Unseating prevention for multiple frame bridges using superelastic devices

Bassem Andrawes, Reginald Desroches

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Unseating of bridge spans due to excessive relative hinge opening is a common problem for bridges subjected to strong ground motion. Various unseating prevention devices have been developed in both the United States and Japan to try to reduce the likelihood of collapse due to unseating. This paper presents the results of the evaluation of unseating prevention devices using nitinol shape memory alloys (SMAs). Superelastic SMAs have the ability to remain elastic under very large deformations, due to a solid-state martensitic transformation. This unique property leads to enhanced performance of the adaptive superelastic unseating prevention device, compared with conventional devices used in the United States and Japan. To assess the effectiveness of the devices, nonlinear time history analyses are performed on a typical multiple frame reinforced concrete box girder bridge using a suite of representative ground motions. The results show that for multiple frame reinforced concrete box girder bridges the adaptive superelastic devices are very effective in limiting the relative hinge displacement and preventing unseating, compared with the conventional steel cable restrainers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S60-S67
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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