Rollover stability of precast concrete beams supported by elastomeric bearing pads

Pablo Augusto Krahl, Ricardo Carrazedo, Mounir Khalil El Debs


During construction of precast girder bridges there is the concern on rollover instability of the beams when exclusively supported by elastomeric bearing pads. This type of failure has been the focus of recent research due several accidents reported. However, these studies have not considered the nonlinear behavior of elastomeric bearing pads and the lift-off effect. Therefore, this paper presents a parametric study with a finite element model calibrated with experimental results, reported in literature, through a geometrical nonlinear analysis and considering that concrete behaves linearly. Besides, the experimental results are compared to simplified approaches which account the pad nonlinear behavior and the lift-off effect by utilizing its secant rotational stiffness. From the results, the difference between the instability load from geometrical nonlinear analysis and experimental results was 8.7 % and the simplified eigenvalue solution and experimental was 11.4 %, which was the best fit compared to the other existing analytical models. From parametrical analysis, the instability load was considerably decreased by varying the initial lateral deflection, the pad skewed rotation, top flange width and the span of the beam.

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