One-dimensional model for multi-barge flotillas impacting bridge piers

Peng Yuan, Issam E. Harik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


The serious consequence of barge-bridge collisions necessitates the study of barge impact loadings on bridges. This article introduces an elastoplastic spring-mass model for the analysis of multi-barge flotillas colliding with bridge piers at zero angle of attack. The model accounts for the essential factors pertaining to barge/flotilla impacts, such as pier geometry and stiffness, and dynamic interaction between barges. A method to identify the elastoplastic behavior of barge crushing is also presented. The proposed method generates impact force time-histories for a multitude of flotilla configurations in a matter of minutes, which is especially valuable in probabilistic analysis requiring many collision simulations. The results from this study are compatible with the respective impact time-histories produced by exhaustive finite element simulations. A bridge pier impacted by a three-barge and a 15-barge flotilla is studied.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-447
Number of pages11
JournalComputer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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