Numerical and Experimental Assessment of a Typical Brazilian footbridge

Graciela Doz, José Luís Vital de Brito, Andrea Brasiliano


For the range of medium spans, around 30 to 40 m, composite footbridges are getting popular in Brazil. This kind of structure consists on longitudinal steel truss beams providing support for a concrete deck usually made of precast elements. Typical examples of these structures may be found in many cities in Brazil, especially in Brasilia where a large number of highways demanded a significant set of footbridges. Due to the amount of this kind of composite footbridges in Brazil, studies concerning their mechanical behavior are required in order to ensure pedestrian’s safety. For this end, in this paper, a typical Brazilian composite footbridge located in Brasilia is analyzed by means of experimental tests and computational modeling. The focus is the determination of natural frequencies and mode shapes. Strategies to correctly obtain the vertical modes are also discussed since vertical vibration is the main vibration problem expected for the tested footbridge. The obtained results showed that structural balance between stiffness and mass leads to natural frequencies out of the critical frequency range excited by pedestrians in normal use. Moreover, Finite Element models were evaluated comparing complexity versus accuracy to predict modal parameters.

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