A FEASIBILITY STUDY OF THE USE OF FATIGUE FUSES IN PREDICTING THE FATIGUE LIFE OF STEEL BRIDGES. FINAL REPORT

The fatigue fuse is a device for predicting fatigue life of steel highway bridge members when the bridge is subject to variable loads. The fuse is calibrated so that the cracking of each of its four legs can be related to damage in the structure. In this preliminary laboratory study fatigue fuses were attached to eight steel girders, selected to represent three types of structural details found in existing highway bridges. The girders were all of A-572 grade 50 steel fabricated to AASHTO specifications. Fatigue fuses were cemented to the girders and the girders subjected to a constant amplitude fatigue loading which resulted in a tension-tension stress on the bottom flange. Cracking of the fatigue fuses was monitored by checking electrical continuity across each fuse leg. Tests were continued until the girder failed or until all fuse legs had broken and the mean fatigue life of the girder, as predicted by AASHTO, had been reached. The breaking of the fuse legs was used to predict the fatigue life of each girder. This was compared with the actual cycles to failure of the girder and the AASHTO mean life. This prediction gave satisfactory agreement with the AASHTO mean life in four of the tests. In two tests the predictions varied significantly from the AASHTO mean life. While several critical issues remain such as adapting the fatigue fuse to the environment of a real bridge and conducting tests on a statistically valid sample, the results of this feasibility study indicate that the fuse could be a very valuable tool for highway bridge inspection.

  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Rhode Island, Kingston

    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    Kingston, RI  United States  02881

    Rhode Island Department of Transportation

    State Office Building, 2 Capitol Hill
    Providence, RI  United States  02903

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • McEwen, E E
    • Tsiatas, G
  • Publication Date: 1994-1

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 64 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00667597
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA-RI-RD-94-01
  • Contract Numbers: 1(22) 1219
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Oct 5 1994 12:00AM