Temperature effect on vibration properties of civil structures: A literature review and case studies

Yong Xia, Bo Chen, Shun Weng, Yiqing Ni, You Lin Xu

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

273 Citations (Scopus)


Changing environmental conditions, especially temperature, have been observed to be a complicated factor affecting vibration properties, such as frequencies, mode shapes, and damping, of civil structures. This paper reviews technical literature concerning variations in vibration properties of civil structures under changing temperature conditions. Most of these studies focus on variations in frequencies of bridge structures, with some studies on variations in mode shapes and damping and other types of structures. Statistical approaches to correlation between temperature and frequencies are also reviewed. A quantitative analysis shows that variations in material modulus under different temperatures are the major cause of the variations in vibration properties. A comparative study on different structures made of different materials is carried out in laboratory. Two real structures, the 1,377-m main span Tsing Ma Suspension Bridge and the 600-m-tall Guangzhou New Television Tower, are examined. Both laboratory experiments and field testing, regardless of different construction materials used and structural types, verify the quantitative analysis. Variations in frequencies of reinforced concrete structures are much more significant than those of steel structures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-46
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Civil Structural Health Monitoring
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012


  • Modal testing
  • Structural health monitoring
  • Temperature effect
  • Vibration properties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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