Calibration of Barge Models for the Reliable Prediction of Impact Force on Bridge Piers

The inland waterway system in the United States is fundamental to the transportation system as a whole and the success of the nation’s economy. Barge transportation in these waterways levitates congestion on the highway system and is beneficial when comparing barge transportation to the other modes of freight transportation in the measures of capacity, congestion, emissions, and safety. Unavoidably, the highway system intersects with the waterways, resulting in the risk of vessels collision into bridge structures. Particularly for barge impact, the interaction between barge and bridge pier is neglected in the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) guidelines. In this study, the bridge-pier impact problem is investigated by performing a set of 3D finite-element simulations. For this purpose, a detailed model of a jumbo hopper barge is developed with the necessary details in the bow. The barge model is validated for its response to impact into rigid piers of different size and shape. Furthermore, the elasticity of the barge, a measure of the kinetic energy before and after the collision, is calculated to evaluate the strength and behavior of the barge model. The elasticity of the barge is expressed in terms of coefficients of restitution. Regression formulas are derived to estimate the coefficient of restitution as a function of the pier to barge width ratio and the initial kinetic energy. The analysis results, including the impact force and relationship between barge crush depth and kinetic energy, are compared with the AASHTO guidelines. This is expected to provide an evaluation of the sufficiency of the current design guidelines and performance requirements.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: References;
  • Monograph Title: Structures Congress 2017: Blast, Impact Loading, and Response of Structures

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01684661
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780784480397
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Oct 4 2018 3:53PM