3D Finite element analysis of Multi-beam Box girder Bridges – assessment of cross-sectional forces in joints

C.M. Frissen, M.A.N. Hendriks (TNO Building and Construction Research, The Netherlands); N Kaptijn (Ministry of Public Works and Water Management, The Netherlands)

Three finite element models have been developed to analyze the cross-sectional forces in the joints of multi-beam box girder bridges. A model based on shell elements is used in nonlinear analyses including two analysis phases. The analysis phases simulate the construction phases. For straight bridges current design methods based on orthotropic plate models give reasonable results compared to the results of the advanced model. For bridges with a skew or curved geometry plan orthotropic plate models give poor predictions for the forces and moments in the joints. Advanced modeling, as presented in this paper, is then to be preferred.

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