Critical Speed for the Dynamics of Truck Events on Bridges with a Smooth Road
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Simple numerical models of point loads are used to represent single and multiple vehicle events on two-lane bridges with a good road profile. While such models are insufficiently complex to calculate dynamic amplification accurately, they are presented here to provide an understanding of the influence of speed and distance between vehicles on the bridge dynamic response. Critical combinations of speed as a function of main bridge natural frequency and meeting point of two vehicles travelling in opposite directions are identified. It is proposed that such simple models can be used to estimate the pattern of critical speeds versus dynamic amplification of the bridge response for trucks on a relatively smooth surface. The crossing of a three-dimensional spring-dashpot truck is simulated over a bridge plate model to test this hypothesis for a range of road roughness. Further validation is carried out using the site-specific mean pattern associated to field measurements of bridge strains when traversed by a truck population. The latter is found to be closely resembled by the theoretical pattern derived from simple point load models.