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Shock and Vibration
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 4712593, 10 pages
Research Article

Fatigue Reliability Assessment of Orthotropic Bridge Decks under Stochastic Truck Loading

1School of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Changsha University of Science and Technology, Changsha 410114, China
2Institute for Risk and Reliability, Leibniz Universität Hannover, 31509 Hannover, Germany

Received 24 August 2016; Accepted 31 October 2016

Academic Editor: Tai Thai

Copyright © 2016 Yang Liu 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.


A steady traffic growth has posed a threat to the fatigue safety of existing bridges. Uncertainties in traffic flows add to the challenge of an accurate fatigue safety assessment. This article utilizes a stochastic traffic load model to evaluate the fatigue reliability of orthotropic steel bridge decks. The traffic load model is simulated by site-specific weigh-in-motion measurements. A response surface method is presented to solve the time-consuming problem caused by hotspot stress simulations in the finite element model. Applications of the stochastic traffic load model for probabilistic modeling and fatigue reliability assessment are demonstrated in the case study of a steel box-girder bridge. Numerical results indicate that the growth rate of the gross vehicle weight leads to a rapid decrease of the fatigue reliability in comparison to the traffic volume growth. Even though the traffic volume growth is rapid, the control of overloaded trucks in comparison to the traffic volume is an effective way to ensure the fatigue safety of the steel bridges.