Structural modelling of suspension bridges with particular reference to the humber bridge
The purpose of this research was to investigate the parameters that influence the structural behaviour of a specific suspension bridge, The Humber Bridge. Three finite element computer models of increasing complexity were created for the analyses. They were validated against field measurements for both static and dynamic loading, and good correlation was obtained. The programs were used to a) Assess the integrity of the bridge as a whole were three failures of certain individual elements, such as a hanger falling under vehicle impact; b) Determine the influence of the sizing of individual components, such as deck plate thickness or main cable diameter, on overall behaviour; c) ascertain the capability of the structure to cope with loading (traffic, wind orthermal), above the original design values; and d) consider the performance of the bridge had other configurations of hangers been adopted in the original design. From the results of this work, recommendations are made which could influence the future design of long-span suspension bridges.