Bridges, Tunnels and other Transportation Structures

Full Session with Abstracts

501979 - Nonlinear dynamic analysis of suspension bridges considering sudden hanger breakage

Friday, April 26
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Location: Bayhill 23-24

As important load bearing members of suspension bridges, hangers also experience corrosion, fatigue and accidental vehicle impact, which may cause the reduction of hanger resistance and even possible breakage of hangers. Due to the high flexibility and low structural damping, suspension bridges are susceptible to vibration due to turbulent wind and moving traffic. The bridge structure may become more vulnerable subjected to hanger-breakage scenarios when considerable wind and traffic loads are usually present. The breakage of a single hanger or multiple hangers may further trigger a disproportionately load distribution and lead to cascade failures of individual members or even the whole bridge collapse. It is therefore essential to incorporate interactions with realistic service loads as well as appropriate nonlinear effects for predicting the bridge time-progressive performance following hanger breakage events. Existing studies on suspension bridges subjected to hanger loss events lack appropriate simulation tools to consider both complex dynamic interactions and nonlinearities at the same time. A finite-element based nonlinear dynamic simulation strategy for suspension bridges is introduced to simulate the hanger-loss incidents of the coupled bridge-traffic-wind system. Different from most existing studies, the simulation tool can directly simulate the hanger loss events through nonlinear iteration, during which the breakage of hangers starts at a dynamic initial state on the bridge. Fully coupled interactions among the bridge structure, multiple vehicle dynamic models, and wind excitation are incorporated simultaneously. In the meantime, comprehensive considerations of both geometric and material nonlinearities originated from the structure, aerodynamic loads and cable-loss incidents are incorporated. A prototype suspension bridge is selected to study hanger loss incident as a demonstration. Detailed parametric study is carried out to understand the mechanism of the hanger-loss incidents as well the impacts on bridge response.
By attending the presentation for the study, the audiences will have enhanced understanding of the dynamic performance as well as associated failure risks on suspension bridges from hanger breakage events. The information in this study will help the design professionals to improve the prediction accuracy of bridge performance after hanger-loss incidents and also more rationally assess the potential risk of failure for individual bridge component as well as the whole bridge structure.

Yufen Zhou

Wind Engineer
SOH Wind Engineering LLC

Dr. Yufen Zhou currently works at SOH Wind Engineering LLC. Her work focuses on the research of wind-induced vibration of structures, performance of wind sensors and atmospheric wind flow properties. Previously, she worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Colorado State University focusing on the numerical simulation of critical infrastructure systems under multiple hazards in a probabilistic context. She has 10 years of experiences working on interdisciplinary research topics that connect civil infrastructure, natural hazards, man-made hazards, extreme loads, human health and safety, structural failure, reliability and risk assessment towards a resilient and sustainable goal for the civil engineering profession. Particularly, she has made significant achievements in the field of coupled simulation methodology, nonlinearity modeling, risk and reliability based on long-span cable-supported bridges under multiple natural and manmade hazards. She has published over 10 referred journal papers and 6 conference papers and received several travel awards from American Association of Wind Engineering and National Science Foundation. Her paper and poster have been awarded in the Engineering Mechanics Institute Conference in 2015. She serves as a reviewer for over 10 major journals in the broad field of bridge engineering, wind engineering and mathematical modeling. She was named a Rising Star by CEE Dept. at MIT in 2017.

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