Shrinkage and Temperature Forces in Frame Piers

The main objective of this project is to investigate the forces developed in frame piers and their supporting foundations due to volumetric changes caused by thermal and shrinkage effects. To properly evaluate such forces, a set of existing bridges that have frame piers will be inspected. A special effort will be made to identify the frame piers that are susceptible to produce large forces. Such piers primarily include the ones with long pier caps and/or short columns. This is an important step to understand the vulnerability of this category of piers to thermal and shrinkage effects. Upon obtaining a qualitative assessment of the performance of existing frame piers designed with the current practices, a one-year monitoring plan will be established to record the changes of strain, stress, and force at critical points of 3 frame piers from the time of construction to capture both short- and long-term effects. In the absence of similar studies in the literature, the outcome of this effort is expected to pair the qualitative assessment with the structural response data sets necessary to fully understand the actual loading demand on frame piers and their foundations. Further to obtain first-hand information about the performance of frame piers in real settings, the collected data will be used to validate the three-dimensional (3D) finite-element (FE) models that will be generated to extend the scope of study through a systematic examination of contributing parameters, such as dimensions of pier cap, stiffness of column, and support conditions. Such a holistic effort is expected to result in an in-depth insight on how the design practices currently used for frame piers can be modified. Based on the findings of this project, a set of two-dimensional (2D) models of frame piers will be established and tested. Such simplified models will facilitate the comparison of possible design choices in a spreadsheet format. Further to a formal report, the outcome of this project will be presented through a training course to interested parties. To achieve the objectives of this project, seven tasks are proposed. The tasks will be performed in very close communication with a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) throughout the duration of the project. To this end, the research team plans to hold quarterly meetings with the TAC to update them on progress and to ensure that the research direction is as desired. Task 1. Complete a comprehensive literature review; Task 2. Conduct a survey of state DOTs and private industry; Task 3. Inspect a set of existing frame piers; Task 4. Monitor selected frame piers; Task 5. Perform analytical evaluation of frame piers; Task 6. Develop design guidelines and details; and Task 7. Final report and educational module.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $150000
    • Contract Numbers:


      Add 633

      ISU Proposal Number 140140

    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Iowa Department of Transportation

      800 Lincoln Way
      Ames, IA  United States  50010
    • Managing Organizations:

      Iowa State University, Ames

      Center for Transportation Research and Education
      2711 South Loop Drive, Suite 4700
      Ames, IA  United States  50010-8664
    • Project Managers:

      Abu-Hawash, Ahmad

    • Performing Organizations:

      Iowa State University, Ames

      Center for Transportation Research and Education
      2711 South Loop Drive, Suite 4700
      Ames, IA  United States  50010-8664
    • Principal Investigators:

      Shafei, Behrouz

    • Start Date: 20180101
    • Expected Completion Date: 20210630
    • Actual Completion Date: 0

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01651532
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Iowa Department of Transportation
    • Contract Numbers: TR-738, Add 633, ISU Proposal Number 140140
    • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
    • Created Date: Nov 27 2017 11:00AM