Failure Characteristics and Ultimate Load-Carrying Capacity of Redundant Composite Steel Girder Bridges: Case Study

With the existence of aging highway bridges within the U.S. transportation network, federal and local agencies typically encounter a wide assortment of maintenance issues ranging from cracking, spalls, delaminations, and corrosion to high load hits and fire damage. This paper presents an approach for capturing the full system-based behavior and stages of failure in the composite bridge superstructures as they approach ultimate capacity. This step is instrumental to understanding how redundant bridges behave in the presence of coupled and uncoupled damage and deteriorations. The investigation included a comprehensive nonlinear finite-element analysis of two representative intact composite steel girder bridges that were tested to failure and provided sufficient details for model validation. Results demonstrate the high degree of additional reserve capacity, inherent to redundant superstructures, over the theoretical nominal design capacity. A rational approach was established to describe the actual system-based ultimate capacity, which was not explicitly considered in the current design methodology. In addition, a limited sensitivity study was performed on one of the selected representative bridges to investigate the sensitivity of the characterized failure stages to variations in the geometrical parameters and material properties of the bridge system.


  • English

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01534506
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Jul 17 2014 3:02PM