 6 show that 79% of the obtained results have the DAF value from 1 to 1.2 and 17% of the vales are from 1,2 to 1,4,
however only 4% has the DAF value higher than assumed in the SNIP Code. Fig. 7 show that 60% of DAF have values
from 1 to 1.2 and 27% of the values are from 1,2 to 1,4, but only 10% has higher value than assumed in Eurocode.
This shows that the DAF for an even pavement condition has lower values than the ones recommended in the Eurocode.

Fig. 6. Histogram of the Dynamic Amplification factors for bridges Fig. 7. Histogram of the Dynamic Amplification factor for bridges
designed from 1991 to 2000 with even pavement condition. designed from 2000 to 2012 with even pavement condition.
Vehicle speed 40 km/h Vehicle speed 40 km/h

However, Fig. 8 and 9 show DAF value distributions for uneven pavement condition with vehicle speed of 40 km/h that
have slightly different values. Figure 8 shows that there is an increase in the DAF values that are from 1,2 to 1,4, hence
showing that the Dynamic amplification factor increase for uneven pavement condition. The same tendency is shown in the
Fig. 9 where percentage of the results from 1,2 to 1,4 has increased for 43%.

Fig. 8. Histogram of the Dynamic Amplification factor for the bridges Fig. 9. Histogram of the Dynamic Amplification factor for the bridges
designed from 1991 to 2000 with uneven pavement condition. designed from 2000 to 2012 with uneven pavement condition.
Vehicle speed 40 km/h Vehicle speed 40 km/h

Dynamic amplification factor values are also compared regarding the bridge material and are shown in the Figs 10 to 15.
Figs 10 and 11 show the DAF distribution for Reinforced concrete bridges built from 1991 to 2012 with even pavement
condition and vehicle speed of 40 km/h. Both figures show that all DAF values are between 1 and 1,4.
Figs 12 and 13 show the DAF distribution for Reinforced concrete bridges built from 1991 to 2012 with uneven
pavement condition and vehicle speed of 40 km/h. Both figures show that all DAF values are between 1 and 1,4, but the
amount of values from 1,2 to 1,4 have increased for about 20%. This indicates that DAF values for Reinforced concrete
bridges at lorry speed of 40 km/h have lower DAF values than assumed in Eurocode.
Ilze Paeglite and Ainars Paeglitis / Procedia Engineering 57 (2013) 851 – 858 855

Fig. 10. Histogram of Dynamic Amplification factor for the Reinforced Fig. 11. Histogram of Dynamic Amplification factor for the Reinforced
Concrete bridges designed from 1991 to 2000 with even pavement Concrete bridges designed from 2000 to 2012 with even pavement
condition. Vehicle speed 40 km/h condition. Vehicle speed 40 km/h

Fig. 14 and 15 show DAF values for Composite bridges built from 1991 to 2012 for uneven pavement with vehicle speed
of 40 km/h. Uneven pavement condition increases DAF values. This is shown in the Fig. 14 where only 25% of the results
have value that is lower than 1,4, but 75% had value between 1,4 and 1,6.
Fig. 15 show that for bridges built after 2000 this distribution is quite different. Only 17% of DAF values were over 1,4,
hence that indicates that composite bridges built according to the Eurocodes has smaller dynamic effects.

Fig. 12. Histogram of Dynamic Amplification factor for the Reinforced Fig. 13. Histogram of Dynamic Amplification factor for the Reinforced
Concrete bridges designed from 1991 to 2000 with uneven pavement Concrete bridges designed from 2000 to 2012 with uneven pavement
condition. Vehicle speed 40 km/h condition. Vehicle speed 40 km/h

Fig. 14. Histogram of Dynamic Amplification factor for the Composite Fig. 15. Histogram of Dynamic Amplification factor for the Composite
bridges designed from 1991 to 2000 with uneven pavement condition. bridges designed from 2000 to 2012 with uneven pavement condition.
Vehicle speed 40 km/h Vehicle speed 40 km/h
856 Ilze Paeglite and Ainars Paeglitis / Procedia Engineering 57 (2013) 851 – 858

The Eurocode assumes that the dynamic amplification factor depends on the bridge span length, however Figs 16 to 19
show that the Dynamic amplification factor values do not really depend on the span length and there is a large scattering in
the values.
Fig. 16 show bridge DAF as a function of the bridge loaded span length for bridges from 1991 to 2000 with even
pavement condition. Values are shown for vehicle speeds of 40 km/h and 20 km/h. There is a large scattering in the values
but no clear dependence on span length. Fig. 17 show DAF as a function of the loaded span length with uneven pavement
condition. Whereas Fig. 17 shows that for uneven pavement condition DAF values are much higher for vehicle speed of
20 km/h than for 40 km/h.

Fig. 16. The Dynamic Amplification factor as a function of the loaded length
for the Bridges designed from 1991 to 2000 with even pavement condition

Fig. 17. The Dynamic Amplification factor as a function of the loaded length
for the Bridges designed from 1991 to 2000 with uneven pavement condition

Fig. 18. Dynamic Amplification factor as a function of the loaded length


for the Bridges designed from 2000 to 2012 with even pavement condition
Ilze Paeglite and Ainars Paeglitis / Procedia Engineering 57 (2013) 851 – 858 857

Figs 18 and 19 show DAF as a function of the loaded span length for bridges built from 2000 to 2012. Fig. 18 show DAF
distributions for even pavement condition and Fig. 19 show DAF distribution for uneven pavement condition. Values for
even pavement are quite similar for vehicle speed 20 km/h and for 40 km/h, however Fig. 19 show much higher DAF values
for vehicle speed of 20 km/h than for 40 km/h. These DAF vales are even larger, than DAF values for bridges built before
2000.

Fig. 19. Dynamic Amplification factor as a function of the loaded length


for the Bridges designed from 2000 to 2012 with even pavement condition

To conclude, lower vehicle speed created dynamic effect on the bridge superstructure can cause more crucial impact on
the bridge than the effects created by the faster going vehicle.

4. Conclusions

The obtained results show that for bridges designed according to the Eurocode, 90% of the dynamic amplification factor
values for even roadway pavement surface are within 1,0 – 1,4 and are smaller than assumed in Eurocode 1. Howewer 92%
of DAF values for uneven roadway surface are close to the assumed in the Eurocode 1 and 8% exceed it. The DAF values
used in Eurocode 1 could be evaluated as conservatives. The use of the conservative DAF values, from one hand, provide
additional safety and ensure higher loads and possible reduction of the load carrying capacity due to the damages. From the
other hand, it could give unrealistic high load effect estimates for older bridges, and therefore unnecessary repair and
reconstruction expenses.
There was established that DAF values strongly depend on the vehicle speed passing the uneven – planked roadway
surface. The DAF values are increased by lower vehicle speed.
Only a small difference of the DAF values for the bridges designed according to the Eurocodes and SNIP code were
observed.
The obtained results show that the span lengths did not so much influence the DAF value as assumed in Eurocode 1.

Acknowledgements

Travel costs and participation fee for this conference are financially supported by ERDF project „The development of
international cooperation, projects and capacities in science and technology at Riga Technical University”
Nr. 2DP/2.1.1.2.0/10/APIA/VIAA/003.

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