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Polymers 2014, 6(4), 1096-1118; doi:10.3390/polym6041096

Finite Element Analysis for Fatigue Damage Reduction in Metallic Riveted Bridges Using Pre-Stressed CFRP Plates

1
Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Structural Engineering, Research Laboratory, Dübendorf CH-8600, Switzerland
2
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701, USA
3
EPFL, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, Steel Structure Laboratory (ICOM), Lausanne CH-1015, Switzerland
4
ETHZ, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich, Institute of Structural Engineering (IBK), Zürich CH-8093, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 December 2013 / Revised: 6 March 2014 / Accepted: 26 March 2014 / Published: 11 April 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from "SMAR 2013")

Abstract

Many old riveted steel bridges remain operational and require retrofit to accommodate ever increasing demands. Complicating retrofit efforts, riveted steel bridges are often considered historical structures where structural modifications that affect the original construction are to be avoided. The presence of rivets along with preservation requirements often prevent the use of traditional retrofit methods, such as bonding of fiber reinforced composites, or the addition of supplementary steel elements. In this paper, an un-bonded post-tensioning retrofit method is numerically investigated using existing railway riveted bridge geometry in Switzerland. The finite element (FE) model consists of a global dynamic model for the whole bridge and a more refined sub-model for a riveted joint. The FE model results include dynamic effects from axle loads and are compared with field measurements. Pre-stressed un-bonded carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) plates will be considered for the strengthening elements. Fatigue critical regions of the bridge are identified, and the effects of the un-bonded post-tensioning method with different pre-stress levels on fatigue susceptibility are explored. With an applied 40% CFRP pre-stress, fatigue damage reductions of more than 87% and 85% are achieved at the longitudinal-to-cross beam connections and cross-beam bottom flanges, respectively.
Keywords: finite element model; fatigue damage; metallic railway riveted bridge; CFRP; un-bonded post-tensioning finite element model; fatigue damage; metallic railway riveted bridge; CFRP; un-bonded post-tensioning
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ghafoori, E.; Prinz, G.S.; Mayor, E.; Nussbaumer, A.; Motavalli, M.; Herwig, A.; Fontana, M. Finite Element Analysis for Fatigue Damage Reduction in Metallic Riveted Bridges Using Pre-Stressed CFRP Plates. Polymers 2014, 6, 1096-1118.

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