Materials (Mar 2023)

Influences of Flood Conditions on Dynamic Characteristics of Novel 3D-Printed Porous Bridge Bearings

  • Pasakorn Sengsri,
  • Sakdirat Kaewunruen

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 16, no. 6
p. 2288


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As the key safety-critical component of a bridge support system, bridge bearings are extensively used to accommodate, balance, and transfer differential displacements and loads between the superstructure and substructure of a bridge during operations. Several studies have been conducted to obtain dynamic modal parameters of traditional bridge bearings only in perfectly dry environments. However, in extreme weather conditions (e.g., heavy rain, flash floods, etc.), water can ingress and change the bearings’ properties. In this study, novel 3D-printed porous bridge bearings (3DPPBBs) have been fabricated by Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) with thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) filaments. This study is the first to determine the influences of flood conditions on their dynamic properties, which has never been done before. An idealised single degree of freedom (ISDOF) for these novel bearings is considered for the non-destructive field-testing technique of the critical bridge component. A series of experimental tests have been performed under several conditions of flooding levels. The new results unprecedentedly indicate that relatively higher dynamic damping ratios can be found with the increasing flood levels. In contrast, the natural frequencies and dynamic stiffness decrease with the same conditions. Novel insights are essential for bridge engineers to assess and monitor bridge vibrations exposed to extreme weather conditions.