Brittle fracture of steel bridges is becoming more common as designs become more complex; as high-strength thick-welded steels displace thin, riveted plates; as engineers choose fabrication and construction practices mainly to minimize costs; and as safety factors decrease with computer design. There are three basic methods to control fracture: use of low design stresses, use of tough steels, and inspection to be sure no large flaws are present. There is a growing feeling among bridge engineers that fracture toughness criteria should be specified for bridge steels. To minimize brittle fracture, the designer must eliminate geometric discontinuities that act as notches. Indeterminate structures are usually more resistant to complete failure than are determinate structures, e.g., the Kings Bridge failure in Melbourne, Austrailia, as opposed to the failure of a primary member in the Silver Bridge at Pt. Pleasant, West Virginia.

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  • Accession Number: 00043994
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 1 1973 12:00AM