Document Type

Structural dynamics and earthquake engineering paper

Publication details

Bi, K, Hao, H 2014, 'Influence of shear keys on the seismic behaviour of bridge structures to spatially varying ground motions', 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. 955-960. ISBN: 9780994152008.

Peer Reviewed



Shear keys are normally used in the bridge abutments and piers to restrain the excessive transverse displacements of bridge superstructures during service load and moderate earthquakes. Owing to the relatively small dimensions compared to the main bridge components, shear keys are normally regarded as secondary components of a bridge structure, and their influences on bridge seismic responses are generally neglected. In reality, large relative displacements in the transverse direction between the shear keys and bridge girders can result in the pounding damage between them, which in turn will not only affect the transverse response of the bridge girder, but also the overall structural responses. To study the influences of shear keys on the seismic responses of bridge structures, this paper performs numerical simulations on the seismic responses of a two-span simply-supported bridge model without or with shear keys in the abutments and the central pier. A detailed 3D finite element (FE) model is developed by using the explicit FE code LS-DYNA. The seismic responses of bridge structures without and with shear keys subjected to bi-axial spatially varying horizontal ground motions are calculated and compared.