Vehicle-bridge interaction system with non-uniform beams

Judy P. Yang*, Chun Hsien Wu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Since the bridge is often treated as the uniform beam for simplicity in most numerical studies of vehicle-bridge interaction, this study proposes a non-uniform vehicle-bridge interaction system by incorporating a three-mass vehicle model in a non-uniform bridge for wider applications, in which non-uniform beam elements of constant width and varying depth are considered. For clarity, the inclined ratios of the entire bridge and one beam element are separately defined in order to describe the non-conformity in computation while both mass and stiffness matrices are re-formulated to comply with the finite element sign convention. As the natural frequencies of a non-uniform bridge cannot be accessed directly, the vehicle scanning method is first adopted to obtain the bridge frequencies. Then, the parametric study is conducted by considering vehicle damping, bridge damping, and pavement irregularity. In addition to the vehicle frequency, the numerical results show that the proposed vehicle-bridge interaction system is able to scan the first four bridge frequencies with desired accuracy subject to pavement irregularity. Concerning the pitching effect of the vehicle, it is shown that the locations for installing sensors are actually affected by both the geometry and the cross-sectional geometry of the bridge in the concern of achieving high resolution of frequency identification.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2150170
JournalInternational Journal of Structural Stability and Dynamics
Issue number12
StatePublished - 18 Aug 2021


  • Non-uniform beam
  • Pavement irregularity
  • Pitching effect
  • Three-mass vehicle
  • Vehicle-bridge interaction


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