Large scale fatigue tests of strands on saddle systems for cable-stayed bridges

Stay cables made of parallel strands for cable-stayed or extradosed bridges are usually anchored in the pylon or the mast of the bridge. New saddle systems provide the opportunity to support them by saddles that guide the strands continuously from one side of the pylon to the other. While cables made of strands have been tested for fatigue extensively, saddle systems were not yet tested much although the fatigue mechanism occurring inside a saddle is particularly complex. The need to perform such a test and the facilities that exist at the Berlin Institute of Technology (TU Berlin), Department of Civil and Structural Engineering provided the unique opportunity to perform large scale fatigue test on cable saddle systems with 55 and with 37 strands. These tests were performed in accordance to fib recommendations, bulletin 30, January 2005. This paper describes the saddle systems used today as well as the test rig and tests conducted in Berlin.