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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 435939, 9 pages
Research Article

Assessment of Prestress Force in Bridges Using Structural Dynamic Responses under Moving Vehicles

Department of Applied Mechanics and Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510006, China

Received 1 July 2013; Revised 7 August 2013; Accepted 10 August 2013

Academic Editor: Zhiqiang Hu

Copyright © 2013 Hao Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study carries out numerical simulations to identify the magnitude of prestress force in a highway bridge by making use of the dynamic responses from moving vehicular loads. The prestressed bridges are modeled using four-node isoparametric flat shell element taking into account the transverse shearing deformation in the finite element model. The vehicle is modeled as a multiple degrees-of-freedom system. An approach based on dynamic response sensitivity-based finite element model updating is proposed to identify the elemental prestress force. The identified results are obtained iteratively with the penalty function method with regularization from the measured structural dynamic responses. A single-span prestressed Tee beam and two-span prestressed box-girder bridge are studied as two numerical examples. The effects of road surface roughness, measurement noise, and speed of moving vehicle on the identification results are investigated. Studies indicate that the proposed method is efficient and robust for prestress force identification. Good identified results can be obtained from several measured acceleration responses.