Wen-Liang Qiu1 , Chin-Sheng Kao This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.2 , Chang-Huan Kou3 , Jeng-Lin Tsai3 and Guang Yang1

1School of Civil Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian City, Liaoning Province 116024, P.R. China
2Department of Civil Engineering, Tamkang University, Tamsui, Taiwan 251, R.O.C.
3Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Informatics, Chunghua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan 300, R.O.C.


Received: June 12, 2009
Accepted: January 27, 2010
Publication Date: December 1, 2010

Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.6180/jase.2010.13.4.02  


This paper presents a stability investigation of a special-shape arch bridge with a span of 180 m. Its structure and mechanics are significantly different from normal arch bridges because of its single arch rib skewing across the girder, its hangers hanging unevenly along the arch rib with different aslant angle, and its arch rib being subjected to massive axial compression force, bending moment, torque, and shear stress. In this paper, the eigenvalue method is used to analyze some of the main influencing factors, such as different loads, restraint conditions of arch spring, stiffness of arch rib, stiffness of main girder and rise-span ratio of arch rib. The study results showed that the slant hangers at both sides of the girder reduced the tendency of arch instability, which is obviously helpful to maintain overall structural stability. Increasing the height of the main girder can improve the structural stability, but the effect is limited. The restrained conditions of the arch spring markedly influence the overall structural stability, and the stability coefficient of a fixed arch is more than twice the coefficient of a two-hinge arch. The rise-span ratio has a relatively large impact on the stability coefficient. A reasonable rise-span ratio for the special-shape arch bridge studied here is around 0.37 that is larger than an expected ratio for a normal arch bridge obtained in existed studies. The impacts of vertical flexural stiffness and lateral flexural stiffness of the arch rib on the structural stability are determined by the mode of buckling, and the lateral flexural stiffness has nearly no impact on the structural stability for an in-plane buckling arch.

Keywords: Special-Shape Arch Bridge, Stability, Geometric Nonlinear


  1. [1]Timoshenko S, Gere J. Theory of Elastic Stability. 2nd ed. New York, NY : McGraw-Hill;
  2. [2]Ziegler H. Principles of Structural Stability. Blaisdell. Waltham. MA. 1968.
  3. [3]Austin W-J, Ross T-J. Elastic buckling of arches under symmetrical loading. Journal of Structural Division. ASCE. 1976; 102:1085-95.
  4. [4]Harrison H. In-plane stability of parabolic arches. Journal of Structural Division. ASCE. 1982; 108:195-205.
  5. [5]Mirmiran A, Amde A. M. Inelastic buckling of prestressed sandwich or homogeneous arches. Journal of Structural Engineering. ASCE. 1993; 119(9): 2733-43.
  6. [6]Pi Y-L, Trahair N-S. In-plane inelastic buckling and strengths of steel arches. Journal of Structural Engineering. ASCE. 1996; 122(7):734-47.
  7. [7]Arie R, Charalampos B. Investigation of the arch in-plane buckling behaviour in arch bridges. Journal of Constructional Steel Research. 2008; 64:1349-56.
  8. [8]Stüssi F. Lateral buckling and vibration of arches. Int. Assoc. of Bridges and Structural Pubs.1973; 327-38.
  9. [9]Wen R-K. Medallah K. Elastic stability of deck-type arch bridges. Journal of Structural Engineering. ASCE. 1987; 113:757-68.
  10. [10]Raymond H-P. Buckling of shallow arches with supports that stiffen when compressed. Journal of Engineering Mechanics. 1990; 116(4):973-6.
  11. [11]Pan S-S. Lateral stability study of concrete-filled steel tubular narrow arch bridge. PhD thesis. Dalian University of Technology. 2004.
  12. [12]Xing F, Zhu B, Wang X-P. Stability analysis for CFST basket handle arch bridge. International Conference on Transportation Engineering. 2009; 1378-83.
  13. [13]Xiang H-F, Yao L-S. supervisor; High-level Bridge Structure Theory; Beijing: China Communications Press, 2001.
  14. [14]Dai Z-F. Steel Bridges. Beijing: China Railway Publishing House. 1983.
  15. [15]Li G.. Bridge Structure Stability and Vibration. Beijing: China Railway Publishing House. 2003.
  16. [16]Xiang H-F Liu G-D. Vibration and Stability of Arch Structures; Beijing: China Communications Press. 1990.
  17. [17]Yang G. Arch Axis Optimization and Stability Analysis for Special-shape Arch Bridges. Dalian University of Technology Bridge Engineering Research Institute. 2008.
  18. [18]TDV GmbH. RM2006 Technical Description. TDV-Austria. 2006.
  19. [19]Stevens L-K. Carrying Capacity of Mild-steel Arches. Proc ICE. 1957.
  20. [20]Ronca P, Cohn M-Z. Limit Analysis up to Concrete Arch Bridges. ASCE. 1979; 105 (2).