Pilot Testing of a Hydraulic Bridge Exciter
In the design of a railway bridge that is meant for train speeds larger than 200 km/h, the Swedish Traffic Administration requires a dynamic analysis in addition to the conventional static design. The models used for static design may not always be suitable for dynamic analysis, which could lead to inaccurate estimations of the dynamic response. The reason for this is a limited knowledge of the actual structural dynamic behaviour of bridges, which is why a hydraulic bridge exciter has been developed. With this device, smaller bridges can be excited in a load- or displacement-controlled manner under variable frequency and load. By having known inputs, the bridges’ dynamic properties can be evaluated using experimental modal analysis. A finite element model of the double tracked railway bridge Pershagen was created in order to plan a pilot test of the bridge exciter. The influence of the load amplitude and sweep rate was evaluated. A theoretically optimal excitation position was also investigated in order to excite as many eigenmodes as possible from one position during the pilot test. Based on these results, a pilot test was performed on the Pershagen Bridge. The dynamic properties of the bridge were evaluated based on the results from the test. From the pilot test it could be concluded that the load amplitude had a direct influence on the dynamic properties of the bridge, hence the dynamic behaviour is non-linear. The 1st vertical bending mode and its dynamic properties could also be identified.
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