Effect of solar radiation on suspension bridge performance
Journal of Bridge Engineering
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Observations of a U.K. suspension bridge show that thermal expansion and contraction cycles do not follow simple linear relationships with a single temperature value and that time lag and temperature distribution can be significant factors. This investigation explores these effects by simulating the transient thermal and quasistatic response of the Tamar Bridge with separate finite-element models of the bridge and suspension cables. Thermal loads are determined by calculated solar radiation intensities and temperature data from the bridge monitoring system. Because cloud cover plays an important role in the levels of solar radiation, cloud coverage was estimated indirectly using monitored temperature differences between the top and bottom of the suspended structure. The results demonstrate that peak temperatures of the suspended structure and cables occur at different times. The lag is caused by differing material properties and the surfaces' ability to absorb and lose heat. Transient phenomena manifest in the structural responses such as the tower sway.
EU FP7 project IRIS
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
© 2014 American Society of Civil Engineers.
Vol. 20 (5), article 04014077