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Bridges are required mainly to connect between two inaccessible points and also to provide
efficient traffic flow between those points. The problem arises when the distance between two
inaccessible points is large and then the situation demands either to use small span multiple
bridges or long span truss bridge. In order to stimulate such environment condition, it is
necessary to design and model the long span bridges using truss frames. In this study the steel
truss bridge is modelled and analysed with help of software to find out the structural behaviour
of truss frame.
1. E. Bhargavi and G.V. Rama Rao (2015), discussed about comparative parametric study
of steel bridge trusses by applying external prestressing. The aim of the present
analytical work is to know the effect of Pre-stressing on the member forces, deflections
and total weight of steel of a statically determinate three types of trusses such as Pratt
type(Type A), Warren truss(Type B), Lattice Truss(Type C). Pre-stressing technique
has been adopted to upgrade the performance of the truss. The truss is pre-stressed with
high tensile steel cable and the profile of the cable is straight. The truss is analysed for
member forces and deflections using STAAD PRO Software. This paper concluded that
from the obtained analytical results, it is seen that there is a noticeable improvement in
the performance of the structure. Member forces have been reduced significantly in the
entire truss members and there is a reduction in deflection at the centre and material
requirement after pre-stressing.
2. Liang Xiao (2015), investigated on large span steel truss bridge finite element
simulation to investigate the boundary conditions In this paper, through theoretical
analysis and finite element software simulation, illustrates the principle of three kinds
of boundary selection, And according to the viewpoint of stress nephogram real
simulation presents a recommended boundary conditions which formed at both ends
simply supported constraints. This paper concluded that through the above analysis,
Three gusset plate boundary conditions (the left consolidation, the center for
consolidation, chord simply supported on both ends) simulated maximum Mises stress
both appear in the left vertical webs, and their values were about 234 MPa.
3. Ruly Irawan, Henricus Priyosulistyo (2014) at all, investigated about evaluation of
forces on a steel truss structure using modified resonance frequency. This research
shows that the error of estimation of member forces in the compression and tension
members using modified natural frequency and rotational spring parameter by linear
regression method varies from 0.26% to 1.99% and 0.2% to 2.41% respectively. The
value of rotational spring parameters indicates that the members have semi rigid
behaviour and closer to fixed rather than pinned conditions.
4. Akihiro MANDA and Shunichi NAKAMURA (2010), discussed about progressive
collapse analysis of steel truss bridges. Progressive collapse analysis is carried out for
the three continuous steel truss bridges using large deformation elastic plastic analysis.
It is intended to clarify how the live load intensity and distribution affect structural
safety and ductility for these two truss bridges. Although the collapse process is
different depending on live load distribution and length of the spans, the steel truss
bridge collapses due to plastic buckling or elastic buckling. It is found that ductility of
Model Bridge-B with a span ratio of 1:1.3:1 is larger than that of Model Bridge-A with
a span ration of 1:2:1.
To find the structural behaviour of long span steel truss bridge when the distance
between the two inaccessible point is large and this is done by modelling and analysing
it in the software.

A truss bridge is a bridge whose load-bearing superstructure is composed of a truss, a
structure of connected elements usually forming triangular units. The connected
elements (typically straight) may be stressed from tension, compression, or sometimes
both in response to dynamic loads. Truss bridges are one of the oldest types of modern
bridges. The basic types of truss bridges shown in this article have simple designs which
could be easily analysed by 19th- and early 20th-century engineers. A truss bridge is
economical to construct because it uses materials efficiently.

Figure 1: Integral members of a truss bridge.

Trusses are triangular frame works in which the members are subjected to essentially
axial forces due to externally applied load. They may be plane trusses [Fig. 1(a)],
wherein the external load and the members lie in the same plane or space trusses [Fig.
1(b)], in which members are oriented in three dimensions in space and loads may also
act in any direction. Trusses are frequently used to span long lengths in the place of
Steel members subjected to axial forces are generally more efficient than members in
flexure since the cross section is nearly uniformly stressed. Trusses, consisting of
essentially axially loaded members, thus are very efficient in resisting external loads.
They are extensively used, especially to span large gaps. Since truss systems consume
relatively less material and more labour to fabricate, compared to other systems, they
are particularly suited in the Indian context. Trusses are used in roofs of single storey
industrial buildings, long span floors and roofs of multi-storey buildings, to resist
gravity loads [Figs. 1(a) and 1(b)].
Figure 2: Types of trusses

Trusses are also used in multi-storey buildings and walls and horizontal planes of
industrial buildings to resist lateral loads and give lateral stability [Figs. 1(c) and 1(d)].
Trusses are used in long span bridges to carry gravity loads and lateral loads [Fig. 1(e)].


i. Pitched Roof Trusses:
Most common types of roof trusses are pitched roof trusses wherein the top chord
is provided with a slope in order to facilitate natural drainage of rainwater and
clearance of dust/snow accumulation. These trusses have a greater depth at the mid-
span. Due to thiseven though the overall bending effect is larger at mid-span, the
chord member and web member stresses are smaller closer to the mid-span and
larger closer to the supports. The typical span to maximum depth ratios of pitched
roof trusses are in the range of 4 to 8, the larger ratio being economical in longer
spans. Pitched roof trusses may have different configurations. In Pratt trusses [Fig.
2(a)] web members are arranged in such a way that under gravity load the longer
diagonal members are under tension and the shorter vertical members experience
compression. This allows for efficient design, since the short members are under
compression. However, the wind uplift may cause reversal of stresses in these
members and nullify this benefit. The converse of the Pratt is the Howe truss [Fig.
2(b)]. This is commonly used in light roofing so that the longer diagonals
experience tension under reversal of stresses due to wind load.

Figure 3: Pitched roof trusses

Fink trusses [Fig. 2(c)] are used for longer spans having high pitch roof, since the
web members in such truss are sub-divided to obtain shorter members.

Fan trusses [Fig. 2(d)] are used when the rafter members of the roof trusses have to
be sub-divided into odd number of panels. A combination of fink and fan [Fig. 2(e)]
can also be used to some advantage in some specific situations requiring appropriate
number of panels.

Mansard trusses [Fig. 2(f)] are variation of fink trusses, which have shorter leading
diagonals even in very long span trusses, unlike the fink and fan type trusses.

The economical span lengths of the pitched roof trusses, excluding the Mansard
trusses, range from 6 m to 12 m. The Mansard trusses can be used in the span
ranges of 12 m to 30 m.

ii. Parallel chord trusses:

The parallel chord trusses are used to support North Light roof trusses in industrial
buildings as well as in intermediate span bridges. Parallel chord trusses are also
used as pre-fabricated floor joists, beams and girders in multi-storey buildings [Fig.
3(a)]. Warren configuration is frequently used [Figs. 3(b)] in the case of parallel
chord trusses. The advantage of parallel chord trusses is that they use webs of the
same lengths and thus reduce fabrication costs for very long spans. Modified
Warren is used with additional verticals, introduced in order to reduce the
unsupported length of compression chord members. The saw tooth north light
roofing systems use parallel chord lattice girders [Fig.3(c)] to support the north light
trusses and transfer the load to the end columns.

Figure 4: Parallel chord trusses

The economical span to depth ratio of the parallel chord trusses is in the range of
12 to 24. The total span is subdivided into a number of panels such that the
individual panel lengths are appropriate (6m to 9 m) for the stringer beams,
transferring the carriage way load to the nodes of the trusses and the inclination of
the web members are around 45 degrees. In the case of very deep and very
shallow trusses it may become necessary to use K and diamond patterns for web
members to achieve appropriate inclination of the web members [Figs. 3(d), 3(e)].
iii. Trapezoidal Trusses:
In case of very long span length pitched roof, trusses having trapezoidal
configuration, with depth at the ends are used [Fig. 4(a)]. This configuration
reduces the axial forces in the chord members adjacent to the supports. The
secondary bending effects in these members are also reduced. The trapezoidal
configurations [Fig. 4(b)] having the sloping bottom chord can be economical in
very long span trusses (spans > 30 m), since they tend to reduce the web member
length and the chord members tend to have nearly constant forces over the span
length. It has been found that bottom chord slope equal to nearly half as much as
the rafter slope tends to give close to optimum design.

Figure 5: Trapezoidal trusses


The members of trusses are made of either rolled steel sections or built-up sections
depending upon the span length, intensity of loading, etc. Rolled steel angles, tee
sections, hollow circular and rectangular structural tubes are used in the case of roof
trusses in industrial buildings [Fig. 5(a)]. In long span roof trusses and short span
bridges heavier rolled steel sections, such as channels, I sections are used [Fig. 5(b)].
Members built-up using I sections, channels, angles and plates are used in the case of
long span bridge trusses [Fig. 5(c)]
Access to surface, for inspection, cleaning and repainting during service, are important
considerations in the choice of the built-up member configuration. Surfaces exposed
to the environments, but not accessible for maintenance are vulnerable to severe
corrosion during life, thus reducing the durability of the structure. In highly corrosive
environments fully closed welded box sections, and circular hollow sections are used
to reduce the maintenance cost and improve the durability of the structure.

Figure 6: Cross Sections of Truss Members

I. Preliminary Design:
For the preliminary design of a composite truss the following data is needed:

The maximum bending moments and shear forces in the member

(a) at the construction stage (Ms, Vs),
(b) at the factored load acting at the limit state of collapse of the
composite section (Mc, Vcs).
the concrete slab (regular or composite) sizes and
the truss spacing.
The following are the steps in the preliminary design:
1. Decide on the depth of the truss girder.

The span to depth ratio of a simply supported composite truss is normally

15 to 20.
2. Develop the web member layout, usually using Warren configuration.

Use a slope of 30 degrees to horizontal to increase the opening and reduce

the number of connections.
3. Design the top chord member.

Force in the top chord member at the construction load, R, is calculated from
the corresponding moment, Mst, and the lever arm between the chord
Size of the member is based on the member strength as governed by lateral
buckling between the lateral supports to the top chord until the concrete
A minimum width of 120 mm for the top chord is usually acceptable to
support the decking in a stable manner during erection.
Minimum of 8 mm thickness of the leg of the compression chord is required
to weld the stud through the deck on to the leg.
Vertical leg of the member should be adequate to directly weld the web
Otherwise gusset may be required.

Figure 7: Moment Capacity of Steel and Composite Trusses

1. Design the bottom chord member.
Calculate the tension in the bottom chord, Rb, at the factored load moment
using the following equation.
Rb = Mc/(Dt+ Ds - 0.5 XcXb)

Where Xc= (Ds Dp) Rb/Rc, , Dp = Depth of the profile, Rb Rt, R are the forces in the bottom
chord, top chord of steel truss and the force in concrete slab, respectively. Area of the bottom
chord and the bottom chord member shape may be designed based on this force, Rb,,
2. Check the slab capacity for the compression force at the limit state of collapse.
Considering the yield strength of the member.
The slab capacity is given by

where fck = cube strength of concrete and beff is the effective width of the concrete slab acting
integral with the truss.
3. Design the web member.
The maximum force in the web member is calculated by setting the vertical
component of the member force equal to the maximum shear force in the
The web member is designed to carry the force considering its yield strength
in tension and buckling strength in compression.

The main advantages of structural steel over other construction materials are its strength and
ductility. It has a higher strength to cost ratio in tension and a slightly lower strength to cost
ratio in compression when compared with concrete. The stiffness to weight ratio of steel is
much higher than that of concrete. Thus, structural steel is an efficient and economic material
in bridges. Structural steel has been the natural solution for long span bridges since 1890, when
the Firth of Forth cantilever bridge, the world's major steel bridge at that time was completed.
Steel is indeed suitable for most span ranges, but particularly for longer spans. Howrah Bridge,
also known as Rabindra Setu, is to be looked at as an early classical steel bridge in India. This
cantilever bridge was built in 1943. It is 97 m high and 705 m long. This engineering marvel
is still serving the nation, deriding all the myths that people have about steel.

Figure 8: Howrah Bridge

1.1 Steel used in bridges:
Steel used for bridges may be grouped into the following three categories:
(i) Carbon steel: This is the cheapest steel available for structural users where stiffness is
more important than the strength. Indian steels have yield stress values up to 250 N/mm2 and
can be easily welded. The steel conforming to IS: 2062 - 1969, the American ASTM A36, the
British grades 40 and Euronorm 25 grades 235 and 275 steels belong to this category.
(ii) High strength steels: They derive their higher strength and other required properties
from the addition of alloying elements. The steel conforming to IS: 961 - 1975, British grade
50, American ASTM A572 and Euronorm 155 grade 360 steels belong to this category.
Another variety of steel in this category is produced with enhanced resistance to atmospheric
corrosion. These are called 'weathering' steels in Europe, in America they conform to ASTM
A588 and have various trade names like ' cor-ten'.
(iii) Heat-treated carbon steels: These are steels with the highest strength. They derive
their enhanced strength from some form of heat-treatment after rolling namely normalisation
or quenching and tempering.
The physical properties of structural steel such as strength, ductility, brittle fracture, weld
ability, weather resistance etc., are important factors for its use in bridge construction. These
properties depend on the alloying elements, the amount of carbon, cooling rate of the steel and
the mechanical deformation of the steel. The detailed discussion of physical properties of
structural steel is presented in earlier chapter.
1.3 Classification of steel bridges:
Steel bridges are classified according to

the type of traffic carried

the type of main structural system
the position of the carriage way relative to the main structural system
These are briefly discussed in this section.

a. Classification based on type of traffic carried:

Bridges are classified as
Highway or road bridges
Railway or rail bridges
Road - cum - rail bridges
b. Classification based on the main structural system:
Many different types of structural systems are used in bridges depending upon the span,
carriageway width and types of traffic. Classification, according to makeup of main
load carrying system, is as follows:
I. Girder bridges - Flexure or bending between vertical supports is the main
structural action in this type. Girder bridges may be either solid web girders or
truss girders or box girders. Plate girder bridges are adopted for simply
supported spans less than 50 m and box girders for continuous spans upto 250m.
Cross sections of a typical plate girder and box girder bridges are shown in Fig.
9 (a) and Fig 9 (b) respectively. Truss bridges [See Fig.9 (c)] are suitable for the
span range of 30 m to 375 m. Cantilever bridges have been built with success
with main spans of 300 m to 550 m. In the next chapter girder bridges are
discussed in detail. They may be further, sub-divided into simple spans,
continuous spans and suspended-and-cantilevered spans, as illustrated in Fig.9
Figure 9 (a): Plate girder bridge section

Figure 9 (b): Box girder bridge section

Figure 9 (c): Some of the trusses used in steel bridges

Figure 9: Typical girder bridges

II. Rigid frame bridges - In this type, the longitudinal girders are made
structurally continuous with the vertical or inclined supporting member by
means of moment carrying joints [Fig.7.4]. Flexure with some axial force is the
main forces in the members in this type. Rigid frame bridges are suitable in the
span range of 25 m to 200 m.

Figure 10: Typical arch bridges

III. Cable stayed bridges Cables in the vertical or near vertical planes support
the main longitudinal girders. These cables are hung from one or more tall
towers, and are usually anchored at the bottom to the girders. Cable stayed
bridges are economical when the span is about 150 m to 700 m. Layout of cable
stayed bridges are shown in Fig. 7.6.

Figure 11: Layout of cable stayed bridges

IV. Suspension bridges - The bridge deck is suspended from cables stretched over
the gap to be bridged, anchored to the ground at two ends and passing over tall
towers erected at or near the two edges of the gap. Currently, the suspension
bridge is best solution for long span bridges. Fig. 7.7 shows a typical suspension

Figure 12: Suspension bridge

c. Classification based on the position of carriageway:
The bridges may be of the "deck type", "through type" or "semi-through type". These
are described below with respect to truss bridges:
(i) Deck Type Bridge: The carriageway rests on the top of the main load carrying
members. In the deck type plate girder bridge, the roadway or railway is placed
on the top flanges. In the deck type truss girder bridge, the roadway or railway
is placed at the top chord level as shown in Fig. 12 (a).

Figure 12: Typical deck, through and semi-through type truss bridges
(ii) Through Type Bridge The carriageway rests at the bottom level of the main
load carrying members [Fig. 12 (b)]. In the through type plate girder bridge, the
roadway or railway is placed at the level of bottom flanges. In the through type
truss girder bridge, the roadway or railway is placed at the bottom chord level.
The bracing of the top flange or lateral support of the top chord under
compression is also required.
(iii) Semi through Type Bridge - The deck lies in between the top and the bottom
of the main load carrying members. The bracing of the top flange or top chord
under compression is not done and part of the load carrying system project
above the floor level as shown in Fig. 12 (c). The lateral restraint in the system
is obtained usually by the U-frame action of the verticals and cross beam acting
1. E. Bhargavi and G.V. Rama Rao. Comparative Parametric Study of Steel Bridge
Trusses by Applying External Prestressing. Department Of Civil Engineering, Andhra
University, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India. www.ijetmas.com. July 2015.
2. Liang Xiao. Large span steel truss bridge finite element simulation to investigate the
boundary conditions. Chongqing Jiaotong University, Chongqing, China. International
Journal of Technical Research and Applications. May-June 2015.
3. Ruly Irawan, Henricus Priyosulistyo, Bambang Suhendro. Evaluation of forces on a
steel truss structure using modified resonance frequency. Department of Civil
Engineering and Environment, Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, 55281,
Indonesia. www.sciencedirect.com. 2014
4. Akihiro MANDA and Shunichi NAKAMURA. Progressive Collapse Analysis of Steel
Truss Bridges. Proc. Schl. Eng. Tokai Univ., Ser. E. Sep. 27, 2010