Featured Project

Modeling of the formwork removal of a rubble stone masonry bridge

Project Description

  • Determine the mechanical behavior of a stone arch bridge during the phase of the formwork removal.
  • Reproduce as closely as possible the behavior observed on site and dependent on the behavior of the blocks and their interactions.
  • Use discrete block modeling, first in 2D (plane deformations) and then in 3D.

Work carried out within the framework of the research project C2D2 10 MGC S 01 named PEDRA and financed by the Ministry of Ecology (MEDDEM) and the "Réseau Génie Civil et Urbain" (RGCU).

©AS Colas

Itasca's Role

  • Participate in the development of discrete numerical models by co-supervising ECL and ENTPE students.
  • Benefit from our experience in simplifying the problem: symmetry and boundary conditions, geometry and mesh size, application of stresses.
  • Improve models until on-site observations are replicated and understood.
Drawing of the UDEC numerical model and work assumptions

Project Results

  • Discrete approach adapted to the understanding of the physical phenomena involved during the phase of the formwork removal.
  • Reduced contact area between the vault blocks (creation of an opening) and width of the extended abutment from a mechanical point of view: excellent qualitative results and very good quantitative results.
  • Sufficient 2D model for the phase of the formwork removal.
  • 3D model required to simulate the behavior of the bridge subjected to other types of loads (point or cyclic traffic loads).
Displacement of sensor position after the formwork removal - comparison of on-site measurements and numerical models


Tran, V.H., E. Vincens, J.C. Morel, F. Dedecker and HH. Le. “2D-DEM modelling of the formwork removal of a rubble stone masonry bridge,” Engineering Structures, 75, pp. 448-456 (2014).


Itasca Consultants S.A.S.



Client Name



Chaldecoste, France