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Department of Civil, Structural and

Environmental Engineering

Student Name & number Alejandro Jimnez Rios 16335204

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Module S4 Bridge engineering

Alan OConnor
Lecturer(s)

Assignment Title Term paper

Date 30 March 2017

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Table of contents
1. Introduction .................................................................................................................................... 1
2. State of the art ................................................................................................................................ 2
Structural behavior of masonry arch bridges ..................................................................................... 2
Structural assessment and maintenance of masonry arch bridges .................................................... 4
Strengthening of masonry arch bridges.............................................................................................. 5
3. Modelling ........................................................................................................................................ 6
Semi-empirical methods ..................................................................................................................... 6
Pippards elastic method ............................................................................................................. 6
The MEXE/MOT method ................................................................................................................. 7
Limit analysis method ......................................................................................................................... 8
Rigid block analysis ......................................................................................................................... 8
Solid mechanics method ................................................................................................................... 10
FEM ............................................................................................................................................... 10
4. Strengthening proposals and assessment .................................................................................... 13
5. Results and discussion .................................................................................................................. 15
Results for the analysis of masonry arch bridge with infill ............................................................... 15
Results for the analysis of masonry arch ring ................................................................................... 15
Results for the assessment of the influence of the post-tensioning arrangement on the ultimate load
capacity of the masonry arch ring .................................................................................................... 15
6. Comparison with other available strengthening techniques........................................................ 20
7. Conclusions and further work ....................................................................................................... 22
General conclusions .......................................................................................................................... 22
Further work ..................................................................................................................................... 22
References ............................................................................................................................................ 23
Appendix ............................................................................................................................................... 24
A. Process of routine maintenance management for a bridge (Construction Industry Research and
Information Association., Great Britain. Department for Transport. et al. 2006). ........................... 24
B. Specialist investigation, testing and monitoring techniques for bridge investigation
(Construction Industry Research and Information Association., Great Britain. Department for
Transport. et al. 2006). ..................................................................................................................... 25
C. Specialist inspection techniques for bridge investigation (Construction Industry Research and
Information Association., Great Britain. Department for Transport. et al. 2006). ........................... 26
D. Common geotechnical testing techniques for masonry arch bridge investigation (Construction
Industry Research and Information Association., Great Britain. Department for Transport. et al.
2006). ................................................................................................................................................ 27
E. Possible levels of structural analysis for masonry arch bridges (Construction Industry Research
and Information Association., Great Britain. Department for Transport. et al. 2006). .................... 28
F. Comparison of main analysis methods for bridge assessment (Construction Industry Research
and Information Association., Great Britain. Department for Transport. et al. 2006). .................... 29
G. Application of remedial measures to treat common defects (Construction Industry Research
and Information Association., Great Britain. Department for Transport. et al. 2006). .................... 30
List of figures
Figure 1: Masonry arch bridge components. .......................................................................................... 3
Figure 2: Typical collapse mechanism for symmetrical, (a) and non-symmetrical (b) arches (Roca 2015).
................................................................................................................................................................ 5
Figure 3: Geometry of analyzed stone masonry arch bridge. ................................................................. 6
Figure 4: Geometry for Pippard's method analysis (Heyman 1982). ...................................................... 7
Figure 5: Simplified geometry for Pippard's method analysis (Heyman 1982). ..................................... 7
Figure 6: Limit analysis problem set up. ................................................................................................. 8
Figure 7: Limit analysis method collapse mechanism obtained with RING. ........................................... 9
Figure 8: Collapse mechanism obtained with RING for only the ring analysis. .................................... 10
Figure 9: FEM linear elastic analysis set-up. ......................................................................................... 10
Figure 10: Force convergence iteration process. .................................................................................. 11
Figure 11: Vertical displacements. ........................................................................................................ 11
Figure 12: Contacts pressures. .............................................................................................................. 12
Figure 13: Jurina's "RAM" system (Jurina 2016). .................................................................................. 13
Figure 14: Arch after intervention using Borri and Castori's system (D'Ayala and Fodde 2008).......... 13
Figure 15: 3 cables arrangement. ......................................................................................................... 14
Figure 16: 5 cables arrangement. ......................................................................................................... 14
Figure 17: Set-up of the FEM non-linear model including the post-tensioning forces......................... 16
Figure 18: Post-tensioning force - Ultimate load capacity relationship plot. ....................................... 17
Figure 19: Post-tensioning force Maximum contact pressure relationship plot. .............................. 17
Figure 20: Vertical displacements, (a) After the ultimate load was applied, (b) plot of the maximum
value at each time step. ........................................................................................................................ 18
Figure 21: Contact pressures, (a) After the ultimate load was applied, (b) plot of the maximum value
at each time step. ................................................................................................................................. 19
Figure 22: Left reaction, (a) After the ultimate load was applied, (b) plot of the maximum value at each
time step. .............................................................................................................................................. 19
List of tables
Table 1: Material properties of analyzed stone masonry arch bridge.................................................... 6
Table 2: RING infill properties values. ..................................................................................................... 9
Table 3: Granite properties used for the FEM analysis......................................................................... 10
Table 4: Ultimate load capacity of the masonry arch bridge with infill. ............................................... 15
Table 5: Ultimate load capacity of the arch ring. .................................................................................. 15
Table 6: Ultimate load capacities of the arch ring after several level of post-tensioning. ................... 16
Table 7: Strengthening techniques comparison. .................................................................................. 20
1. Introduction
The field of strengthening and retrofitting of masonry arch bridges in Ireland is of great importance
since nowadays up to 20 000 such structures exist and are part of the rail, road and waterway national
network (O'Dwyer 2017). Interventions of this kind must be implemented attending the
recommendations and principles stablished in multiple international conservation charters and in a
sympathetic manner.

The objective of the present report is to evaluate the feasibility of the use of a post-tensioning
arrangement to repair, strengthen and possibly retrofit masonry arch bridges. The scope of the report
is limited to stone masonry arch bridges but similar conditions apply to the study of brick masonry
arch bridges. The arrangement proposed is an alternative to those already existent and developed by
other authors, see (Jurina 2016) and (D'Ayala and Fodde 2008).

The main hypothesis behind this proposal are based in simple and already proven concepts on the
structural behavior of masonry structures. The proposed strengthening technique was developed with
the following purposes in mind:

Increase the vertical component of the thrust line in order to keep the reaction within the
middle third of the arch ring.
Contain the horizontal thrust at the abutments.
Increase the symmetric loads in the bridge, therefore reducing the effect of non-symmetrical
loads.

From another perspective, this proposal is justified by the fact that must masonry arch bridges were
designed and built several centuries ago. Such designs were usually based in loads comparatively
lower than the ones to which those structures are subjected to nowadays. Therefore, the need of
strengthening arises and gives place to proposals such as the one treated in this report.

To verify the assumed hypothesis, the proposal was analyzed with a finite element method software,
ANSYS. The analytical results obtained showed that effectively the ultimate load capacity of a simple
stone masonry arch ring can be increased if a post-tensioning arrangement as the one proposed is
implemented. Further studies and experimental validation must be done before the actual
implementation of the system can be performed in real structures though. The proposal was also
qualitatively compared with other kind of interventions available and in common use nowadays and
the pros and cons of the different intervention were identified.

The report consist then in a brief description of the state of the art of the field. Then the different
modelling methods and results of the multiple analyses carried out to assess a simple stone masonry
arch ring are presented. Pros and cons of the different intervention techniques used nowadays and
the new proposal are discussed briefly. Conclusions and further research work are finally presented
at the end of the report.

1
2. State of the art
Masonry arches started to be developed and used in two different locations of the planet, China and
the Middle East, around 5000 years ago (Construction Industry Research and Information Association.,
Great Britain. Department for Transport. et al. 2006). They were introduced in Europe by the Romans
who used them to build the infrastructure and buildings of their great empire. In Ireland, masonry
arches started to be built between the period of 1200 and 1400 (O'Dwyer 2017). They continued to
be greatly used until 1700 when they started to be substituted by other materials and construction
techniques developed mainly during the industrial revolution. Some of the first arches are still
standing and have been in use ever since they were built without significant repair or strengthening
interventions. Besides, because its cost of maintenance is relatively lower in comparison with other
bridge types and since their life expectancy is bigger to other materials, these makes them the most
sustainable type of bridge. They form an important percentage of the national infrastructure network,
around 40 % of the stock. Distributed between roadways, railways and waterways, masonry arch
bridges account for an approximate number of 20 000 spans (O'Dwyer 2017), being the Lucan Bridge
the longest single span masonry arch bridge in Ireland (Donald, O'Dwyer et al. 2013).

The value of masonry arches is not limited to an economic and logistic perspective, they also possess
historical, architectural, artistic, engineering and cultural value. They are part of the identity of the
country and have in one way or another influence on its history. Its management and maintenance
represent a big challenge for the national authorities. To achieve this purpose in a successful way, a
specialized multidisciplinary team is required and sympathetic interventions need to be designed and
applied to such structures. For all this factors the preservation of masonry arch bridges is very
important and this reports aim is to try to contribute to achieve that goal. According to (Construction
Industry Research and Information Association., Great Britain. Department for Transport. et al. 2006):

Safe and efficient transport is fundamental to the freedom, wellbeing and prosperity of society.

Structural behavior of masonry arch bridges


A masonry arch bridge is composed by several elements. As it can be seen in Figure 1 the main
structural components of a typical stone bridge are:

Arch ring, composed at its time by voussoirs, key, springers and skewbacks stones.
Abutments.
Buttresses.
Spandrel walls.
Parapets.

Even though all of them have a very important structural purpose and complex interactions develop
between their structural behaviors, the scope of this report is limited to the study of the arch ring, its
structural assessment, decay, damage mechanisms and strengthening techniques.

The arch ring can have different shapes and sizes based on its design requirements, both features
highly influence the bridge load capacity. In summary, the main arch ring geometries can be:

Semicircle. Segmental.
Pointed. Ellipse.

2
Figure 1: Masonry arch bridge components.

Masonry arch bridges are subjected to a series of different loads from which the ones that should be
considered for analysis are:

Dead loads.
Traffic loads.
Seismic loads.
Flood loads.

Traffic loads in a masonry arch bridge are applied to the road which is supported by the infill that
transfer them to the arch ring. The arch ring is the main structural element in charge of taking the
loads and transfer them to the abutments and buttresses which at the time will finally transfer them
to the bridge foundations. The way in which the arch ring works is mainly by developing a thrust line
within its volume of pure axial compression, thus transferring the loads from stone to stone.

According to (Heyman 1995), in order to find the location of the thrust line within an arch and
determine whether or not it is stable, two different theories can be followed; elastic theory, based on
linear, reversible and small deformations, which provides an infinite number of possible locations for
such line, and on the other hand, the plastic theory, which looks for the unique collapse configuration
of the structure and can be applied if the following hypothesis are adopted:

Masonry has infinite compressive strength.


Masonry has zero tensile strength.
Sliding between blocks doesnt happen.
This leads to the development of the fundamental lower, upper and uniqueness theorems which
provide a way to understand the structural behavior of masonry arches. Any structure must satisfy
certain conditions of strength, stiffness and stability. It has been observed that usually historical
masonry structures are subjected to relatively low stresses (Heyman 1995). Due to the inherent
mechanical properties of historical masonry structures, especially historical mortars, they tend to be
quite flexible and able to accommodate considerably big deformations. Thus, the main concern on the
study of masonry structures is related with its stability.

3
Structural failure of masonry arch bridges is mainly caused for the formation of hinge mechanisms.
The hinges formation can be caused by over loading the bridge but most commonly due to the
progressive decay of the material produced by weathering processes, the neglecting of the structure
and its lack of maintenance. Sometimes such decay is accelerated if unsympathetic interventions are
carried out.

Structural assessment and maintenance of masonry arch bridges


To adequately and efficiently inspect, assess and maintain the huge stock of masonry arch bridges in
the country, the national authorities in charge of roads, rails and waterways must adopt a proactive
approach, implement effective management procedures and assign enough resources to carry out
such an important task. Preventive measurements are preferred over corrective ones since they
usually require less resources, better preserve the values of the structure and do not disturb the
operation of the network. An effective way to manage the procedure is presented in the Appendix.
Finally, the designation of enough time, economic and technical resources is of paramount importance
to satisfactory carry out the process of inspection, assessment and maintenance in an appropriate
way. The assessment procedure typically involves the following sequential phases:

Desk study of available information.


Inspection and investigation.
Analysis.

To perform an adequate investigation and monitoring of a bridge, and therefore achieve a confident
result of its structural assessment, intrusive and/or preferably non-destructive in-situ tests supported
by sampling and laboratory testing are usually required. A list of specialist investigation, testing and
monitoring techniques for bridge investigation is provided in the Appendix as well as a list of specialist
inspection techniques for bridge investigation and a list of common geotechnical testing techniques
for masonry arch bridge investigation respectively.

The analysis tools available can be classified according to its degree of complexity. Basically the
analysis methods can be classified as:

Semi-empirical methods. (Pippardelastic method and MEXE method).


Limit analysis methods (Rigid blocks method).
Solid mechanics methods. (Castiglianos non-linear method, FEM, DEM).

It is advised to adopt a multi-level assessment approach since commonly a simplified and conservative
method of analysis allows to study a big number of structures and only if problems are detected, a
more sophisticated method can be applied to get a more accurate structural assessment of the bridge
if such approach is deemed to be cost-effective. A more detailed description of the different levels of
analysis sophistication is provided in the Appendix. A comparison of the different analysis methods
nowadays used for the analysis of masonry arch bridges is as well presented in the Appendix. The
factors that will determine the structural response of a masonry arch bridge are (Construction Industry
Research and Information Association., Great Britain. Department for Transport. et al. 2006):

Construction details.
Presence and extent of any defects.
Material properties.

4
Besides from the structural assessment of bridges, two other key aspects that must be evaluated are
its asset costs and environmental impact. By applying a whole-life asset cost method it is possible to
measure the total cost of designing, constructing, operating, maintaining, repairing and ultimately
demolishing of a structure, thus being able to appropriately demonstrate and justify the allocation of
resources and the benefits of expenditure on the maintenance of masonry arch bridges. A life-cycle
environmental impact assessment approach should be used as well to justify the preservation of
masonry arch bridges since this will consider all the factors mentioned before (Construction Industry
Research and Information Association., Great Britain. Department for Transport. et al. 2006).

Strengthening of masonry arch bridges


Interventions on masonry arch bridges can be classified in three different categories depending on
how invasive they are and its objective. Thus, the degrees of intervention are:

Routine maintenance, preventative.


Repair, corrective.
Strengthening and/or retrofitting, improvement.

Routine and preventative maintenance is done to maintain the structures performance, prolong its
serviceable life and reduce its requirements for more significant remedial works over time. Repairing
interventions aim to return the structure its past qualities and structural properties. Finally,
strengthening and/or retrofitting purpose is to improve the original properties of the structure.
Wherever possible, repairs must be sympathetic to the structure, not alter its working mode and use
materials compatible with those already existing (Construction Industry Research and Information
Association., Great Britain. Department for Transport. et al. 2006). A list of bridge defects and the
possible remedial measures is provided in the Appendix. Some of those techniques will be compared
with this reports proposal and presented in a further chapter.

Two main criterions can be adopted to determine if any corrective or improvement intervention is
required. The first one uses a geometrical factor of safety which is the equivalent of the strength factor
used in structural design for the design of arches. Such factor is usually given a value of 3. Therefore,
will allow for the thrust line to be contained within the middle third of the arch and this will ensure
that no tensile or flexile stresses develop within the arch. The second criterion deals with the stability
of the arch and depends on the application of the loads as well. If a collapse mechanism develops in
the arch, an intervention is deemed to be required. For non-symmetrical arches the formation of 4
hinges is needed to form a mechanism whereas that for symmetrical arches 5 hinges are required as
can be seen in Figure 2:

(a) (b)
Figure 2: Typical collapse mechanism for symmetrical, (a) and non-symmetrical (b) arches (Roca 2015).

5
3. Modelling
An idealized single span stone masonry arch bridge was analyzed using the three different types of
available analysis tools, semi-empirical, limit analysis and solid mechanics methods. Pippards elastic
method, MEXE method and limit analysis method were used to determine the ultimate load capacity
of a semicircle stone masonry arch whose material properties are given in Table 1 and geometry can
be seen in Figure 3:

Table 1: Material properties of analyzed stone masonry arch bridge.

Stone type Granite


Compressive strength () 1108
Specific weight (/ ) 2500
Infill *
*Infill properties are equal to those of the stone for both Pippards and MEXE methods. Infill properties for both
limit analysis and FEM analysis are discussed in more detail in their respective sections.

Figure 3: Geometry of analyzed stone masonry arch bridge.

Semi-empirical methods
Pippards elastic method
It is considered that this method gives conservative results. In fact it provides two different values for
the ultimate load capacity of a bridge. The first value is based in a geometry safety factor which in this
case allows to use a smaller value than the one discussed before. Pippard proposed to use a value of
2 instead of 3. The second criteria has to be with the compressive strength of the material (Heyman
1982). This second criterion is going to be discarded since as discussed, masonry structures problems
are more commonly related to stability than to strength issues. Therefore the first criterion is the one
considered in this report.

Pippards elastic method is based on the following assumptions (Heyman 1982):

Geometry of Figure 4 simplified in Figure 5.


Point load placed in the middle.
Parabolic arch for which / = 3/4.
Fill has no structural strength.
Same density for both rib and fill materials.

6
The bridge ultimate load obtained with Pippards method is of 105 .

Figure 4: Geometry for Pippard's method analysis (Heyman 1982).

Figure 5: Simplified geometry for Pippard's method analysis (Heyman 1982).

The MEXE/MOT method


This method requires the use of a nomogram and several tables in order to evaluate the condition of
the bridge. The several factors are related to the bridges proportions, shape, fill and rib material,
mortar between voussoirs and a final factor based on the experience of the engineer and his overall
impression of the state of the bridge. MEXE method is based on Pippards elastic method and its
essential features are:

Considerable influence of the geometrical characteristics of the bridges.


Elastic redundant structure.
Final criterion of the load capacity of the bridge is based upon the attainment of a limiting
value of compressive stress.

The bridge ultimate load obtained with MEXE method following the analysis procedure specified on
(BA-16/97 2001) is of 253 . This value was obtained assuming a good overall condition of the bridge
and its components, any present decay or damage would reduce the value of the factors used in the
method, therefore given a lower ultimate load capacity.

7
Limit analysis method
Rigid block analysis
This analysis was performed with the help of the commercial software called RING. This software
performs a rigid block analysis with the arch ring voussoirs and models the effects of the infill in an
indirect way. Such infill effects are:

Self-weight induces pre-compression stresses in the ring.


Dispersion of surface loads.
Passive stabilizing pressures.

The ultimate load capacity of the bridge is found after solving a linear optimization problem. The value
of , which is a load multiplier is maximized from the equilibrium equation considering two yield
conditions, bending and shear. This can be stablished as follows (Gilbert 2017):

0.5 0.5

= {1 , 1 , 1 , 2 , 2 , 2 , , , }

Where is an equilibrium matrix, and are dead and live load vectors. = , =
, = .

The problem set up is shown in Figure 6. The geometry is the same as that stablished in Figure 3 and
the material properties of the ring arch are equal to those described in Table 1. A point load of 1
is applied over the left spring of the arch and moved all along the length of the span at intervals of
1 until the right spring of the arch in order to determine its critical position.

Figure 6: Limit analysis problem set up.

The software requires the user to provide properties for both the backfill and the surface fill. The
assumed values are presented in Table 2:

8
Table 2: RING infill properties values.

Unit weight (/ ) 1475


Angle of friction () 30
Cohesion (/ ) 0
Angle of dispersion of live loads () 22.5

The software provides an adequacy factor of 233 for two load cases, 5 and 6. Which means that the
critical load application is at 1 meter from the center of the arch, either left or right, and is of 233 .
The ultimate load position as well as the collapse mechanism of the arch can be seen in Figure 7. It is
worth noticing that since the load applied is non-symmetrical, the collapse mechanism generated has
only 4 hinges.

Figure 7: Limit analysis method collapse mechanism obtained with RING.

Since the properties of the infill and the hypothesis assumed to describe its behavior, its interaction
with the stone arch ring and its contribution to the overall load capacity of the bridge cause high
variation in the results, it was decided to neglect its influence and analyze a second model with only
the arch ring in order to assess the contribution of the post-tensioning arrangement to the
improvement of the ultimate load capacity of the bridge. Therefore, a modified model that neglects
the contribution of the infill to the structural capacity of the structure was investigated using the limit
analysis method. With this simple model, the critical position of the load application was found. After
this, an FEM model was set up and the post-tensioning arrangement was modelled and assessed.
Results of all analysis are discussed in a further chapter.

As said before the infill properties assumed have a huge influence in the results obtained. Therefore,
a simplification of the model was done. Basically the influence of the infill was neglected. This was
achieved in RING by considering a unit weight of the infill of 0 /3 and also an angle of dispersion
of live loads of 0.

After such assumptions were applied to the model, the same geometry and load set up was analyzed
and the results obtained show a dramatic reduction on the ultimate load capacity of the bridge, as it
was expected. For this second analysis, the adequacy factor was of only 3.54 for the load case number
6. Which means that the critical load application is at the center of the arch and has a value of 3.54 .
The ultimate load position as well as the collapse mechanism of the arch can be seen in Figure 8. It is
worth noticing that as this time the load is applied at the center of the arch, the collapse mechanism
generated has 5 hinges.

9
Figure 8: Collapse mechanism obtained with RING for only the ring analysis.

Solid mechanics method


FEM
A FEM model is more complex and involves more parameters than the semi-empirical methods or the
limit analysis method models developed and presented before. In this case the geometry is the same
presented in Figure 3 but without infill. The material used is granite and its properties are shown in
Table 3. These properties were obtained from averaged values presented in two different sources
(Construction Industry Research and Information Association., Great Britain. Department for
Transport. et al. 2006) and (Theodossopoulos 2012). In order to verify the set-up of the model and
check boundary conditions a simple 2-D plain strain linear analysis was carried out. The set-up of the
model is shown in Figure 9.

Table 3: Granite properties used for the FEM analysis.

Stone type Granite


Compressive strength () 1108
Specific weight (/ ) 2500
Young Modulus () 51010
Poissons Ratio 0.3

Figure 9: FEM linear elastic analysis set-up.

10
This simplified model showed a satisfactory behavior, the reactions were balanced with the external
applied loads and the deformations were consistent with what was expected. Therefore, a more
advanced model was developed. This time, rough non-linear contacts were modelled with the aim of
reproducing the assumptions of non-sliding between blocks and zero tensile strength for the masonry
considered by the plastic theory. Large deformation were also taken into account and a numerical
iterative solver was used in order to find the ultimate load capacity of the arch.

Two steps were used to run the model. In the first step only earth gravity was applied and in the last
one the external point load was added. This was done with the aim of observing the structural
behavior of the arch under different load scenarios. Convergence of the solution was achieved for an
ultimate load capacity value of 4.4 . The iteration process is presented in Figure 10.

Figure 10: Force convergence iteration process.

In Figure 11 the vertical displacements are shown. It can be seen that at the center of the arch, which
is where the point load is applied, the displacements are negative but on the other hand the
displacements at the quarters spans of the span are positives, which indicates lifting in those
locations. It is also important to notice the formation of the collapse mechanism and that since the
load application is symmetrical, it develops 5 hinges, one at each support, one in the center of the
arch and one at each of the quarters spans of the arch as well.

Figure 11: Vertical displacements.

11
Finally, Figure 12 shows the pressure developed at the contact points between stone voussoirs. The
maximum pressure has a value of only 3.17 , which is relatively small in comparison with the
compressive strength of the granite, in this case assumed to be of 100 . This justifies the last of
the assumptions stablished by the plasticity theory about the infinite compressive strength of the
masonry and what has been said by (Heyman 1995) about the low stresses to which usually historical
masonry structures are subjected to. From the point of view of the FEM, the use of a linear behavior
of the material can be justified since the stresses developed in the stone are less than 10 % of its
compressive strength, therefore assuming that the material stays within its elastic behavior and no
crushing or cracking is developed within the voussoirs.

Figure 12: Contacts pressures.

In the next chapter the development of the post-tensioning arrangement proposed will be explained
in more detail as well as its assessment using the FEM.

12
4. Strengthening proposals and assessment
Several post-tensioning strengthening techniques have been developed and applied by other authors
in order to increase the ultimate load capacity of masonry arches. Even though they use different
devices and configurations, all of them have the same goal, ensure the stability of the structure by
increasing the compressive stresses within the arch. One of those techniques which has proofed to be
very efficient was developed by L. Jurina (Jurina 2016). He proposed the installation of a cable all along
the length of the arch, either at extrados or intrados level, anchored at the abutments of the arch. He
pre-tensioned the cable and achieved to induce compressive stresses all along the arch which in fact
are able to close existent cracks and increase the stability of the structure. His proposal, called RAM
Reinforced Arch Method has been validated with experiments and numerical simulations. It has been
applied in several structures along Italy. The system is shown in Figure 13:

Figure 13: Jurina's "RAM" system (Jurina 2016).

Another post-tensioning technique has been developed by Borri and Castori (D'Ayala and Fodde
2008). It uses an arrangement of steel reinforced grout strips attached to the extrados of the arch that
induces compressive stresses all along the span increasing its stability and ultimate load capacity.
According to the authors, the system applied uses the most up-to-date techniques and technologies
at the service of culture, respect the historic value of the ancient buildings and provides an adequate
safety level whilst changing as little as possible the original structural conception. Borri and Castoris
system has already been used to retrofit several buildings in Italy. It is shown in Figure 14:

Figure 14: Arch after intervention using Borri and Castori's system (D'Ayala and Fodde 2008).

Both systems mentioned have been proofed to be successful and there may be as well other post-
tensioning configurations which also achieve strengthening and retrofitting or masonry arches not
included in this report.

13
The proposal developed and studied in this report consist in an external arrangement of post-
tensioned cables that also aims to increase the compressive stresses in the arch, therefore improving
its stability and as a consequence, increase its ultimate load capacity. A sketch of an initial
arrangement proposal can be seen in Figure 15:

Figure 15: 3 cables arrangement.

After some preliminary simulations it was noticed that such arrangement could actually prompt the
formation of 2 hinges at the quarters span length and therefore accelerate the formation of the full
collapse mechanism of the arch. Therefore a second, more complex but more efficient arrangement
was proposed. This new arrangement is shown in Figure 16 and as it can be seen, 5 cables are used
now instead of 3, one at each location of the formation of the hinges of the full collapse mechanism.
This arrangement proved to be highly effective and the results obtained are presented in a further
chapter of this report as well as a discussion and comparison with the other two arrangements
exposed previously.

Figure 16: 5 cables arrangement.

14
5. Results and discussion
Results for the analysis of masonry arch bridge with infill
The ultimate load capacities of the bridge analyzed by semi-empirical methods and by the limit
analysis method are presented in Table 4. Since the main focus of this report is concern with the
assessment of the proposed external post-tensioning arrangement, this results wont be discussed in
detail. Still, it is worth to notice that in general Pippards method is quite conservative in comparison
with the other two which provide a more realistic representation of the actual behavior of the arch.

Table 4: Ultimate load capacity of the masonry arch bridge with infill.

Method Ultimate load (kN)


Pippards 105
MEXE 253
Limit analysis 233

Results for the analysis of masonry arch ring


First of all it should be said that the FEM linear elastic model does not allow to determine any failure
load or mechanism of the arch. It was performed only to check compliance of the model, verify the
equilibrium and get a rough idea of the structural behavior of the bridge. The ultimate load capacity
could be determined with the limit analysis and with the FEM non-linear analysis models. The FEM
non-linear model was set up in order to try to replicate the assumptions of the plasticity theory and
allow to compare its results with the ones obtained by the limit analysis model. Unfortunately a
difference of up to 20 % was found between the two different values but since the failure mechanism
replicated with the FEM non-linear model was the one that typically develop symmetrical arches and
since the ultimate load capacity magnitude was found within a reasonable range, the results of the
model were deemed acceptable and the process proceed with the simulation of the external post-
tensioning arrangement and its assessment.

Table 5: Ultimate load capacity of the arch ring.

Method Ultimate load (kN)


Limit analysis 3.54
FEM linear elastic -
FEM non-linear 4.4

Results for the assessment of the influence of the post-tensioning arrangement on


the ultimate load capacity of the masonry arch ring
The model used to assess the effect of the external post-tensioning forces on the arch ring uses an
assumption that allows to simplify the analysis and concert the indirect modelling of the cables. In this
model only the forces of the cables are modelled, not the cables themselves. It is well known that in
any pre-tensioning process losses occur due to several factors and the deformations in the element.
In order to better assess those effects, further and more advanced simulation will be required. Since
this reports scope is limited to a first approach, those results are not included.

15
The loads were applied in 3 different steps. The self-weight of the structure was applied in the first
step. In the second one, the post-tensioning forces were added and finally the external point load at
the center of the arch ring was applied at the last time step. This was useful in order to identify the
effect of the mentioned loads separately and its influence in the structures behavior.

The set-up of the model is shown in Figure 17. It should be noticed that the values for the post-
tensioning force given in Table 6 correspond to the value of the forces at the center and both quarters
span of the arch. The post-tensioning forces applied at the springing of the arch ring correspond to
the value required to achieve equilibrium between the 5 post-tensioning forces at the center of the
arrangement. Ten different levels of post-tensioning were modelled in order to better understand its
influence in the performance of the structure. A positive linear relationship was found between the
post-tensioning force and both the ultimate load capacity of the arch ring and the maximum pressure
developed between voussoirs contact points as can be seen in Figure 18 and Figure 19 respectively.

Figure 17: Set-up of the FEM non-linear model including the post-tensioning forces.

Table 6: Ultimate load capacities of the arch ring after several level of post-tensioning.

Post-tensioning force (N) Ultimate load (N) Maximum pressure (MPa)


1000 5700 3.25
2000 6900 3.26
3000 8200 3.34
4000 9500 3.43
5000 10750 3.47
6000 12000 3.52
7000 13250 3.56
8000 14500 3.61
9000 15750 3.65
10000 17250 3.90

16
20000
18000
16000

Ultimate load capacity, N


14000
12000
10000
8000
6000 y = 1.2721x + 4383.3
R = 0.9997
4000
2000
0
0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000
Post-tensioning force P1, N

Figure 18: Post-tensioning force - Ultimate load capacity relationship plot.

4
3.9
Maximum contact pressure, MPa

3.8
3.7
3.6
3.5
3.4
3.3
y = 6E-05x + 3.1533
3.2 R = 0.9308
3.1
3
0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000
Post-tensioning force P1, N

Figure 19: Post-tensioning force Maximum contact pressure relationship plot.

Displacements are shown in Figure 20. It can be seen that the collapse mechanism developed is the
typical one developed in symmetrical arches with 5 hinges in total. The center of the arch presents
negative displacements whereas that the quarters span locations present lifting. The quite small
displacement at which the collapse mechanism was fully formed, only 0.7 , causes serious doubts
about the validation of the results. In practice, masonry structures are quite flexible and able to sustain
bigger deformations before they actually collapse. Such small value may be explained by the
assumptions based on the plasticity theory adopted to model the contact between voussoirs,
conditions that in real life are not feasible. Further exploration would be required in further jobs to
clarify this situation. It is also interesting to see that post-tensioning loads actually reduce the
displacement caused by self-weight, thus increasing the arch stability.

17
(a)

(b)
Figure 20: Vertical displacements, (a) After the ultimate load was applied, (b) plot of the maximum value at each time
step.

Contact pressures are shown in Figure 21. At none of the analysis with the different post-tensioning
forces the maximum value of the pressure between voussoirs exceeded 10 % of the compressive
stress of the Granite, in this case considered to be of 100 . This fact justifies the use of a linear
elastic material in the model, which highly simplifies the analysis. It is worth saying that Granite is one
of the strongest stones used for construction of masonry structures. It was decided to take this stone
as a reference because its use is very common in Ireland, nevertheless, this may not be the case in
real life situations. The stone may have suffered weathering or damage, therefore reducing its
compressive strength. It can also be the case that a weaker stone, ore bricks were used for the
construction of the bridge, such materials would generally have lower compressive strengths and the
hypothesis of using a linear elastic material to model them may not be justified.

Figure 22 shows the values of the left reaction in the bridge, by symmetry, the right reaction will have
same magnitude but opposite direction. The proposed cable arrangement and the deterministic
values of post-tensioning for the upper cables, result in higher post-tensioning forces applied to the
lower cables in order to balance the forces at the center of the arrangement. This turn out to be
beneficial since its horizontal component results in a reduction of the horizontal thrust transfer to the
abutments of the bridge, therefore achieving other of the goals, contain the horizontal thrust at the
abutments. Caution may be exerted though, since for example the application at the lower cables of
a force of 29 is required to balance the forces for a post-tensioning force of 10 , applied as said
before at the upper cables of the arrangement. This situation may be dealt by the use of several cables
at the lower part of the arrangement which can complicate the physical installation, or by using a high
strength steel which will increase the costs of the intervention. Specific solutions should be proposed
for specific study cases.

18
(a)

(b)
Figure 21: Contact pressures, (a) After the ultimate load was applied, (b) plot of the maximum value at each time step.

(a)

(b)
Figure 22: Left reaction, (a) After the ultimate load was applied, (b) plot of the maximum value at each time step.

19
6. Comparison with other available strengthening techniques
Several strengthening techniques are available nowadays and could be applied in masonry arch
bridges. A selection of them was done after what was found in the literature and is presented in Table
7. The factors under discussion on this report are not related to whether the technique is able to
achieve an improvement on the structural response of the structure, all of the techniques attain that
goal at some extent according to the references, it focuses on whether or not the interventions are
sympathetic and respect the criteria stablished in conservation charters for monuments and historical
constructions, see (ICOMOS 2004). A rough qualitative appreciation was done using three levels scale.

Table 7: Strengthening techniques comparison.

Minimum Compatibility Original


Technique Reversibility Durability Distinguishability
intervention of materials functionality
Grouting,
repointing or
substitution of
YES YES YES MAYBE YES MAYBE
damaged voussoirs
(Theodossopoulos
2012)
Insertion of steel
RSJs or RC beams
YES YES NO MAYBE YES YES
(O'Dwyer 2017)

Sprayed concrete
to the intrados
NO NO NO MAYBE NO YES
(D'Ayala and Fodde
2008)
Concrete saddles
(D'Ayala and Fodde NO NO NO YES NO YES
2008)
Arch stitching
(D'Ayala and Fodde
2008),
NO NO MAYBE MAYBE NO YES
(Theodossopoulos
2012)

Glued steel bars or


wood (D'Ayala and NO NO MAYBE MAYBE NO YES
Fodde 2008)
FRP, FRCM, TRM*
(D'Ayala and Fodde
2008), NO NO MAYBE MAYBE NO YES
(Theodossopoulos
2012)
Borri & Castori
(D'Ayala and Fodde MAYBE NO NO MAYBE YES YES
2008)
RAM, (Jurina
MAYBE NO MAYBE MAYBE YES YES
2016)
This report
YES YES YES MAYBE YES YES
proposal
*FRP = Fiber Reinforced Polymers, FRCM = Fiber Reinforced Cementitious Matrix, TRM = Textile reinforced
mortar.

20
Taking the final decision of which technique should be used will always depend upon the specific
conditions and values of each structure and will never be straight forward. Some authors, (O'Dwyer
2017) and (Theodossopoulos 2012) to name a few, even consider the possibility of do not perform
any intervention at all. Since sometimes adequate strengthening techniques may pose a high technical
challenge and high costs they suggest to actually build a new bridge and close or limit the use of the
existing damaged masonry arch bridge. This may not be a viable option neither since the best way to
preserve historical constructions and monuments is to keep them in use. The construction of a new
bridge will just increase the neglecting of the masonry arch bridge accelerating its decay and probably
causing its total collapse.

21
7. Conclusions and further work
General conclusions
By no means should this report be taken as an exhaustive or conclusive study of the strengthening
technique proposed. Nevertheless, as a first approach and introductory study, it has shown very
promising results.

The results obtained via simple non-linear FEM models based on the assumed hypothesis, show that
the proposal effectively increased the ultimate load capacity of the arch ring. It was also shown that
the post-tensioning arrangement is capable of containing at certain level the horizontal thrust at the
abutments.

The proposed technique is deemed to be sympathetic and has great potential to be used in order to
repair, strengthen and retrofit historical masonry arch bridges.

Further work
The following list is presented as the possible future study aspects to study in order to validate and
finally implement the post-tensioning system proposed in this report:

Experimental validation.
Study against water uplift due to floods.
Exploration of the effect of non-symmetrical loads.
Development of more complex numerical simulations taking into account:
o 3D Geometry.
o Infill, spandrel walls and road surface contribution to the load capacity of the bridge.
o Direct modelling of the post-tensioning cables.
Application to a case study.

22
References
BA-16/97 (2001). Design Manual for Roads and Bridges. Highway Structures: Inspection and
Maintenance.
Construction Industry Research and Information Association., Great Britain. Department for
Transport. and Network Rail (Firm) (2006). Masonry arch bridges : condition appraisal and remedial
treatment. London, Ciria.
D'Ayala, D. and E. Fodde, Eds. (2008). Structural analysis of historic construction : preserving safety
and significance : proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Structural Analysis of Historic
Construction, 2-4 July, Bath, United Kingdom. Boca Raton, CRC Press.
Donald, P., D. W. O'Dwyer and F. Robinson, Eds. (2013). Ireland's civil engineering heritage. Cork,
Collins Press.
Gilbert, M. (2017). The Fundamentals of Masonry Arch Bridge Analysis with LimitState:RING.
Heyman, J. (1982). The masonry arch. Chichester, Horwood.
Heyman, J. (1995). The stone skeleton : structural engineering of masonry architecture. Cambridge,
Cambridge University Press.
ICOMOS (2004). International Charters for Conservation and Restoration. Mnchen.
Jurina, L. (2016). Experimental tests on consolidation of masonry bridges using "RAM-Reinforced Arch
Method". 8th International Conference on Arch Bridges. Wroclaw, Poland.
O'Dwyer, D. (2017). Handouts from the Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Building Repair and
Conservation.

. Dublin, Ireland., Trinity College Dublin, Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental
Engineering.
Roca, P. (2015). SAHC Lecture Notes. SA1: Ancient Rules and Classical Approaches, Part 1. L. Pela.
Theodossopoulos, D. (2012). Structural design in building conservation. London, Taylor & Francis.

23
Appendix

A. Process of routine maintenance management for a bridge (Construction


Industry Research and Information Association., Great Britain. Department
for Transport. et al. 2006).

24
B. Specialist investigation, testing and monitoring techniques for bridge
investigation (Construction Industry Research and Information
Association., Great Britain. Department for Transport. et al. 2006).

25
C. Specialist inspection techniques for bridge investigation (Construction
Industry Research and Information Association., Great Britain. Department
for Transport. et al. 2006).

26
D. Common geotechnical testing techniques for masonry arch bridge
investigation (Construction Industry Research and Information
Association., Great Britain. Department for Transport. et al. 2006).

27
E. Possible levels of structural analysis for masonry arch bridges
(Construction Industry Research and Information Association., Great
Britain. Department for Transport. et al. 2006).

28
F. Comparison of main analysis methods for bridge assessment (Construction
Industry Research and Information Association., Great Britain. Department
for Transport. et al. 2006).

29
G. Application of remedial measures to treat common defects (Construction
Industry Research and Information Association., Great Britain. Department
for Transport. et al. 2006).

30