Alternate approach to approximating deteriorated steel beam end capacity

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Corrosion of steel beams caused by deicing media is a common problem in northern and mountainous regions of the United States. A common problem is deterioration of steel beam ends in the web and flange near or directly above the bearing area. This results in decreased shear capacity, web-crippling, and web-buckling capacity. This paper presents the results of a study sponsored by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to provide the structural analyst with a simplified, accurate, rapid, and slightly conservative approach for computing the reduced capacity of a rolled steel section. The approach is based on the results of several hundred three-dimensional finite element analyses for a suite of 16 typical steel bridges. The most common shapes and locations for steel beam end deterioration were identified by reviewing detailed inspection reports. Finite element analyses for the steel beam ends with simulated damage of various sizes and shapes was performed with the finite element software ABAQUS. A small experimental program focused on a selected beam to check the validity and accuracy of the finite element approach. Design charts were developed for an array of damage cases, which enable the analyst to simply apply a factor to the undamaged buckling capacity of the beam. The approach is compared to MDOT's current technique to demonstrate its efficiency and potential cost savings.

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Transportation Research Record