Numerical investigation of temperature gradient-induced thermal stress for steel–concrete composite bridge deck in suspension bridges

Da Wang, Yang Deng, Yongming Liu, Yang Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A 3D finite element model (FEM) with realistic field measurements of temperature distributions is proposed to investigate the thermal stress variation in the steel–concrete composite bridge deck system. First, a brief literature review indicates that traditional thermal stress calculation in suspension bridges is based on the 2D plane structure with simplified temperature profiles on bridges. Thus, a 3D FEM is proposed for accurate stress analysis. The focus is on the incorporation of full field arbitrary temperature profile for the stress analysis. Following this, the effect of realistic temperature distribution on the structure is investigated in detail and an example using field measurements of Aizhai Bridge is integrated with the proposed 3D FEM model. Parametric studies are used to illustrate the effect of different parameters on the thermal stress distribution in the bridge structure. Next, the discussion and comparison of the proposed methodology and simplified calculation method in the standard is given. The calculation difference and their potential impact on the structure are shown in detail. Finally, some conclusions and recommendations for future bridge analysis and design are given based on the proposed study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-195
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Central South University
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018



  • finite element method
  • steel–concrete composite bridge deck
  • suspension bridge
  • thermal stress
  • vertical temperature gradient

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Metals and Alloys

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