Parametric test for the preliminary design of suspension bridges

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The preliminary design of suspension bridges is a very important step in the design of a structure, since this stage is the one that will lead to an efficient and economic structure. The models that are used nowadays are complex and sometimes hard to apply, leading to a lack of comprehension from the designing team. This work proposes a new simplified method for the preliminary design of cable suspension bridges that relate the stiffness of the deck truss with the stiffness of the cable, in which stresses are calculated. This relation is intended to know how much of the live load is absorbed by each of these elements and finally obtaining the pre-design values of each substructure. First simple parametric tests are executed using the proposed method and finite element method with geometrical non-linear analysis, in order to study its accuracy. Finally, a real case study is analysed using a known Portuguese suspension bridge, in which the proposed method is applied and compared with numerical solutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-176
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Advanced Structural Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017


  • Deflection theory of the suspension bridge
  • Parametric analysis
  • Preliminary design
  • Stiffness distribution
  • Suspension bridges
  • Uniform and point loads


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