Guaranteeing adequate safety levels in critical infrastructures such as bridges is essential to modern societies and their vital services. Bridges with reinforced concrete structures are subject to deterioration, especially due to corrosion effects. Gerber saddles are among the key components of bridges which are especially exposed to environmental actions due to their position and reduced possibility of inspection. In this paper, a framework for the durability analysis of these components is proposed, considering the simultaneous presence of permanent loads and environmental actions under the form of chloride ions. Nonlinear numerical simulations adopting the finite element code ATENA are performed, accounting for chloride ingress analyses. The presence of cracks (due to applied loads and/or design/construction defects) which may speed-up corrosion propagation, steel reinforcement loss, cracking and spalling, and their effects on the load-bearing capacity is considered. This framework has been applied to the Gerber saddles of a prominent reinforced concrete (RC) bridge, namely the Musmeci bridge in Potenza, Italy. Durability analyses made it possible to evaluate the saddles’ strength capacity (i) at the time of construction, (ii) after forty-five years since the construction, and (iii) at an extended time of fifty years. The results show that corrosion can influence both the ultimate load capacity and the collapse mechanism.

Durability of gerber saddles in RC bridges: Analyses and applications (Musmeci Bridge, Italy)

Santarsiero G.;Masi A.;Picciano V.
2021-01-01

Abstract

Guaranteeing adequate safety levels in critical infrastructures such as bridges is essential to modern societies and their vital services. Bridges with reinforced concrete structures are subject to deterioration, especially due to corrosion effects. Gerber saddles are among the key components of bridges which are especially exposed to environmental actions due to their position and reduced possibility of inspection. In this paper, a framework for the durability analysis of these components is proposed, considering the simultaneous presence of permanent loads and environmental actions under the form of chloride ions. Nonlinear numerical simulations adopting the finite element code ATENA are performed, accounting for chloride ingress analyses. The presence of cracks (due to applied loads and/or design/construction defects) which may speed-up corrosion propagation, steel reinforcement loss, cracking and spalling, and their effects on the load-bearing capacity is considered. This framework has been applied to the Gerber saddles of a prominent reinforced concrete (RC) bridge, namely the Musmeci bridge in Potenza, Italy. Durability analyses made it possible to evaluate the saddles’ strength capacity (i) at the time of construction, (ii) after forty-five years since the construction, and (iii) at an extended time of fifty years. The results show that corrosion can influence both the ultimate load capacity and the collapse mechanism.
2021
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11563/161091
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