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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 48
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping and M.B. Leeming
Paper IX.3

The Effect of Material Stiffness upon the Modal Characteristics of Arch Bridges

A. Bensalem, C.A. Fairfield and A. Sibbald

Department of Civil and Transportation Engineering, Napier University, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
A. Bensalem, C.A. Fairfield, A. Sibbald, "The Effect of Material Stiffness upon the Modal Characteristics of Arch Bridges", in B.H.V. Topping, M.B. Leeming, (Editors), "Innovation in Civil and Structural Engineering", Civil-Comp Press, Edinburgh, UK, pp 301-309, 1997. doi:10.4203/ccp.48.9.3
This paper presents the results of an experimental and finite element analysis studying the effect of backfill materials on a brickwork arch bridge's dynamic behaviour. Three different backfill materials were investigated namely: coarse gravel, sand, and Type 1 fill. The experimental dynamic characteristics of the arch bridge were determined using an impact hammer testing technique. A 3-D finite element model was adopted to study the dynamic behaviour of the arch using natural frequency and mode superposition analyses. The damping ratios obtained experimentally were used in comparison with the numerically modeled response of the arch to impact loading. The comparison between the finite element model and those results obtained experimentally was good, both in the time and frequency domains. It was found that the introduction of the backfill material decreased the resonant frequencies, while the damping ratios were increased. The finite element model was also used to study the effect of changes in the stiffness of the backfill material of the arch, to model different compaction levels. The overall aim was to provide a better understanding of the dynamic behaviour of masonry arch bridges for non-destructive testing procedures.

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