Soil-steel composite bridges :research advances and application

Soil-steel composite bridges are considered competitive structures being an economical alternative to similar span concrete bridges. This frequently stimulates practitioners to push their design limits and expand the different areas of application including their performance in sloping terrain. This also implies that most design methods are continuously being developed to address new market challenges and at the same time to seek for better design and construction. This thesis compiles the recent research efforts to advance the knowledge on the structural performance of soil-steel composite bridges (SSCB). The first part of the thesis investigates the performance of SSCB in sloping terrain, where numerical simulations are used to predict the behaviour of three case studies. This includes structural response under sloped soils and also avalanche loads (Paper I and Paper II). The research enabled to realize the importance of soil configuration around the wall conduit and its influence on the structural response. While the presence of surface slopes emphasizes the susceptibility of SSCB with low depths of soil cover, higher covers may help in reducing the influence of steep slopes and avalanche loads. It was also found that the downhill soil configuration has substantial effects on the flexural response. The findings of the study were also used to provide methods for preliminary estimates of normal forces under sloped soils and avalanches. To better understand the load bearing capacity of SSCB, the second part of this thesis deals with the behaviour of large-span structures. It includes the use of finite element method simulations (FEM) for the analysis and the prediction of a previous full-scale loading-to-failure test (Paper III). The study also presents response predictions on the ultimate capacity of a large-span structure pertaining to its ongoing preparation for a full-scale field test (Paper IV). The thesis also includes discussions and possible refinements on current design equations concerning buckling calculations and live load effects. The results of the study have allowed to realize the major role of the soil load effects on the subsequent formation of yield areas and failure loads. It is found that the load position has a direct influence on the ultimate capacity especially for large-span structures. The study also highlighted the variations in the distribution of the live load sectional forces in both the circumferential and the transverse directions of the corrugations. Furthermore, possible refinements are proposed on current design equations of which are believed closely relevant on the path for the design development of large-span structures.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 82
  • Serial:
    • Issue Number: 1842
    • Publisher: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01739087
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI)
  • ISBN: 9789178730452
  • Files: ITRD, VTI
  • Created Date: May 14 2020 9:42AM