Fracture Design for Structural Steels

  • R. Roberts
Part of the Sagamore Army Materials Research Conference Proceedings book series (SAMC)


Fracture mechanics had found wide application in many engineering designs prior to 1968. The catastrophic failure on December 15, 1967, of the Point Pleasant Bridge, an eyebar chain suspension bridge over the Ohio River connecting Ohio and West Virginia, and the subsequent questions raised by the Federal and State Governments helped thrust mechanics upon the designer of steel structures. Structural grades of steel, typified by yield strengths between 36 ksi (248 MN/m2) and 120 ksi (827 MN/m2), heretofore considered immune to fracture in terms of normal usage, were suddenly suspect. This chapter sets forth some of the fracture mechanics related problems associated with structural grade steels within the specific framework of bridge design. To this end basic crack initiation, subcritical crack propagation, and fracture behavior of structural grade steels are presented. Furthermore, to illustrate how fracture mechanics currently affects bridge design with structural steels, the current fatigue design rules and toughness requirements for bridge steels of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials are given and discussed. Some of the results of research on fatigue and fracture of structural steels at Lehigh University over the past five years are also presented. Finally, comments are made as to some of the directions fracture mechanics and structural steel design might take in the near future.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Roberts
    • 1
  1. 1.Lehigh UniversityBethlehemUSA

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