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|Title:||Theoretically optimal forms for very long span bridges under gravity loading|
|Keywords:||Bridges;Catenary of equal strength;Structural optimization;Layout optimization|
|Citation:||Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences|
|Abstract:||Long span bridges have traditionally employed suspension or cable-stayed forms, comprising vertical pylons and networks of cables supporting a bridge deck. However, the optimality of such forms over very long spans appears never to have been rigorously assessed, and the theoretically optimal form for a given span carrying gravity loading has remained unknown. To address this we here describe a new numerical layout optimization procedure capable of intrinsically modelling the self-weight of the constituent structural elements, and use this to identify the form requiring the minimum volume of material for a given span. The bridge forms identified are complex and differ markedly to traditional suspension and cable-stayed bridge forms. Simplified variants incorporating split pylons are also presented. Although these would still be challenging to construct in practice, a benefit is that they are capable of spanning much greater distances for a given volume of material than traditional suspension and cablestayed forms employing vertical pylons, particularly when very long spans (e.g. over 2km) are involved.|
|Appears in Collections:||Dept of Mathematics Research Papers|
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