Experimental and Analytical Evaluation of Reinforced Concrete Girders under Low-Cycle Shear Fatigue

Stirrup stresses in lightly reinforced concrete bridge girders may exceed the elastic limit while in service. Increasing load magnitudes and volume over time, multiple permit loads, and modern superloads creates the potential for low-cycle fatigue. In this study, six full-scale reinforced concrete girder specimens representative of those found in 1950s reinforced concrete deck-girder bridges were tested under low-cycle fatigue conditions. The specimens were tested in both T and inverted-T configurations. Other test variables included stirrup spacing, flexural reinforcing details, and spacing of supports. Results showed that low-cycle fatigue produced bond deterioration and cumulative plasticity of stirrups. Progressive fracture of stirrup reinforcement under low-cycle fatigue led to eventual specimen failure. A methodology for the analysis of low-cycle fatigue in girders is proposed using the finite element method to approximate stirrup stress ranges and a linear damage model to estimate the life of a conventionally reinforced concrete girder under repeated overloads. This methodology provided good correlation between the experimental and predicted number of fatigue cycles for lightly web-reinforced specimens.

  • Availability:
  • Authors:
    • Forrest, Richard W B
    • Higgins, Christopher
    • Senturk, A Ekin
  • Publication Date: 2010-3


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01155758
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Apr 29 2010 12:29PM