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Engineering Structures

journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/engstruct

cantilever bridges

Richard Malm , Hkan Sundquist

Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden

article

info

Article history:

Received 21 January 2009

Received in revised form

24 July 2009

Accepted 22 December 2009

Available online 15 January 2010

Keywords:

Balanced cantilever

Segmental construction

Cast-in-place

Creep

Shrinkage

Deflection

abstract

Segmentally constructed concrete cantilever bridges often exhibit larger deflections than those predicted

by the design calculations. The slender and long spans in combination with the fact that permanent loads

are only partially compensated for by prestressing are reasons for the large deflections that increase

during the life time of the bridge, although at a decreasing rate. The rate of drying shrinkage may be one

reason for the accelerating displacement of cast-in-place bridges. The construction of continuous spans

instead of introducing joints has both comfort and durability advantages. The continuous span is however

more complicated to design, and secondary restraint moments due to creep, shrinkage and thermal

effects develop at the connection. The results of analyses of the stepwise cast-in-place construction of

a balanced cantilever bridge with time-dependent material properties show both higher deflection than

those originally assumed in the design calculations and high stresses in the webs due to stressing of the

tendons in the bottom flange. The analyses show significant effects of creep during cantilevering and of a

non-uniform drying shrinkage rate on the continuous bridge.

2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction

Prestressed segmentally constructed concrete bridges are

sensitive to a long-term increase in deflection and are often subjected to an increasing long-term deflection. The total vertical

displacement of such bridges is a result of a large downward displacement due to the dead load, live loads and a large upward

displacement due to prestress. The long-term increase in displacements is of great importance for the serviceability, durability and

reliability. Due to this, it is important to be able to obtain accurate

predictions of the deformation of these bridges during construction and their service life. Several bridges have been closed or repaired due to excessive deflection before the end of their initially

assumed service life. The cost of a reduced service life is tremendous for society, the owners and users.

Box-girder bridges are traditionally analysed according to

theory of bending where the cross-sections are assumed to remain

plane. This theory is, however, too simplified to capture the

deformation of boxgirder bridges accurately. The main deficiency

of this theory is that it cannot capture the shear lag effect in the

slabs due to the dead weight and the prestress. The shear lag

causes a nonlinear distribution of normal stresses over the top

and bottom flanges in the cross-section. Neglecting the shear lag

effect may lead to a considerable underestimation of the long-term

E-mail address: Richard.Malm@byv.kth.se (R. Malm).

0141-0296/$ see front matter 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

doi:10.1016/j.engstruct.2009.12.030

consisting of shell or solid elements can automatically capture the

effect of shear lag and can also capture the effects of differential

shrinkage and drying creep if suitable material descriptions are

used.

Few examples where time-dependent effects have resulted in

cracking in cast-in-place balanced cantilever bridges are found

in the literature. The literature regarding time-dependent effects

in this type of bridge mainly focuses on large long-term deflections [15]. In the study of Kristek and Vrablik [6], a program to

optimize the tendon layout to counteract the increasing long-term

deflections is presented. Previous stepwise analyses of balanced

cantilever bridges include visco-elastic creep, but do not include a

non-uniform shrinkage rate, in studies of precast concrete [7] and

with the prestressing implemented as equivalent nodal forces [8].

After only a few years of service, two similar bridges in Sweden, both segmentally constructed with the balanced cantilever

technique, had to be closed to traffic due to extensive cracking in

the webs. The hypothesis is that the cracks in these bridges are

due to the stressing of the tendons in the bottom flange in combination with the fact that there are no tendons in the web. The

purpose of this paper is to report a study of the influence of timedependent effects in the construction stage. It is particularly important to study which effects are likely to cause cracking and must

therefore be included in order to create an accurate model that

can describe the cracking. This study is based on a finite element

analysis of a segmentally constructed balanced cantilever bridge

that describes the stepwise construction with the nonlinear timedependent development of the material properties.

0

H1

V1

12 13

1039

10

6

34

34

33

33

32

9

74

120

70

54

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

2

2

2

2

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

4

Fig. 2. Elevation of the Grndal bridge with the tendon arrangement and the extent of cracking on the web facing south.

The Grndal bridge and the Alvik bridge had to be closed to traffic due to extensive cracking in the web of their boxgirder sections. These cracks were first found only a few years after service.

The bridges are parts of the light-rail commuter line in Stockholm,

Sweden. The inclined web cracks were first observed in an inspection only 2 years after completion. Subsequent bridge inspections

showed that the cracks were increasing both in number and in

size. The largest cracks were observed near the quarter-point of

the webs at the inside of the boxgirder section and they were up

to 0.6 mm wide. Since the webs were more cracked on the inside

of the boxgirder section it was considered probable that thermal

effects, under summer conditions, might be one of the factors causing the cracks. The designers feared that a shear failure might be

imminent unless the bridges were closed to traffic. The inclined

web cracks were initially assumed to jeopardise the ultimate limit

safety. During a temporary closure, the bridges were strengthened.

Information regarding the strengthening using a combination of

carbon-fibre laminates and vertical Dywidag tendons can be found

in the literature [911]. A previous investigation [12] suggested

that the cracking was due to inadequate shear reinforcement in the

webs in the serviceability limit state.

Both the Grndal bridge and the Alvik bridge are prestressed

continuous hollow boxgirder bridges. The Grndal bridge consists

of 11 spans with a total length of 430 m. Fig. 1 shows the

elevation of this bridge. The main and the two adjacent spans were

constructed with the balanced cantilever construction technique

while the side spans were erected span by span on a supporting

scaffold. Ten of the twelve piers of the Grndal bridge have a rock

foundation while the remaining two piers are built on piles. The

highest pier on the Grndal bridge is 34 m.

The cross-sectional height of the superstructure is approximately 7.50 m above the piers and about 2.75 m in the mid-span.

The webs are relatively slender with a thickness of 0.35 m and have

a rather low amount of reinforcement: horizontal reinforcement

with a diameter of 12 mm and 200 mm spacing and vertical web

reinforcement with a diameter of 16 mm and 200 mm spacing. The

amount of reinforcement is increased in the mid-span to a diameter of 20 mm in the horizontal bars. Prestressing cables are provided in the upper flange as they are necessary in the construction

stage, and the cables in the bottom flange are post-tensioned after

the completion of the superstructure when the centre segment is

cast. The tendon arrangement for the main-span is shown in Fig. 2

together with a sketch of the extent of cracking in the web.

1.2. Balanced cantilever construction

The principle of the free cantilever construction method is that a

previously cast segment serves as the work basis for the execution

of the next segment. A form traveller is attached to the previously

cast segment and carries the form work for the new segment that

is to be cast. An illustration of a form traveller is shown in Fig. 4.

According to Hewson [13], the weight of the traveller used for insitu construction with the balanced cantilever technique is usually

40120 tonnes for spans between 50 and 200 m. This interval in

the weight of traveller is slightly smaller according to Takcs [3]

where it typically weights 500900 kN. After a segment is poured

the traveller remains as a support for the newly cast segment

until it has reached sufficient strength and can be stressed to

the existing cantilever arm with post-tensioned tendons anchored

in the new segment [14]. To compensate for the long-term

deflections, an upward displacement during cantilevering occurs

due to tensioning of the tendons. These planned displacements are

commonly referred to as camber.

The main-span of the Grndal bridge was symmetrically cast

from piers seven and eight, see Fig. 1. The cantilever arms consist

of 13 segments, each 4 m long, from the piers, and where two

adjacent cantilevers meet they are joined with one 1.4 m long

centre segment to close the structure. The segments were cast with

a travelling form at intervals of 1 week.

2. Finite element analysis

The analyses presented in this paper have been performed with

the finite element (FE) software Abaqus/Standard 6.7 [15]. The

modelling approach used is a three-dimensional model using shell

1040

A

SECTION

A-A

of shear lag. A numerical analysis with the program is divided into

steps, each corresponding to a load change from one magnitude to

another. In this case, a step represents the casting of one segment.

The segmental casting has been modelled in separate steps where

new elements have been introduced into the model in each step.

The newly introduced elements are given material properties that

develop over time to describe that the concrete cures. The FE model

used for the analysis consists of shell elements in the main and the

two adjacent spans. The remaining spans and all piers have been

defined as beam elements, as shown in Fig. 3.

2.1. Evolution of material properties

There are several material properties and phenomena that have

some effect on the response of the structure. The evolution of

material parameters such as the elastic modulus, creep, relaxation

and shrinkage has been described according to the methods in the

design codes CEB-FIP Model Code 1990 [16] and Eurocode 2 [17].

One major problem with most concrete material models used

to describe creep is that they cannot be combined with the

material models used to describe cracking. This is the case with the

visco-elastic material model, visco in Abaqus, which cannot be

combined with the material model suitable for describing concrete

cracking, concrete damaged plasticity in Abaqus. This

means that to analyse the effects of creep and cracking, some

strategy to compensate for this has to be adopted. The study

presented in this paper focuses on identifying the time-dependent

effects that have to be included to accurately describe the cracking

that occurred in the Grndal bridge.

2.1.1. Elastic modulus

In this construction process, the concrete is loaded at an early

age, where the concrete has to carry a load at a low degree of

maturity. Concrete increases in strength and stiffness as a result

of curing. At an early age, the strength and stiffness increase

quickly and the increase then gradually stagnates but does not stop

completely.

analyses, the evolution of the elastic modulus was implemented

according to the CEB-FIP Model Code 1990, [16]. The material

properties corresponding to a concrete age of 28 days can be

calculated based on the compressive strength according to

Ec = E

1/3

fcm

(1)

fcm0

days (MPa), E = 2.15 104 (MPa), fcm is the compressive strength

of concrete at an age of 28 days (MPa) and fcm0 = 10 (MPa).

When an elastic analysis is performed, a lower value of the

modulus of elasticity should be used to take into account the initial

plastic cracking due to the plastic shrinkage. It is suggested that

this is done by decreasing the elastic modulus according to Ecs =

0.85Ec , where Ecs is the secant modulus of elasticity in the elastic

range for concrete.

To take into account concrete of an arbitrary age, the timedependent function may be used:

r

Ec ( t ) =

s 1

exp

28

t

Ecs

(2)

depending on the cement type and is equal to 0.20 for rapidly

hardening cement for high strength concrete, 0.25 for normal and

rapidly hardening cement and 0.38 for slowly hardening cement.

The implemented development of the elastic modulus is illustrated in Fig. 5(a). The calculation is based on average values of the

compressive strength of 10 specimens made from the concrete mix

used in the Grndal bridge. To include the increase in elastic modulus in the finite element analysis, a field variable was introduced

that described the evolution. The field variable was defined to correspond to the time after casting for each segment in the FE analysis. After a new segment had been introduced, the material was

given an initial elastic modulus which increased as the total time

in the analysis increased, as shown in Fig. 5(a).

1041

Fig. 5. Development of (a) elastic modulus, (b) creep coefficient, (c) shrinkage strain and (d) non-uniform shrinkage rate.

2.1.2. Shrinkage

Shrinkage has been implemented according to Eurocode 2 [17]

where the total shrinkage is the sum of the autogenous and the

drying shrinkage. The drying shrinkage is defined as

cd = ds (t , t0 )kh cd,0

(3)

with

ds (t , t0 ) =

(4)

(t ts ) + 0.04 h3

ds2 ffcm

c0

(5)

with

RH = 1.55 1

100

3 !

(6)

h = 2Ac /u is the notional size of the structural member (mm),

Ac is the area of the cross-section (mm2 ), u is the perimeter of

the cross-section in contact with the atmosphere (mm), fcm is the

average compressive strength of concrete at an age of 28 days

(MPa), fcm0 = 10 (MPa), ds1 and ds2 are coefficients depending

on the cement type and are equal to 6 and 0.11 respectively for

rapidly hardening high strength cement, 4 and 0.12 respectively for

normal and rapidly hardening cement and 3 and 0.13 respectively

for slowly hardening cement.

The autogenous shrinkage strain develops due to chemical

reactions during hardening in the early age concrete. Autogenous

(8)

and

(7)

where

as = 1 exp0.2

RH

ca (t ) = as (t )ca ()

ca () = 2.5(fck 10) 106

t ts

against older already hardened concrete [3,17]. It can, according

to [17], be expressed as

(9)

load in a FE analysis. When shrinkage is introduced in the FE

analyses, differential shrinkage between the segments is always

considered. The most common option when including shrinkage

is to assume that the shrinkage is constant over the cross-section.

In this case, the bottom flange is at most five times thicker than

the top flange. This will have a considerable effect on the time the

drying shrinkage occurs, but the drying creep will not be affected

as much, according to Bazant and Bajewa [18]. Kristek et al. [4]

describe a case where the bottom flange is almost twice as high

as that in the Grndal bridge and the top flange is of comparable

thickness. The difference in drying creep for these two flange

thicknesses is less than 10%.

In the following analyses, two approaches have been made

to study the influence of shrinkage. In the first approach, each

segment is assigned a single shrinkage curve for the whole crosssection, i.e. one notational size for the whole cross-section of each

segment, as shown in Fig. 5(c). In the second approach, referred

to as a non-uniform shrinkage rate, the webs, the top and bottom

1042

shown in Fig. 5(d). The notational size is calculated separately for

these parts in the cross-section to include the effect of thickness

dependence on the drying shrinkage. A similar approach was

made in [3], with satisfactory accuracy compared to the more

advanced creep and shrinkage model B3 developed in [18]. The

shrinkage strain is represented by a corresponding temperature

and introduced into the finite element model, where negative

temperatures are introduced to describe shrinkage.

2.1.3. Creep

Creep is accounted for by using the description in CEB-FIP

Model Code 1990, [16]. Model Code was also used by the company

designing the bridges. The creep coefficient is calculated as

(t , t0 ) = 0 c (t t0 )

0 = RH (fcm )(t0 )

(11)

with

1 RH /100

(12)

0.46(h/100)1/3

(fcm ) =

5.3

(13)

fcm /10

(t0 ) =

1

0.1 +

(14)

t0

c (t t0 ) =

0.3

t t0

(15)

H + t t0

with

H = 150 1 + 1.2

RH

100

18 !

E0

3(1 2)

h

100

+ 250 1500.

E0

2(1 + )

KR ( t )

K0

E0

2(1+)(1+(t ,t0 ))

E0

2(1+)

E0

3(12)(1+(t ,t0 ))

E0

3(12)

(19)

(1 + (t , t0 ))

1

(1 + (t , t0 ))

(20)

2.1.4. Relaxation

The relaxation of the prestressing tendons can be defined with

the same visco-elastic material model that is used to define creep

in concrete. The relaxation has been implemented according to

Eurocode 2 [17] where, for low relaxation wire and strands, the

relaxation loss can be calculated according to

1pr

= 0.66 105 1000 exp9.1

pi

kR (t ) =

(17)

(18)

parameters in Abaqus: by direct specification of the prony series,

by inclusion of creep data, by inclusion of relaxation test data or by

inclusion of frequency-dependent data obtained from sinusoidal

oscillation experiments. In the present case, the relaxation test

data were used to specify the visco-elastic behaviour. The

normalised shear and bulk moduli, gR (t ) and kR (t ), were defined

as functions of the creep coefficient:

t

1000

0.75(1)

(21)

prestress, pi is the absolute value of the initial prestress for posttensioning, t is the time after tensioning (in h), = pi /fpk where

fpk = 1770 (MPa) is the characteristic value of the tensile strength

of the prestressing steel, and 1000 = 2.5% is the value of relaxation

loss at 1000 h after tensioning and at an average temperature of

+ 20 C.

Relaxation is implemented as relaxation test data, with the

normalized shear and bulk moduli, gR (t ) and kR (t ), defined as

functions of the relaxation loss

(16)

G0 =

G0

behaviour in the FE analysis is shown for one segment in Fig. 5(b).

The creep is calculated based on a notional size for each segment.

The creep behaviour is included in the material definition of

the finite element model. This will lead to each element having

different creep strains depending on when introduced into the

model and their stress level. This will result in different amount

of creep strains over the cross-section of the segments.

gR (t ) =

different material models, either the material model creep or by

using a visco-elastic description, visco. According to [19], the

material model creep in Abaqus is not suitable for the analysis

of concrete if the stresses vary and especially not if it involves

unloading. Because of this, creep has in this study been included

in the model with the visco-elastic material definition visco

and a quasi-static numerical integration. The visco-elastic material

has been defined assuming a constant bulk modulus, i.e. a timeindependent dilatational response according to the expression:

K0 =

kR (t ) =

GR (t )

(10)

time function describing the development of creep with time. The

notional creep coefficient is estimated as

RH = 1 +

gR (t ) =

GR (t )

G0

KR ( t )

K0

=1

(22)

= 1 .

(23)

The relaxation is included in the material properties for the tendons. The prestress loss may be higher than predicted by textbook

formulas that is why the total loss of prestress is calculated in the

analysis where it is dependent on the creep and shrinkage of the

concrete.

2.2. Segmental construction phase

The segmental construction has been performed in the finite

element analyses where the whole structure was initially modelled

with the geometry of the planned final structure according to the

construction drawings. As a first step, all elements in the cantilever

arms were deactivated, i.e. removed from the calculation. In

subsequent steps, the casting sequence in the cantilevering process

was simulated, the corresponding segments being activated in

the finite element model. The elements are activated with the

Abaqus command with strain so that they are added at a

zero state in a smooth conjunction with previously cast segments.

Each calculation step corresponds to 1 week to simulate the

casting sequence and the development of the material properties.

The elements are introduced in the beginning of each step with

their dead weight and a low value of the elastic modulus. As the

calculation of the step progresses, the concrete cures and as a result

the elastic modulus, creep and shrinkage increase. In the beginning

of the next step, this segment is post-tensioned and a new segment

1043

segment is performed after approximately 5 days of curing, but in

the model it has been introduced instantaneously in the beginning

of the subsequent step. This reduces the number of steps needed

in the analysis. During this second step, the first cast segment

develops its material properties from 7 to 14 days and the newly

cast segment develops from young concrete to the properties that

corresponds to 7 days of curing. This procedure is then continued

throughout the cantilevering process. After the completion of the

structure and the cast centre segment, the tendons in the bottom

flange are post-tensioned.

2.3. Post-tensioning

After each segment is cast, two tendons in the upper flange

are post-tensioned symmetrically above each web. A sketch of the

tensioning scheme is shown in Fig. 2. Each tendon is tensioned with

a force of 2377 kN except for the tendons anchored closest to the

main-span which are tensioned with a force of 2327 kN. Each wire

consists of 12 strands with a diameter of 16 mm.

All tendons have been modelled as separate truss elements. If

prestress is defined, and unless it is held fixed, it will be allowed to

change during an equilibrating static analysis step. This is a result

of the straining of the structure as the self-equilibrating stress state

establishes itself. An example is the pretension type of concrete

prestressing in which reinforcing tendons are initially stretched

to the desired tension before being covered by concrete. After

the concrete cures and bonds to the tendon, release of the initial

tension transfers the load and introduces compressive stresses in

the concrete. The resulting deformation in the concrete reduces

the stress in the tendon. The post-tensioning effect of concrete

prestressing where the tendons are allowed to slide through the

concrete in conduits and where the prestress loading is maintained

by an external source, the prestressing jacks. In order to simulate

this in the FE analysis, the command prestress hold is used

to indicate that the initial stress in the tendons should remain

constant during the initial equilibrium calculation, [15].

stages in relation to the weight of the travelling form.

3. Results

To study the influence of the different time-dependent material properties and effects, several different models have been performed. It is of interest to study their impact on the deflections and

the stresses in the cantilevers during the construction process. It is

especially of interest to see if the built-in stresses from tensioning, the bottom tendons could be sufficient to initiate cracking in

the webs. The development of the elastic modulus, creep, weight of

the form traveller, relaxation and shrinkage have all been studied

separately as well as their combined effect.

3.1. Camber

The calculated camber of the two cantilevers on each side of

pier 8 is shown in Fig. 6 for a visco-elastic model, with creep and

shrinkage included, depending on the weight of the traveller. The

weight of the newly cast segment is included in all the calculations.

Hence, the total load shown in the legend of the figure is the load

of the traveller and does not include the weight of the newly cast

concrete. The interval of the load of the traveller shown in the

figure is between 200 and 1000 kN. In the figure, the displacement

measured in-situ is also shown. It can be seen that some of the

segments of the cantilever 8V08V13 cast in-situ deviated from

an ideal curve, and hence they had to be corrected to get back on

track. The index 8V08V13 refers to the cantilever segments 013

cast from pier 8 towards the main-span, i.e. on the left-hand side

of pier 8 in Fig. 2.

stages depending on material properties included in the analysis.

traveller load is 200 instead of 1000 kN, which corresponds to a

change in the displacement of 30 mm. The difference in camber

is less than 10 mm in Fig. 6 for loads of 400 and 600 kN. The

weight of the travellers used for construction of the Grndal bridge

correspond to a load of 480 kN according to the design company,

and this value is used in all the following analyses.

Fig. 7 shows the effect of camber depending on the material

properties included in the analysis. All models include the evolution of the elastic modulus, and creep, shrinkage and relaxation

are also considered. It can be seen in the figure that shrinkage

has a rather small impact on the displacement during cantilevering, regardless of whether non-uniform shrinkage over the crosssection is considered. This was expected since the restraint from

shrinkage has a small impact while the cantilevers have a free end.

Shrinkage will have a larger impact when the centre segment of the

cantilevers is cast. The relaxation of the tendons has also a small

impact on the camber. A comparison of the camber in analyses

with and without creep shows that creep plays an important role

1044

Fig. 8. Elevation of the bridge after closing the structure. The zero level corresponds

to the elevation according to the construction drawings.

that creep has a large effect during cantilevering. At the time when

the centre segments are cast, the first cast segments have reached

approximately 60% of their final creep, because a substantial part

of the load originates from the dead weight. The models including

creep receive a higher camber and, for the configuration shown in

the figure, the camber decreases by approximately 30% if the creep

is neglected.

3.2. Construction phase

The tensile stresses are relatively low in the webs during the

casting of the cantilever arm, except for the upper part of the

web where large shear stresses are present due to the prestressing

forces. After casting the centre segment and thereby changing the

system to a statically indeterminate one, restraints are introduced

which lead to high stresses that would initiate bending cracks

in mid-span. After this, the tendons in the bottom flange are

post-tensioned which reduces the stresses in these regions as the

structure moves upward. After completion of the superstructure,

rather high stresses occur in the webs near the location of the

anchorage blocks as the tendons in the bottom flange are stressed.

In this model, the actual dimensions of the anchorage blocks are

not included. Henceforth the stresses in the bottom flange are

higher than would actually occur. It can be seen that the posttensioning of the bottom tendons increases the stresses in the webs

in segments 410, i.e. those near the quarter-point. The principal

tensile stresses in these regions are inclined, and this would initiate

flexural-shear cracks. The principal compressive stress direction

is about 25 in relation to the horizontal plane at the centre of

gravity in the web of these segments after the bottom tendons

have been tensioned. According to [9], observations showed that

the inclination of the cracks in the Grndal bridge was between

2030 near the quarter-point of the span. In the crack pattern of

the Grndal bridge, several of the cracks begin at the transition

between segments and on the anchorage blocks at the bottom

flange. This indicates that the cracks have initiated as a result of

tensioning the bottom tendons.

The calculated displacement of the bridge just after the completion of the superstructure by casting the centre segment is

shown in Fig. 8. The zero level deflection is defined as the elevation

Fig. 9. Elevation of the bridge after stressing the tendons in the bottom flange. The

zero level corresponds to the elevation according to the construction drawings.

include the development of the elastic modulus. The model

including creep, shrinkage and relaxation has a mid-span displacement that is about twice as high as that without creep and shrinkage. The models that includes either creep or shrinkage show a

displacement that is intermediate between the models with and

without these two combined effects. The separate studies of creep

and shrinkage yield almost the same deflection at this construction

stage. The curves denoted shrinkage include non-uniform shrinkage between the segments, and the curves denoted non-uniform

shrinkage rate also include different shrinkage rates for the top

flange, web and bottom flange in each segment. It can be seen

in Figs. 89 that there is only a small difference between uniform shrinkage for the whole cross-section and the case where

the shrinkage rate is dependent on the thickness of each part in

the cross-section. After the tendons in the bottom flange are posttensioned, the bridge moves upward, as shown in Fig. 9. The models that include creep will be most affected by the prestressing and

thereby deflect more than the models that neglect creep. The upward displacement will later decrease as the ballast is applied and

due to creep and shrinkage, as shown in Fig. 10. The model that

includes the combined effect of creep and shrinkage has a larger

deflection than would be obtained by superposition of the two separate effects. This shows that a simple superposition of the two

effects will not give an accurate estimation of the deflection. The

combined effect of shrinkage and creep also gives a larger deflection after the tendons in the bottom flange are post-tensioned than

that given by the two effects separately.As seen in the figure, this

can result in quite a large difference since the size of the creep is

dependent on the stress level. Despite this, it is often be neglected

in design calculations.

Non-uniform shrinkage due to a large difference in the shrinkage rates of the members in the cross-section is, according to [4],

the main reason for the increasing displacement of the segmentally cast boxgirder bridges. It can be seen in Fig. 10 that the nonuniform drying shrinkage has a large impact on the deflection after

2 years. Directly after completing the structure, the difference is

rather small but it increases with time until all the members have

reached their final shrinkage. It is important to remember that the

shrinkage still has not ended after 2 years, especially not in the

thick bottom flange which has only reached approximately half its

final shrinkage.

1045

Multiple section points

+3.00

(Avg: 75%)

+2.75

+2.50

+2.25

+2.00

+1.75

+1.50

+1.25

+1.00

+0.75

+0.50

+0

Y

Z

Fig. 11. Tensile stresses in the cantilevers after stressing the bottom tendons.

Fig. 10. Elevation of the bridge after 2 years including the load of ballast. The zero

level corresponds to the elevation according to the construction drawings.

The results show that to create a finite element model of

the Grndal bridge that can accurately describe the cracking in

the webs, the time-dependent effects have to be taken into account. Both creep and shrinkage have a large impact during

the construction process and models that neglect these effects

underestimate the cracking. Creep is important already during cantilevering and, in the case of the Grndal bridge, neglecting this

effect resulted in an underestimation of the deflections of the cantilever of approximately 30%. Creep is of even greater importance

for the long-term displacements. After 2 years of service, which

was the age of the Grndal bridge when the cracks were first observed, the displacement is three times higher in the mid-span if

creep is included. Experimental results that shows significant effect of creep, a short time after casting, can also be found in the

literature [20]. In their experiments, two prototypes of two-span

boxgirder bridges were studied. In their study, the measured displacements increased by 50% due to creep after only 27 days.

Due to the time it takes for the drying shrinkage to occur, the

effect of the non-uniform shrinkage rate is significant, especially

after 2 years of service. The difference between an uniform

shrinkage rate and a non-uniform shrinkage rate is initially small

but it increases with time. According to Kristek et al. [4], the

deflection of some cast-in-place bridges has continued to increase

over very long periods, and the deflection curves do not level of

even after 30 years.

In the Grndal bridge it was mainly the lower part of the webs

that cracked. The FE model of the construction process showed

that after post-tensioning the tendons in the bottom flange, large

stresses appear in these regions, see Fig. 11. This indicates that the

post-tensioning of the bottom flange had a large impact on the

cracking of the webs. A good tendon arrangement is crucial, not

only to benefit the stress state, but also to counteract the increasing

long-term displacement and to avoid cracking in the webs.

5. Further research

One large problem with most FE material models for describing

creep is that they cannot be combined with models which describe

cracking. Some sort of approximation has to be made to combine

these two effects in a single analysis. The subject for future research

creep and the cracking of the webs. One approach might be to

assign different properties to different regions, where the regions

subjected to high tensile stresses are allowed to crack while the

other regions are allowed to creep. One other approach might be

to describe the cracks with a discrete crack model, resulting in that

the cracks are described as displacements between the elements.

References

[1] Chiu C, Chern J, Chang K. Long-term deflection control in cantilever prestressed

concrete bridges I: Control method. J Eng Mech 1996;122(6):48994.

[2] Chiu C, Chern J, Chang K. Long-term deflection control in cantilever prestressed

concrete bridges II: Experimental verification. J Eng Mech 1996;122(6):

495501.

[3] Takcs P. Deformation in concrete cantilever bridges: Observations and

theoretical modelling. Ph.D. thesis. Trondheim : The Norwegian University of

Science and Technology (NTNU); 2002.

[4] Kristek V, Bazant Z, Zich M, Kohoutkova A. Box girder bridge deflectionsWhy

is the initial trend deceptive? Concr Int 2006;28(1):5563.

[5] Bishara A, Papakonstantinou N. Analysis of cast-in-place concrete segmental

bridges. J Struct Eng 1996;116(5):124768.

[6] Kristek V, Vrablik L. Optimisation of tendon layout to avoid excessive

deflections of long-span prestressed concrete bridges. Concr Eng Int 2007;

11(1):304.

[7] Hedjazi S, Rahai A, Sennah K. Evaluation of creep effects on the timedependent deflections and stresses in prestressed concrete bridges. Bridge

Struct 2007;3(2):11932.

[8] Cruz P, Mari A, Roca P. Nonlinear time-dependent analysis of segmentally

constructed structures. J Struct Eng 1998;124(3):27887.

[9] Malm R. Shear cracks in concrete structures subjected to in-plane stresses. Lic.

thesis. Stockholm: Royal Institute of Technology (KTH); 2006.

[10] Tljsten B, Carolin A. Strengthening two large concrete bridges in Sweden for

shear using CFRP laminates. In: Structural Faults and Repair, London. 2003.

[11] Carolin A. Carbon fibre reinforced polymers for strengthening of structural

elements. Ph.D. thesis. Lule: Lule University of Technology; 2003.

[12] Malm R, James G, Sundquist H. Monitoring and evaluation of shear crack

initiation and propagation in webs of concrete boxgirder sections. In:

International conference on bridge engineeringChallenges in the 21st

Century. 2006. p. 14754.

[13] Hewson N. Prestressed concrete bridges: Design and construction. London:

Thomas Telford Ltd; 2003.

[14] Mondorf P, Kuprenas J, Kordahi E. Segmental cantilever bridge construction

case study. J Constr Eng Manag 1997;79(1):7984.

[15] Hibbitt H, Karlsson B, Sorensen E. ABAQUS version 6.7 finite element

programStandard users manual. Pawtucket: Hibbitt, Karlsson and Sorensen

Inc.; 2007.

[16] MC 90, CEB-FIP model code 1990. 6th ed. London: Thomas Telford; 1993.

[17] EC 2. Eurocode 2: Design of concrete structuresPart 1-1: General rules and

rules for buildings. Brussels: EN 1992-1-1, CEN; 2004.

[18] Bazant Z, Baweja S. Creep and shrinkage prediction model for analysis and

design of concrete structuresModel B3. Mater Struct 1995;28(6):35765.

[19] Canovic S, Goncalves J. Modelling of the response of the New Svinesund

BridgeFE Analysis of the arch launching. M.Sc. thesis. Gothenburg: Chalmers

University of Technology; 2005.

[20] Scordelis A, Elfgren L, Larsen P. Time-dependent behavior of concrete box

girder bridges. ACI J 1979;76(9):15977.

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