Structural deformation is an important consideration in the health monitoring of bridges, and its dependence on temperature variations is quite complex. Based on field measurements performed for an operational cable-stayed bridge, the proposed study investigates mechanisms of thermally induced variations in girder length and mid-span deflection through plane geometric and finite element analyses. The objective of this study is to understand the behaviour of such bridges over annual and diurnal cycles. It has been observed that the girder length and mid-span deflection of a cable-stayed bridge exhibit different modes of the temperature–response correlation. Thermally induced changes in girder length are solely governed by the average girder temperature, and its annual variation in amplitude is significantly larger compared to the diurnal variation. However, thermally induced mid-span deflections are simultaneously influenced by the cable temperature and average girder temperature, and these do not vary monotonously with temperature, thereby resulting in nearly equal variation amplitudes over both annual and diurnal cycles. Temperature-induced deformations of a cable-stayed bridge could well be approximated through multiple linear superposition of thermal-expansion effects of individual components. Besides thermal-expansion coefficients of structural materials, the temperature dependency of mid-span deflection of a symmetrical twin-tower cable-stayed bridge is closely related to the ratio of tower height above the deck to central span of the girder as well as span ratio of the side span to central span. The proposed simplified formulae to estimate the sensitivities of temperature effects could be readily extended to other cable-stayed bridges with different geometric arrangements, thereby providing valuable insights into thermally induced deformation of such bridges.
Structural Health Monitoring: An International Journal – SAGE
Published: Jun 1, 2018
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