Advanced finite element model of Tsing Ma Bridge for structural health monitoring

Y. F. Duan, You Lin Xu, Q. G. Fei, K. Y. Wong, K. W Y Chan, Yiqing Ni, C. L. Ng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


The Tsing Ma Bridge is a cable suspension bridge carrying both highway and railway. A bridge health monitoring system called wind and structural health monitoring system (WASHMS) has been installed in the Tsing Ma Bridge and operated since 1997 to monitor the structural performance and its associated loads and environments. However, there exists a possibility that the worst structural conditions may not be directly monitored due to the limited number of sensors and the complexity of structure and loading conditions. Therefore, it is an essential task to establish structural performance relationships between the critical locations/components of the bridge and those instrumented by the WASHMS. Meanwhile, to develop and validate practical and effective structural damage detection techniques and safety evaluation strategies, the conventional modeling for cable-supported bridges by approximating the bridge deck as continuous beams or grids is not applicable for simulation of real damage scenarios. To fulfil these tasks, a detailed full three-dimensional (3D) finite element model of the Tsing Ma Bridge is currently established for direct computation of the stress/strain states for all important bridge components. This paper presents the details of establishing this full 3D finite element model and its calibration. The major structural components are modeled in detail and the connections and boundary conditions are modeled properly, which results in about half million elements for the complete bridge model. The calibration of vibration modes and stresses/strains due to passing trains is carried out, and a good agreement is found between the computed and measured results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-344
Number of pages32
JournalInternational Journal of Structural Stability and Dynamics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2011


  • ambient vibration test
  • cable suspension bridge
  • finite element model
  • modal analysis
  • model calibration
  • Structural health monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Applied Mathematics


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