Analysis of Elastomeric Bearings in an Instrumented Bridge System


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Title: Analysis of Elastomeric Bearings in an Instrumented Bridge System

Author(s): Douglas K. Nims, Kolluru Subramaniam, Azadeh Parvin, and A. Emin Aktan

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 164


Appears on pages(s): 177-196

Keywords: bridge bearings; bridges (structures); deformation; field tests; plastics, polymers, and resins; Structural Research

Date: 11/1/1996

As part of an overall study of bridge behavior, instrumented elastomeric bearings are being installed on a fully instrumented test bridge in Cincinnati, Ohio. This paper presents a summary of the completed analysis and testing and the planned laboratory and field testing of the elastomeric bearings. The role of the bearings in the behavior of the overall bridge system is explicitly considered. The primary goal is to measure the deformations of the bearings over time. The secondary goal is to determine the practicality of using instrumented bearings to assess the condition and response of the overall bridge system. Analyses have indicated that the short term movements of the bearing, due to truck loading, are large enough to practically measure. Long term movements, such as those due to temperature, are also being measured. The analyses also show that changes in the bridge deck condition can result in measurable changes in bearing deformation. Laboratory studies include shear and compression studies of prototype and one-half scale models of the bearings and instrumentation. In the field, the bearings will be instrumented to monitor long and short term deformations. Limitations to the practicality of using instrumented elastomeric bearings are discussed.