Assessment of the Strengthening of an RC Railway Bridge with CFRP Utilizing a Full-Scale Failure Test and Finite-Element Analysis

A finite element (FE) model was calibrated using the data obtained from a full-scale test to failure of a 50 year old reinforced concrete (RC) railway bridge. The model was then used to assess the effectiveness of various strengthening schemes to increase the load-carrying capacity of the bridge. The bridge was a two-span continuous single-track trough bridge with a total length of 30 m, situated in Örnsköldsvik in northern Sweden. It was tested in situ as the bridge had been closed following the construction of a new section of the railway line. The test was planned to evaluate and calibrate models to predict the load-carrying capacity of the bridge and assess the strengthening schemes originally developed by the European research project called Sustainable bridges. The objective of the test was to investigate shear failure, rather than bending failure for which good calibrated models are already available. To that end, the bridge was strengthened in flexure before the test using near-surface mounted square section carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) bars. The ultimate failure mechanism turned into an interesting combination of bending, shear, torsion, and bond failures at an applied load of 11.7 MN (2,630 kips). A computer model was developed using specialized software to represent the response of the bridge during the test. It was calibrated using data from the test and was then used to calculate the actual capacity of the bridge in terms of train loading using the current Swedish load model which specifies a 330 kN (74 kips) axle weight. These calculations show that the unstrengthened bridge could sustain a load 4.7 times greater than the current load requirements (which is over six times the original design loading), whilst the strengthened bridge could sustain a load 6.5 times greater than currently required. Comparisons are also made with calculations using codes from Canada, Europe, and the United States.

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    • This work is made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license,
  • Authors:
    • Puurula, Arto M
    • Enochsson, Ola
    • Sas, Gabriel
    • Blanksvärd, Thomas
    • Ohlsson, Ulf
    • Bernspång, Lars
    • Täljsten, Björn
    • Carolin, Anders
    • Paulsson, Björn
    • Elfgren, Lennart
  • Publication Date: 2015-1


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01532507
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Jul 15 2014 3:03PM