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Implications of seismic pounding on the longitudinal response of multi-span bridges an analytical perspective

Reginald DesRoches and Susendar Muthukumar

Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Atlanta, GA 30332-0355, USA

Abstract: Seismic pounding between adjacent frames in multiple-frame bridges and girder ends in multi-span simply supported bridges has been commonly observed in several recent earthquakes. The consequences of pounding include damage to piers, abutments, shear keys, bearings and restrainers, and possible collapse of deck spans. This paper investigates pounding in bridges from an analytical perspective. A simplified nonlinear model of a multiple-frame bridge is developed including the effects of inelastic frame action and nonlinear hinge behavior, to study the seismic response to longitudinal ground motion. Pounding is implemented using the contact force-based Kelvin model, as well as the momentum-based stereomechanical approach. Parameter studies are conducted to determine the effects of frame period ratio, column hysteretic behavior, energy dissipation during impact and near source ground motions on the pounding response of the bridge. The results indicate that pounding is most critical for highly out-of-phase frames and is not significant for frame period ratios greater than 0.7. Impact models without energy dissipation overestimate the displacement and acceleration amplifications due to impact, especially for elastic behavior of the frames. Representation of stiffness degradation in bridge columns is essential in capturing the accurate response of pounding frames subjected to far field ground motion. Finally, it is shown that strength degradation and pounding can result in significant damage to the stiffer frames of the bridge when subjected to large acceleration pulses from near field ground motion records.

Keywords: seismic pounding; adjacent structures; contact element method; stereomechanical approach; multiple-frame bridge; nonlinear hinge behavior

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Copyright 2009 IEM. Journal of Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Vibration. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise, except as described below, without written permission from the Publisher. Copying of articles is not permitted except for personal and internal use, to the extent permitted by national copyright law, or under the terms of a license issued by the National Reproduction Rights Organization of China.