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Influence of plastic hinge characteristics on bearing capacity curve of reinforced concrete bridge

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Document pages: 13 pages

Abstract: Pushover analysis is the most practical tool for nonlinear analysis of regular and irregular highway bridges in recent years. The nonlinear behavior of structural elements in such analysis can be modeled by automatic hinge or user-defined hinge model. The nonlinear characteristics of the user-defined hinge model of existing highway bridges can be determined according to the recommendations of the Federal Highway Administration (fhwa-srm) seismic reinforcement manual. Finite element software (such as SAP2000 software) provides a simpler and easier method to determine the nonlinear hinge characteristics through the automatic hinge model (automatically determined according to the component material and cross-section characteristics). However, the use of automation systems is uncertainhinge model in place of user-defined hinge model have never been addressed, especially for existing and widened bridges. In response to this need, pushover analysis was carried out for four old highway bridges, of which two were widened using the same superstructure but with more attention to seismic detailing requirements. The results of the analyses showed noticeable differences in the capacity curves obtained utilizing the user-defined and automated-hinge models. The study recommends that bridge design manuals clearly ask bridge designers to evaluate the deformation capacities of existing bridges and widened bridges using user-defined hinge model that is determined in accordance with the provisions of the FHWA-SRM.

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