Hybrid simulation for the evaluation of the seismic response of bridges on uplifting piers.

TitleHybrid simulation for the evaluation of the seismic response of bridges on uplifting piers.
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2015
Digenis S
Academic DepartmentCivil Engineering Dept
UniversityUniversity of Patras
Thesis TypeMSc thesis

The safety of bridges under strong earthquakes is very important for the societies. A new design approach, which aims to make bridges very resilient to earthquakes, is to allow it to rock as a whole with respect to the ground. To examine how rocking can enhance structural resilience of bridges subjected to seismic events, a two-span bridge was designed according to EN1998-2 and experimentally tested via sub-structuring (hybrid simulation). The deck of the examined bridge is monolithically connected with the middle pier, while it is allowed to uplift from its supports at the abutments. Footing’s dimensions of the middle pier is purposely under estimated, in order to let it rock and uplift. The bridge is seismically excited in the transverse direction. Hybrid simulations were performed, with the pier physically represented in half-scale and fixed on the Structures Laboratory strong floor. The deck with the support bearings at the abutments and the pier foundation, were numerically simulated at full scale through SimCor and Opensees. The non-linear law which describes the soil – foundation interaction, was assigned to a pair of non-linear springs. For comparison the same system was examined with the footing of the middle pier assumed fixed. A similar hybrid simulation was conducted, with the pier acting as a vertical cantilever, neglecting the influence of the deck. Purpose-built software, named StruLab-API, linked the SimCor platform to the laboratory control system. StruLab-API performs all the necessary scaling and geometric transformations to obtain actuators command signals and proper force feedback values.

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