Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Hsiao, Kent


Bearing pads undergo deformation while under service loads of any bridge. The pad translates the load to the support structure, and allows for movement of the superstructure. The deformation of bearing pads is an important element to consider when designing both the super and sub structures of the bridge. The Federal Highway Administration provides a guide for the design of steel brigdes, and Step 6 of this guide covers the design of bearing pads. The purpose of this study is to analyze the deformation of bearing pads using a finite element analysis software. This study will analyze two separate models, one ignoring the steel plates in a bearing pad and ignoring friction, while the other will take into account the steel plates as well as friction during the analysis. Once the linear analysis is run the models that are built can be compared with the FHWA design examples to compare and verify the results. This will facilitate the possible improvement of current design examples and allow for a more realistic result for designers to use. This study also looks at the internal testing results provided by a bearing pad manufacturing company. These internal results will provide a real world model for the linear analysis models to be compared to as well. Once all factors are taken into account, the validity of the current standards can be evaluated.




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