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Vertical Stress in the Gravel Decking of Log Bridges

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As the forest industry moves into second growth stands with smaller tree diameters the design of gravel-decked log stringer bridges becomes more critical. This article considers the stress field at the base of the gravel decking. The results of this article indicate that stress equations derived from elastic theory for a semi-infinite solid underestimate the magnitude of the maximum vertical stress at the base of the gravel decking. Therefore, a finite element model (FEM) was used to estimate the stress field at the base of the gravel decking. A single equation was fit to the FEM results for a range of gravel depths using a unit load. This equation provides a method for estimating the vertical stress at the base of the gravel decking that is a function of the horizontal distance from the center of the tire contact patch and the total depth of the gravel decking.

Keywords: Finite element model; gravel deck; linear elasticity; log bridge

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Forest Resource Management, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T-1Z4.

Publication date: 2006-04-01

More about this publication?
  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Western Journal of Applied Forestry covers the western United States, including Alaska, and western Canada; WJAF will also consider manuscripts reporting research in northern Mexico that has potential application in the southwestern United States.
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