American Society of Civil Engineers


Static Finite-Element Analysis of Bridge Fenders for Barge Impact


by Claudia Mara Dias Wilson, M.ASCE, (Grad. Res. Asst., Civ. and Envir. Engrg. Dept., Florida A&M Univ.—Florida State Univ. Coll. of Engrg., 2525 Pottsdamer St., Tallahassee, FL 32310. E-mail: cwilson@eng.fsu.edu), Nur Yazdani, P.E., F.ASCE, (Prof., Civ. and Envir. Engrg. Dept., Florida A&M Univ.—Florida State Univ. Coll. of Engrg., 2525 Pottsdamer St., Tallahassee, FL 32310. E-mail: yazdani@eng.fsu.edu), and Jerry Wekezer, P.E., F.ASCE, (Prof. and Chair., Civ. and Envir. Engrg. Dept., Florida A&M Univ.—Florida State Univ. Coll. of Engrg., 2525 Pottsdamer St., Tallahassee, FL 32310. E-mail: wekezer@eng.fsu.edu)

Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities, Vol. 15, No. 3, August 2001, pp. 90-95, (doi:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)0887-3828(2001)15:3(90))

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: Fender systems between channel piers are currently required by the U.S. Coast Guard for guidance of vessels under bridges. Because their only function is to guide the vessels through navigational channels under the bridges, these fender systems are not designed to withstand any lateral impact. The objective of this paper is to analyze the possibility of transforming bridge fender systems into pier protection against barge impact. A finite-element model of the fenders currently used by the Florida Department of Transportation was created using ANSYS software and subjected to a static load equivalent to the barge impact force. Because it may be uneconomical and impractical for fenders to be designed to withstand the total barge impact forces, they were also tested for 33% of such load. The results show that the fender systems currently used by the Florida Department of Transportation are too weak to function as bridge protection systems because they are unable to resist even 33% of the impact force without total destruction of the system.


ASCE Subject Headings:
Finite element method
Fenders
Bridges
Substructures
Barges