Acceptance Criteria of Complete Joint Penetration Steel Bridge Welds Evaluated Using Enhanced Ultrasonic Methods

Inspection of welds in steel bridges is necessary to ensure the quality of workmanship during the fabrication and construction process and later on when the bridge is in service. There are two non-destructive evaluation (NDE) methods for evaluation of complete joint penetration (CJP) welds in steel bridges: radiographic (RT) and ultrasonic (UT). Recent advances in enhanced ultrasonic methods, including the development of phased-array ultrasonic technology (PAUT), allow for efficient detection and characterization of flaws with the option of automated data collection and imaging. Criteria for categorizing weld discontinuities as acceptable or unacceptable are codified in the AASHTO/AWS D1.5M/D1.5: Bridge Welding Code (BWC). However, these acceptance criteria do not reflect full use of the capability of enhanced ultrasonic testing methods, and furthermore are not based on the effect of weld discontinuities on bridge performance (e.g., resistance to fatigue and fracture). In addition, some weld discontinuities that are not allowed according to BWC are potentially not harmful and may not decrease service life. An updated acceptance criteria based on enhanced ultrasonic testing methods for evaluation of CJP welds in steel bridges is needed for fabricators and bridge owners. The objectives of this research were to: (1) develop guidelines to evaluate complete joint penetration welds in steel bridges based on updated acceptance criteria and (2) develop proposed modifications to BWC. As a minimum, the guidelines should cover shop and field fabrication and in-service evaluation and include procedures for using enhance ultrasonic testing methods to evaluate CJP welds in steel bridges and pertinent acceptance criteria.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $540000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 14-35

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 225
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Dekelbab, Waseem

  • Performing Organizations:

    Purdue University

    1040 South River Road
    West Lafayette, IN  United States  47907
  • Principal Investigators:

    Connor, Robert

  • Start Date: 20150424
  • Expected Completion Date: 20181031
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 37551

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01543473
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 14-35
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Nov 15 2014 1:01AM