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Innovative structural details using high strength steel for steel bridges

Time: Thu 2019-10-24 13.00

Location: M108, Brinellvägen 23, Stockholm (English)

Subject area: Structural Engineering and Bridges

Doctoral student: Oskar Skoglund , Bro- och stålbyggnad

Opponent: Associate Professor Mohammad Al-Emrani, Chalmers Tekniska Högskola

Supervisor: Associate professor John Leander, Bro- och stålbyggnad; Professor Raid Karoumi, Bro- och stålbyggnad

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The use of high strength steel has the potential to reduce the amount of steel used in bridge structures and thereby facilitate a more sustainable construction. The amount of steel and what steel grade that can be used in bridge structures and other cyclic loaded structures are often limited by a material degradation process called fatigue. The fatigue resistance of steel bridges are to a large extent depending on the design of structural details and connections. The design engineer is limited by a few pre-existing structural details and connections – with rather poor fatigue resistance – to choose from when designing steel bridges, and is therefore often forced to increase the overall dimensions of the structure in order to cope with the design requirements of fatigue. This licentiate thesis aims at increasing the fatigue resistance of fatigue prone structural details and connections by implementing new and innovative structural solutions to the already pre-existing details given in the design standards. A typical fatigue prone detail is the vertical stiffener at an intermediate cross-beam, which will be in focus. By improving the fatigue resistance, less steel material will be required for the construction of new steel bridges and composite bridges of steel and concrete. It is shown in this thesis and the appended papers that the use of high strength steel for bridge structures can considerably reduce the amount of steel used, the steel cost and the harmful emissions. However, this is only true if the fatigue strength of critical details can be substantially improved. Furthermore, a few new and innovative structural details and modifications to already existing details are proposed in this thesis and in the appended papers, that have the potential to increase the fatigue resistance of steel bridges and composite bridges of steel and concrete. However, further analyses are required in order to make these structural details viable for construction.