Three-dimensional modeling of soil-steel culverts under the effect of truckloads

K. M. El-Sawy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Soil-steel culverts have been successfully used as a cheap alternative to the conventional steel or reinforced/pre-stressed concrete bridges. Current design codes and researchers usually approximate the effect of live loads on such soil-steel culverts. In this study, three-dimensional (3D) finite element (FE) analyses of two existing soil-steel culverts are performed and compared to the published theoretical and experimental results. The study shows that the results of the 3D FE analyses for the thrusts compare well with the experimentally measured ones with differences less than 30%. On the other hand, the FE results for bending moments show less agreement which may be due to the sensitivity of the bending moments to the accurate modeling of the properties of the soil material. The study also shows that the effect of the live loads extends for a very limited longitudinal length of the examined corrugated steel culverts and validates the use long prismatic longitudinal geometry in performing their 3D FE analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)747-768
Number of pages22
JournalThin-Walled Structures
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2003


  • Finite element method
  • Live loads
  • Soil-steel culverts
  • Three dimensional

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering


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