Document Type

Computational mechanics paper

Publication details

Yahya, NA, Dhanasekar, M 2014, 'Explicit finite element modelling of bridge girder bearing pedestals', in ST Smith (ed.), 23rd Australasian Conference on the Mechanics of Structures and Materials (ACMSM23), vol. II, Byron Bay, NSW, 9-12 December, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW, pp. 849-854. ISBN: 9780994152008.

Peer Reviewed



Bridge girder bearings rest on pedestals to transfer the loading safely to the pier headstock. In spite of the existence of industry guidelines, due to construction complexities, such guidelines are often overlooked. Further, there is paucity of research on the performance of pedestals, although their failure could cause exorbitant maintenance costs. Although reinforced concrete pedestals are recommended in the industry design guidelines, unreinforced concrete and/ or epoxy glue pedestals are provided due to construction issues; such pedestals fail within a very short period of service. With a view to understanding the response of pedestals subject to monotonic loading, a three-dimensional nonlinear explicit finite element micro-model of unreinforced and reinforced concrete pedestals has been developed. Contact and material nonlinearity have been accounted for in the model. It is shown that the unreinforced concrete pedestals suffer from localised edge stress singularities, the failure of which was comparable to those in the field. The reinforced concrete pedestals, on the other hand, distribute the loading without edge stress singularity, again conforming to the field experience.