Numerical simulation of barge impact on a continuous girder bridge and bridge damage detection
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Copyright © 2013 Multi-Science Publishing
Vessel collisions on bridge piers have been frequently reported. As many bridges are vital in transportation networks and serve as lifelines, bridge damage might leads to catastrophic consequences to life and economy. Therefore it is of great importance to protect bridge structures, especially bridge piers, against vessel impacts. Many researches have been conducted to predict vessel impact loads on bridge piers, and to design bridge piers or additional protective structures to resist such impact loads. Studies on assessing the bridge conditions after a vessel impact are, however, very limited. Current practice basically uses visual inspections, which not only requires very experienced engineers to perform the inspection in order to obtain creditable assessment, but also is often very difficult to inspect the underwater pier conditions. Therefore it is necessary to develop methods to give efficient, quantitative and reliable assessment of bridge conditions under ambient conditions after a vessel impact. This study explores the feasibility of using vibration measurements to quickly detect bridge conditions after a vessel impact.The study consists of three parts. First, a detailed numerical model of an example bridge structure is developed to calculate the vibrations under ambient hydrodynamic force. Then the model is used to simulate vessel impact on bridge pier and predict the pier damage. The vibration response analysis of the damaged bridge model is performed again in the third step to simulate vibration responses of the damaged bridge under ambient conditions. Using the vibration data obtained before and after vessel impact, the bridge vibration parameters such as vibration frequencies and mode shapes are extracted by using the frequency domain decomposition method. The bridge condition will then be identified through the changes in bridge vibration parameters and compared with the damage observed in the impact simulation. It is found that this method is capable of estimating bridge damage condition after barge impact accident.
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