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www.elsevier.com/locate/engstruct

girder bridges with a doubly symmetric section

Nam-Hoi Park a, Nam-Hyoung Lim b, Young-Jong Kang a,∗

a

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Korea University, 5-1, Anam-Dong, Sungbuk-Ku, Seoul, 136-701, South Korea

b

Track and Civil Engineering Research Department, Korea Railroad Research Institute, 360-1, Woulam-Dong, Uiwang-City, Kyounggi-do,

437-050, South Korea

Received 29 November 2002; received in revised form 4 June 2003; accepted 5 June 2003

Abstract

Diaphragms in box girder bridges are implemented primarily to prevent premature excessive distortional deformation under

torsional loading condition. Distortional warping and transverse bending stresses, which are the major stress components resulting

from distortion, should be appropriately limited to a specific level for efficient use of the cross-section by installing adequate

intermediate diaphragms. The objectives of the present study are to develop a thin-walled box beam finite element and to propose

tentative design charts for adequate spacing of intermediate diaphragms. The developed beam element possesses nine degrees of

freedom per node and the validity was intensively verified from a series of comparative studies using a conventional shell element.

Also, performed herein are extensive parametric studies for continuous box girder bridges of doubly symmetric steel box section.

The design parameters taken into account were the desired ratio of the distortional warping normal stress to the bending normal

stress, the number of spans, the span length, the aspect ratio of the box section, and the spacing of the intermediate diaphragms.

The results were summarized into tentative design charts indicating efficient spacing of intermediate diaphragms for the various

stress ratios.

2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Diaphragm; Spacing of intermediate diaphragm; Distortional warping; Transverse bending; Box beam finite element

stress to the bending normal stress, and the other is limi-

During the past several decades, box girder bridges tation of the transverse bending normal stress [1,2].

have been constructed due to their large bending and Many studies associated with analyses of box girder

torsional rigidities. However, box girders are susceptible bridges have been performed over the last four decades.

to cross-sectional distortion under an eccentric loading However, although many researches, the number of rese-

condition. Unless distortion of the box girders is appro- arches on the distortional analysis related to the inter-

priately limited, the box girder bridges may experience mediate diaphragms is quite limited. The study related

significant premature distortion of the cross-section, to the distortional analysis of box girders was initiated

which may produce excessive distortional warping and by Dabrowski who first formulated the distortional

transverse bending stresses. In order to prevent these phenomenon of box members with a symmetric cross-

problems, in general, intermediate diaphragms are section [3]. Later, several studies were undertaken

installed in the box girder bridges. Design guidelines regarding the distortional analysis of the structures to

related to the intermediate diaphragms have been pro- give design guidelines on the intermediate diaphragms

vided to fulfill the following two requirements; one is [4,5]. More recently, other research efforts have been

imparted on the analytical and experimental studies asso-

ciated with the diaphragms in the box girder bridges.

∗

Corresponding author. Tel.: +1-82-2-3290-3317; fax: +1-82-2- Nakai and Murayama [6] developed three approximation

921-5166. equations to estimate the distortional warping stresses in

E-mail address: yjkang@korea.ac.kr (Y.-J. Kang). the box girder bridges subjected to a uniformly distrib-

0141-0296/$ - see front matter 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

doi:10.1016/S0141-0296(03)00145-7

1666 N.-H. Park et al. / Engineering Structures 25 (2003) 1665–1674

uted load, a distributed line load and a concentrated load, spacing of the intermediate diaphragms for the various

respectively. Yabuki and Arizumi [7] performed the ana- stress ratios are proposed.

lytical and experimental studies for the normal stress dis-

tribution due to the distortional deformation in the cross-

section of single-span box girder bridges. From para-

metric studies using analytical approach, they proposed 2. Review of design guidelines for intermediate

a spacing provision of the intermediate diaphragms to diaphragms

limit the distortional warping normal stress to 5% of the

bending normal stress. Megson and Hallak [8,9] carried

out analytical and experimental studies to determine the 2.1. AASHTO

optimum design of the stiffened/unstiffened bearing dia-

phragms of box girders with various support conditions.

Although a few researches were performed for the Primarily based on the study by Oleinik and Heins

spacing of the intermediate diaphragms, the application [4], the Guide Specifications for Horizontally Curved

is quite limited because only fixed values of the ratio Highway Bridges [1] by the AASHTO specify the

of the distortional warping normal stress to the bending maximum spacing of the intermediate diaphragms (LD)

normal stress were used. In fact, the policy limiting the as

冉 冊

distortional warping normal stress to merely 5% of the 1/2

R

bending normal stress has been adopted by the Hanshin LDⱕL ⱕ25ft (1)

Expressway Public Corporation of Japan, whereas 10% 200L⫺7500

limitation has been used in the design specifications by

where L and R denote the span length (dimensions in

the American Association of State Highway and Trans-

feet) and the radius of curvature (dimensions in feet),

portation Officials (AASHTO) [1,2]. It should be noted

respectively. This is basically to meet the requirement

that limiting the stress ratio to a specific value may be

that the distortional warping normal stress is limited

convenient for design practicing but may lead to very

within 10% of the longitudinal bending normal stress

uneconomic design practices, too. Noting that the cost

and the transverse bending normal stress should be lim-

for fabricating intermediate diaphragms is much higher

ited to 20 ksi (137.3 MPa) or lower.

than other elements, it is quite meaningful to develop

design provisions for adequate spacing of intermediate

diaphragms with respect to various desired stress ratios. 2.2. Hanshin Expressway Public Corporation of Japan

Among the numerous previous studies, however, no

research has ever been pertinent to adequate spacing of

the intermediate diaphragms with respect to various The Hanshin Expressway Public Corporation of Japan

desired stress ratios and internal force ratios. The provided the Guidelines for the Design of Horizontally

internal forces, such as bending moments, torsional Curved Girder Bridges (Draft) [2]. In these guidelines,

moments, and distortional bimoments are quite design criteria for the spacing of the intermediate dia-

important for design practices by the Load and Resistant phragms, which was based on the research of Sakai and

Factor Design. Nagai [5], was determined so that the distortional warp-

The objectives of the present study are to develop a ing normal stress is limited within 5% of the longitudinal

straight box beam finite element and to propose tentative bending normal stress. In addition to the restriction on

design charts, using the developed box beam element, the distortional warping normal stress, the transverse

for adequate spacing of the intermediate diaphragms. bending normal stress due to distortion of the box sec-

The developed beam element with nine degrees of free- tion should be limited to about 4.90 MPa or lower. To

dom per node, which can take account of extension, comply with the restriction, the guidelines specify the

flexure, torsion, and distortion in the box girder system, maximum spacing of the intermediate diaphragms for

was thoroughly verified from a series of comparative straight box girders as

studies using conventional shell element models. In

冦

order to consider the effect of the intermediate dia-

6m (L ⬍ 60m)

phragms on distortional responses, extensive parametric

studies were performed using the developed box beam LD ⫽ (0.14L⫺2.4)m (60mⱕLⱕ160m) (2)

element. The design parameters were the desired ratio 20m (L ⬎ 160m)

of the distortional warping normal stress to the bending

normal stress, the number of spans, the span length, the

aspect ratio of the box section, and the spacing of the where LD and L indicate the spacing of the intermediate

intermediate diaphragms. From the results of these diaphragms (dimensions in meter) and the span length

analyses, tentative design charts indicating efficient (dimensions in meter), respectively.

N.-H. Park et al. / Engineering Structures 25 (2003) 1665–1674 1667

3. A thin-walled box beam finite element sion derived in Eqs. (3a–c) are similar to the functions

of Usami and Koh [10] and Kang and Yoo [11]. Mean-

3.1. Basic assumptions while, for distortion are similar to the functions of Nakai

and Yoo [12]. Transverse bending displacement function

The basic assumptions for the thin-walled box beam in Eq. (3d) is derived based on the geometric investi-

finite element is developed herein as follows: gation illustrated in Fig. 2.

u ⫽ u0⫺(y⫺ys)b ⫹ (y ⫹ yd)q (3a)

(a) The original shape is retained after deformation

except transverse bending; v ⫽ v0 ⫹ xb⫺xq (3b)

(b) The displacements are small;

(c) The stress is proportional to the strain; w ⫽ w0⫺xu⬘0⫺yv⬘0⫺wsb⬘⫺wdq⬘ (3c)

(d) The shear strains due to the change of bending and v n d ⫽ v nq

冉 冊 冉 冊

warping normal stresses are negligibly small;

1 3 2 2 1 1 (3d)

(e) The shear strains due to distortion are infinitesimal; vn ⫽ s ⫺ s ⫹ s ⌫B ⫹ 2s3⫺ s2 ⌫A

(f) The length of a beam is much larger than any other L2f Lf Lf Lf

dimension of the cross-section. where u, v, w, vnd, vn, Lf, s, ⌫B and ⌫A denote the dis-

placements with respect to the x-, y- and z-axes, the

Assumptions (a) and (f) give the background of the transverse bending displacements of each frame member

one-dimensional box beam behavior. In case of trans- due to the total distortion and the unit distortion, the

verse bending behavior due to distortion, it is indicated

length of frames, an independent variable related to the

that non-deformable beam theory is no longer valid. frame length, and factors to satisfy equilibrium and com-

Upon distortion, assumption (e) denotes that the shear patibility at each junction of the box section, respect-

strains due to distortion in the box beam will not be con- ively. Also, u0, v0, w0, ys, yd, b, q, ws, wd and ⬘ are the

sidered. displacements with respect to the x- and y-axes of shear

center, a longitudinal displacement with respect to cen-

3.2. Displacements and variational formulation troid, a perpendicular distance from centroid to shear

center, a perpendicular distance from centroid to distor-

The displacements and the Cartesian coordinate sys- tion center, a torsional angle, a distortional angle, the

tem of the present box beam at an arbitrary point A(x,y,z) warping function for torsion, the warping function for

are shown in Fig. 1. Since the cross-section of the box distortion and the first-order differentiation with respect

beam is symmetric with respect to the y-axis, the rep-

to the z-axis, respectively. The symbols shown in Fig.

resentative points such as centroid, shear center and dis- 2, i.e. MA, MB, MAB, and MBA denote the internal end

tortion center are located in the vertical centerline of the moments at each junction, respectively.

cross-section, i.e. y-axis. From the geometric investi-

The total potential energy is defined as the sum of the

gation on the deformed shapes of the box section due to strain energy stored in the member due to the defor-

flexure, torsion and distortion, the displacements of the mation and the loss of potential energy due to the applied

present beam in each direction are derived as following

loads. In this study, the first variation of the strain energy

Eq. (3). The displacement functions for flexure and tor- stored in the box beam may be divided into the three

parts of the axial, shear and transverse bending normal

strains, and is expressed as follows:

dŪ ⫽ dŪaxial ⫹ dŪshear ⫹ dŪtrans ⫽

冕

⫺ [F⬘z dw0⫺M⬙ydu0 ⫹ M⬙xdv0 ⫹ B⬙tdb

L

⫺M⬘ydu0 ⫹ M⬘xdv0 ⫹ B⬘tdb ⫹ B⬘ddq ⫹ Mydu⬘0

⫺Mxdv⬘0⫺Btdb⬘⫺Bddq⬘ ⫹ TSVdb]L0

where dŪ, dŪaxial, dŪshear and dŪtrans define the first vari-

ation of the total strain energy, the first variation of the

strain energy associated with the axial, shear and trans-

verse bending normal strains, respectively. The symbols

Fz, Mx, My, Bt, Bd, TSV and Kd denote the normal and

Fig. 1. Cartesian coordinate system of a present box beam. shear stresses, the axial force in the longitudinal direc-

1668 N.-H. Park et al. / Engineering Structures 25 (2003) 1665–1674

Fig. 2. Deformed shape of a box section and each frame member. (a) Deformed shape of a box section; (b) a frame with angular displacement

at both ends; (c) a frame with angular displacement at B and A fixed; (d) a frame with angular displacement at A and B fixed.

tion, the bending moments with respect to the x- and y- the fourth-order differentiation, respectively. Since the

axes, the bimoments for torsion and distortion, the pure analysis results on each behavior of the present beam is

torsional moment and the transverse bending stiffness expressed with respect to the representative points, such

for distortion, respectively. Also, the first variation of as centroid, shear center and distortion center, no coup-

the loss of potential energy in the box beam is defined ling problem between each behavior of the beam may

as follows: occur. The distortional warping constant and the trans-

冕 冕

verse bending stiffness for distortion are expressed as

冕

dV̄ ⫽ ⫺ qi duidz ⫽ ⫺ [(qx⫺m⬘y)du0 ⫹ (qy

L L

Idw ⫽ w2d dA (7a)

⫹ m⬘x)dv0 ⫹ qzdw0 ⫹ (mT ⫹ m⬘w ⫹ ysqx (5) A

1

冉 冊

⫺ysm⬘y)db ⫹ mT dq] dz ⫺ [mydu0⫺mxdv0

2

Kd ⫽ 冕冉 冊 冕 冉 冊

s

M2t s

EI

ds ⫽

b

0

M2t s

EI

ds (7b)

⫹ myysdb⫺mwdb]L0

where dV̄, q, mT, mw, mx and my are the first variation

⫽ 冖冉 冊 M2t s

EI

ds

of the loss of potential energy, a uniformly distributed where Mts and I are the transverse bending moment and

force, a uniformly distributed torsional moment, a uni- the moment of inertia of each frame, respectively.

formly distributed warping moment, and the uniformly

distributed moments with respect to the x- and y-axes, 3.4. Nodal displacement and force vectors

respectively.

Nodal displacement and force components of the

3.3. Governing differential equations

present box beam are shown in Fig. 3. The components

per node and element are nine and 18 kinematic degrees

The governing differential equations of each behavior

of freedom, respectively. The nodal displacement and

of the present box beam are derived as follows:

force vectors are as follows:

⫺EAw⬙0 ⫽ qz (6a)

{d} ⫽ 具w0i u0i v0i u⬘0i ⫺v⬘0i bi ⫺b⬘i qi ⫺q⬘i

EI v ⫽ qy ⫹ m⬘x, EI u ⫽ qx⫺m⬘y

IV

x 0

IV

y 0 (6b) w0j u0j v0j u⬘0j ⫺v⬘0j bj ⫺b⬘j qj ⫺q⬘j 典T (8a)

EIwb ⫺GKTb⬙ ⫽ mT ⫹ m⬘w ⫹ ysqx⫺ysm⬘y

IV

(6c) ⫽ dk (k ⫽ 1,2,%,18)

1 {f} ⫽ 具Fzi Vxi Vyi Myi Mxi Tti Bti Tdi Bdi

EIdwqIV ⫹ Kdq ⫽ mT (6d)

2

Fzj Vxj Vyj Myj Mxj Ttj Btj Tdj Bdj典T (8b)

which denote the equations relative to the axial, flexural, ⫽ fk (k ⫽ 1,2,%,18)

torsional and distortional behaviors, respectively. Wher-

ein the symbols A, Ix, Iy, Iw, Idw, E, G, KT and IV are the where { } and ⬍ ⬎ indicate column and row vector,

area of a box section, the moment of inertias with respect respectively; the superscripts T and ⬘ denote the trans-

to the x- and y-axes, the torsional warping constant, the pose and the first derivation; the subscripts i and j are

distortional warping constant, the modulus of elasticity, starting and ending nodes of the element; F, V, M, Tt,

the modulus of rigidity, the pure torsional constant and Bt, Td and Bd are the axial force, the shear force, the

N.-H. Park et al. / Engineering Structures 25 (2003) 1665–1674 1669

bending moment, the total torsional moment, the tor- dinate; z indicates the longitudinal coordinate of the box

sional bimoment, the total distortional moment and the beam element.

distortional bimoment, respectively. The total torsional The element stiffness matrix of the present box beam

and the total distortional moments, the torsional warping is formulated in the following tensor notation form:

冕

and the distortional warping moments (Ttw and Tdw), and

the shear forces are defined as follows: Kij ⫽ EA (N⬘1iN⬘1j) dz (i,j ⫽ 1,10)

Tt ⫽ TSV ⫹ Tt w, Td ⫽ Td w (9a) L

Tt w ⫽ B⬘t, Td w ⫽ B⬘d

Vx ⫽ ⫺M⬘y, Vy ⫽ M⬘x

(9b) 冕

⫹ EIy (N⬙2iN⬙2j) dz

L

(i,j ⫽ 2,4,11,13)

冕

(9c)

⫹ EIx (N⬙3iN⬙3j) dz (i,j ⫽ 3,5,12,14)

3.5. Displacement fields and element stiffness matrix L

冕 冕

(11)

Displacement fields of the present box beam are calcu- ⫹ EIw (N⬙4iN⬙4j) dz ⫹ GKT (N⬘4iN⬘4j) dz

lated by solving homogenous solutions of governing dif- L L

ferential equations associated with the four behaviors of (i,j ⫽ 6,7,15,16)

冕 冕

extension, flexure, torsion and distortion. These fields are

as follows:

⫹ EIdw (N⬙5iN⬙5j) dz ⫹ Kd (N5iN5j) dz

w0 ⫽ A1z ⫹ A2 (10a) L L

(i,j ⫽ 8,9,17,18)

u0 ⫽ A3z3 ⫹ A4z2 ⫹ A5z ⫹ A6 (10b)

v0 ⫽ A7z3 ⫹ A8z2 ⫹ A9z ⫹ A10 (10c) which demonstrates the stiffness matrixes on axial,

flexural, torsional and distortional behaviors, respect-

b ⫽ A11 ⫹ A12a z ⫹ A13sinha z ⫹ A14cosha z (10d) ively. The symbol N is the shape functions of each

q ⫽ A15cosh a2zcos a2z ⫹ A16cosh a2zsin a2z (10e) behavior. Also, the load vector relative to these four

behaviors of the present box beam is expressed as fol-

⫹ A17sinh a2zcos a2z ⫹ A18sinh a2zsin a2z lows:

in which,

l ⫽ 冕 [qzN1i ⫹ qxN2i ⫹ qyN3i⫺mxN⬘3i ⫹ myN⬘2i (12)

冪 冪

GKT Kd L

a⫽ ,a ⫽

册

4

EIw 2 4EIdw 1

⫹ mTN4i⫺mwN⬘4i ⫹ mTN5i dz (i ⫽ 1,2,%,18)

where the symbols A1 to A18 denote the generalized coor- 2

1670 N.-H. Park et al. / Engineering Structures 25 (2003) 1665–1674

an excellent correlation with each other, which strongly

To establish validity of the present box beam element, supports the validity of the developed box beam element.

two box girder bridge models were selected. The first It is evident from Figs. 5 and 6 that by installation of the

model is a box girder bridge without any intermediate four intermediate diaphragms, the distortional warping

diaphragm except bearing diaphragms at supports and normal stress is significantly reduced from 201.11 to

the second model is a box girder bridge with four inter- 39.24 MPa under the same concentrated load. Further-

mediate diaphragms of 8 m spacing. The type of the more, the transverse bending normal stress is further

intermediate diaphragms is of a solid-plate diaphragm. reduced from 235.44 to only 1.77 MPa.

Geometric and loading descriptions for the two models

are shown in Fig. 4. These models are subjected to two

load cases of a concentrated load of 981 kN (CL) and 5. Parametric study

a distributed load of 19.61 kN/m (DL). The modulus of

elasticity and the Poisson’s ratio are assumed as 205 947 An extensive parametric study was performed herein

MPa and 0.3, respectively. These models have the bear- in order to examine the effect of the intermediate dia-

ing diaphragms of thickness of 2.0 cm at both supports. phragms of the solid-plate type on the distortional

The boundary conditions of the bearing diaphragms are behavior of the steel box girders. A steel box girder

divided into three cases: one is a simple support con- model used for the parametric study is shown in Fig. 7

dition with respect to flexure; another is a fixed support and regarded as one with a non-composite doubly sym-

condition with respect to torsion and distortion; and the metric cross-section. The live loads were applied in this

last is a free support condition with respect to torsional parametric study based on the Standard Specifications

and distortional warping. Meanwhile, the boundary con- for Highway Bridges of the Korean Ministry of Con-

ditions of the intermediate diaphragms are divided into struction and Transportation [14]. The applied loads are

two cases: one is a fixed support condition with respect comprised of a distributed live load of 124.55 N/cm, a

to torsion and distortion; and the other is a free support concentrated live load of 105.92 kN, and the self-weight

condition with respect to torsional and distortional warp- of the concrete deck. The live loads are 33% larger than

ing. The beam and shell elements of the first model are those of the HS20-44 lane loading specified by the

employed 40 and 1648 elements, respectively, and those AASHTO, which comprised of a distributed live load of

of the second model are employed 40 and 1744 640 lb/ft (93.32 N/cm) and a concentrated live load of

elements, respectively. The conventional program for 18 000 lb (80 kN). The modulus of elasticity and the

shell analyses is LUSAS [13] and this shell element has Poisson’s ratio for the model are assumed as 205 947

eight nodes. MPa and 0.3, respectively. End supports and the inter-

mediate diaphragms are subjected to fixed boundary con-

dition for torsion and distortion, and to free boundary

condition for torsional and distortional warping. In order

to induce maximum distortional warping normal stress,

the live loads were applied to the box girders with the

maximum eccentricity allowed in the standard specifi-

cations.

The ranges of the parameters considered in this study

are summarized in Table 1. The span length, the number

of spans, the shape of the box section, and the spacing

of the intermediate diaphragms were major parameters

influencing the distortional behavior of the box girders.

In this parametric study, the lane loading divided into

separately in order to consider the independent effect on

the lane loading with eccentricities comprised of a con-

centric load and a distributed load. The concentric load

with an eccentricity divided into two components of a

concentric load and a concentric torsional moment. Simi-

larly, the distributed load with an eccentricity divided

into a distributed load and a distributed torsional

moment. These two torsional moments produce the

bimoments in box girders.

Fig. 4. Geometric and loading descriptions for two bridge models. From a number of distortional analyses, it was evident

(a) Elevation; (b) cross section A-A (dimensions in mm). that the distortional bimoment mainly depends on the

N.-H. Park et al. / Engineering Structures 25 (2003) 1665–1674 1671

torsional moments. The maximum bimoments developed

in the box girders due to the eccentric live load specified

in the Standard Specifications for Highway Bridges of

Korea can be expressed in simpler forms as shown in

Eq. (13), which were obtained from an extensive

regression study based on the results due to the para-

metric analyses using the present box beam.

BdD ⫽ 0.02204mTL2D (13a)

BdC ⫽ 0.08683MTLD (13b)

where the symbols BdD, BdC, mT and MT denote the

maximum distortional bimoments (dimensions in N-

cm2) due to the distributed live load and the concentrated

live load, and the distributed torsional moment

(dimensions in N-cm/cm) and the concentrated torsional

moment (dimensions in N-cm), respectively. Since the

distortional bimoment is evaluated for concentrated load

and distributed load separately herein, the total bimo-

ment, BdT is merely the sum of both bimoments. It

should be noted that if the loads by the AASHTO were

taken into account, Eq. (13) would be the same. From

the bending moment and the distortional bimoment, the

corresponding bending and distortional warping normal

stresses are expressed as

M BdT

sb ⫽ y, sdw ⫽ w (14)

I Idw d

Therefore, the normal stress ratio, sdw/sb or z, can be

written by

sdw BdT

⫽ S⫽z (15)

sb M

in which,

BdT ⫽ BdD ⫹ BdC, M ⫽ Mb ⫹ MD ⫹ MC,

24 I

S⫽

BH (Af ⫹ Aw)

2

tia of the box section, the area of a flange, and the area

of a web, respectively, and the subscripts b, D, and C

relate to the body force, the distributed load, and the

concentrated load, respectively. The bending moments

from the elementary mechanics are expressed as

Mb ⫽ 0.125bL2, MD ⫽ 0.125wDL2,

(16a)

MC ⫽ 0.250PL: Single ⫺ span

Mb ⫽ 0.070bL2, MD ⫽ 0.094wDL2,

(16b)

MC ⫽ 0.204PL: Two ⫺ span continuous

Mb ⫽ 0.079bL2, MD ⫽ 0.099wDL2,

Fig. 5. Distortional stresses for the first model. (a) Distortional warp- (16c)

ing normal stress (CL); (b) transverse bending normal stress (CL); (c) MC ⫽ 0.210PL: Three ⫺ span continuous

distortional warping normal stress (DL); (d) transverse bending normal

stress (DL). where b, wD and P denote the body force, the distributed

load and the concentrated load, respectively.

1672 N.-H. Park et al. / Engineering Structures 25 (2003) 1665–1674

Fig. 6. Distortional stresses for the second model. (a) Distortional warping normal stress (CL); (b) transverse bending normal stress (CL); (c)

distortional warping normal stress (DL); (d) transverse bending normal stress (DL).

Fig. 7. Geometric and loading descriptions for box girder models. (a) Cross-section of box girders (dimensions in cm); (b) various load cases.

Table 1

Summary of parameters

Number of spans Span length (L) Width (B) and height (H) Spacing of intermediate diaphragms (LD)

Single-span

2-span continuous 30–100 m 2–4 m 3–12 m

3-span continuous

Applying the appropriate limitation of the stress ratio, stress ratio, sdw/sb. For example, for a single-span box

z, into Eq. (15), the relations between the span lengths girder bridge with the span length of 50 m, the width of

and the spacing of the intermediate diaphragms can be 3 m and the height of 3 m, and the flange thickness of 2.0

obtained, and its relations are illustrated in Fig. 8. From cm and the web thickness of 1.2 cm of the box section,

Fig. 8, it can be shown that not only the spacing of the respectively, S is calculated as 0.03/cm. If the allowed

intermediate diaphragms but also the number of spans stress ratio is assumed as 0.06, z/S is 2 cm and hence

and the shape of the cross-section play an important role the spacing of the intermediate diaphragm is about 9 m,

in controlling the distortional warping normal stress. Fig. with reference to Fig. 8a.

8 may be effectively used to determine the effective

spacing of the intermediate diaphragms for an allowed

N.-H. Park et al. / Engineering Structures 25 (2003) 1665–1674 1673

useful for understanding the structural behavior and is

necessary for design practices by the Load and Resist-

ance Factor Design. Considering the vast amount of

input and output tasks for the shell element analysis, the

importance of the presented beam element would not

need any further comment.

In order to investigate the effect of the intermediate

diaphragms of the solid-plate type on the distortional

behavior of steel box girders, an extensive parametric

study was performed herein. The computation of the dis-

tortional bimoments was further facilitated through an

extensive regression study using the results of the

numerous parametric studies. It was shown that the dia-

phragm is extremely effective in controlling the distor-

tional bimoment. The correlation between the spacing of

the intermediate diaphragms and the ratio of the distor-

tional warping normal stress to the bending normal stress

was extensively analyzed and the results were summar-

ized in the proposed tentative design charts. The design

charts will be useful for a practising engineer to effec-

tively determine the adequate spacing of the intermediate

diaphragms for a given specified stress ratio. Noting that

most current design specifications use a single stress

ratio, the possibility of using various stress ratios is pion-

eered in the present study.

References

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