Fatigue Testing and Structural Health Monitoring of Retrofitted Web Stiffeners on Steel Highway Bridges

Numerous steel highway bridges, still in use today, were built during the construction boom between the late 1950s and the late 1970s. Fatigue cracking can be considered a main source of deterioration for these bridges. The largest category of observed fatigue cracks is caused by out-of-plane distortion. The most susceptible locations are those at which transverse structural components (such as diaphragms or cross frames) are framed into longitudinal girders through web stiffeners that are not attached to the flanges. In the current study, a web stiffener detail is fatigue tested under different cyclic loading conditions. As-welded specimens are tested, along with specimens retrofitted by grinding and rewelding, needle peening, or the adhesive bonding of fiber-reinforced polymer attachments. Direct strain and deflection measurements are compared with finite element analysis predictions, and local (hot-spot) stresses are compared with hot-spot stress design curves. A time series–based method for damage detection is also explored for the prediction of fatigue crack depth with strain data. The method is validated through the use of small- and large-scale specimen strain data. It is found that damage measures based on strains in the vicinity of the critical hot spot are closely correlated with the true crack depth.


  • English

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01476914
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780309286862
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 13-4720
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Mar 27 2013 9:40AM