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A Numerical Based Determination of Stress Intensity Factors for Partially Cracked Flexural I-shaped Cross-sections
Someshwara Korachar, Eshwari
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The AASHTO LRFD design specifications and the AASHTO manual for bridge evaluation are consistently revised using knowledge of previous bridge failures. Although modern steel structures are designed to resist fatigue cracking from service loads, cracks in the tension flanges of steel bridge girders have been observed as a result of stress concentrations, design errors, welding quality control, and vehicular impacts. Cracks can grow in size with time and active cyclic live loads and may result in a member fracture. Fracture is a dangerous limit state which occurs with little to no warning. One method to quantify the stress field in the vicinity of a crack tip is by calculating the Stress Intensity Factor (SIF) around the crack tip. Finding SIFs for a cracked geometry may help an engineer to determine the fracture potential based on crack dimensions found during the inspection. Rolled I-beam and steel plate girders are extensively used as bridge superstructure members to efficiently carry live loads. This research was focused on determining Stress Intensity Factors (SIFs) of partially cracked I-sections using Finite Element Analysis. Two different tension flange crack profiles were studied: edge cracks, and full-width cracks. The SIF solutions were further used to study the fracture behavior and stress redistribution in the partially cracked flexural I-shaped members.
General Audience Abstract
Steel is one of the fundamental materials used in the construction of bridge structures, and steel girder bridges are one of the most common types of bridge structures seen in the United States. Past bridge failures have helped engineers to understand shortcomings in design specifications, and AASHTO codes have been developed and revised over the years to reflect an improved understanding and evolution of engineering behavior. Engineers must make sure that a design is robust enough for functional use of the component during its service life. It is also equally important to understand the potential chances of failure and make the structure strong enough to overcome any failure mechanisms. Fracture is one structural failure mode which occurs with little to no warning and hence is very dangerous. One efficient way to quantify the stress field in the vicinity of a crack tip is by calculating the Stress Intensity Factor (SIF) around a crack tip. Fracture literature is available which describes different methods of determining SIFs for cracked members. However, there are no solutions available to find a SIF of a partially cracked flexural I-shaped members. This research was focused on determining Stress Intensity Factors and studying the fracture behavior of partially cracked I-sections using Finite Element Analysis. The resulting SIF solutions were further used to study the fracture behavior and stress redistribution in partially cracked flexural I-shaped members.
- Masters Theses