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A general method for non-linear analysis of bridge structures


Modern bridge structures which are built by assembling slender arches, three-dimensional thin straight or curved members, and cable structures are often too deformable to be treated with the first-order elastic theory. The analysis of such structures requires the employment of large displacement theory. Additionally, a post-elastic nonlinear analysis is required to control and evaluate damage without collapse in the seismic design philosophies for bridge structures. Hence, it is essential to develop an effective procedure that considers both geometric and material nonlinearities for the three-dimensional analysis of bridges structural members. A general procedure for the analysis of linear and nonlinear behaviours of curved structures using the transfer matrix method (TMM) is presented. The procedure is a TMM extension to geometric and material nonlinear formulations, with large displacements, small deformations and localized plastic hinges. Some applications are presented for the nonlinear analysis of slender arch-bridge structures.