Fatigue of Diaphragm-Girder Connections

Distortion-induced fatigue cracking has occurred at hundreds of diaphragm-girder connections in multi-girder steel bridges in Birmingham, Alabama in recent years. The research goal was an improved maintenance strategy for repair and maintenance of the bridges so the potential for future cracking is minimized. The investigation included field measurements of distortion-induced stresses at connections, field measurements of the effects of removing diaphragms from two in-service bridges, structural evaluations of typical bridge designs, Finite Element Method analyses of typical bridge designs, and laboratory testing of bolted connections. Results indicate interior diaphragms can be removed from many existing bridges without significant negative effects. Guidelines for evaluating candidate bridges were developed for both simple spans and continuous spans. A bolted connection was designed, installed in the field, and tested. Tests confirmed the new design performed better than the original design.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Auburn University

    Highway Research Center, Harbert Engineering Center
    Auburn, AL  United States  36849-5337

    Alabama Department of Transportation

    Bureau of Research and Development, 1409 Coliseum Boulevard
    Montgomery, AL  United States  36130-3050
  • Authors:
    • Stallings, J Michael
    • Cousins, Thomas E
    • Tedesco, J W
  • Publication Date: 1996-4


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 327p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01013249
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Research Project 930-307
  • Created Date: Dec 9 2005 2:35PM