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Sensors (Basel). 2019 Aug 29;19(17). pii: E3735. doi: 10.3390/s19173735.

Experimental and Numerical Investigation on the Ultimate Vertical Bearing Capacity of U-Shaped Girder with Damaged Web.

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Department of Bridge Engineering, School of Highway, Chang'an University, Xi'an 710064, China.
Beijing General Municipal Engineering Design & Research Institute Co., Ltd., Beijing 100866, China.
Department of Bridge Engineering, School of Civil Engineering, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing 100044, China.
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China.


U-shaped girder has been extensively used for its excellent adaptability in the urban railway transit system. As an open thin-walled structure, significant difference of working mechanism exists between U-shaped girder and conventional section girder (e.g., T section or box section). The thin-walled web plays significant role in the flexural performance of U type girder particularly. Moreover, severe collision may occur between the moving train and the girder, and subsequently results in the decrease of the structural bearing capacity. In this paper, a full-scale test was carried out to examine the ultimate bearing capacity and the failure mechanism of the U-shaped girder, and a refined numerical model was developed to simulate the damage evolution and the failure process. It was shown that the flexural failure occurred on the U-shaped girder under vertical loads. In addition, the ultimate bearing capacity of the structure under different web damage conditions (e.g., web damaged region or damaged range) was studied by applying the displacement based lateral load on the flange of the U-shaped girder to simulate the damage caused by accidental train collision. The numerical results have shown that the damaged web greatly affects the ultimate bearing capacity of U-shaped girder, more severe bearing capacity descending occurs around the middle span rather than the beam ends. The damaged range (length) of the web has less influence on the falling amplitude of bearing capacity. It can be concluded that the major reason accounting for the bearing capacity decrease is that the original section is weakened by the web damage, and consequently results in the buckling of the damaged web and lead to the total failure of the structure. It is recommended that the lateral resistant design for the web should be taken into consideration to ensure the operation safety of the urban railway transportation.


U-shaped girder; full-scale model test; numerical simulation; ultimate bearing capacity; web damage

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