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The effect of increasing train lengths on the fatigue lifespan of a bridge.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Civil and Architectural Engineering, Structural Engineering and Bridges.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Civil and Architectural Engineering, Structural Engineering and Bridges.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

More and more pressure is exerted on railway infrastructure due to an increasing transportation demand and population density. Instead of expanding the net, a possible solution could lie in the enlargement of the capacity by operating longer trains rather than more short ones. However, close attention has to be paid to the behaviour and the lifetime of the infrastructure under these changed loads. In special bridges are delicate aspects in this matter.

In the current thesis the simply supported Banafjäl bridge located on the Bothnia Line in the North of Sweden is studied more in detail with regards to this aspect. It is a high-speed composite railway bridge with a span of 42 m. A detailed 3D finite element (FE) model is made available. However in order to make reliable predictions about the behaviour under increasing train length loads, it had to be further improved.

Different methods of calibrating measured response data to an existing FE model, finite element model updating (FEMU), are available and a detailed overview is given at the beginning of this thesis. Next a sensitivity analysis was performed to select the material parameters which are most influential for the result and will be updated. In the following, FEMU is carried out by means of two iterative updating methods, genetic and gradient-based optimization, after which also a combination of these two is implemented. Two objective functions are chosen and it is shown that all methods converge to a global optimal solution.

After adjusting the initial model with the updated parameter values, a fatigue analysis on this updated model is carried out for high-speed trains of multiple lengthsby means of the Palmgren-Miner rule. The fatigue is found to increase with increasing train length and in particular when the speed approaches resonance speed. By extension an operating chart is created to indicate the maximum amount of train passages per day in function of speed and train length for a type 4 fatigue train. Furthermore, damping has been shown to have a positive effect on the fatigue, the larger this effect for shorter trains. The static behaviour has been proven not to be a problem and so will solely the weight of trains induce little to no fatigue problems in this particular bridge.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 127 p.
TRITA-BKN-Examensarbete, ISSN 1103-4297 ; 475
Keyword [en]
Finite element model updating, sensitivity analysis, objective function, dynamic analysis, Banafjäl bridge, fatigue lifetime, high-speed bridge
National Category
Infrastructure Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-187868ISRN: ISRN KTH/BKN/EX-475-SEOAI: diva2:931704
Subject / course
Structural Design and Bridges
Educational program
Degree of Master - Civil and Architectural Engineering
2016-05-23, Stockholm, 13:09 (English)
Available from: 2016-06-07 Created: 2016-05-30 Last updated: 2016-06-07Bibliographically approved

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