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Title: Application of computational limit analysis to soil-structure interaction in masonry arch bridges
Author: Nguyen, Dong
ISNI:       0000 0004 2671 4597
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2009
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For the assessment of Masonry Arch Bridges (MAB), many structural and material models have been applied, ranging from sophisticated non-linear finite element analysis models to much simpler rigid-block limit analysis models. i.e. elastic and plastic methods respectively. The application of elastic analysis to MAB suffers many drawbacks since it requires full mechanical characterization of ancient masonry structures. The mechanical characterization of ancient masonry is difficult since these structures have typically undergone a century or more of environmental deterioration and in many cases have been already subjected to extensive modification. Also, sophisticated material models generally require specialized parameters that are hard to assess, particularly if non-destructive tests are used. In these cases practicing engineers typically favour simpler material models, involving fewer parameters. Thus non-linear finite element methods or other sophisticated models may not be a good choice for the assessment of MAB, while simplified approaches for example based on limit analysis principles are likely to be more appropriate. In this research. a holistic computational limit analysis procedure is presented which involves modelling both soil and masonry components explicitly. Masonry bridge parts are discretized using rigid blocks whilst the soil fill is discretized using deformable triangular elements and modelled a.'i a Mohr-Coulomb material with a tension cut-off. Lower and upper bound estimates of the collapse load are obtained. Results are compared with those from recently performed bridge tests carried out in collaboration with the University of Salford. A key project finding is that the use of peak soil strength parameters in limit analysis models is inappropriate when the soil is modelled explicitly. However, use of mobilized strengths appears to be a promising way forward, yielding much closer correlation with experimental data.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available