Curved footbridges supported by a shell obtained through thrust network analysis (TNA)

After Maillart’s concrete curved arch bridges were built before the Second World War, in the second half of the past century and this century, many curved bridges have been built with both steel and concrete. Conversely, since the construction of Musmeci’s shell supported bridge in Potenza, few shell bridges have been constructed. This paper explains how to design a curved footbridge supported by an anticlastic shell by shaping the shell via a thrust network analysis (TNA). By taking advantage of the peculiar properties of anticlastic membranes, the unconventional method of shaping a shell by a TNA is illustrated. The shell top edge that supports the deck has an assigned layout, which is provided by the road curved layout. The form of the bottom edge is obtained by the form-finding procedure as a thrust line, by applying the thrust network analysis (TNA) in a non-standard manner, shaping the shell by applying the boundary conditions and allowing relaxation. The influence of the boundary conditions on the bridge shape obtained as an envelope of thrust lines is investigated. A finite element analysis was performed. The results indicate that the obtained shell form is effective in transferring deck loads to foundations via compressive stresses and taking advantage of concrete mechanical properties.


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  • Accession Number: 01690903
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 20 2018 3:04PM