Numerical analysis of steel-soil composite (SSC) culvert under static loads

  • Beben, Damian (Opole University of Technology, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture) ;
  • Wrzeciono, Michal (Opole University of Technology, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture)
  • Received : 2017.01.11
  • Accepted : 2017.02.24
  • Published : 2017.04.30


The paper presents a numerical analysis of a steel-soil composite (SSC) culvert in the scope of static (dead and live) loads. The Abaqus program based on the finite element method (FEM) was used for calculations. Maximum displacements were obtained in the shell crown, and the largest stresses in the haunches. Calculation results were compared with the experimental ones and previous calculations obtained from the Autodesk Robot Structural Analysis (ARSA) program. The shapes of calculated displacements and stresses are similar to those obtained with the experiment, but the absolute values were generally higher than measured ones. The relative differences of calculated and measured values were in the range of 5-23% for displacements, and 15-42% for stresses. Developed calculation model of the SSC culvert in the Abaqus program allows obtaining reasonable values of internal forces in the culvert. Using both calculation programs, the relative differences for displacements were in the range of 15-39%, and 17-44% for stresses in favour of the Abaqus program. Three design methods (Sundquist-Pettersson, Duncan and CHBDC) were used to calculate the axial thrusts and bending moments. Obtained values were compared with test results. Generally, the design methods have conservative assumptions, especially in the live loads distribution, safety factors and consideration the interaction between soil and steel structure.


steel-soil composite culvert;FE model;displacement;stress;live loads;backfill


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