Advanced Steel Construction

Vol. 11, No. 3, pp. 383-394 (2015)



Xin Ruan1, Hai-ying Ma2,* and Xue-fei Shi1
1 Department of Bridge Engineering, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tongji University, Shanghai, China.
2 ATLSS Center, Lehigh University, PA, USA
*(Corresponding author: E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)




View Article   Export Citation: Plain Text | RIS | Endnote


Long span pre-stressed concrete box girder bridges are widely constructed in China. Some typical deficiencies, such as unacceptable deflections and cracks in the concrete, often occur in those bridges with increasing service time. The deficiencies change the distribution of internal forces in the girders, which induces new problems, such as fatigue of reinforcements in the girders. In this paper, a fatigue life evaluation for a cracked long-span continuous PC bridges was conducted, which integrated weigh-in-motion (WIM) data and non-destructive examination (NDE) techniques. WIM data was used to investigate properties of vehicle load. The FE models of the cracked structure were developed to analyse the behaviour due to cracks. Various fatigue truck loads were considered in the models. Fatigue life evaluation based on real WIM data was developed to obtain the fatigue stress ranges due to the presence of cracks. Based on the analysis, the service life of the bridge was assessed before and after cracking at critical locations. A pre-stressed concrete box girder bridge, with three spans: 65m+100m+65m, was taken as an example to introduce the method. The present study provides better understandings of the post-cracking behaviour of long span continuous PC bridges. The outcome of this research can be efficiently utilized to reduce the risk of failure and achieve better management of the bridges.



Continuous PC Bridge, Crack, Vehicular load, Fatigue life evaluation, Weight-in-motion, Stress range


[1] Patnaik, A., Shan, X., Adams, M., Srivatsan, T. S., Menzemer, C.C. and Payer, J., “ Isolating Corrosion of Steel Plates Coupled with Titanium”, Advanced Steel Construction, 2014, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp. 216-233.

[2] Ruan, X. Shi, X.F. and Frangopol, D.M., “Extension Bridge Service Life based on Field Test and Condition Assessment” A Case Study of Long-span Continuous PC Bridge” The 10th International Conference on Structural Safety and Reliability (ICOSSAR2009), 2009.

[3] Warner, R.F. and Hulsbos, C.L., “Probable Fatigue Life of Prestressed Concrete Beams-Part IV: Estimation of Beam Fatigue Life” Fritz Engineering Laboratory Report No. 223.24C4, 1964.

[4] Lindorf, A. and Curbach, M., “Fatigue of Bond between Reinforcement and Concrete under Transverse Tension” Fib Symposium PRAGUE 2011, Session 5-5 Composites and Hybrids, 2011.

[5] Tilly, G.P., “Fatigue Testing and Performance of Steel Reinforcement Bars” Materials and Structures, 1984, Vol. 17, pp. 43-48.

[6] Helgason, T., Hanson, J.M., Somes, N.F., Corle, G. and Hognestad, E., “Fatigue Strength of Higy-yield Reinforcing Bars” Nchrp Report N.169, Transportation Research Board, Washington, 1969.

[7] Raithby, K.D., “Flextural Fatigue Behavior of Plain Concrete”, Journal of Fatigue Engineering Materials and Structures, 1979, Vol. 2.

[8] Miner, M.A., “Cumulative Damage in Fatigue”, Journal of Applied Mechanics, 1945, Vol. 12, pp. A159-A164.

[9] Anon, “Good Detailing Extends Fatigue Life of Reinforcement”, New Civil Engineering, 1978, No. 310. Sept.

[10] Soretz, S., “Fatigue Behavior of High Yield Steel Reinforcement”, Concrete Construction Engineering, 1965, Vol.60.

[11] Tilly, G.P., “Fatigue of Steel Reinforcement Bars in Concrete: Review”, Fatigue and Fracture of Engineering Materials and Structures, 1979, Vol. 2, No.3, pp. 251-268.

[12] Menzies, J.B., “The Fatigue Strength of Steel Reinforcement in Concrete”, Building Research Station, 1971.

[13] Zeng, Z. and Li, Z., “Research on Fatigue S-N Curves of Reinforcements in Reinforced Concrete Beams”, China Civil Engineering Journal, 1999, Vol.32, No.5, pp. 10-14. (in Chinese)

[14] Nurnberger, U., “Fatigue Resistance of Reinforced Steel”, Proceeding Int. Ass. Bridge Structure Engineering, Lausanne, IABSE. 1982, Vol. 37.

[15] AASHTO, Load Resistance and Factor Design, Bridge Design Specifications, 5th Edition. America Association of State Highway and Transportation Official, Washington, D.C., 2010.

[16] General Code for Design of Highway Bridges and Culverts (JTC D60—2004), People’s Communication Press, Beijing. (in Chinese)

[17] Xia, Y., Nassif, H., Hwang, E.S. and Linzell, D., “Optimization of Design Details in Orthotropic Steel Decks Subjected to Static and Fatigue Loads”, Transportation Research Record, 2013, Vol. 2331, pp. 14-23.

[18] Nassif, H., Liu, M. and Ertekin, O., “Model Validation for Bridge-Road-Vehicle Dynamic Interaction System”, J. Bridge Eng., 2003, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 112-120.