Next Development for Steel Bridges:
Parametric Modeler for Complex Steel Bridge Design


Background

From the MDX vs. MIDAS webinar in November 2018, we received the questions and suggestions from our clients throughout the U.S. and Canada on steel bridge modeling, analysis, design and load rating in midas Civil. We listened and decided on our next development direction accordingly.

Feedback and Question Summary

The feedback and questions were mainly about:

  1. Request for a modeler/wizard that is more optimized for curved, skewed, flared, and split steel bridges
  2. Request for a design checking feature for plate/shell combination models
  3. Requests for various features that are already supported in midas Civil
  4. Requests for minor improvements
  5. Request for a quick design optimization feature

Based on the above and also many DOTs’ requirement changes* in steel bridge design, we decided to focus on the #1 and #2 requests for our further development of midas Civil for Steel Bridge applications. As the first step, we will develop a new parametric modeler for complex geometry steel bridges within the 3rd quarter of 2019.

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Our Priorities

Based on the above and also many DOTs’ requirement changes* in steel bridge design, we decided to focus on the #1 and #2 requests for our further development of midas Civil for Steel Bridge applications. As the first step, we will develop a new parametric modeler for complex geometry steel bridges and have the beta version ready by the end of the quarter of 2019.

*Requirement Changes by DOTs

DOTs are starting to require shell modeling of the curve/skewed steel bridges as shown below:

DOT requirement changes
(i.e. FDOT (2019, January). Structures Manual - Structures Design Guidelines. Retrieved April 22, 2019, from
https://fdotwww.blob.core.windows.net/sitefinity/docs/default-source/structures/structuresmanual/currentrelease/vol1sdge93d6390ed674b04817d8360c0372739.pdf?sfvrsn=875a28ad_2)

The requirement changes resulted from the needs for more accurate simulations of the following effects and more:

  1. Local buckling/torsion effect and values
  2. Bottom flange lateral bending moment values
  3. Bracing effect on girder web
  4. Bracing member forces
  5. More accurate capture of the live load effects
  6. Accurate bolt and connection design

 

New Complex Steel Bridge Modeler

The steel bridge modeler shall satisfy the following conditions:

  1. 3D FEA model element configuration requirement
    1. Girder webs modeled using shell or plate elements
    2. Girder flanges modeled using beam, shell, or plate elements
    3. Deck modeled using shell or plate elements
    4. Cross-frame with individual cross-frame members modeled using beam/truss type elements, or using plate or shell type elements
  2. Other requirements to optimize the design process
    1. Mesh size (quarters of web, flange, deck girder-to-girder)
    2. Mesh shape (considering the skew, curve, flare, and split)
    3. Composite Type Resultant section definition (Resultant section combines multiple plates and/or beam elements into one section)
    4. Construction Stage definition (considering deck pouring sequences)
    5. Live Load Setting (lane number, width, deck width, wheel margin, lane offset, etc.)
    6. Boundary condition (girder-deck using links, girder-pier using links or supports, bracing connection using the node sharing between bracing element and girder web plate element)
    7. Parametric modeling and modification
    8. Cost Estimation (Bill of Material, Quantity Report)

 Become a Beta Tester

 

Request #3, 4, & 5

For the 3rd request for various features that are already supported in midas Civil, we organized the Q&A log and references. For the 4th request for minor improvements, some of them are already planned to be developed within the third quarter of this year or will be added to the development request list and evaluated in the beginning of the third quarter of this year. Please review the Q&A log for more details.

View Q&A log

The 5th request for a quick design optimization feature, will eventually be supported since we will develop this type of modeler for various structure types and configurations. 

Register to become a Beta Tester

The beta version of the parametric modeler will be ready around August - October 2019.