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Title: Numerical Modeling Methodology for Strength Evaluation of Deep Bridge Bent Caps

Author(s): Anish Sharma and Serhan Guner

Publication: Symposium Paper

Volume: 342


Appears on pages(s): 162-177

Keywords: bridge bent beams, deep beams, NLFEA, strength evaluation, safety assessment, failure, sectional method, strut-and-tie method, rehabilitation

DOI: 10.14359/51725943

Date: 6/1/2020

Due to the increase in traffic and transported freight in the past decades, a significant number of in-service bridges have been subjected to loads above their original design capacities. Bridge structures typically incorporate deep concrete elements, such as cap beams or bent caps, with higher shear strengths than slender elements. However, many in-service bridges did not account for the deep beam effects in their original design due to the lack of suitable analysis methods at that time. Nonlinear finite element analysis (NLFEA) can provide a better assessment of the load capacity of deep bridge bent beams while accounting for the deep beam action. However, there is little guidance on how to conduct a numerical strength evaluation using the NLFEA. This study presents a nonlinear modeling methodology for the strength evaluation of deep bridge bents while considering advanced concrete behavior such as tension stiffening, compression softening, and dowel action. Five existing bridge bent beams are examined using the proposed methodology. The effectiveness and advantages of the proposed methodology are discussed by comparing the numerical results, including the load-displacement responses, load capacities, cracking patterns and failure modes, with the strut-and-tie and sectional analysis methods. Important modeling considerations are also discussed to assist practitioners in accurately evaluating deep bridge bents.