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Infrastructures, Volume 4, Issue 2 (June 2019)

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Open AccessArticle
Impacts of Seasonal and Annual Weather Variations on Network-Level Pavement Performance
Infrastructures 2019, 4(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures4020027 (registering DOI)
Received: 4 March 2019 / Revised: 7 May 2019 / Accepted: 8 May 2019 / Published: 17 May 2019
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Abstract
This study was aimed to determine the extent of association between network-level pavement condition and seasonal and annual weather variations. Pavement condition data recorded in the Texas Department of Transportation’s Pavement Management Information System (PMIS) database between 2000 and 2008 was highlighted. Meteorological [...] Read more.
This study was aimed to determine the extent of association between network-level pavement condition and seasonal and annual weather variations. Pavement condition data recorded in the Texas Department of Transportation’s Pavement Management Information System (PMIS) database between 2000 and 2008 was highlighted. Meteorological data collected at different districts across the whole state were used in the explanatory variables. Dynamic panel data analysis was used in the deterioration models to quantify the effects of temperature and precipitation variations on pavement conditions. Based on the statistical implication from the model estimation results, significant correlations were identified between pavement conditions, the average monthly rainfall, and the average monthly temperature recorded 1 to 23 months prior to pavement condition inspection. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Prediction of Compression Index of Fine-Grained Soils Using a Gene Expression Programming Model
Infrastructures 2019, 4(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures4020026
Received: 23 March 2019 / Revised: 8 May 2019 / Accepted: 9 May 2019 / Published: 14 May 2019
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Abstract
In construction projects, estimation of the settlement of fine-grained soils is of critical importance, and yet is a challenging task. The coefficient of consolidation for the compression index (Cc) is a key parameter in modeling the settlement of fine-grained soil [...] Read more.
In construction projects, estimation of the settlement of fine-grained soils is of critical importance, and yet is a challenging task. The coefficient of consolidation for the compression index (Cc) is a key parameter in modeling the settlement of fine-grained soil layers. However, the estimation of this parameter is costly, time-consuming, and requires skilled technicians. To overcome these drawbacks, we aimed to predict Cc through other soil parameters, i.e., the liquid limit (LL), plastic limit (PL), and initial void ratio (e0). Using these parameters is more convenient and requires substantially less time and cost compared to the conventional tests to estimate Cc. This study presents a novel prediction model for the Cc of fine-grained soils using gene expression programming (GEP). A database consisting of 108 different data points was used to develop the model. A closed-form equation solution was derived to estimate Cc based on LL, PL, and e0. The performance of the developed GEP-based model was evaluated through the coefficient of determination (R2), the root mean squared error (RMSE), and the mean average error (MAE). The proposed model performed better in terms of R2, RMSE, and MAE compared to the other models. Full article
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Open AccessTechnical Note
Durable Bridge Columns using Stay-In-Place UHPC Shells for Accelerated Bridge Construction
Infrastructures 2019, 4(2), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures4020025
Received: 2 April 2019 / Revised: 6 May 2019 / Accepted: 11 May 2019 / Published: 13 May 2019
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Abstract
Ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) is a durable material that allows the construction of innovative structural elements and conforms with accelerated bridge construction (ABC) goals. The main idea of this research is to utilize UHPC to prefabricate a shell that acts as a stay-in-place [...] Read more.
Ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) is a durable material that allows the construction of innovative structural elements and conforms with accelerated bridge construction (ABC) goals. The main idea of this research is to utilize UHPC to prefabricate a shell that acts as a stay-in-place form for bridge columns. The prefabricated shell eliminates the conventional formwork while reducing the on-site construction time and acting as a durable protective layer for the normal concrete inside the shell against environmental attacks. In addition, the UHPC shell provides additional confinement to the column concrete, which improves the column’s structural performance. During construction and after completing the column reinforcement work onsite, based on the conventional construction methods, the prefabricated UHPC shell is placed around the column reinforcement, followed by casting a portion of UHPC for a column-to-footing connection, which improves the capacity of the connection and shifts the plastic hinge zone above the connection. Once the UHPC portion hardens, normal concrete is placed inside the shell, forming a permanent concrete-filled UHPC shell. The construction process is finalized by placing and connecting a prefabricated cap beam to the column through the same developed connection as that in this research. This technical note presents the development of two test specimens using an UHPC shell in lieu of a conventional formwork with the advantage of improving the column performance and durability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Recovered Bitumen from Coarse and Fine Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement Particles
Infrastructures 2019, 4(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures4020024
Received: 9 April 2019 / Revised: 3 May 2019 / Accepted: 8 May 2019 / Published: 11 May 2019
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Abstract
In the current era of road construction, it is common to add a small amount of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) in asphalt mixes without significantly changing properties such as stiffness and low-temperature cracking resistance. Not only can these mixes be better for the [...] Read more.
In the current era of road construction, it is common to add a small amount of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) in asphalt mixes without significantly changing properties such as stiffness and low-temperature cracking resistance. Not only can these mixes be better for the environment, but they can also improve certain properties like rutting resistance. However, there is no clear understanding of how RAP gradation and bitumen properties impact the mixture properties. In this study, a single RAP source was separated into coarse and fine particles and added into a hot mix asphalt (HMA). Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometry was used to evaluate the chemical properties of the bitumen, while environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) image analysis was used to visualize the differences of the virgin and RAP bitumen at a microscopic level. The observed results indicated that the recovered bitumen from coarse RAP did not have the same characteristics as the fine RAP bitumen, and the interaction of RAP bitumen with virgin bitumen significantly depended on RAP particle size. The amount of active RAP bitumen in coarse RAP particles was higher than in fine RAP particles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advance and Future Trends in Pavement Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle
Surface Air Movement: An Important Contributor to Ventilation of Isolated Subsurface Structures?
Infrastructures 2019, 4(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures4020023
Received: 13 April 2019 / Revised: 6 May 2019 / Accepted: 7 May 2019 / Published: 9 May 2019
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Abstract
This study reports on near-surface airspeed measured using a fast-responding thermoanemometer during an investigation of ventilation of an isolated subsurface structure induced by natural forces. Air speed changes continuously, rapidly, and unpredictably when assessed on the time base of one or two seconds. [...] Read more.
This study reports on near-surface airspeed measured using a fast-responding thermoanemometer during an investigation of ventilation of an isolated subsurface structure induced by natural forces. Air speed changes continuously, rapidly, and unpredictably when assessed on the time base of one or two seconds. Zero, the most common air speed, occurred in almost all tests throughout the year but especially during cool and cold months. The most probable non-zero air speed, 10.7 m/min (35 ft/min), occurred in all tests. This air speed is below the level of detection by the senses. The number of zero values and the height of the peak at 10.7 m/min follow a repetitive annual cycle. Isolated subsurface structures containing manhole covers share the characteristics of Helmholtz resonators. Grazing air flow across the opening to the exterior induces rotational air flow in the airspace of a Helmholtz resonator. Rotational flow in the airspace potentially influences the exchange of the confined atmosphere with the external one. Ventilation of the airspace occurs continuously and without cost and is potentially enhanced by the unique characteristics of the Helmholtz resonator excited by surface air movement. These results have immense importance and immediate applicability to worker safety. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Show Me a Safer Way: Detecting Anomalous Driving Behavior Using Online Traffic Footage
Infrastructures 2019, 4(2), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures4020022
Received: 6 April 2019 / Revised: 1 May 2019 / Accepted: 5 May 2019 / Published: 8 May 2019
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Abstract
Real-time traffic monitoring is essential in many novel applications, from traffic management to smart navigation systems. The large number of traffic cameras being integrated into urban infrastructures has enabled efficient traffic monitoring as an intervention in reducing traffic accidents and related casualties. In [...] Read more.
Real-time traffic monitoring is essential in many novel applications, from traffic management to smart navigation systems. The large number of traffic cameras being integrated into urban infrastructures has enabled efficient traffic monitoring as an intervention in reducing traffic accidents and related casualties. In this paper, we focus on the problem of the automatic detection of anomalous driving behaviors, e.g., speeding or stopping on a bike lane, by using the traffic-camera feed that is available online. This can play an important role in personalized route-planning applications where, for instance, a user wants find the safest paths to get to a destination. We present an integrated system that accurately detects, tracks, and classifies vehicles using online traffic-camera feed. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Effect of Scour on the Natural Frequency Responses of Bridge Piers: Development of a Scour Depth Sensor
Infrastructures 2019, 4(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures4020021
Received: 29 March 2019 / Revised: 29 April 2019 / Accepted: 2 May 2019 / Published: 7 May 2019
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Abstract
Local scour is the removal of soil around bridge foundations under the erosive action of flowing water. This hydraulic risk has raised awareness of the need for developing continuous monitoring techniques to estimate scour depth around bridge piers and abutments. One of the [...] Read more.
Local scour is the removal of soil around bridge foundations under the erosive action of flowing water. This hydraulic risk has raised awareness of the need for developing continuous monitoring techniques to estimate scour depth around bridge piers and abutments. One of the emerging techniques is based on monitoring the vibration frequency of either bridge piers or a driven sensor in the riverbed. The sensor proposed in this study falls into the second category. Some unresolved issues are investigated: the effect of the geometry and material of the sensor, the effect of the embedded length and the effect of soil type. To this end, extensive laboratory tests are performed using rods of different materials, with various geometries and lengths. These tests are conducted in both dry sand and a soft clayey soil. Since the sensor will be placed in the riverbed, it is crucial to evaluate the effect of immersed conditions on its response. A numerical 3D finite-element model was developed and compared against experimental data. This model was then used to compute the ’wet’ frequencies of the sensor. Finally, based on both the experimental and numerical results, an equivalent cantilever model is proposed to correlate the variation of the frequency of the sensor to the scour depth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovate, Research, and Maintain Transportation Infrastructure)
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Open AccessArticle
Mix Design and Mechanical Properties of Fly Ash and GGBFS-Synthesized Alkali-Activated Concrete (AAC)
Infrastructures 2019, 4(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures4020020
Received: 2 March 2019 / Revised: 19 April 2019 / Accepted: 29 April 2019 / Published: 2 May 2019
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Abstract
Cement is one of the construction materials widely used around the world in order to develop infrastructure and it is also one of the factors affecting economies. The production of cement consumes a lot of raw materials like limestone, which releases CO2 [...] Read more.
Cement is one of the construction materials widely used around the world in order to develop infrastructure and it is also one of the factors affecting economies. The production of cement consumes a lot of raw materials like limestone, which releases CO2 into the atmosphere and thus leads to global warming. Many investigations are underway in this area, essentially focusing on the eco-accommodating environment. In the research, an alternative material to cement binder is geopolymer binder, with the same efficiency. This paper presents scanning electron microscope (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis of factory byproducts (i.e., fly ash and ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBFS)). The mix design process for the manufacture of alkali-activated geopolymer binders synthesized by fly ash and GGBFS is presented. The mechanical properties (compression, split tensile and flexural strength, bond strength) of geopolymer concrete at different mix proportions and at dissimilar curing conditions were also investigated. Geopolymer concrete synthesized with 30% fly ash and 70% GGBFS has better properties at 14 M of NaOH and cured in an oven for 24 hours at 70 ˚C. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durability and Sustainability of Concrete Mixtures)
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Open AccessArticle
Benchmarking Image Processing Algorithms for Unmanned Aerial System-Assisted Crack Detection in Concrete Structures
Infrastructures 2019, 4(2), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures4020019
Received: 24 March 2019 / Revised: 23 April 2019 / Accepted: 29 April 2019 / Published: 30 April 2019
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Abstract
This paper summarizes the results of traditional image processing algorithms for detection of defects in concrete using images taken by Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs). Such algorithms are useful for improving the accuracy of crack detection during autonomous inspection of bridges and other structures, [...] Read more.
This paper summarizes the results of traditional image processing algorithms for detection of defects in concrete using images taken by Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs). Such algorithms are useful for improving the accuracy of crack detection during autonomous inspection of bridges and other structures, and they have yet to be compared and evaluated on a dataset of concrete images taken by UAS. The authors created a generic image processing algorithm for crack detection, which included the major steps of filter design, edge detection, image enhancement, and segmentation, designed to uniformly compare different edge detectors. Edge detection was carried out by six filters in the spatial (Roberts, Prewitt, Sobel, and Laplacian of Gaussian) and frequency (Butterworth and Gaussian) domains. These algorithms were applied to fifty images each of defected and sound concrete. Performances of the six filters were compared in terms of accuracy, precision, minimum detectable crack width, computational time, and noise-to-signal ratio. In general, frequency domain techniques were slower than spatial domain methods because of the computational intensity of the Fourier and inverse Fourier transformations used to move between spatial and frequency domains. Frequency domain methods also produced noisier images than spatial domain methods. Crack detection in the spatial domain using the Laplacian of Gaussian filter proved to be the fastest, most accurate, and most precise method, and it resulted in the finest detectable crack width. The Laplacian of Gaussian filter in spatial domain is recommended for future applications of real-time crack detection using UAS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligent Infrastructures)
Open AccessArticle
Chloride Penetration at Cold Joints of Structural Members with Dissimilar Concrete Incorporating UHPC
Infrastructures 2019, 4(2), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures4020018
Received: 3 April 2019 / Revised: 22 April 2019 / Accepted: 22 April 2019 / Published: 24 April 2019
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Abstract
Ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC) has been introduced for reinforced concrete structures due to its enhanced mechanical performance, including high compressive strength and tensile capacity. In certain applications, such as closure joints, connections, and concrete repairs, reinforcing steel may be embedded in dissimilar concrete elements [...] Read more.
Ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC) has been introduced for reinforced concrete structures due to its enhanced mechanical performance, including high compressive strength and tensile capacity. In certain applications, such as closure joints, connections, and concrete repairs, reinforcing steel may be embedded in dissimilar concrete elements partially incorporating UHPC. Superficially, UHPC can be considered to provide enhanced corrosion durability in marine environments due to its low permeability which would mitigate chloride-induced corrosion of rebar in the bulk material. However, the chloride intrusion through cold joints can be faster than that in bulk concrete and may jeopardize the durability of structures. This research examines the possibility of enhanced chloride transport at the cold joint incorporating UHPC. The effectiveness of the bond on chloride penetration at the concrete interface with various levels of moisture availability for the substrate at the time of UHPC repair was examined. To this effect, the substrate concrete was conditioned to different moisture content including 0%, 75%, and 100% relative humidity, and soaked prior to UHPC repair concrete casting. Chloride penetration was accelerated by an impressed current source and assessed by silver nitrate solution sprayed on the cold joint. Moreover, the tensile bond strength between substrate concrete and UHPC was measured using the splitting tensile test. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Location Allocation of Sugar Beet Piling Centers Using GIS and Optimization
Infrastructures 2019, 4(2), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures4020017
Received: 8 March 2019 / Revised: 16 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 23 April 2019
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Abstract
The sugar beet is one of the most important crops for both social and economic reasons, even though the area under sugar beet cultivation in the Red River valley of North Dakota and Minnesota is comparatively smaller that of corn and other crop [...] Read more.
The sugar beet is one of the most important crops for both social and economic reasons, even though the area under sugar beet cultivation in the Red River valley of North Dakota and Minnesota is comparatively smaller that of corn and other crop lands. It generates a large economic activity in local and regional level with a greater impact on jobs and stimulation of agriculture, transportation, and farm economy. Sugar beet transportation takes place in two stages in Red River Valley: the first step is from farms to piling centers (pilers) and the second step from pilers to processing facilities. This study focuses on the problem of optimizing piler locations based on supply variation. Sugar beet supply and harvest varies significantly due to numerous reasons such as weather, water availability, and different maturity dates for the crop. This provides for a variable optimal harvesting time based on the plant maturity and sugar content. Sub-optimized pilers location result in the high transportation and utilization costs. The objective of this study is to minimize the sum of transportation costs to and from pilers and the pilers utilization cost. A two-step algorithm based on the geographical information system (GIS) with global optimization method is used to solve this problem. This method will also be useful for infrastructure decision makers such as planners and engineers to predict the truck volume on rural roads. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Fatigue Stress-Life Model of RC Beams Based on an Accelerated Fatigue Method
Infrastructures 2019, 4(2), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures4020016
Received: 21 March 2019 / Revised: 13 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 20 April 2019
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Abstract
Several standard fatigue testing methods are used to determine the fatigue stress-life prediction model (S-N curve) and the endurance limit of Reinforced Concrete (RC) beams, including the application of constant cyclic tension-tension loads at different stress or strain ranges. The standard fatigue testing [...] Read more.
Several standard fatigue testing methods are used to determine the fatigue stress-life prediction model (S-N curve) and the endurance limit of Reinforced Concrete (RC) beams, including the application of constant cyclic tension-tension loads at different stress or strain ranges. The standard fatigue testing methods are time-consuming and expensive to perform, as a large number of specimens is needed to obtain valid results. The purpose of this paper is to examine a fatigue stress-life predication model of RC beams that are developed with an accelerated fatigue approach. This approach is based on the hypothesis of linear accumulative damage of the Palmgren–Miner rule, whereby the applied cyclic load range is linearly increased with respect to the number of cycles until the specimen fails. A three-dimensional RC beam was modeled and validated using ANSYS software. Numerical simulations were performed for the RC beam under linearly increased cyclic loading with different initial loading conditions. A fatigue stress-life model was developed that was based on the analyzed data of three specimens. The accelerated fatigue approach has a higher rate of damage accumulations than the standard testing approach. All of the analyzed specimens failed due to an unstable cracking of concrete. The developed fatigue stress-life model fits the upper 95% prediction band of RC beams that were tested under constant amplitude cyclic loading. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Stability Assessment of Earth Retaining Structures under Static and Seismic Conditions
Infrastructures 2019, 4(2), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures4020015
Received: 28 January 2019 / Revised: 28 March 2019 / Accepted: 30 March 2019 / Published: 9 April 2019
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Abstract
An accurate estimation of static and seismic earth pressures is extremely important in geotechnical design. The conventional Coulomb’s approach and Mononobe-Okabe’s approach have been widely used in engineering practice. However, the latter approach provides the linear distribution of seismic earth pressure behind a [...] Read more.
An accurate estimation of static and seismic earth pressures is extremely important in geotechnical design. The conventional Coulomb’s approach and Mononobe-Okabe’s approach have been widely used in engineering practice. However, the latter approach provides the linear distribution of seismic earth pressure behind a retaining wall in an approximate way. Therefore, the pseudo-dynamic method can be used to compute the distribution of seismic active earth pressure in a more realistic manner. The effect of wall and soil inertia must be considered for the design of a retaining wall under seismic conditions. The method proposed considers the propagation of shear and primary waves through the backfill soil and the retaining wall due to seismic excitation. The crude estimate of finding the approximate seismic acceleration makes the pseudo-static approach often unreliable to adopt in the stability assessment of retaining walls. The predictions of the active earth pressure using Coulomb theory are not consistent with the laboratory results to the development of arching in the backfill soil. A new method is proposed to compute the active earth pressure acting on the backface of a rigid retaining wall undergoing horizontal translation. The predictions of the proposed method are verified against results of laboratory tests as well as the results from other methods proposed in the past. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seismic Resilient Infrastructures)
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Open AccessArticle
Identifying and Measuring Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) Key Performance Indicators and Management Strategies
Infrastructures 2019, 4(2), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures4020014
Received: 8 February 2019 / Revised: 22 March 2019 / Accepted: 26 March 2019 / Published: 29 March 2019
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Abstract
Delay and cost overrun in construction projects are two widespread problems that arouse practitioners’ and scholars’ concern. Therefore, the objective of this study was to identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in each of Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) phases separately and then calculate [...] Read more.
Delay and cost overrun in construction projects are two widespread problems that arouse practitioners’ and scholars’ concern. Therefore, the objective of this study was to identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in each of Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) phases separately and then calculate the weight impact that is associated with each of identified KPIs. Additionally, this study aimed to find the most appropriate Best Practices (BPs) for the identified phase-based indicators. Through a review of existing literature, a survey was developed to collect data from the completed construction projects. Various statistical methods, including two sample T-test and Kruskal-Wallis test, were utilized to analyze the data. Subsequently, Epsilon-Squared effect size method was applied to prioritize the identified KPIs. Since the lack of communication and slowness in decision making were found as the primary schedule Performance Indicators, schedule performance was identified to be highly affected by managerial approaches and actions. In addition, clients play a decisive role, because owner-driven change orders were found as the most crucial cost performance indicator affecting the performance of the engineering and construction phases. The outcome of this study helps practitioners and scholars to understand the phase-based cost and schedule KPIs, and appropriate mitigating strategies to improve the construction performance in EPC phases and save time and money. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Force Performance Analysis of Pile Behavior of the Lateral Load
Infrastructures 2019, 4(2), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures4020013
Received: 27 January 2019 / Revised: 20 March 2019 / Accepted: 25 March 2019 / Published: 28 March 2019
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Abstract
This study was focused on the performance of the pile force at the lateral load of an arched bridge. The effect of the compression of arch bridges creates a large horizontal load. Therefore, it is one of the most important factors in the [...] Read more.
This study was focused on the performance of the pile force at the lateral load of an arched bridge. The effect of the compression of arch bridges creates a large horizontal load. Therefore, it is one of the most important factors in the dimensioning of piles. The study aims to make a comparative study between the results obtained in the field, and those obtained by a 3D model defined as a Finite Element (FE) of a drilled pile, subjected to different lateral loads applied at exact time intervals. Moreover, the study was intended to determine the influence of the lateral load applied to a different pile diameter using the FE model. Thus, the unified FEA software Abaqus™ by Dassault systèmes® carried out various processing procedures, namely soil FE modeling, pile FE modeling, soil-pile interface, Mesh, and boundary conditions, to carry out an effective and predictive piles behavior analysis. Based on the Mohr-Coulomb criterion, the soil is considered to be stratified with elastoplastic behavior, whereas the Reinforcement Concrete Pile (RCP) was assumed to be linear isotropic elastic, integrating the concrete damage plasticity. Since the bridge is an arched bridge, the lateral load induced was applied to the head of the piles through a concentrated force to check the pile strength, for which the displacement, stress and strain were taken into account throughout, along the pile depth. The lateral displacement of the pile shows a deformation of the soil as a function of its depth, with different layers crossed with different lateral loads applied. Thus, from the study comparing the results of the FE measurements with the data measured in the field, added to the statistical analyses are as follows: Decrease of the displacement and stress according to the diameter, taking into account the different diameter. The foundations receive loads of the superstructure to be transmitted to the ground. Thus, the piles are generally used as a carrier transmitting loads on the ground. One of the important factors in the durability of the bridge depends more on the strength of these piles. This makes it necessary to study the reinforced concrete foundations because of their ability to resist loads of the structure, and the vertical and lateral loads applied to the structure. This implies an evaluation of the responses of the RCP according to the different lateral loads. Full article
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Infrastructures EISSN 2412-3811 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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