Methods for Evaluation of the Remaining Strength in Steel Bridge Beams with Section Losses due to Corrosion Damage

dc.contributor.authorJavier, Eulogio Mendozaen
dc.contributor.committeechairHebdon, Matthew H.en
dc.contributor.committeememberLeon, Roberto T.en
dc.contributor.committeememberRoberts-Wollmann, Carin L.en
dc.contributor.departmentCivil and Environmental Engineeringen
dc.description.abstractThis research is intended to better understand the structural behavior of steel bridge beams that have experienced section loss near the bearings. This type of deterioration is common in rural bridges with leaking expansion joints, which exposes the superstructure to corrosive road deicing solutions. Seventeen beams from 4 decommissioned structures throughout Virginia were tested to induce web shear failure near the bearing locations and measured for load, vertical displacement, and web strain behavior. The strain was measured using a digital image correlation (DIC) system to create a digital strain field at equal loading and beam displacement intervals during testing. The data recorded during these large-scale tests was compared to several existing methods for calculating the shear capacity of the damaged beams. Finally, the most appropriate method of these approaches was identified based on accuracy, conservatism, and ease of implementation for load rating. When using load rating methods to determine a steel beam's capacity, this study also recommends that the effective area of the web used in determining the percentage of remaining thickness should consist of the bottom 3 inches of the web and should extend the length of the bearing plus one beam height excluding any areas without any noticeable section losses.en
dc.description.abstractgeneralOlder bridge structures typically include a rubber joint near the ends to allow for expansion and contraction of the bridge due to heating and cooling from the weather. In many cases, these joints will get damaged due to impacts from vehicle tires and other environmental disturbances. Damage to these joints allows for water to leak through, which, while not in of itself harmful, also allows melting snow to carry road salts laid in the winter to spread onto the underlying bridge steel. These salts cause aggravated corrosion of the steel beams below the bridge's deck, resulting in damage or collapse of the bridge itself. The goal of this study was to characterize this damage and determine how it affects the remaining capacity of the bridge. This objective was achieved by testing 17 beams from 4 out of service bridges with varying damage levels. A load was applied near the damaged ends to determine their behavior during loading, to locate areas of high strain resulting from corrosion, and find the beam's capacity. Several methods to predict the remaining strength in corroded steel beams were compared and recommendations made based on accuracy and conservatism.en
dc.description.degreeMaster of Scienceen
dc.publisherVirginia Techen
dc.rightsIn Copyrighten
dc.subjectSteel Beamen
dc.subjectLoad Ratingen
dc.titleMethods for Evaluation of the Remaining Strength in Steel Bridge Beams with Section Losses due to Corrosion Damageen
dc.typeThesisen Engineeringen Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen of Scienceen


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