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Title: Using Finite Element Analysis for Assessing the Live Load Distribution for Solid Slab Bridge Evaluation and Design

Author(s): Bruno Massicotte

Publication: Web Session



Appears on pages(s):



Date: 10/17/2021

One-way simply supported or continuous slab bridges are generally considered as simple constructions that are just an extension of the beam theory. However, as revealed in some recent studies, important issues regarding the behavior of these simple structures have been raised. The dramatic collapse of Concorde Boulevard Bridge in Laval (Canada) in 2006 raised important questions on the cracking of concrete structures and its impact on safety. The studies that were carried out following this event showed the usefulness of using refined analysis, from simple grillage models to detailed nonlinear finite element models, to understand the dead and live load distribution in both service and ultimate conditions. The objective of this paper is to illustrate how linear and nonlinear finite element analysis can contribute to increase the engineering knowledge on the actual behavior of these apparently simple concrete structures. Concrete slab bridges are modelled using linear and nonlinear finite element models to highlight the shear forces that develop in slab bridges, particularly at the corners, allowing quantifying the consequence of these forces. Various types of loads are applied to understand the elastic and nonlinear behavior of the corner force in service conditions and near ultimate. Indications on how simple grillage models can be used in design and evaluation conditions are given.