Structural Simulation: Railway Bridge Reinforcement - Webinar

Railway bridges in Brazil’s São Paulo region were designed for the load profiles of TB-20 freight trains, so a switch to newer TB-360 trains with increased load-carrying capacity required a re-evaluation of bridges’ load-bearing capabilities. Civil engineers were tasked to determine if existing bridges could be reinforced to handle new load profiles, or whether the region needed to build new bridges. Minimizing railway downtime was a top priority.

The engineers modeled three scenarios: the existing bridges under TB-20 loading; the existing bridges plus temporary formworks necessary to modify the bridges while maintaining TB-20 traffic; and, finally, the modified bridges with structural steel reinforcements under TB-360 loading. The teams used ANSYS mesh element types SHELL181 to model the concrete bridge structures and structural steel reinforcements and BEAM188 to model the bridge formwork structures.