Experimental and Numerical Investigation of Stress Concentration at Rib-to-Crossbeam Joint

Abstract

In orthotropic steel decks (OSDs), the rib-to-crossbeam joint is the most vulnerable detail that has not been drawn enough attention. The failure mode of cracks initiate from the lower weld end on rib wall is governing its fatigue performance. However, relevant detail categories are still missing in prevailing codes. This paper mainly focuses on the stress concentrations at the rib-to-crossbeam joint induced by rib distortions. A series of static load tests were first performed on a full-scale OSD specimen with different weld length between the ribs and the crossbeam. Then, corresponding numerical simulations were finished. Several possibilities that may cause the differences between the measurements and the calculations are investigated. At last, fatigue assessments based on influence lines of structural hot spot stress (SHSS) are completed. Research results reveal that the measurement results of reference points for SHSS method would be very sensitive to the exact location of strain gauges. Due to the manual welding, the deviation of strain gauge positions induced by the irregular weld shape is thought to be the main reason that causes the differences between measurements and calculations. Raising the location of cope hole terminations would decrease distortional stresses. However, the influence of this parameter on fatigue lives is rather small. The fatigue lives of points along the lower weld toe are very close. Hence, the point at the middle plane of crossbeam could be used as the reference point for fatigue assessments. Meanwhile, the center between ribs could be used as the reference transverse load position for fatigue assessments of this joint.

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Acknowledgements

The financial support from the Chinese Scholarship Council (Grant No. 201606130111) is gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Heng Fang.

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Fang, H., Iqbal, N., Van Staen, G. et al. Experimental and Numerical Investigation of Stress Concentration at Rib-to-Crossbeam Joint. Int J Steel Struct 21, 360–380 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13296-020-00443-0

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Keywords

  • Orthotropic steel deck
  • Rib-to-crossbeam joint
  • Fatigue performance
  • Rib distortion
  • Stress concentration