Advanced Cable-Stayed Bridge Construction Process Analysis with ANSYS & CivilFEM

This paper demonstrates how sophisticated computational techniques can help to understand better the behavior of cable-stayed bridges and what kind of tools are available for bridge engineers to handle even the most extreme situations. Since one of the key elements in the success of this structural system lies in its construction method, the main focus of this paper is on the simulation of the free-cantilever construction process and the determination of cable forces during the phases of the erection in order to achieve the desired shape and internal force distribution in the final state of the structure. The paper, using ANSYS/CivilFEM, a software package developed for advanced civil engineering analyses, presents different numerical techniques (based on both linear and non-linear analysis) to determine the final state of the bridge and the backward process analysis to conduct a step-by-step analysis of the construction. Finite Element Analysis can provide engineers with an overwhelming amount of data therefore the efficient presentation of results (postprocessing) is of outmost importance especially for such complex systems as cable-stayed bridges. The paper also demonstrates how the flexibility of ANSYS/CivilFEM allows the users to find a sensible way to access all the necessary data and produce both text based and graphical outputs. A typical example of a cable-stayed bridge is analyzed by the methods described in the paper and the results are presented using postprocessing techniques.
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