Analysis of Elastomeric Bridge Bearings

O. Hamzeh, J. L. Tassoulas, and E. B. Becker


A two-dimensional nonlinear p-version finite element method is developed for the analysis of boundary value problems relevant to elastomeric bridge bearings. The method incorporates polynomial shape functions of the hierarchic type for the modeling of large-deformations rubber elasticity. In addition, a frictional-contact algorithm based on a penalty formulation and suitable for the interaction of the pad with rigid flat surfaces is derived and implemented. The J2-flow theory with isotropic hardening is utilized to model the reinforcing steel as a bilinear elastoplastic material. Examples are presented to illustrate the performance of the element and some guidelines for the selection of appropriate orders of interpolation and integration rules. The results of a study performed to examine the effects of several design parameters of the bearing are presented. Comparisons with experimental findings are shown.

A dynamic lumped model for the walking of the bearing is developed. Viscous frictional interfaces with the girder and the abutment are included. Several cases are analyzed to investigate the factors that affect this phenomenon.

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