Stiffness Method for Curved Box Girders at Initial Stress

by Zdeněk Bažant, (M.ASCE), Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL,
Mahjoub El Nimeiri, Struct. Analyst; Alfred Benesch & Co., Chicago, IL,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1974, Vol. 100, Issue 10, Pg. 2071-2090

Document Type: Journal Paper


A method of analysis of the global behavior of long curved or straight single-cell girders with or without initial stress is presented. It is based on thin-wall beam elements that include the modes of longitudinal warping and of transverse distortion of cross section. Deformations due to shear forces and transverse bimoment are included, and it is found that the well-known spurious shear stiffness in very slender beams is eliminated by virtue of the fact that the interpolation polynomials for transverse displacements and for longitudinal displacements (due to rotations and warping) are linear and quadratic, respectively, and an interior mode is used. The element is treated as a mapped image of one parent unit element and the stiffness matrix is in integration in three dimensions, which is numerical in general, but could be carried out explicitly in special cases. Numerical examples of deformation of horizontally curved bridge girders, and of lateral buckling of box arches, as well as straight girders, validate the formulation and indicate good agreement with solutions by other methods.

Subject Headings: Girder bridges | Shear deformation | Numerical methods | Stiffening | Curvature | Box girders | Stress analysis | Beams

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