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Title: Behaviour and analysis of a novel skew flexible concrete arch bridge
Author: McNulty, Paul
ISNI:       0000 0004 5371 6459
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2014
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Masonry arch bridge building declined considerably in· the twentieth century due to the development of faster methods of construction, such as reinforced concrete. However, in recent years, the repair and maintenance of bridge structures has become a major concern. The lower maintenance costs and longer 'design life of arch bridges over alternative bridge designs were key reasons in the selection of several arch bridges built towards the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty first century. The FlexiArch design allows a masonry arch system to be cost competitive with other forms of bridge systems while offering superior durability and lower long term maintenance. The aim of this research was to extend the knowledge of the FlexiArch bridge system into the behaviour of FlexiArch bridge systems with skew and to address the shortfalls found in the literature review. The literature review demonstrated that skew arches are complex 3D structures, and that the assumptions used in current 2D analysis methods to define the effects in the transverse direction often incorrectly predict the behaviour of the skew arch. This research investigated the behaviour of the skew FlexiArch bridge system through a detailed experimental test programme. The experimental test programme involved the design, construction and testing of five third scale skew FlexiArch bridge systems with varying angles of skew. As the skew angle was increased, and the square span and square width were kept constant, the peak load decreased. The skew arch systems transferred the load along the shortest load path; namely the square span direction where possible, or the shortest distance in the highly skewed arch systems. The experimental test data was compared against an analytical model and a 3D NLFEA model, which were found to accurately predict the behaviour of the skew arch.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available