Pornchai Silarom

Abstracts

2 Simple Finite-Element Procedure for Modeling Crack Propagation in Reinforced Concrete Bridge Deck under Repetitive Moving Truck Wheel Loads

Authors: Rajwanlop Kumpoopong, Sukit Yindeesuk, Pornchai Silarom

Abstract:

Modeling cracks in concrete is complicated by its strain-softening behavior which requires the use of sophisticated energy criteria of fracture mechanics to assure stable and convergent solutions in the finite-element (FE) analysis particularly for relatively large structures. However, for small-scale structures such as beams and slabs, a simpler approach relies on retaining some shear stiffness in the cracking plane has been adopted in literature to model the strain-softening behavior of concrete under monotonically increased loading. According to the shear retaining approach, each element is assumed to be an isotropic material prior to cracking of concrete. Once an element is cracked, the isotropic element is replaced with an orthotropic element in which the new orthotropic stiffness matrix is formulated with respect to the crack orientation. The shear transfer factor of 0.5 is used in parallel to the crack plane. The shear retaining approach is adopted in this research to model cracks in RC bridge deck with some modifications to take into account the effect of repetitive moving truck wheel loads as they cause fatigue cracking of concrete. First modification is the introduction of fatigue tests of concrete and reinforcing steel and the Palmgren-Miner linear criterion of cumulative damage in the conventional FE analysis. For a certain loading, the number of cycles to failure of each concrete or RC element can be calculated from the fatigue or S-N curves of concrete and reinforcing steel. The elements with the minimum number of cycles to failure are the failed elements. For the elements that do not fail, the damage is accumulated according to Palmgren-Miner linear criterion of cumulative damage. The stiffness of the failed element is modified and the procedure is repeated until the deck slab fails. The total number of load cycles to failure of the deck slab can then be obtained from which the S-N curve of the deck slab can be simulated. Second modification is the modification in shear transfer factor. Moving loading causes continuous rubbing of crack interfaces which greatly reduces shear transfer mechanism. It is therefore conservatively assumed in this study that the analysis is conducted with shear transfer factor of zero for the case of moving loading. A customized FE program has been developed using the MATLAB software to accomodate such modifications. The developed procedure has been validated with the fatigue test of the 1/6.6-scale AASHTO bridge deck under the applications of both fixed-point repetitive loading and moving loading presented in the literature. Results are in good agreement both experimental vs. simulated S-N curves and observed vs. simulated crack patterns. Significant contribution of the developed procedure is a series of S-N relations which can now be simulated at any desired levels of cracking in addition to the experimentally derived S-N relation at the failure of the deck slab. This permits the systematic investigation of crack propagation or deterioration of RC bridge deck which is appeared to be useful information for highway agencies to prolong the life of their bridge decks.

Keywords: Fatigue, cracking, Reinforced Concrete, deterioration, bridge deck, finite-element, moving truck

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1 Damages of Highway Bridges in Thailand during the 2014-Chiang Rai Earthquake

Authors: Rajwanlop Kumpoopong, Sukit Yindeesuk, Pornchai Silarom

Abstract:

On May 5, 2014, an earthquake of magnitude 6.3 Richter hit the Northern part of Thailand. The epicenter was in Phan District, Chiang Rai Province. This earthquake or the so-called 2014-Chiang Rai Earthquake is the strongest ground shaking that Thailand has ever been experienced in her modern history. The 2014-Chiang Rai Earthquake confirms the geological evidence, which has previously been ignored by most engineers, that earthquakes of considerable magnitudes 6 to 7 Richter can occurr within the country. This promptly stimulates authorized agencies to pay more attention at the safety of their assets and promotes the comprehensive review of seismic resistance design of their building structures. The focus of this paper is to summarize the damages of highway bridges as a result of the 2014-Chiang Rai ground shaking, the remedy actions, and the research needs. The 2014-Chiang Rai Earthquake caused considerable damages to nearby structures such as houses, schools, and temples. The ground shaking, however, caused damage to only one highway bridge, Mae Laos Bridge, located several kilometers away from the epicenter. The damage of Mae Laos Bridge was in the form of concrete spalling caused by pounding of cap beam on the deck structure. The damage occurred only at the end or abutment span. The damage caused by pounding is not a surprise, but the pounding by only one bridge requires further investigation and discussion. Mae Laos Bridge is a river crossing bridge with relatively large approach structure. In as much, the approach structure is confined by strong retaining walls. This results in a rigid-like approach structure which vibrates at the acceleration approximately equal to the ground acceleration during the earthquake and exerts a huge force to the abutment causing the pounding of cap beam on the deck structure. Other bridges nearby have relatively small approach structures, and therefore have no capability to generate pounding. The effect of mass of the approach structure on pounding of cap beam on the deck structure is also evident by the damage of one pedestrian bridge in front of Thanthong Wittaya School located 50 meters from Mae Laos Bridge. The width of the approach stair of this bridge is wider than the typical one to accommodate the stream of students during pre- and post-school times. This results in a relatively large mass of the approach stair which in turn exerts a huge force to the pier causing pounding of cap beam on the deck structure during ground shaking. No sign of pounding was observed for a typical pedestrian bridge located at another end of Mae Laos Bridge. Although pounding of cap beam on the deck structure of the above mentioned bridges does not cause serious damage to bridge structure, this incident promotes the comprehensive review of seismic resistance design of highway bridges in Thailand. Given a proper mass and confinement of the approach structure, the pounding of cap beam on the deck structure can be easily excited even at the low to moderate ground shaking. In as much, if the ground shaking becomes stronger, the pounding is certainly more powerful. This may cause the deck structure to be unseated and fall off in the case of unrestrained bridge. For the bridge with restrainer between cap beam and the deck structure, the restrainer may prevent the deck structure from falling off. However, preventing free movement of the pier by the restrainer may damage the pier itself. Most highway bridges in Thailand have dowel bars embedded connecting cap beam and the deck structure. The purpose of the existence of dowel bars is, however, not intended for any seismic resistance. Their ability to prevent the deck structure from unseating and their effect on the potential damage of the pier should be evaluated. In response to this expected situation, Thailand Department of Highways (DOH) has set up a team to revise the standard practices for the seismic resistance design of highway bridges in Thailand. In addition, DOH has also funded the research project 'Seismic Resistance Evaluation of Pre- and Post-Design Modifications of DOH’s Bridges' with the scope of full-scale tests of single span bridges under reversed cyclic static loadings for both longitudinal and transverse directions and computer simulations to evaluate the seismic performance of the existing bridges and the design modification bridges. The research is expected to start in October, 2015.

Keywords: Earthquake, Thailand, Damage, highway bridge, pounding, seismic resistance

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