Prevention and Mitigation Strategies to Address Recent Brittle Fractures in Steel Bridges

Brittle fracture results in unplanned loss of service, very costly repairs, concern regarding the future safety of the structure, and potential loss of life. These types of failures are most critical when there is no evidence of fatigue cracking leading up to the fracture and the fracture origin is concealed from view. Hence, the failure occurs without warning and the details are, essentially, noninspectable. In these cases, it appears desirable to take a proactive approach and introduce preventative retrofits to reduce the potential for future crack development. These efforts will help ensure that the likelihood of unexpected fractures is minimized. This paper examines the behavior of two bridge structures in which brittle fractures have developed in recent times, discusses the causes of the failures, and offers suggested design strategies for prevention and retrofit mitigation techniques. In situations where considerable uncertainty exists in the prediction of accumulated damage or in the ability to reliably inspect critical details, preemptive retrofit strategies appear to be highly desirable.

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  • Authors:
    • Connor, Robert J
    • Kaufmann, Eric J
    • Fisher, John W
    • Wright, William J
  • Publication Date: 2007-3


  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01049466
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 26 2007 7:00PM