Multi-scale fatigue damage prognosis for long-span steel bridges under vehicle loading

Bin Sun, You Lin Xu, Feng Yang Wang, Zhaoxia Li, Qing Zhu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Fatigue damage prognosis for long-span steel bridges is of the utmost importance in bridge maintenance and management. In this study, a multi-scale fatigue damage prognosis algorithm is developed to calculate the trans-scale fatigue damage accumulation of newly-built long-span steel bridges under vehicle loading. The necessity and procedure of establishing a multi-scale finite element (FE) model of a newly-built long-span bridge for fatigue damage prognosis are first introduced. The future vehicle loading on the bridge is forecasted using the recorded weigh-in-motion (WIM) data and the agent-based traffic flow micro-simulation method. Then, the multi-scale fatigue damage prognosis algorithm is developed based on the multi-scale FE model and using the future vehicle loading. Finally, the proposed algorithm is applied to a newly-built long-span cable-stayed bridge for the time period from 2010 to 2020. The results show that the macro-scale fatigue damage accumulation and micro-scale short crack evolution of the critical components of the bridge can be simultaneously predicted and visualized. The proposed algorithm can be used as a numerical tool for fatigue damage prognosis of steel bridges where (or near where) WIM station is installed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)524-538
Number of pages15
JournalStructure and Infrastructure Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2019


  • fatigue damage prognosis
  • micro-scale short cracks
  • multi-scale modelling
  • Newly-built long-span steel bridges
  • vehicle loading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

Cite this