Preliminary steel concrete composite bridge design charts for Eurocodes

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1 Preliminary steel concrete composite bridge 90 Rachel Jones Senior Engineer Highways & Transportation Atkins David A Smith Regional Head of Bridge Engineering Highways & Transportation Atkins Abstract The switch to Eurocodes from April 2010 required the development and updating of many existing design tools. For many years Corus, and British Steel before them, have published preliminary design charts for steel-concrete composite highway bridges as part of their suite of design guidance for bridge engineers. These charts were originally developed using BS 5400 and the Highways Agency s Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB). This paper describes the development of a new set of charts based on the structural Eurocodes. The new charts take advantage of benefits in efficiency permitted by the Eurocodes and also extend the scope of the original charts. The process adopted to generate the data for the charts is described and the key differences between the BS 5400 design approach and the Eurocode approach are discussed. Chris Dolling Technical Development Manager The British Constructional Steelwork Association Project background Scope of the design charts The structural Eurocode program started in 1975 with the aim of removing technical barriers to trade in the European Union. The Eurocode parts and UK National Annexes required for bridge design have now all been published. Projects tendered after March 2010 under the EU Public Procurement Directive are required to use the Structural Eurocodes. A consequence of the change is that a large proportion of guidance and software currently available needs to be revised. This provides an opportunity to improve on existing design tools and enable more efficient designs. As part of the transition to the Eurocodes, Corus, the British Constructional Steelwork Association (BCSA) and the Steel Construction Institute (SCI) have revised the guidance they publish for bridge designers. This guidance includes a set of charts that can be used to establish the plate girder sizes for steel-concrete composite bridges 7. These can be used at the preliminary design stage to establish approximate steel quantities and to obtain initial sizing for design iteration. The original charts allow the user to obtain top and bottom flange areas and the web thickness for steel-concrete composite bridges designed to BS 5400 Part 5 1 using highways loading to the DMRB standard BD37/01 8. This paper describes the commission to revise these charts for design to the Eurocodes. The new charts are intended to complement the new versions of the SCI composite highway bridge design guides and it was ensured that the design practice used for the charts aligned with that given in the SCI publications. The updating of the charts provided an opportunity to extend their scope and accuracy and enhance their presentation with an electronic format which allows instant interpolation. The new charts allow for the preliminary design of multi girder bridges with any number of main beams (Figure 1) and ladder deck bridges with two main beams and regularly spaced cross girders (Figure 2). The scope of the new charts was established so that they cover most standard UK highway bridges. Table 1 summarises the scope of the charts. Both simply-supported and continuous spans are included in the charts. For continuous spans a separate girder section is given at the support and at midspan. A difference from the original charts, for multi girder bridges is that separate designs have been established for the outer girder supporting the parapet outstand and for the inner girders. The designer can select from two different highway live loading types. Load Model 1 in BS EN roughly corresponds with the HA only loading from BD37/01 and Load Model 3 is similar to HA and HB loading combined. 75

2 90 Preliminary steel concrete composite bridge Figure 1 - Multi girder bridge - typical cross section Figure 2 - Ladder deck bridge - typical cross section The charts give both elastic (noncompact) and plastic (compact) designs for all situations. For each individual bridge either an elastic or plastic design will be more efficient, this choice is left to the designer s discretion. An advantage of including both designs for all situations is that it allows interpolation between discrete values on the charts, which would be prevented by having a discontinuity at the point where either the elastic or plastic design becomes more efficient. Generating the charts - analysis Grillage models The original charts were derived using line beam analysis. To more accurately include the benefits of transverse distribution, the new charts are based on the results of a series of grillage analyses. The data for the charts was generated from a large number of grillage models. Figure 3 shows a typical model. Setting these up manually would have been extremely time consuming and so the process was automated. The grillages were generated using the finite element package LUSAS 9 which allows the use of visual basic scripting. A script was written which extracted the key dimensions and section properties of each grillage from a defining Excel spreadsheet and used these dimensions to create an appropriate grillage. This is worked in a similar manner to LUSAS s built in grillage wizard. The bespoke script then applied the loading, ran the analysis of the model and extracted the analysis results back into a spreadsheet. This process allowed a large number of similar grillages to be set up and analysed in turn with minimal user intervention. There were a number of assumptions about typical designs that needed to be made for all the grillage models. Typical dimensions for the slab concrete and reinforcement, surfacing and parapet edge beam were selected with reference to the SCI design examples. For the ladder deck bridges appropriate sizing for the crossbeam was established for different cross girder and main girder spacing ranges and these typical values were used in the grillage models. The details of these assumptions are provided with the final charts and summarised in Table 2. For the multi girder bridges the charts cover bridges with any number of multi girders. The results for the charts were extracted for one of the outer girders and the adjacent girder (see Figure 4). The grillage models were all set up with six main girders. This provided sufficient deck width for the effects of the parapet edge beam on the remote inner girders to be small. Figure 3 - Typical grillage model Figure 4 - Girders used for generating charts 76

3 Preliminary steel concrete composite bridge 90 Table 1 - Scope of charts Multi Girder Ladder deck Main girder spacing 2.5m 4m 5m 20m Span 15m 60m 15m 60m Span to Depth Ratio Cross girder spacing N/A 3m 4m Live loading Live loading was applied in accordance with BS EN and BS EN and the corresponding UK National Annexes. It was assumed that traffic loading would control the design and so this was factored as the leading variable action with other variable actions factored as combination effects in accordance with BS EN Combination factors and partial factors for each action were taken from Annex A2 of BS EN The two live loading cases provided in the charts are Load Model 1 and Load Model 3 (see Figure 5). Load Model 1 includes a uniformly distributed load (UDL) across the whole carriageway and tandem systems (TS) of different magnitudes applied to three lanes. The UK National Annex values calibrate the UDL to correspond approximately to BD37/01 HA loading. Load Model 3 includes, in addition to the UDL and tandem systems, a Special Vehicle (SV) and so is similar to HA with HB loading in BD 37/01. There is a variety of special vehicles detailed in the UK National Annex to EN SV196 (shown in Figure 6) was used for generating the charts as this most closely corresponds to the magnitude of HB loading to BD37/01 used for trunk roads. At the time the charts were produced a suitable commercial automatic load generation tool for Eurocode live loading was not yet available. The most adverse live loading arrangement is most efficiently established using influence surfaces. However, this method would have required a complex automation process to be developed. Instead, the live loading was generated by applying loading at all possible positions and enveloping the results to obtain the worst effects at specific locations. This increased the computational time and file sizes, but was considerably simpler to automate. If the UK National Annex is followed the magnitude of the Eurocode UDL is independent of loaded length and constant for all lanes and so this simplified approach was easier to adopt than it would have been with BD37/01 loading. The Eurocode does give scope for different UDLs in different lanes but this was avoided in the calibration of the UK National Annex. Continuous spans In order to obtain designs for hogging and sagging regions of continuous spans a basic span layout needed to be assumed. The arrangement used was a three span structure with end spans 70% the length of the central span. The section design at the pier support location was based on the load effects over the pier and the sagging spans section design was based on the load effects at midspan of the central span and the splice location between the two section types (see Figure 7). This arrangement gave reliable results for continuous bridges where the span Table 2 - Key assumptions for producing charts Key assumptions used to produce charts Slab/surfacing Steelwork Live loading General Deck slab: 250mm average thickness. Longitudinal deck reinforcement: 150mm centres top and bottom. Deck slab; C40/50 concrete No haunches on deck slab Parapet edge beam; 500mm x 500mm Cantilever; 1600mm wide 120mm thick surfacing Deck slab cast in one stage Steel grade S355 Minimum top flange width 350mm Transverse stiffeners; provided at lesser of 8m centres or 1/3 span length Torsional bracing; provided at transverse stiffeners locations Ladder decks cross girder dimensions based on assumed approximate sizes Footway: 2m wide Special Vehicle SV196 used in Load Model 3 Traffic loading is always the leading effect Single span designs are based on a single girder size throughout its length. Continuous span designs are based on 3 span models with side spans 70% the length of the central span. For continuous bridges splices located 0.2 x main span, either side of pier. The steelwork is unpropped during construction. The steel and deck act compositely for all superimposed loads. For lateral torsional buckling during the casting of the deck slab. It is assumed that the bracing at 8 m centres provides full torsional restraint. 77

4 90 Preliminary steel concrete composite bridge lengths are all roughly similar. In the grillages cracked section properties were used for a length of 0.15 x span either side of the internal supports. For the continuous spans the secondary effects of temperature and shrinkage were determined by the application of relaxation moments to the grillage models. Generating the charts section design The visual basic script file generated the grillage models, applied the loading, analysed the model and extracted the moments and shear forces to a spreadsheet. The plate girder sizes were then obtained using a design spreadsheet for each section. The various design checks: ULS shear; ULS moment; ULS shear moment interaction; SLS stresses; lateral torsional buckling. were programmed into the spreadsheets, so that a usage factor was returned for each check. The sections sizes were then obtained using a bespoke macro. The plate girder dimensions were gradually incremented from a minimum size, checking the usage factors at each stage until an optimised section was arrived at. The top flange was kept to a minimum practical width of 350 mm to allow sufficient space for the shear connectors to the concrete slab. Section classification BS 5400 divided plate girder sections into compact and non-compact classes. Compact sections can accommodate plastic compressive strains without local buckling whereas non-compact maximum moments of resistance are limited by first yield. The original plate girder design charts to BS 5400 were based on noncompact section designs. The new charts provide both compact and non-compact designs, although the terminology and treatment of section type in the Eurocodes is different. Sections are divided into four classes. Class 1 and 2 sections can reach their full plastic resistances and are equivalent to compact sections. Class 3 and 4 sections buckle before they Figure 5 - Arrangement of traffic live loading Figure 6 - Details of Special Vehicle 196 Figure 7 - Continuous span arrangement 78

5 Preliminary steel concrete composite bridge 90 reach their plastic resistances and their section design is limited to the material yield strength. The difference between Class 3 and 4 sections is that Class 3 sections reach their full elastic resistances, whilst Class 4 sections are so slender they buckle before their elastic resistances are reached. BS 5400 dealt with Class 4 sections by using a reduced plate thickness to obtain a reduced resistance. The Eurocodes use a reduced width or depth (introducing hypothetical holes into the cross section) to obtain the reduced strength. To obtain plastic designs for the charts the web was kept in Class 1 or 2 by maintaining a minimum web thickness. The flanges were kept within the Class 2 limits by keeping a constant outstand ratio. For the elastic designs the flanges were kept within the Class 3 limits for simplicity. Figure 8 - Typical chart for plate girder sizing Figure 9 - Typical chart for total steel girder area 79

6 90 Preliminary steel concrete composite bridge Class 4 webs were included where they give a smaller total steel area. Although the data for the charts were produced with an assumed flange width and thickness, the final charts only present a flange area and it is left to the designer to ensure the plate dimensions they choose for the flanges are within the section class limits. Shear lag The effective widths of the concrete flanges were reduced for shear lag to determine section properties for the grillage models and to calculate the section resistances. BS EN gives an effective width that varies linearly along the length of a bridge span. To simplify the modelling this linear variation was ignored and uniform effective widths were used for pier girder sections and span girder sections. In individual bridge designs shell elements can be used to model the deck slab eliminating the need to make reductions in section properties. This method requires more post processing to extract the moments and shears at a section and as the process was automated the simpler shear lag reduction approach was used. ULS shear check For stocky webs the shear resistance is independent of the web panel length. For more slender webs, where shear buckling can occur the shear resistance is dependent on the spacing of transverse stiffeners. To produce the girder designs an assumption on the spacing of transverse stiffeners was required. Based on typical standard practice in the UK, it was assumed that they would either be provided at one third points of the span, or at 8m intervals, whichever was smaller. The Eurocodes allow an increase in shear resistance based on the resistance of the flanges as well as the web. This was taken into account when determining the girder size, although it is generally a small benefit. ULS moment check The ULS moment resistance was calculated based on plastic section properties for the Class 1 and 2 sections and elastic section properties with any reduction required for local buckling for Class 3 and 4 sections. Figure 10 - Inputs for preliminary design spreadsheet Figure 11 - Elastic design outputs for preliminary design spreadsheet 80

7 Preliminary steel concrete composite bridge 90 ULS shear-moment interaction The approach for considering shearmoment interaction in the Eurocodes is different and less conservative than the equivalent method prescribed in BS For elastic section design the Eurocodes allow shear-moment interaction resistance checks to be based on the plastic moment resistance of the section, whilst in BS 5400 the interaction is based on the elastic resistance. This less conservative approach has been shown to be adequate in other studies 10. In this area the Eurocodes give a more efficient elastic girder design which helps to give more economic girder sizes in the charts. SLS stress checks The section sizes determined based on ULS checks were checked for SLS stress limits in the plate girder and slab. The primary stresses due to temperature, creep and shrinkage were added to stresses from the global effects determined from the grillage models. Lateral torsional buckling The Eurocode rules governing lateral torsional buckling (LTB) are based on first principles and are less prescriptive than the rules set out in BS The Eurocode approach encourages designers to use finite element models to determine elastic critical buckling resistance rather than empirical rules. The girder sizing established for the charts needed to be checked for LTB as this can often control plate sizes if excessive bracing is to be avoided. Due to the large number of cases investigated the most rigorous approach of using shell Finite Element (FE) models was not practical. Additionally, such an approach would also require extra parameters related to bracing spacing and stiffness to be assumed and the improved accuracy would be of limited general benefit. Instead, the empirical rules of BS 5400 were used to check the sections. This approach is described in the Published Document PD which accompanies BS EN It was assumed the bracing would be co-located with the transverse stiffeners and be fully rigid. This method provided a feasible, but not overly conservative, design. It has been shown 11 that the BS 5400 rules give more conservative results than can be obtained from using an FE model and EN In the detailed design stage the bracing spacing could be increased or less rigid bracing provided and the plate sizes given by the charts could still be valid. Iteration The section properties entered into the grillage models clearly have an influence on the design action effects extracted from them. The design process is thus iterative and the development of the preliminary design charts needed to account for this to obtain sufficient accuracy. As a starting point, a first set of grillages was created using section properties based on the original charts to BS The section designs obtained with the load effects from the first set of grillages were then used to create a second set of grillages and the sections re-designed using the updated forces from the subsequent models. No further iteration was deemed necessary within the accuracy of the preliminary design charts, although further economy may be possible for individual cases. Checking A number of checks were carried out to verify the sizing obtained for the charts. For a number of specific bridge layouts an independent team carried out a check of the dimensions obtained. This involved setting up separate models and carrying out independent section resistance checks. At a higher level the curves produced were checked against the existing curves to ensure the results were similar. Presentation of the charts The original BS 5400 charts consisted of a set of basic charts, from which the results needed to be multiplied by factors, obtained from another chart, to allow for girder spacing. As the new charts take into account transverse distribution more accurately, a similar girder spacing factor would be dependent on both girder spacing and the span. Without losing accuracy, or increasing the complexity of use, it was not possible to recreate this approach for the new charts. The charts are thus presented as a larger number of separate charts for each girder spacing. It is intended that interpolation between charts be undertaken for the design of non-standard girder spacings. Charts giving the required flange areas and web dimensions (Figure 8) are provided alongside charts giving the total section area (Figure 9) for each case considered. The total area charts can be used first to establish total steel quantities and whether the elastic or plastic design is more efficient. Following this, the other charts provide more detail on the girder sizing. In addition to the standard charts a software design tool was developed. Created as a simple spreadsheet, the designer inputs the arrangement of their bridge in the input cells as shown in Figure 10. The elastic and plastic designs are then provided in the format shown in Figure 11. The spreadsheet generates the design by automatically interpolating between the data that are presented in the charts. Using the charts Total steel areas For a given girder spacing, girder type, load model, span to depth ratio and span the total girder areas for an elastic and plastic design can be determined. Based on these the designer then chooses whether to use an elastic or plastic section. It should be noted that EN clause (2) limits the plastic bending resistance in a span girder to 0.9M pl,rd when elastic and plastic sections are mixed if the ratio of lengths of the spans adjacent to that support is less than 0.6. If this applies the size of the span girder would need to be increased slightly, as this has not been accounted for in the charts. If span to depth ratios or girder spacings are required which do not match the discrete values in the charts the elastic design or plastic design areas can be obtained by interpolating between charts. (The spreadsheet does this automatically.) The span to depth ratio given in the charts and spreadsheet tool is based on the total depth of the girder and slab, see Figure 12. For some of the shorter span arrangements the higher span to depth ratio of 30 did not give a viable design as the area 81

8 90 Preliminary steel concrete composite bridge Figure 12 - Depth used for span to depth ratio of steel required was very high. In these cases the charts have been curtailed and the uneconomically high steel areas are not shown. Plate girder sizes The individual flange areas and web thickness can be obtained from the plate size charts. The web depth is not given directly as it is a function of the span to depth ratio and span. When selecting the flange width and depth based on areas from the charts, the limits on flange outstands for elastic and plastic section given in Table 5.2 of EN should be taken into account. (The spreadsheet indicates compliance with this automatically.) Continuous spans Pier girder and internal span girder charts are provided for continuous spans. For end span girders (see Figure 7), suitable plate sizes can be obtained by looking up values for a span 25% greater than the actual end span and using the continuous span girder charts. Skew, Curved and Integral Bridges The charts are based on the grillage models of bridge decks with no skew or curvature and integral bridge effects have not been considered. The literature distributed with the charts gives some discussion on how these differences can be allowed for. It is important to note that little conservatism other than that required by the codes has been built into the charts, beyond general smoothing of the design curves. It has been left up to the chart user to add this at their discretion for cases outside the standard assumptions. In the case of bridge with a minor skew or curvature the charts could be used for initial sizing. Where these factors are more significant the charts still provide an order of magnitude or sanity check on any sizing determined by the designer. Conclusions The structural Eurocodes for steelconcrete composite bridge design differ from BS 5400 in a number of ways. In general these differences are based on advances in engineering understanding and adopting European best practice to allow more efficient designs to be prepared. In order to take benefit from these advances, and to assist in the change to Eurocodes, a new set of preliminary steel-concrete composite bridge design charts has been developed. By automating the processes required it was possible to carry out more refined analyses to obtain more realistic values for the charts. The results have been presented in a traditional chart format and have also been used to develop a spreadsheet design tool that gives preliminary sizing directly. Acknowledgements The authors gratefully acknowledge funding for this project provided by Corus and the British Steel Construction Association. References 1. BSI (British Standards Institution) (1978) BS 5400 : Steel, Concrete and Composite Bridges, Part 5 Code of Practice for Design of Composite Bridges. BSI, London. 2. BSI (British Standards Institution) (2002) BS EN 1990: Eurocode - Basis of structural design. BSI, London. 3. BSI (British Standards Institution) (2003) BS EN : Eurocode 1- Actions on Structures. Traffic loads on bridges. BSI, London. 4. BSI (British Standards Institution) (2005) BS EN : Eurocode 3- Design of steel structures. General rules and rules for buildings. BSI, London. 5. BSI (British Standards Institution) (2005) BS EN : Eurocode 4- Design of composite steel and concrete structures. General rules and rules for bridges. BSI, London. 6. BSI (British Standards Institution) (2008) PD Recommendations for the design of bridges to BS EN BSI, London 7. Corus Construction and Industrial (2005) Composite Steel Highway Bridges 8. Highways Agency, (2001) BD37/01 Loads for Highway Bridges, Design Manual for Roads and Bridges, Highways Agency, London 9. LUSAS Finite Element Analysis Software (2007) Finite Element Analysis Ltd, Kingston-upon-Thames. LUSAS Bridge Version Presta, F et al.: The Numerical validation of simplified theories for design rules of transversely stiffened plate girders, The Structural Engineer, Nov Hendy CR and Jones RP (2009) Lateral buckling of plate girders with flexible restraints. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Bridge Engineering 162(1):

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