Integral Abutment Bridges Under Thermal Loading: Numerical Simulations and Parametric Study

Integral abutment bridges (IABs) have become of interest due to their decreased construction and maintenance costs in comparison to conventional jointed bridges. Most prior IAB research was related to substructure behavior, and, as a result, most limit states that have been considered in design guidelines have been based on substructure considerations. However, integral abutment construction also affects superstructure behavior and demands, and superstructure properties directly influence substructure behavior. This report presents numerical simulations evaluating the behavior of IABs with composite steel I-girders subjected to temperature changes consistent with seasonal fluctuations in the state of Illinois. Nonlinear bridge models are introduced in which key parameters are varied, such as span length, pile size, and skew. Other parameters that were deemed of less importance, like various pile and soil conditions, are studied as well. Three-dimensional finite element model results indicate that longitudinal bridge movement is directly dependent on IAB effective expansion length (EEL), regardless of other bridge design parameters. Structural responses such as girder superstructure elastic stress and pile substructure inelastic strain are influenced by EEL, pile type and size, superstructure rotational stiffness, and bridge skew. Results presented herein suggest that superstructure geometry—including bridge skew—should be considered in IAB substructure design and that thermally induced stresses and strains should be considered in superstructure and substructure design.

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    • Project title: Analysis of Superstructures of Integral Abutment Bridges.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

    Illinois Center for Transportation
    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    Urbana, IL  United States  61801

    Illinois Department of Transportation

    Bureau of Materials and Physical Research
    126 East Ash Street
    Springfield, IL  United States  62704-4766

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • LaFave, James M
    • Fahnestock, Larry A
    • Wright, Beth A
    • Riddle, Joseph K
    • Jarrett, Matthew W
    • Svatora, Jeffrey S
    • An, Huayu
    • Brambila, Gabriela
  • Publication Date: 2016-6


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01605790
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA-ICT-16-014, UILU-ENG-2016-2015, ICT-16-015
  • Contract Numbers: R27-115
  • Created Date: Jul 19 2016 2:56PM