Numerical Validation of the Incremental Launching Method of a Steel Bridge Through a Small-Scale Experimental Study



R. Chacón,

Construction Engineering Department

Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. Barcelona Tech

Barcelona, Spain



This article presents an experimental and a numerical study of an incremental launching process of a steel bridge. The former is deployed in a scale-reduced laboratory, whereas the latter is performed using the finite element method. The numerical simulation is based upon realistic transient boundary conditions and accurately reproduces the elastic response of the steel bridge during launching. This numerical approach is validated experimentally with the scale-reduced test performed at the laboratory. The properly validated numerical model is subsequently systematically employed as a simulation tool of the process. The proposed simulation protocol might be useful for design and monitoring purposes of steel bridges to be launched. Results concerning strains, stresses, and displacements might be inferred from the model and thus compared to field measurements obtained in situ. The conditions presented at the end of the article are potentially useful for researchers and practice engineers alike.