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International Journal of Advanced Engineering Technology

Research Paper
N D Shah1, D A Shah2, Dr J A Desai3, H S Patil4

Address for correspondence

Associate Professor & Head, Civil Dept., Charotar Institute of Technology, CHARUSAT,
Lecturer, Civil Department, Charotar Institute of Technology, CHARUSAT, Changa.
Director, C G Patel Institute of Technology, Bardoli – 394 350.
Professor, Applied Mechanics Department, SV National Institute of Technology, Surat
Deflection theory is the basic theory of cable and stiffening girder suspension bridges.
Geometric nonlinearity of suspension bridges due to dead load is taken in to account in this
theory. Geometrical changes are having significant effects in suspension bridges, so it cannot
be neglected in preliminary analysis of suspension bridges. Series method is a new method
for the deterministic aerostatic stability analysis of suspension bridges. The geometric
nonlinearity in the deflection theory and the three components of displacement-dependent
wind loads are taken into account in the method. A computer program for calculating change
in various geometric parameters of stiffened suspension bridges is developed using HTML.
Again another computer program for finding a critical wind velocity of suspension bridges
was developed using MATLAB.
Aerostatic Stability, Suspension Bridge, Nonlinearity, Displacement Dependent Wind Load

INTRODUCTION strong chains over the top of several

The basic design of a suspension bridge towers and anchoring them on either side
has been in use for centuries: thousands of of the bridge. He hung lesser chains from
years ago, people crossed waterways and the two master chains and used them to
chasms by swinging hand over hand on suspend a rigid deck, and the modern
suspended cables. Later, walkways were incarnation of the suspension bridge was
hung from the cables to make the process born.
easier, and the original vines and ropes A suspension bridge is a type of bridge
began to be replaced with chains. Major which is built by suspending the roadway
bridges were still built using a truss design from cables attached to a master cable
until 1808, when an American inventor which runs above the length of the bridge.
named James Finley filed a patent on an In addition to being strong and
early version of a suspension bridge. lightweight, suspension bridges are also
Finley's design involved stretching two beautiful, and some of the most famous

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International Journal of Advanced Engineering Technology

bridges in the world are also suspension increasingly being constructed all over the
bridges, including San Francisco's iconic world. Thus, there is a need for developing
Golden Gate Bridge and New York's a comprehensive understanding about the
Brooklyn Bridge. The design of a detailed behavior of these bridges. Also,
suspension bridge is simple and they are one of the costliest civil
straightforward, and takes advantage of engineering projects, and hence necessitate
several techniques to distribute the weight much attention while its analysis and
of the bridge safely and evenly. structural design stage. Therefore, it is
Suspension Bridges have received more imperative that a reliable analysis should
attention due to their ability to cover the be available. With the increasing central
large spans. For bridging the long and span length of suspension bridges, it
unsupported spans, the Suspension Bridges becomes especially important to
present the most elegant and efficient understand the aerostatic behavior of
structural solution. And hence, they are suspension bridges.

Fig. 1: Cable Element

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THEORY OF STIFFENED Lateral shift of cable element:

ξ =1− secQ *{(1−2z) sin2πz+(1−cos2πz)}
In the theory of cable and stiffening girder
Vertical deflection of cable element:
systems the geometrical relations between
the positions and dimensions of a given η = a 2 sin 2 π z …….(2)
element of the cable in the initial and Initial slope of undeflected cable:
deflected configuration is taken in to 4f
Ψ = tan − 1  (1 − 2 z ) 
account. As shown in Fig. 1 an element of  l  .….(3)
cable length is defined by cd subtends a Deflection of stiffening girder:
length ab when not deflected. After ν = a 2 s in 2 π z ………(4)
deflection the point c and d move to new Forces in the suspenders:
position c’ and the length c’d’ is in general Hw8f 4π2    w 
Fh =   2 + 2 a2 sin *{hs} −( hs ) * 1 
not equal to cd. The vertical deflection of c EA l l l     2 
is denoted by η and the lateral shift of the …………… (5)
same point is ξ. Horizontal component due to dead load:
The suspenders which connect cd to ef in wl 2
Hw = …… (6)
the initial configuration, are attached to 8f

c’d’ in the deflected position since c’ and Where,

d’ are the new positions of c and d. The E=Modulus of elasticity of cable, A=Area of cable,
f=Sag of the cable, a2 =Maximum deflection of
deflection of the girder at e is denoted by ν
structure, l= Length of main span, hs=Hanger
and is equal to the sum of η and changes
spacing, w= weight of main span, w1= weight of
due to the suspenders. cables, suspenders etc. in main span.
Structural details decide whether g shall be JavaScript is an object-oriented scripting
vertically below e and are discussed later. language used to
The slope of the undeflected cable is ψ. enable programmatic access to objects
Equations for calculating deflection of within both the client application and
suspended main cable, deflection of girder, other applications. It is primarily used in
slope of undeflected cable in initial the form of client-side JavaScript,
position and forces in suspenders of any implemented as an integrated component
finite element cable based on basic of the web browser, allowing the
deflection theory of suspension bridges are development of enhanced user
as follows:
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interfaces and dynamic websites. Spans= 1,125 ft. , Weight of Main Span
JavaScript is a dialect of the ECMA per lineal ft. Deck= 1,11,300 lbs., Weight
Script standard and is characterized as of Cables, Suspenders etc.= 6,670 lbs.,
a dynamic, weakly typed, prototype- Weight of Stiffening Trusses= 3,330 lbs.,
based language with first-class functions. Weight of Bracing= 600 lbs., Weight of
JavaScript was influenced by many Miscellaneous= 400 lbs., Total Weight
languages and was designed to look =21,300lbs., Dead load for side spans per
like Java, but to be easier for non- linear ft.= 21,500 lbs., Live load capacity
programmers to work with. per linear ft.= 4,000 lbs., Maximum
A computer HTML program is developed downward deflection of Main Span= 10.8
for calculating change in various ft., Longitudinal Tower deflections
geometrical parameters due to dead load of Shoreward= 22 ins., Longitudinal Tower
Stiffened Suspension Bridges. Main deflections Channel ward= 18 ins.
feature of program is, it can simulate Diameter of Cables over wrapping= 36-f
graphical presentation of deflected shape. ins., Length of one cable= 7,650 ft.,
Its accuracy has been checked by Number of wires in each cable= 27,572,
numerical example. Size of wire, diameter= 0.196 ins., Weight
Properties of the main span of the Golden of cable, suspenders etc.= 24,500 tons.,
Gate Bridge at San Francisco are as under: Moment of Inertia of one main stiffening
Length of Main Span= 4,200 ft. , Sag of girder= 43,150 in4.
Main Span= 470 ft. , Length of Side

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Vertical Cable Deflection Girder Deflection

Paper Results:[2] Our Results Paper Results:[2] Our Results

z ψ z ν
0 24°7’ 0 0.000

0.1 19°42’ 0.1 5.877

0.2 15°2’ 0.2 9.510

0.3 9.510
0.3 10°9’
0.4 5.877
0.4 5°7’
0.5 0.000
0.5 0°0’
0.6 -5.877
0.6 5°7’
0.7 -9.510
0.7 10°9’
0.8 -9.510
0.8 15°2’
0.9 -5.877
0.9 19°42’
1.0 0.000
1.0 24°7’

Fig 2: Three Components of Wind Loads in Different Axes

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AEROSTATIC ANALYSIS overcome drawbacks of existing

Bridges are frequently built on exposed deterministic methods for aerostatic
sites and are subject to severe wind stability analysis of suspension bridges.
conditions. Aerostatic loads on bridge Series method is also proposed to
superstructures depend on the type of investigate the aerostatic stability of
bridge, such as slab-stringer, truss, suspension bridges using a hybrid method,
arch, cable-stayed, or suspension. Other consisting of the series method and direct
parameters that affect aerostatic loads on Monte Carlo simulation.
bridge superstructures are the wind Presented series method contains the fol-
velocity, angle of attack, the size and lowing characteristics:
shape of the bridge, the terrain, and • The series method considers both three
the gust characteristics. Aerostatic loads components of displacement-
form a major component of lateral loads dependent wind loads and geometric
that act on all structure. In general, they nonlinearity of structure in the
are a component of the so called deflection theory of suspension
environmental loads to which all bridges.
structures are subjected. Because of the • The following derivation of formula is
long spans, suspension bridges have based on the deflection theory of
become increasingly sensitive to aerostatic suspension bridges.
instability. This is mainly because this theory can, to a
On the other hand, experimental certain extent account for the geometric
observations suggest that the aerostatic nonlinearity of structure (the stiffening
instability of long-span bridges effect of the tension force in the cable).
(suspension bridges and cable-stayed This conclusion has been demonstrated by
bridges) can occur under the action of the fact that the majority of the existing
static aerostatic loads. Therefore, the long span suspension bridges were
aerostatic stability analysis of long span correctly designed using the deflection
suspension bridges under the aerostatic theory before the computer era.
loads is of considerable importance. ASSUMPTIONS MADE IN THEORY
DETERMINISTIC AEROSTATIC In the above theory, the following
STABILITY ANALYSIS OF assumptions are made:
1. Hanger is densely distributed along the
A series method is proposed by Jin Cheng,
bridge length direction;
Jian-Jing Jiang, Ru-Cheng Xiao [10] to

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2. The stretching of hangers under wind Assuming that under the effect of the mean
loads is ignored; wind velocity V with the angle of
3. Changes of critical wind velocity incidence α0, the torsional displacement of
caused by longitudinal deformation deck is θ. Then the effective wind angle of
and lateral deflection of stiffened attack is α = α0 + θ. The components of
girder are ignored; wind forces per unit span acting on the
4. Configuration of cable during on deformed deck can be written in wind axes
completion is quadratic parabola; as:
stress of stiffened girder due to dead Drag force: Fv(α) = 0.5 ρ V2 Cy(α ) D
load is ignored and …………(7)
5. Under the action of drag force of Lift force: Fz(α) = 0.5 ρ V2 Cz(α ) D

displacement-dependent wind loads, ………..(8)

Pitch moment: M(α) = 0.5 ρ V2 Cm(α ) B2
the load transferred to the stiffened
girder from cables is assumed to be
isosceles triangle distribution. SOLUTION PROCEDURE
SERIES METHOD 1. Calculate the initial horizontal
The series method is a two-step process: component of cable tension owing to
the calculation of deflection response dead loads of cables, hangers and
under the displacement-dependent wind stiffened girder from
loads and the calculation of the critical ql 2
Ho =
wind velocity. The response under the 8f
displacement-dependent wind loads is 2. Give an initial wind velocity V
calculated from Fourier series. The critical 3. Initialize the iteration counter i = 1.
wind velocity is calculated by means of an 4. If i = 1, the coefficient bri = 0, Hpi =
iterative method. It is found that a small 0, and Hi = H0 in Eq.(13).
number of iteration cycles and Fourier 5. Determine the coefficient ari by
coefficients are sufficient enough for substituting bri, Hpi and Hi into Eq.
convergence. The series method is suitable (13).
for single-span suspension bridges. 6. Calculate the vertical displacement of
Three components of wind loads stiffened girder, η(x), from (10).
The three components of wind load are 7. Set i= i+1.
drag force, lift force and pitch moment. 8. Substitute η(x) into (9), and the new
Consider a section of bridge deck in a value of Hpi is determined.
smooth flow, as shown in Fig. 2.
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9. Let Hi= Ho+ Hpi 13. If ε1 > ε1max, go to step 5. If ε1<

10. Substitute Hi into (7), and the ε1max, continue.
coefficient br is determined. 14. Check the convergence using
11. Calculate the torsional displacement of i
15. Check if H has a negative value.
stiffened girder, α(x), and the vertical 16. If Hi is a positive value, update the
displacement of stiffened girder, η(x), wind velocity V using
and the lateral displacement of 17. V= V + ∆V
stiffened girder, u(x), from (4), (10), 18. Where V is the incremental wind
(18) and (19), respectively. velocity, go to step 2;
12. Check the convergence value ε1 using 19. Otherwise, STOP (end of calculation).
i −1
H −H
ε1 =
H i −1

The flowchart for the same is as shown in Fig. 3.

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VERIFICATION EXAMPLE 143 m. Drag force acting on the towers

The Hu Men suspension bridge in China was not considered.
was chosen for verification example. The Comparison of different methods result for
general configurations of the bridge, critical wind velocity is shown in table
shown in Fig. 5.03, are summarized as 4.02. From this table it can be seen that
follows: a suspension bridge of main span presented series method result using
888 m; portal frame shape towers with 150 matlab-7.0 is nearly equal to paper result.
m height; closed-box deck with 3.012 m And quite satisfactory result in the
depth and 35.6 m width; width between prediction of critical wind velocity can be
center lines of cables is 33 m; the spacing obtained by using MATLAB program.
between the two hangers is 12.0 m. section And <5% difference with respect to
material and geometrical features of the accurate critical wind velocity calculated
main member are indicated in Table 1. by different methods as shown in Table 2.
The three components of the displacement- Fig 4 shows horizontal tension in cable vs.
dependent wind loads were only wind velocity. From this fig it can be seen
considered for the bridge deck while for that horizontal tension in cable decreases
the cables only the initial drag force was with increase in wind velocity. And for a
considered. The angle of incidence α0= 0 is particular wind velocity it gives negative
taken. The coefficients (e1, e2, c1, c2) are value. It indicates critical wind velocity,
given by e 1 = 0.00877, e2 = 0.01838, c1 which may causes instability in suspension
=0.02462, c2 = 0.0789. Sag of the cable is bridge.

Table 1: Section Geometrical and Material Features

m (t/m) E(MPa) γ
Steel box girder 18.33 210000.0 0.3
Cable 2.397 200000.0 -
Hanger 0.172 160000.0 -

Table 2: Result Comparison for Critical Wind Velocity

Paper Result MATLAB-7.0 Result
NFEM Linear Method Series Series Method
Critical Wind 120.0 136.0 125.0 123.0
Velocity (m/s)

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Fig 4: Horizontal tension Vs. Wind velocity

CONCLUSIONS the suspenders it is necessary to know
From this work following conclusions can the forces in the suspenders.
be drawn: 6. Salient feature of HTML program is, it
1. Series method gives very precise can simulate deflected shape of a cable
results compared to NFEM and linear element at various distances from
method, the difference is @ <5% with tower.
respect to accurate critical wind REFERENCES
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Suspension Bridges”
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International Journal of Advanced Engineering Technology

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