An experimental and numerical study on temperature gradient and thermal stress of CFST truss girders under solar radiation

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Computers and Concrete, 2017, 20 (5), pp. 605 - 616
Issue Date:
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Copyright © 2017 Techno-Press, Ltd. Concrete filled steel tubular (CFST) composite girder is a new type of structures for bridge constructions. The existing design codes cannot be used to predict the thermal stress in the CFST truss girder structures under solar radiation. This study is to develop the temperature gradient curves for predicting thermal stress of the structure based on field and laboratory monitoring data. An in-field testing had been carried out on Ganhaizi Bridge for over two months. Thermal couples were installed at the cross section of the CFST truss girder and the continuous data was collected every 30 minutes. A typical temperature gradient mode was then extracted by comparing temperature distributions at different times. To further verify the temperature gradient mode and investigate the evolution of temperature fields, an outdoor experiment was conducted on a 1:8 scale bridge model, which was installed with both thermal couples and strain gauges. The main factors including solar radiation and ambient temperature on the different positions were studied. Laboratory results were consistent with that from the in-field data and temperature gradient curves were obtained from the in-field and laboratory data. The relationship between the strain difference at top and bottom surfaces of the concrete deck and its corresponding temperature change was also obtained and a method based on curve fitting was proposed to predict the thermal strain under elevated temperature. The thermal stress model for CFST composite girder was derived. By the proposed model, the thermal stress was obtained from the temperature gradient curves. The results using the proposed model were agreed well with that by finite element modelling.
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