Influence of Skew Angle on Reinforced Concrete Slab Bridges

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The effect of a skew angle on simple-span reinforced concrete bridges is presented in this paper using the finite-element method. The parameters investigated in this analytical study were the span length, slab width, and skew angle. The finite-element analysis (FEA) results for skewed bridges were compared to the reference straight bridges as well as the American Association for State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Standard Specifications and LRFD procedures. A total of 96 case study bridges were analyzed and subjected to AASHTO HS-20 design trucks positioned close to one edge on each bridge to produce maximum bending in the slab. The AASHTO Standard Specifications procedure gave similar results to the FEA maximum longitudinal bending moment for a skew angle less than or equal to 20°. As the skew angle increased, AASHTO Standard Specifications overestimated the maximum moment by 20% for 30°, 50% for 40°, and 100% for 50°. The AASHTO LRFD Design Specifications procedure overestimated the FEA maximum longitudinal bending moment. This overestimate increased with the increase in the skew angle, and decreased when the number of lanes increased; AASHTO LRFD overestimated the longitudinal bending moment by up to 40% for skew angles less than 30° and reaching 50% for 50°. The ratio between the three-dimensional FEA longitudinal moments for skewed and straight bridges was almost one for bridges with skew angle less than 20°. This ratio decreased to 0.75 for bridges with skew angles between 30 and 40°, and further decreased to 0.5 as the skew angle of the bridge increased to 50°. This decrease in the longitudinal moment ratio is offset by an increase of up to 75% in the maximum transverse moment ratio as the skew angle increases from 0 to 50°. The ratio between the FEA maximum live-load deflection for skewed bridges and straight bridges decreases in a pattern consistent with that of the longitudinal moment. This ratio decreased from one for skew angles less than 10° to 0.6 for skew angles between 40 and 50°.


Civil and Environmental Engineering | Civil Engineering | Construction Engineering and Management | Engineering | Structural Engineering


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