AbstractThis study proposes a type of bioinspired box-girder bridge with a trabecular-honeycomb steel web (THSW) inspired by beetle elytra (hardened forewings), and the buckling and shear properties of the THSW are investigated via the finite-element method under transverse loading. The results are as follows: (1) When η (the ratio of the trabecular radius to the distance between the center points of two trabeculae) is larger than 0.2, the buckling stability of the THSW is significantly better than that of a conventional corrugated steel web (CSW); however, considering the buckling mode, the achieved increases in the properties, and economic factors, the parameter η is recommended to be 0.2 or 0.25. (2) The stress level in the trabeculae is approximately only half of that in the CSW, but the THSW still bears most of the shear force, which is similar to a CSW bridge. (3) Under a shear load, the THSW is dominated by an S-type shear deformation. Importantly, the corresponding synergistic shear mechanism makes the trabecula and honeycomb wall yield in an obvious sequential order, leading to a significant improvement in the ductility of the structure. These results provide a foundation for further research and applications of this new bioinspired bridge and a solution for improving the buckling and shear performance of conventional CSWs.

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