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189

models for footbridges

F. Ricciardelli

University of Reggio Calabria, Reggio Calabria, Italy

C. Briatico

University of Florence, Florence, Italy

Danish Technical University, Lyngby, Denmark

depends on a number of parameters, such as the bridge span, frequency, damping and mass, and

the pedestrian density and activity. In this paper analytical models for the transient action of one

walker and for the stationary action of an incoherent crowd of walkers will be presented, whose

parameters have to be calibrated based on experimental tests. Results will be summarised of

tests aimed at a statistical characterisation of the walking parameters and of the walking forces.

In addition, results of tests performed on a model footbridge will be shown, aimed at setting the

limits of applicability of the proposed models.

1 INTRODUCTION

Footbridge response to pedestrian loading is known to be strongly related to the possibility of

occurrence of interaction phenomena among the pedestrians, and of the pedestrians with the

structure. These two types of interaction can be investigated based on the theory of synchronisation of non-linear dynamic systems. The first occurs when a number of pedestrian walk very

close to each other, to the point of synchronising their walking frequency and phase, and it is

therefore related to some crowd density parameter. The second occurs when the structure vibrates with a sufficiently large amplitude, and at a frequency sufficiently close to the pedestrians

natural frequency, such to trigger their gait, and make them all walk at the structural vibration

frequency and all with the same phase. This second type of synchronisation is therefore related

to the dynamic characteristics of the footbridge. The possibility of occurrence of this two types

of synchronisation was illustrated in more detail by Pizzimenti and Ricciardelli (2005). However due to the complicated mathematics and to the difficulty in calibrating the parameters appearing in the models, an approach to the design of footbridges incorporating these two possible

synchronised types of behaviour is yet unavailable.

In fact, present design practice in most of the cases neglects the possible occurrence of interaction phenomena, and considers the pedestrians as an external load. Only in a few cases more

sophisticated loading patterns have been proposed and applied. Besides the possibility of establishing refined models incorporating possible synchronisation mechanisms, it is clear that the

use of simple loading models based on the tools of linear structural dynamics is appealing for

the designer, therefore it is of interest to assess their accuracy and to set the limits of their applicability.

In this paper two simple loading models will be presented, not including interaction phenomena. The first model is to be used for short span bridges, the second for longer ones. The results

of tests aimed at the calibration of the parameters required for the implementation of the two

models will be presented, together with the results of some other tests aimed at the definition of

the boundaries of applicability of linear loading models.

190

EVACES07

()

1.0

0.5

Eq. (2)

Eq. (3)

Numerical

0.0

0

2 LOADING MODELS

2.1 Short spans

For a short span footbridge the worst load condition proves to be the transient action of one pedestrian crossing the bridge. This because among the effects of additional pedestrians, the increase in

damping dominates on the increase in excitation. The additional pedestrians, in fact, cannot be

considered as external shakers, as with their movement they also provide out-of-phase forces, to be

seen as further damping for the system. This additional damping is minimised when all the pedestrians step in perfect phase with each other, but such condition is quite unusual when the pedestrians are free to chose their walking frequency and phase.

For this reason, many codes of practice (among which the 1995 version of Eurocode 5) provide for supported beams an equation for the maximum transient acceleration response to a

resonant sinusoidal load in the form:

amax M DLF

a M

=

() = max

()

W

W stat

(1)

in which M is the mass of the structure, W is the weight of the pedestrian, usually taken as 700

N, DLF is the Dynamic Load Factor and the structure damping ratio. The non-dimensional acceleration response is given in eq. (1) as the product of the stationary response and a transient

response reduction factor . This factor is a function of the structure damping and of the number of loading cycles n=L/l, L being the bridge span and l the wavelength of the load. In particular, the transient response reduction factor proves to be dependent only on the product of these

two quantities through the parameter =2n. The equation used in the codes of practice for ()

is derived form a paper of Blanchard and co-workers (1977), in which the transient response reduction factor was obtained by numerical integration of the equation of motion of the structure:

() = 1 e 2

(2)

More recently, an approximated closed form solution of the equation of motion was found

under the assumption of a sinusoidal mode shape, whose derivation is not shown here, bringing:

() =

1 + 2

+ atan

2

2

1+ + e

(3)

Eqs. (2) and (3) are compared in figure 1 in the practical range of the parameter, together

with the exact solution, coming from the numerical integration of the equation of motion. It appears that eq. (2) tends to overestimate the response, while eq. (3) proves quite accurate.

In addition to eq. (3), other equations were found for the approximate response away from

resonance, whose derivation is also not shown here. In the simplest form:

191

100

Eq. (3)

Eq. (4)

Eq. (4)

50

0

0.0

0.5

1.0

1.5

2.0

amax M

2 2

= DLF

= DLF ()

W

1 2

(4)

where =fp/fo is the ratio of the frequency of excitation (walking frequency) to the natural frequency of the bridge.

Eqs. (3) and (4) allow plotting an approximated resonance curve for the transient response of

a supported bridge subjected to a sinusoidal moving load. An example of such a curve is given

in figure (2) for =0.01 and =1.2.

2.2 Long spans

For a medium to long span footbridge the worst load condition proves to be that of the stationary action of a crowd. For the particular case in which the density of the crowd is low enough

for the pedestrians not to interact with each other, therefore give rise to a synchronised behaviour, a loading model was presented by Ricciardelli (2005). Based on this, the RMS stationary

acceleration response of a supported bridge can be written as:

aRMS M

8 f o S Fe ( f o )

= BL

W

W

(5)

where foSFe( fo) is the non dimensional power spectrum of the equivalent load associated with

one pedestrian, is the density of pedestrians, and L and B are the span and width of the bridge.

The non dimensional power spectrum of the equivalent load associated with one pedestrian

is obtained as the integral of the power spectrum foSF( fo/fp) of the load associated with one pedestrian centred at the frequency fp weighted through the probability density p( fp) of the walking frequency:

f o S Fe ( f o ) = f o S F ( f o f p ) p ( f p ) df p

0

(6)

The loading models presented in the previous section contain parameters that have to be calibrated experimentally. In particular the loading model of eq. (1), besides the knowledge of the

structural damping , requires knowledge of the DLF and of the load wavelength l, needed for

calculating the parameter . This is equal to the stride length for the vertical excitation, and

twice that for the horizontal excitation. On the other hand, the loading model of eq. (5), besides

the structural parameters B, L, fo, , requires knowledge of the pedestrian weight W and density

, of the load spectrum fSF( f), and of the probability density function of the walking frequency

pfp( fp).

Some of these parameters are available, others are not. In the following some experimental

results will be presented, and discussed together with those available in the literature.

192

EVACES07

n

Males

Females

TOTAL

62

54

116

W [N]

mean

RMS

757

106

552

88

646

129

mean = 1.835

STD = 0.172

H [cm]

mean

RMS

176

5.9

160

10.2

169

9.2

mean = 1.41

STD = 0.224

Age [yrs]

mean

RMS

28

13

26

12

27

12

mean = 0.768

STD = 0.098

f p [Hz]

v [m/s]

l [m]

Data concerning the walking parameters (walking frequency fp, walking speed v and stride

length l) are available mainly from Biomechanics, with some additional results coming from research in Civil Engineering. It is clear that walking characteristics are strongly related to the

body characteristics and lifestyle. Therefore, tests performed in different locations, and in different conditions may give different results.

Some additional tests were recently carried out at the University of Reggio Calabria by Pansera (2006). These consisted in the measurement of the walking parameters of a sample of 123

individuals. Each of them was asked to walk naturally over a length of 72 m on a horizontal,

wide sidewalk. Walking time was measured and number of steps counted, and the average walking speed and stride length were calculated based on these. Out of the initial sample of 123, a final sample of 116 was selected, containing only the individuals who had shown a natural behaviour during the test. The statistical characteristics of the sample are given in table 1.

The influence of the characteristics (weight, height and age) of the walker on the walking parameters was first analysed, and it was found that there is a minor decrease of the walking frequency with weight (0.0002 Hz/N) and age (0.0012 Hz/yr), and a minor decrease of stride

length with age (0.03 cm/yr), whereas all the other parameters are sensibly independent of each

other. This information allows extrapolating the results provided below to populations with

characteristics different from those of table 1.

In figure 3 the histograms of walking frequency, walking speed and stride length are shown,

together with their Gaussian fits. In the histograms the walking frequency and stride length are

those associated with two successive steps, therefore they coincide with the vertical loading frequency and wavelength. For the horizontal loading, frequency halves, and the wavelength of the

load is twice the stride length. The mean and RMS values of the walking parameters are also

summarised in table 2 and compared with those of other authors. The Gaussian distribution fits

rather well the walking frequency data, and reasonably well the walking speed data, while it

seems inappropriate for the stride length. From table 2 it can be seen that the mean value of the

walking frequency generally ranges between 1.8 Hz and 2.0 Hz, and the RMS value between

0.11 Hz and 0.186 Hz. Less results are available for the stride length and walking speed, and in

addition to the study reported here, only that of Sahnaci and Kasperki (2005) gives separate data

for the two genders. The mean value of the stride length ranges between 0.71 m and 0.77 m,

which makes unjustified the value of 0.9 m adopted by Eurocode 5 and other codes of practice.

For some applications it is of interest the relationship between the three walking parameters

fp, l and v. Ingolfsson et al. (2007) suggested that a general law of the type y=axb be used to re-

193

n

Males

Females

TOTAL

Matsumoto et al. (1978)

Wheeler (1982)

Bachmann & Ammann (1987)

Kerr & Bishop (2001)

Sahnaci & Kasperski (2005)

Zivanovic et al. (2005)

Pachi & Tianjian (2005)

62

54

116

505

40

251

1976

400

fp [Hz]

mean

RMS

1.812

0.172

1.860

0.168

1.835

0.172

1.99

0.173

2.0

2.0

0.18

1.9

1.82

0.12

1.87

0.186

1.8

0.11

l [m]

mean

0.796

0.734

0.768

0.75

0.75

1.5

0.07

1.37

0.71

0.15

1.3

2.0

2.0

v = 0.754f p + 0.024

URC

DTU

Terrier et al.

1.5

v [m/s]

1.5

v [m/s]

RMS

0.095

0.091

0.098

v [m/s]

mean

RMS

1.44

0.117

1.37

0.226

1.41

0.224

1.0

URC

DTU

Terrier et al.

0.5

1.0

0.5

0.0

v = 1.835l - 0.0007

0.0

0.0

0.5

1.0

1.5

f p [Hz]

2.0

2.5

and walking speed

0.0

0.2

0.4

0.6

l [m]

0.8

1.0

1.2

walking speed

late any two of the three walking parameters. This as the advantage of allowing fulfilment of the

natural relationship between frequency, speed and stride v=fpl. On the other hand the tests discussed here revealed that walking speed can be reasonably assumed a linear function of both

walking frequency and stride length, while the latter parameters are quite uncorrelated with each

other. Such result is shown through figures 4, 5 and 6. In figure 4 the walking speed is shown as

a function of the walking frequency. In addition to the results of the tests carried out at the University of Reggio Calabria (indicated as URC), eight points are shown, coming from similar

tests carried out at the Danish Technical University (indicated as DTU), and other eight points

coming from the tests presented by Terrier et al. (2005). Together with the experimental points,

also the linear fit is shown, based only on the URC measurements. Such fit shows that the walking velocity is almost proportional to the walking frequency, therefore it seems reasonable to

neglect to constant value of 0.024 m/s and assume a relationship of the type v=0.754fp, where

the slope of the line is in good agreement with the measured mean stride length of 0.768 m. In

figure 4 the lines of equation v=[mean(l)RMS(l)]fp and v=[mean(l)2RMS(l)]fp are also

shown, which define the confidence ranges associated with the relationship between walking

speed and stride length.

A similar approach can be applied to analyse the relationship between stride length and

walking velocity (figure 5). Also in this case, when the constant value of -0.0007 m/s is neglected the linear relationship v=1.835l is obtained from the URC measurements, whose slope

is in perfect agreement with the measured mean walking frequency (see table 2). Also in figure

5 the confidence ranges of the relationship between stride length and walking velocity are

shown, through the lines of equation v=[mean(fp)RMS(fp)]l and v=[mean(fp)2RMS(fp)]l.

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EVACES07

1.2

1.0

l [m/s]

0.8

0.6

0.4

URC

DTU

Terrier et al.

0.2

0.0

0.0

0.5

1.0

1.5

f p [Hz]

2.0

2.5

Finally, in figure 6 the relationship between the walking frequency and the stride length is

shown. In this case the points are quite scattered, without a clear trend. In the figure a line corresponding to the mean stride length from the URC measurements, together with the constant values [mean(l)2RMS(l)] are also shown.

3.2 Walking forces

Depending on whether the loading model of eq. (1) or that of eq. (5) is used, a deterministic or a

probabilistic description of the walking forces is needed. The former is given through the DLFs

associated with the different harmonics of the vertical and horizontal load. The latter is given

through the power spectra of the vertical and lateral load appearing in eq. (6).

In table 3 a summary of the mean and characteristic values of the first five vertical and lateral

DLFs is reported. For the vertical DLFs the characteristic value is that associated with a probability of non exceedance of 75%, while for the horizontal DLFs the characteristic value is that

associated with a probability of non exceedance of 95%. The vertical DLFs are those reported

by Willford and Young (2005), who derived them from the analysis of measurements reported

by other authors. The horizontal DLFs are have been derived from the measurements of Pizzimenti (2005), also presented by Pizzimenti and Ricciardelli (2005). The first vertical DLF

shows a pronounced dependency on the walking frequency, which is reported in table 3. On the

other hand, the second, third and fourth vertical DLFs and the first and third horizontal DLFs

show only a moderate variability with frequency, associated with a large scatter of the data. In

table 3 both the variability with frequency and the suggested constant value are reported. The

remaining DLFs do non show any dependency on walking frequency.

The results of the measurements of Pizzimenti (2005) also revealed that the power spectrum

of the horizontal excitation around the n-th harmonic of the horizontal walking frequency can be

reasonably assumed to have a Gaussian shape, described through the equation:

f nf p 1 2

f S Fhn ( f ) = Cn W 2 exp 2

Bn

(7)

The parameters appearing in eq. (7) can be derived from the work of Pizzimenti and Ricciardelli (2005), and are shown in table 4. To the authors knowledge, no data are available for the

spectra of the vertical component of the load.

3.3 Crowd density

The applicability of the model of eq. (5) is bound to the hypothesis that crowd density is everywhere on the deck lower that a critical value, such that a larger density would cause interaction

among the pedestrians. No tests have yet been performed to characterise the critical density, and

it is suggested that a value between 0.2 and 0.3 pedestrians/m be used in the lack of other data.

195

n

Vertical

Horizontal

fp [Hz]

mean

75%

fp [Hz]

mean

95%

1.0-2.8

0.37fp-0.35<0.5

0.41fp-0.39<0.56

0.6-1.1

0.05fp -0.011

(0.028)

0.05fp+0.001

(0.041)

2.0-5.6

0.0051

0.0077

3.0-8.4

1.8-3.3

0.0086fp -0.0033

(0.017)

0.009fp+0.004

(0.023)

4.0-11

0.0056fp +0.069

(0.090)

0.0064fp +0.033

(0.069)

0.0065fp +0.013

(0.061)

1.1-2.2

0.0044fp+0.054

(0.070)

0.005fp+0.026

(0.054)

0.0051fp+0.01

(0.048)

2.4-4.4

0.0026

0.0044

>11

3.0-5.5

0.0077

0.011

1

Bn

0.0616

0.039

0.0288

0.037

0.035

Cn

0.0116

0.00086

0.0078

0.00064

0.00197

For the loading models of eqs. (1) and (5) to be applicable, the amplitude of oscillation of the

footbridge has also to be small enough for the pedestrians not to be affected in their gait. To investigate the modifications occurring to the walking parameters due to the footbridge oscillation

tests were carried out at the Danish Technical University on a model footbridge, able to vibrate

in the vertical direction. These also allowed verifying the limits of applicability of eq. (1). The

footbridge, shown in figure 7, is a suspended span of 12 m, whose design data and final dynamic characteristics are reported by Ingolfsson (2006). For the purpose of matching the average walking frequency, an additional mass of 1075 Kg was added at midspan. There resulted a

first natural frequency of 1.95 Hz. The measured damping ratio proved to be dependent on the

amplitude of oscillation. In particular a value of 0.5% was measured for low amplitudes up to

3.5 cm, a value of 0.6% for intermediate amplitudes up to 5.5 cm, and a value of 0.8% for larger

amplitudes. In the following the value of 0.5% will be used, as in the tests the amplitude of oscillation never exceeded the value of 3.5 cm. The first modal mass in the configuration with the

additional mass at midspan was estimated to be in about 2020 Kg.

First, a set of tests was carried out to measure the undisturbed walking characteristics of the

eight test persons. These consisted in measuring the average walking frequency and speed and

stride length on a fixed floor, and the results are shown among those of figures 4 through 6. The

values obtained were considered as a reference for the measurements on the vibrating model

footbridge. Then three sets of metronome tests were carried out on the model footbridge. In test

#1 the metronome frequency was set equal to the bridge natural frequency, in test #2 it was set

equal to 90% that (1.75 Hz), and in test #3 equal to 110% (2.15 Hz). In the metronome tests the

persons were asked to try to keep the other walking parameters as natural as they could. Finally,

free walking tests were carried out, in which the persons were asked to walk on the bridge according to his/her own pace rate. Each of the tests above was repeated three times, and the results were averaged.

In table 5 the results of the free walking tests (on the stiff floor and on the vibrating footbridge) are compared. It can be noticed that there is a minor difference between the walking frequencies measured on the footbridge and those measured on the floor, to be considered as a random fluctuation. On the other hand, a systematic increase of the stride length is noticed when

the pedestrians walk on the footbridge. This ranges between 0 and 7%, and globally increases

with the amplitude of oscillation of the footbridge. In table 5 the measured response is also

196

EVACES07

compared to that predicted through eqs. (1) and (5). Either the one or the other equation is used

in each case, depending on how close to each other were the walking and vibration frequencies.

The closed form solution of eq. (4) predicts the measured response with an error in the range of

34% to +42%. This is mainly explained through the fact that this equation, even though quite

accurate away from resonance, tends to become inaccurate as the system approaches resonance.

Other causes of inaccuracy are associated with the experimental setup, with the assumption of a

sinusoidal deformed shape, and with the short span of the footbridge. The closed form solution

of eq. (3), on the other hand, generally overestimates (between 42% and 77%) the measured response. This is mainly due to the fact that this equation applies in case of resonance, and in the

free walking tests this condition is generally not achieved.

In figure 8 the measured non-dimensional load detuning (difference between walking and

vibration frequencies) is plotted as a function of the theoretical non-dimensional load detuning

(that calculated based on the walking frequency on the stiff floor). Measurement of a zero detuning would indicate that the pedestrian has synchronised its gait to the footbridge vibration.

This situation, however, never occurred in the tests, suggesting that in none of the tests a

walker-structure synchronisation mechanism took place. The maximum measured acceleration

amplitude was 2.26 m/s2, corresponding to a displacement amplitude of 1.51 cm. It is concluded

that in this specific case of a short span, the synchronisation thresholds (both in terms of accelerations and displacements) are larger than the values above.

Finally in table 6 the results of the metronome tests are presented. First it is noted that there

is a discrepancy between the metronome frequency and the walking frequency, indicating that,

especially in the resonance tests the walkers couldnt fully match the triggered frequency. For

the resonance tests the measured acceleration is compared with that calculated through eq. (3).

The predicted acceleration always exceeds the measured one. For those walkers who could better match the metronome frequency (subjects # 2,4,5,7), the overestimation of the measured response through eq. (3) is in the range of 26% to 64%. In this case the overestimation of the response by eq. (3) is justified by the fact that when forced to follow the metronome frequency,

the walkers tend to modify their walking parameters (see the increase in stride length), therefore

modify the action to the footbridge. For the off-resonance tests the measured accelerations are

compared with those calculated through eq. (4). In this case the prediction error is larger when

the walking frequency is lower than the vibration frequency (up to 63%), and smaller when the

walking frequency is larger than the vibration frequency (as low as 4%).

197

n

W

[N]

H

[m]

gender

559

1.60

647

fp [Hz]

a [m/s2]

l [m]

ratio

floor

bridge

floor

bridge

meas.

calculated

1.72

1.70

0.69

0.69

0.31

0.25 (eq. 4)

0.81

1.77

1.93

1.94

0.71

0.76

1.68

2.98 (eq. 3)

1.77

736

1.76

1.79

1.82

0.83

0.89

1.24

0.86 (eq.4)

0.69

785

1.80

1.88

1.83

0.85

0.90

1.98

2.81 (eq. 3)

1.42

697

1.74

1.87

1.90

0.81

0.87

1.95

2.76 (eq. 4)

1.42

687

1.80

1.82

1.82

0.83

0.85

1.48

2.52 (eq. 3)

1.70

736

1.78

1.95

1.90

0.85

0.89

2.26

2.86 (eq. 4)

1.27

1010

1.88

1.72

1.70

0.77

0.79

0.67

0.44 (eq. 4)

0.66

[( f p -f o)/f o]theor

-0.15

-0.1

-0.05

-0.05

-0.1

-0.15

5 CONCLUSIONS

Two loading models for footbridges have been presented, to be used when no synchronisation

phenomena take place on the bridge, neither among the walkers, nor of the walkers with the

bridge oscillation. Values of the parameters contained in the models have been provided, either

as found in the literature, or as obtained by the authors experimentally. Finally, the results of

measurements on a flexible model footbridge have been presented, mainly meant at investigating the variation of the walking parameters due to the oscillation of the bridge. It was noticed

that when free to choose their pace rate, the walkers never modified it, with respect of what it

was on the fixed floor, at least for acceleration amplitudes up to 2.26 m/s2 and displacement

amplitudes up to 1.51 cm. On the other hand, they tend to increase the stride length as the amplitude of oscillation increases. This result is probably related to the short span of the bridge,

and it should not be excluded that on a longer span the same response amplitudes could cause

synchronisation.

Comparison of the measured and predicted response showed that the loading model proposed for short span bridges is generally on the safe side, but also that in particular cases it can

overestimate the response by more than 50%. This result is partly due to the inaccuracies associated with the experiments, partly due to the very short span of the model bridge. On the other

hand, for design purposes eq. (3) is meant to provide the maximum response the bridge can

reach when crossed by one pedestrian at the time. Therefore, its accuracy needs to be checked

based on the maximum of the responses measured for a large population of walkers. When this

is done, the inaccuracy tends to reduce and becomes acceptable for practical applications.

198

EVACES07

fmetr=1.95 Hz

fmetr=2.15 Hz

fmetr=1.75 Hz

f

[Hz]

l

[m]

a

[m/s2]

Eq. (3)

[m/s2]

f

[Hz]

l

[m]

a

[m/s2]

Eq. (4)

[m/s2]

f

[Hz]

l

[m]

a

[m/s2]

Eq. (4)

[m/s2]

1.85

0.73

1.23

2.41

1.75

0.72

0.455

0.364

2.08

0.73

0.666

1.07

1.94

0.76

1.82

2.98

1.77

0.72

0.656

0.459

2.08

0.77

0.697

1.11

1.88

0.94

2.01

2.67

1.75

0.89

1.00

0.438

2.11

0.89

1.38

1.20

1.96

0.90

2.36

3.21

1.75

0.87

1.32

0.491

2.15

0.88

1.38

1.01

1.96

0.88

1.93

2.88

1.77

082

0.622

0.486

2.14

0.89

1.11

0.919

1.98

0.87

1.97

2.95

1.77

0.90

1.08

0.504

2.11

0.89

0.982

1.02

1.96

0.94

2.30

2.89

1.77

0.85

1.09

0.394

2.13

0.85

1.26

1.02

1.89

0.85

2.23

4.04

1.73

0.84

0.781

0.451

2.10

0.84

1.16

1.56

REFERENCES

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