Suspension bridges are widely used as engineering structures to across long spans and give rise to the usage of domains under the bridge. In the finite element analyses of suspension bridges, it is assumed that the structure is built and loaded in a second. However, this type of analysis does not always give the reliable and healthy solutions. Because, construction period of this type of the structures continue along time and loads may be changed during this period. Therefore, construction stages and time dependent material properties should be considered in the analysis to obtain the reliable and healthy results.
This paper presents the construction stage analysis of suspension bridges using time dependent material properties. For this purpose, Humber Suspension Bridge built near Kingston upon Hull, England is chosen as an example. Finite element model of the bridge is constituted using SAP2000 program considering project drawings. Geometric nonlinearities are taken into consideration in the analysis using P-Delta large displacement criterion. The time dependent material strength of steel and concrete and geometric variations are included in the analysis. Time dependent material properties are considered as compressive strength, aging, shrinkage and creep for concrete, and relaxation for steel. The structural response of the bridge at different construction stages has been examined. Two different finite element analyses with and without construction stages are carried out and results are compared with each other. As analyses result, variation of the displacement and internal forces such as bending moment, axial forces and shear forces for bridge deck and towers are given with detail. It can be seen from the study that there are some differences between both analyses (with and without construction stages) and the results obtained from the construction stages are bigger. So, it is thought that construction stage analysis using time dependent material properties and geometric nonlinearity should be considered in order to obtain more realistic structural response of suspension bridges.
In order to push forward the development of CFRP cable-stayed bridge and accumulate experiences, the study on the application of the first cable-stayed bridge with CFRP cables in China was carried out. The design essentials of main components of the bridge were introduced and its integral performances, including static properties, dynamic properties and seismic response were analyzed using finite element method. A new bond-type anchorage was developed and the processes of fabricating and installing CFRP cables were elaborated. Based on the results of construction simulation, a tension scheme for bridge was propound. During constructing, the stresses and displacement of girder and pylon, as well as the forces and stresses of cables, were tested. The results indicate that all sections of the bridge could meet the requirements of the ultimate bearing capacity and normal service; the performance of the anchorage is good and the stresses in each cable system are similar; the tested values accord well with the calculated values. Further, creep deformation of the resin in anchorages under service load is not obvious. All these results demonstrate that the first application of CFRP cables in the cable-stayed bridge in China is successful.