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AASHTO LRFD OF STEEL BEAM BRIDGES

Fatigue and Fracture


Special course on of AASHTO LRFD Specifications
Workshop # 4 Day 2
by,

Amit H. Varma

May 2, 2003
Michigan Department of Transportation
Conference Room

INTRODUCTION
Some examples of fatigue prone details
Component / Detail

Initial Defect or

Fatigue Category

Condition
Cover-plated beams

Weld toe

Flange gussets

Weld toe

E or E

Eyebars

Stress corrosion, Forge

Initial crack

laps
Longitudinal stiffener

Lack of fusion /poor weld

Large initial crack

Box girder corner welds

Transverse weld

Large-initial crack

Coped Members

Flame-cut notch

Initial defect

Pin Plates

Frozen pins

Out-of-plane

Transverse stiffeners

Shipping and handling

Out-of-plane

Diaphragm connection

Web gaps

Out-of-plane

Lateral bracing

Out-of-plane

plates
Gusset plates

FUNDAMENTAL FATIGUE OF METALS

Metal fatigue is a well-known phenomenon


Wohler - German engineer fatigue of railroad car axles

Alternating cyclic stresses (even in the elastic range) cause


fatigue failure in metal components or details.

Fatigue crack initiation

Fatigue crack propagation


Brittle fracture

The cyclic stress range causes the initiation of fatigue cracks,


fatigue crack propagation, and eventually brittle fracture of the
cracked component.

Fundamental fatigue behavior of a metal is expressed in terms


of a constant amplitude cyclic stress range vs. number of cycles
to failure (Sr - N) curve.

FUNDAMENTAL FATIGUE OF METALS

The Sr N curve for a metal can be developed by


conducting four-point rotating bending tests according
to ASTM Standards.

Test specimen is an unnotched mirror-polished smooth


cylindrical bar 0.25 in. in diameter

N curve is a straight line in log-log coordinates

ENDURANCE LIMIT S

below which infinite fatigue life

Standard rotating bending fatigue test

Stress range vs. Number of cycles (Sr N) to failure.

FATIGUE CRACK INITIATION

Structural components and welded details have inherent flaws or


defects, which serve as initial cracks.

These initial cracks propagate to larger sizes and eventually fracture


under cyclic fatigue loading.

Smooth structural components with notches or discontinuities

Strain concentrations and localized plastic strains occur at the

notches / discontinuities
Alternating cyclic plastic strains cause fatigue crack initiation.
Fundamental constant amplitude strain range () versus number of
reversals (Nf) to crack initiation for a metal experimentally

These Nf curves can be used to predict crack initiation in


smooth components with notches or geometric discontinuities.

Not of much use for bridge structural components and details, which
have inherent flaws or defect serving as initial cracks.

FATIGUE CRACK INITIATION

Total strain = elastic strain + plastic strain.

When elastic strains dominate, behavior is similar to the S

N behavior of metal.
When plastic strains dominate, the slope of the Nf curve
changes becomes more steep indicating reduced fatigue life
Usually occurs for 1 < Nf < 1000 called low cycle fatigue

Fatigue crack initiation at


notches or discontinuities

Strain amplitude (e/2) vs.


number of reversals (Nf) to
failure

FATIGUE CRACK PROPAGATION

Initiated cracks propagate to larger sizes under cyclic loading

Propagation of fatigue cracks due to cyclic loading can be predicted


and understood using fundamentals of fracture mechanics.

Fracture mechanics relates the stress-field in the vicinity of a crack


tip to the nominal stress, size, shape, orientation of the crack, and
material properties.

Consider the stress state in the vicinity of the crack tip in a structure
subjected to tensile stresses normal to the plane of the crack

Stable fatigue crack propagation or crack growth


Fatigue cracks become large cause unstable crack growth Fracture

magnitude described by the stress intensity factor K , which implicitly


I

accounts for the effects of stress, crack size and geometry, and structure

Stress state in the vicinity of a crack tip loaded in tension

FATIGUE CRACK PROPAGATION

KI can be calculated analytically for various structural


configurations, crack geometries, and loadings
For all cases KI = C a
KI has units of ksi in

Unstable crack growth occurs when KI


exceeds KIc, which is the critical
stress intensity factor for the material

KIc represents the fundamental fracture


toughness of the material, it ability to
crack without brittle fracture

ASTM E399 to determine K

Ic

Stable crack propagation occurs under


cyclic loading if KI < KIc

experimentally

FATIGUE CRACK PROPAGATION

Stable crack propagation rate Paris Law

da
m
A K I
dN

where, a = flaw or crack size; N = number of fatigue cycles


A and m are material constants

Fatigue crack propagation is linear with


respect to (KI) in log-log coordinates
Material

Martensitic steels

0.66 x10-8

3.25

Ferrite-Perlite steels

3.6 x 10-10

3.0

Austenitic steels

3.0 x 10-10

3.25

TOTAL FATIGUE LIFE

The total fatigue life of a component is equal to the sum of the crack initiation
life and the crack propagation to fracture life

N=N +N
i

For bridge components and details, initial crack or defects are present in the
form of flaws or defects

Crack initiation life is negligible


Crack propagation life dominates (N = N )
f

If the initial flaw size is a i and the final flaw size at fracture is af

da
dN

Therefore
A C a

And

af

da

ai

A ( C a )m

Let A1 =

af

Therefore

ai

da
A( C a )

A1 N
m

A1

1
m

Nf

dN

Ni

FATIGUE LIFE

A1

1
m

where, m = 3 for ferrite-perlite steels

The constant A1 depends significantly on the value of the initial


flaw or defect ai, which cannot be estimated easily or accurately

Therefore, A1 is calibrated to experimental results for various


structural components and details

This equation is identical to the one recommended by AASHTO


for fatigue life prediction and design

Experimental results indicate the existence of an endurance limit


()TH below which fatigue crack propagation does not occur

FATIGUE DESIGN PROVISIONS

AASHTO provisions (2000) are based on the load and resistance


factored design (LRFD) philosophy

Current LRFD provisions recommend that fatigue should be


categorized as load induced fatigue or distortion-induced fatigue

Previous standard specification focused on load-induced fatigue only

Distortion induced fatigue caused by unaccounted cyclic stresses


produced by distortion or out-of-plane deflections that induced by
secondary members (diaphragms or lateral bracing frames)

Load induced fatigue quantitative analysis


Distortion induced fatigue qualitative only + detailing practices

FATIGUE LOADING

Fatigue loading for design consists of two parts, namely, the applied
cyclic stress range (f) and the frequency of occurrence or the number of
fatigue cycles.

The live-load stress range is used as the relevant force effect for
designing bridge details for fatigue.

Research has shown that the total stress is not relevant for welded details
Residual stresses are not considered explicitly for fatigue design
Using the stress range as the design parameter implicitly includes the effects
of residual stresses on welded details

Fatigue design load = vehicular live load (LL) due to fatigue design truck
and thecorresponding
impact factor (IM) and centrifugal force (CE)
i i Qi

Q=

where, i = load modifiers, i = load factor = 0.75 and

The load factor of 0.75 reflects a load level representative of the truck
population with large number of repetitive cycles and fatigue effects.

FATIGUE DESIGN TRUCK

Steel bridges are designed for the live-load (LL) stress range caused by the
fatigue design truck, which has a set distance of 30 ft. between the 32 kip loads,
and is slightly different than the design truck

30-0

The live load stress due to the passage of the fatigue load is approx. one-half of
the heaviest truck expected to cross the bridge in 75 years.

Only one fatigue truck is considered for design irrespective of the number of
design lanes.

No multiple presence of live load and no lane loads are considered.

Dynamic load allowance (IM). The live load stress caused by the fatigue design
truck is to be increased by the dynamic load allowance factor of 15%

FATIGUE LOADING

The frequency of occurrence of the fatigue design load is estimated


as the single-lane annual daily truck traffic (ADTT)SL

In the absence of better information ADTT)

SL

can be estimated as

(ADTT)SL = p x ADTT

ADTT = number of trucks per day in one direction averaged over the
design life

Number of Lanes
available to Trucks

1.00

0.85

3 or more

0.80

value ofofaverage
ADTT can be estimated
Highway as the limitingFraction
trucks daily traffic
multiplied by the fraction of trucks in the traffic
Rural Interstate

0.20

Urban Interstate / other rural

0.15

Other urban

0.10

FATIGUE LOADING

Fatigue design life = 75 years


Total number of fatigue cycles over the design life

N = (365) (75) n (ADTT

SL

Where, n = number of stress range cycles per truck passage


Span length > 40 ft.

Span length < 40 ft.

Simple span girder

1.0

2.0

Continuous girder near interior


support

1.5

2.0

Continuous girder elsewhere

1.0

2.0

Trusses

1.0

1.0

Transverse members

Span > 20 ft. 1.0

Span < 20 ft. 2.0

For continuous spans, a distance equal to one-tenth of the span either


side of the interior support near the support

n = 5 for cantilever girders due to the vibrations as the truck leave

FATIGUE DESIGN CRITERIA

Fatigue design criteria for load-induced fatigue in a component


(f) (F)n

= 1.0 for the fatigue limit state


= load factor = 0.75; and
f) = maximum stress range (LL, IM, CE) due to the fatigue truck
F) = nominal fatigue resistance of the structural component or detail.
n

The nominal fatigue


resistance for structural components / details
1

(F)

1
2(F)

TH

where N = (365)(75) n (ADTT ) = number of cycles over design life


(F) is the constant amplitude fatigue threshold in ksi
SL

TH

Commonly existing components and details categorized into detail


categories A .. E

Values of A and (F)

TH

are specified for these detail categories

FATIGUE RESISTANCE
Detail Category
A
B
B
C
C
D
E
E
M164 (A 325) bolts in
axial tension
M253 (A 490) bolts in
axial tension

Constant A x
108
250.0
120.0
61.0
44.0
44.0
22.0
11.0
3.9
17.1

(F)TH
(ksi)
24.0
16.0
12.0
10.0
12.0
7.0
4.5
2.6
31.0

31.5

38.0

Stress range vs. number of cycles for various detail categories

FATIGUE RESISTANCE

(F)TH is the constant amplitude fatigue threshold below which the


component or detail will theoretically have infinite fatigue life.

(F)TH values correspond to the allowable fatigue stress range specified


by the previous AASHTO standard specifications for more than 2 million
cycles on a redundant load path structure

Why is (F)TH multiplied by ?

to account for the possibility of the heaviest truck in 75 years being double
the weight of the fatigue truck used in calculating stress range
Logically, this effect should be present on the load side (f) instead of the
resistance side (F)n

When (F)TH controls the resistance, the LRFD equation becomes


(F)TH (f)

or

(F)TH 2 (f)

Thus, the effect of double-heavy trucks on the design for theoretically


infinite fatigue life is accounted for by multiplying the fatigue threshold
(F)TH by instead of multiplying the applied stress (f) range by 2

COMPARISON WITH AASHTO Standard


In the previous AASHTO standard specifications, allowable stress
ranges were specified for both redundant and non-redundant member.
The allowable for non-redundant members were arbitrarily specified as 80%
of those for redundant members due to more severe consequences of their
failure.
However, greater fracture toughness was also specified for non-redundant
members.
This double-penalty has been rectified in the LRFD specifications by
maintaining only the requirement for greater fracture toughness for nonredundant members.
The same fatigue resistance curves are applicable to both redundant and
non-redundant members.

FATIGUE DETAIL CATEGORIES

Structural components and details are grouped into eight detail


categories according to their fatigue resistance

A and B detail categories are for plain members and well-prepared


welded connections in built-up members without attachments

D and E detail categories are assigned to fillet-welded attachments and


groove-welded attachments without adequate transition radius or with
unequal plate thickness

C detail category can apply to welded attachments with transition radius


greater than 150 mm and proper grinding of welds.

FATIGUE DETAIL CATEGORIES

FATIGUE DETAIL CATEGORIES

FATIGUE DETAIL CATEGORIES

FATIGUE DETAIL CATEGORIES

BUILT-UP MEMBERS

PLAIN MEMBERS
A

Rolled surface

Painted weath.

Eyebars

E
Splice connection

Cover plates

Fastened connections

Unequal sections

Same sections

Cont. welded

Width transition
2 ft. radius

Transitions in width
or thick 1:2.5

B
B

Bolted

Riveted

LONGITUDINALLY LOADED ATTACHMENTS


Groove welded

E
E

B
C
D
E

End welds
ground smooth

End welds not


ground smooth

D
E
E

R > 2 in. not req

End welds not


ground smooth

D
Larger radius better

Longer is worse

End welds
ground smooth

Transition radius

Detail length

Longer is worse

Transition radius

Detail length

Fillet welded

D
E

TRANSVERSE LOADED ATTACHMENTS


Groove welded

Unequal plate thickness

Equal plate thick

C
D
E

C
D
E

Weld rft. removed


R > 2 in. not bet.

Weld rft. not removed


Rad. > 6.0 not help

Larger rad.better

Weld rft. removed

D
E

Weld rft. not removed

TRANSVERSE LOADED ATTACHMENTS


Fillet welded
Welds parallel to direction of stress

Rad. > 2.0 in. no help

Transition radius and


Welds ground smooth

Transition radius and Welds


not ground smooth

FILLET WELDED CONNECTION

Welds normal to stress

Welds normal or par. to stress

C at base metal

E in the weld

COVER PLATED DETAIL CATEGORY E


FATIGUE CRACK

FATIGUE CRACKING

DISTORTION INDUCED FATIGUE

Rigid load paths are required to prevent the development of


significant secondary stresses.

Transverse members should be connected appropriately to the


longitudinal members

Transverse connection plates should be welded or bolted to both


the compression and tension flanges of the cross-section, where

Connecting diaphragms or cross-frames are attached


Internal or external diaphragms or cross-frames are attached
Floor-beams are attached
Corresponding connection should be designed for a force of 20 kips
for straight, non-skewed bridges

DISTORTION INDUCED FATIGUE

Lateral connection plates should be attached to the flanges of the


longitudinal member, otherwise

Lateral connection plates attached to stiffened webs should be located at a


distance of at least the flange width divided by two (bf /2) from the flangeweb interface

Connection plates attached to unstiffened webs must be located at a


distance of at least 6.0 in. or bf /2 from the flange-web interface

This will reduce out-of-plane distortions of the web-gap between the lateral
connection plate and the flange-web interface to a tolerable value

It will also move the connection plate closer to the neutral axis, thus
reducing the impact of weld termination on fatigue strength

DISTORTION INDUCED FATIGUE

Lateral bracing members should be attached to lateral connection


plates at a minimum distance of 4.0 in. from the web or any
transverse stiffener.

Reduce distortion-induced stresses in the gap in the lateral connection


plate between the web/stiffener and the lateral bracing members

If web stiffener is present at the same location at the lateral


connection plate, then the plate should be centered on the stiffener

irrespective of whether the plate and stiffener are the same side of web
If the lateral connection plate and the stiffeners are on the same side

lateral connection plate should be attached to the stiffener


stiffener should be continuous and attached to both flanges

DISTORTION INDUCED FATIGUE


FATIGUE CRACK

FATIGUE DETAILS

BRITTLE FRACTURE CONSIDERATIONS

Materials in components and connections subjected to tensile


stresses due to the Strength I limit-state must satisfy supplemental
impact requirements

These impact requirements relate to minimum energy absorbed in a


Charpy V-notch test at a specified temperature

Minimum service temperature at a bridge site determines the


temperature zones for the Charpy V-notch requirements

Michigan is zone 2

Minimum service
temperature

Temperature
zone

18 C and above

19 C to 34 C

34 C to 51 C

BRITTLE FRACTURE CONSIDERATIONS

Fracture-critical member (FCM) is defined as a member with tensile


stress whose failure is expected to cause the collapse of the bridge

material in a FCM is required to exhibit greater toughness and ability to absorb


more energy without fracture than a non-fracture critical member

Charpy V-notch fracture toughness requirements for welded components


are given below for different plate thicknesses and temperature zones.

FCM values for absorbed energy are approximately 50% greater than for nonFCM values at the same temperature

FATIGUE OF SHEAR CONNECTORS

Shear connectors are designed to achieve composite action


between the steel beam and the concrete deck.

The number of shear connectors should satisfy the strength and the
fatigue limit states

The pitch of shear connectors determined to satisfy fatigue


n Zr I
p< V Q
sr

where, p = pitch of shear connectors along longitudinal axis


n = number of shear connectors in a cross-section
I = moment of inertia of the short-term composite section
Q = Ay = first moment of the transformed area of the slab about the
n.a.of the short-term composite section
Vr = shear force range under LL + IM determined for the fatigue limit
Zr = shear fatigue resistance of an individual shear connector

The c-to-c pitch of shear connectors shall not exceed 24.0 in. and
shall not be less than six stud diameters

FATIGUE OF SHEAR CONNECTORS

The fatigue resistance of an individual shear connector

= d2 > 2.75 d2
where = 34.5 2.28 Log N
d = diameter of stud and N = number of cycles

Stud shear connectors shall not be closer that 4.0 d c-to-c


transverse to the longitudinal axis of the supporting member

The clear distance between the edge of the top flange and the edge of
the nearest shear connector shall not be less than 1.0 in.

The clear depth of concrete cover over the tops of the shear
connectors should not be less than 2.0 in.

Shear connectors should penetrate at least 2.0 in. into the deck

FATIGUE DESIGN

30-0

Partial-length? Cover plate

We have already designed a composite steel bridge. The span length of the bridge
is 34 ft. The roadway width is 44 ft.

The selected beam is W24 x 68 with a in. thick cover plate narrower than the
flange

Clearly the bending moment is smaller at the ends and we can curtail the coverplate to save some money. Lets see?

The cover plate can be curtailed to the point where the moment is small enough
for the steel beam alone to carry it

But, the fatigue stress range at the end of the cover plate must be OK!

FATIGUE DESIGN
Step I Estimate number of fatigue cycles

Limiting value of annual daily traffic (ADT) = 20,000 per lane

(ADTT)SL = p x ADTT

Highway bridge is on rural interstate with two truck lanes


Therefore, annual daily TRUCK traffic (ADTT)= 0.20 x 20000 x 2= 8000
where p = 0.85 for 2 lanes available to trucks
(ADTT) = 0.85 x 8000 = 6800
SL

Number of fatigue cycles = N = (365) (75) n (ADTTSL)

N = 186.15 x 10

xn

For a simply supported girder with span length < 40 ft., n = 2

Therefore, N = 372.3 x 10

cycles

FATIGUE DESIGN
Step II. Estimate the fatigue strength (F)n

(F)

= A

1
3

1 (F)TH
2

Cover plate (narrower than the flange) with flange thickness


Therefore, Category E detail
From the table: A = 11.0 x 10 and (F) = 4.5 ksi
Therefore, (F) = [(11.0 x 10 )/(3.723 x 10 )] = 1.43 ksi,
8

< 0.8 in.

TH

1/3

but (F)n > (4.5) = 2.25 ksi

Therefore, the constant amplitude fatigue threshold controls


The applied fatigue stress range (f) must be < 2.25 ksi

The cover-plate can be curtailed to the point where the stress range in the
steel beam alone is less than 2.25 ksi !!!!!!