Investigations on Welded Splices of Heavy HD Sections in Net-Arch Bridges
The article presents experiences and recent developments in design and construction of net-arch bridges, using cold-bent hot-rolled HD sections. Gained experience and positive economical footprint is leading to increase in popularity of the solution, together with much better recognition of the technology in the market. The first net-arch bridges, using cold-bent HD profiles were built in Poland about 10 years ago. While the first bridges had shorter spans of about 60–75 m, a recently built bridge has a span length of 120 m. Several other bridges are in design phase, in particular, the first railway net arch bridge with nine independent decks and the largest span of 116 m length.
Current design codes do not provide guidance on fatigue behavior of butt weld joints of heavy HD profiles. When the thickness of the steel shape requires access holes, its influence on the fatigue behavior is not familiar in common design. Moreover, the stress concentrations and possible weld defects near the weld toe, result in a short fatigue crack initiation period. Experimental and numerical investigations are envisaged and could fulfill the gap of knowledge in this field. The experimental part consists in the evaluation of the residual stresses of a butt weld beam splice. The numerical simulations are made using Abaqus software and comprise the calibration of the experimental test and optimization of the access hole geometry, considering fatigue loading.
To conclude, the aim of the paper is to familiarize the developed technical solution together with the economical background and design recommendations
KeywordsNet-arch bridge Jumbo profiles Beam splice Weld access holes Residual stresses Fatigue loading
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