Numerical Analysis of Long-Span Cable-Stayed Bridge in the Construction Phase

Xue Chengfeng*, Liu Laijun, Wu Fangwen, Yang Caofang
School of Highway, Chang’an University, Xi’an, Shanxi, 710064, P.R. China.

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© 2015 Chengfeng et al;

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the School of Highway, Chang’an University, Xi’an, Shanxi, 710064, P.R. China; Tel: +862982338970; E-mail:


The fabrication and erection of cable-stayed bridges involve major changes in structure configuration through the addition and removal of structure components. In every stage of the construction process, adequate information on the constructed structure is important to determine the real structure situation for the analysis of errors and to verify construction requirements. The ultimate goals are to meet construction needs and identify the effects of modification in subsequent construction procedures. The final configuration of the structure is strongly dependent on the construction and fabrication procedures. In this regard, developing an FEA model to simulate the actual construction processes is necessary to determine the performance of a bridge under external loads. In this study, a general methodology for construction processes is presented to simulate a cable-stayed bridge. The stage-by-stage construction of the Sutong Bridge is simulated with ANSYS software package. The tensions of cables are realized with ANSYS parametric design language, element birth and death function, and mutliframe restart function. The objective of the construction stage simulation is to identify stresses and deformations of the steel box girder and the concrete towers, as well as the cable tension stress, to meet the design requirements. Results of the construction stage analysis showed that the temperature method could simulate the adjustment of the inclined cable force successfully, and the global stiffness of the Sutong Bridge was very small before closure. These findings served as the initial data for a dynamic research on the Sutong cable-stayed bridge.

Keywords: cable-stayed bridge, simulation analysis, finite element model, construction phase, inclined cable.