This paper investigates the use of solid and hollow core voussoir blocks in an innovative FlexiArch bridge system. The system is formed from precast concrete voussoirs connected by a polymeric reinforcement, enabling the arch to be built and transported as a flat pack and lifted into shape after delivery to site, thus avoiding the use of centring for construction. This research is novel in that it trials and compares the use of hollow core and solid FlexiArch rings in third-scale models with granular backfill. The use of hollow core voussoirs reduces the loading on the polymeric reinforcement during construction and should allow for increased spans. This paper presents the test results of two similar third-scale 5 m 6 2 m (span 6 rise) arch systems, using both solid and hollow construction. The use of hollow core voussoir blocks reduces the weight of the system. Non-linear finite-element analysis (NLFEA) has been used to further compare arch behaviour and the thrustline position.
- arch bridges, polymeric reinforcement, NLFEA