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BOX GIRDER – SPECIFICATIONS, ADVANTAGES & DISADVANTAGES

Thecontinuingexpansionofhighwaynetworkthroughouttheworldislargelytheresult

ofgreatincreaseintraffic,populationandextensivegrowthofmetropolitanurbanareas.

Thisexpansionhasleadtomanychangesintheuseanddevelopmentofvariouskindsof

bridges.Thebridgetypeisrelatedtoprovidingmaximumefficiencyofuseofmaterialand

constructiontechnique,forparticularspan,andapplications.AsSpanincreases,deadload

isanimportantincreasingfactor.Toreducethedeadload,unnecessarymaterial,whichis

notutilizedtoitsfullcapacity,isremovedoutofsection,thisresultsintheshapeofbox

girderorcellularstructures,dependinguponwhetherthesheardeformationscanbe

neglectedornot.SpanrangeismoreforboxbridgegirderascomparetoT­beamGirder

Bridgeresultingincomparativelylessernumberofpiersforthesamevalleywidthand

henceresultsineconomy.

Aboxgirderisformedwhentwowebplatesarejoinedbyacommonflangeatboththe

topandthebottom.Theclosedcellwhichisformedhasamuchgreatertorsionalstiffness

andstrengththananopensectionanditisthisfeaturewhichistheusualreasonfor

choosingaboxgirderconfiguration.

Boxgirdersarerarelyusedinbuildings(boxcolumnsaresometimesusedbuttheseare

axiallyloadedratherthaninloadedinbending).Theymaybeusedinspecial

circumstances,suchaswhenloadsarecarriedeccentricallytothebeamaxis

“Whentensionflangesoflongitudinalgirdersareconnectedtogether,theresulting

structureiscalledaboxgirderbridge”.

Boxgirderscanbeuniversallyappliedfromthepointofviewofloadcarrying,totheir

indifferenceastowhetherthebendingmomentsarepositiveornegativeandtotheir

torsionalstiffness;fromthepointofviewofeconomy.

Historicaldevelopmentanddescriptionofboxgirder:

Historicaldevelopmentanddescriptionofboxgirder:

Thefirstboxgirdercrosssectionpossesseddeckslabsthatcantileveredoutonlyslightly

fromtheboxportionshowninfigsatoe.Withtheprestressedconcretethelengthof

cantilevercouldbeincreased.Thehighformworkcostscausedareductioninthenumber

ofcellsfig(f,g,h).Inordertoreducetheconstructionloadstominimumpossibleextent

ortorequireonlyonelongitudinalgirderinworkingstatesevenwithmultipletrafficlanes.

Itwasonlywiththedevelopmentofhighstrengthprestressingsteelthatitbecame possibletospanlongerdistances.Thefirstprestressedconcretebridges,mostofI­cross

sectionswerebuilttowardstheendofthe1920’s.Thegreatbreakthroughwasachieved

onlyafter1945.“THESCLAYN”bridgeovertheriverMaas,whichwasbuiltbyMagnelin

1948,wasthefirstcontinuousprestressedconcretebox­girderbridgewith2spansof

62.70m.Infollowingyearstheratioofwagestomaterialcostsclimbedsharply.This

therebyshiftedtheemphasisofdevelopmentofconstructionmethod.Theboxgirder

cross­sectionevolvedstructurallyfromthehollowcell­deckbridgeorT­beamBridge.The

wideningofthecompressionzonethatbeganasastructuralrequirementatthecentral

pierswasintheextendedthroughouttheentirelengthofbridgebecauseofadvantages

transverseload­carryingcharacteristics.

transverseload­carryingcharacteristics. EvolutionofBoxGirder:

EvolutionofBoxGirder:

Thespanningofbridgesstartedwithsimpleslabs.Asthespansincreased,thedesign

depthofslabisalsoincreased.Itisknownthatmaterialnearcentreofgravitycontributes

verylittleforflexureandhencecanberemoved.Thisleadstobeamandslabsystems.

Thereinforcementinbottombulbofbeamprovidedcapacityfortensileforcesandtop

slabconcrete,thecapacitytoresistthecompression.Theyformedacoupletoresist

flexure.

Asthewidthofslabisincreasedmorenumberoflongitudinalgirdersarerequired

resultinginreductionofstiffnessofbeamsintransversedirectionandrelativelyhigh

transversecurvature.Thewebsofbeamsgetopenedoutspreadingradiallyfromtopslab.

Underhightransversebendingthesewillnolongerbeintheiroriginalposition.Tokeepit

intheiroriginalpositionthebulbsatbottomshouldbetiedtogetherwhichin­turnleadsto

evolutionofboxgirder.Longspanswithwiderdecksandeccentricloadingoncross­

sectionwillsufferincurvatureinlongitudinalandtransversedirectioncausingheavy

distortionofcross­section.Hencethebridgesshouldhavehightorsionalrigidityinorder

toresistthedistortionofcross­sectiondecktoaminimum.

Accordinglyboxgirdersaremoresuitableforlargerspansandwiderdecks,boxgirders

aretobesuitablecross­section.Theyareelegantandslender.Economyandaesthetics

furtherleadtoevolutionofcantileversintopflangesandinclinedwebsinexternalcellsof

boxgirder.Thedimensionofcellcouldbecontrolledbyprestressing.

Asthespanandwidthincreasesthebeamsandbottomslabsaretobetiedtokeepthe

geometrywhichinturnleadstoevolutionboxgirder.

Anyeccentricloadwillcausehightorsionalstresseswhichwillbecounteractedbythe boxsection.Theanalysisofsuchsectionsaremorecomplicatedduecombinationof flexure,shear,torsion,distortion.Butitismoreefficientcross­section.Itisusedfor

largerspanswithwidecross­section.Itcanbeusedforspansupto150mdepending

upontheconstructionmethods.Cantilevermethodofconstructionispreferredmost.

AdvantagesAssociatedwithBoxGirders:

Inrecentyears,singleormulti­cellreinforcedconcreteboxGirderBridgehavebeen

proposedandwidelyusedaseconomicaestheticsolutionfortheovercrossings,under

crossings,gradeseparationstructuresandviaductsfoundinmodernhighwaysystem.

TheverylargeTorsionalrigidityoftheboxgirder‘sclosedcellularsectionprovides

structuresbeneathismoreaestheticallypleasingthanopen­webtypesystem.

Incaseoflongspanbridges,largewidthofdeckisavailabletoaccommodate

prestressingcablesatbottomflangelevel.

Interiorsofboxgirderbridgescanbeusedtoaccommodateservicesuchasgaspipes,

watermainsetc.

Forlargespans,bottomflangecouldbeusedasanotherdeckaccommodatestraffic

also.

Themaintenanceofboxgirderiseasierininteriorspaceisdirectlyaccessiblewithout

useofscaffolding.

Alternativelyspaceishermeticallysealedandenclosedairmaybedriedtoprovidea

non­corrosiveatmosphere.

Ithashighstructuralefficiencywhichminimizestheprestessingforcerequiredtoresist

agivenbendingmoment,anditsgreatTorsionalstrengthwiththecapacitythisgives

tore­centreeccentricliveloads,minimizingtheprestressrequiredtocarrythem.

Disadvantages:

Oneofthemaindisadvantagesofboxdecksisthattheyaredifficulttocastin­situdueto

theinaccessibilityofthebottomslabandtheneedtoextracttheinternalshutter.Either

theboxhastobedesignedsothattheentirecrosssectionmaybecastinonecontinuous

pour,orthecrosssectionhastobecastinstages.

Specifications:

Itcancoverarangeofspansfrom25muptothelargestnon­suspendedconcretedecks

built;oftheorderof300m.Singleboxgirdersmayalsocarrydecksupto30mwide.For

thelongerspanbeams,beyondabout50m,theyarepracticallytheonlyfeasibledeck

section.Below30mprecastbeamsorvoidedslabdecksaremoresuitablewhileabove

50masinglecellboxarrangementisusuallymoreeconomic.

Singlecellbox­girdercast­in­situareusedforspansform40mto270m.Thebox

arrangementisdoneinordertogiveaestheticappearancewherethewebofboxwillact asaslenderappearancewhencombinedwithaslimparapetprofile.Singlebox arrangementsareefficientforboththelongitudinalandtransversedesigns,andthey produceaneconomicsolutionformotmediumandlongspanstructures.Thistypeofdeck isconstructedspan­by­span,usingfull­heightscaffoldingortrusses,orasbalanced cantileverusingformtravelers.Thiscouldbeparticularlyimportantformediumlength

bridgeswithspansbetween40mand55m.Suchspansaretoolongfortwinribtype

decks,andtooshortforcast­in­situbalancedcantileverconstructionofboxgirders,while

atotallengthofboxsectiondeckoflessthanabout1,000mdoesnotjustifysettingupa

precastsegmentalfacility.

Haunches:

Theuprightshavetocarrythesamebendingmomentasthehaunch,butwiththebenefit

ofacompressionforceduetotheweightoftheroof.Thustheymaybeslightlythinner

thanthehaunches.Haunchesarealwayseconomical.Theyprovidethetwinbenefitsof

attractingmomentawayfrommid­spanandthenprovidingagreaterleverarmtoresist

thismomenteconomically.Evenveryshorthaunchesarevaluableinreducingthehogging

reinforcement.

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