Heat-Straightening Repair of Damaged Steel Bridge Girders: Fatigue and Fracture Performance

For many years, heat-straightening of damaged steel bridge girders has been more an art than a science. As a result, its use as a repair technique has been limited by concerns about its effects on the properties of the steel. Even with this limited use, heat-straightening has often proven to be an effective repair procedure. Recent research has better quantified heat-straightening in engineering terms. Key factors such as heating temperatures and patterns required for specific damage configurations as well as methods for calculating degree of damage and for predicting movement during heat-straightening are now better defined. Less certain, however, are the fracture and fatigue performance of heat-straightened steel compared to undamaged steel and the degree to which the damage and heat-straightening history of the steel affect that performance. These questions have been prompted by situations in which field-repaired beams subsequently fractured. This project will evaluate the fatigue and fracture performance of heat-straightened steel to better understand issues such as the engineering properties of repaired materials and the limits on the degree of damage reparable by heat-straightening. An upcoming pooled-fund project to be undertaken by Louisiana department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) and the Federal Highway Administration will develop criteria for the field use of heat-straightening considering the degree of damage and the required jacking forces as well as the application of this repair process to high-performance steels. The complementary work of these two projects will promote more rational use of heat-straightening for bridge steel repair. The objectives of this study are to: (1) determine the relative effects of damage and subsequent heat-straightening on the fatigue and fracture performance of steel girders; (2) identify and quantify the material and process parameters that may affect the fatigue and fracture performance of heat-straightened steel girders; and (3) establish guidelines, including limits on initial damage and critical process parameters, to minimize the potential for fracture and fatigue problems in heat-straightened steel girders.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $375000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 10-63

  • 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:

    Harrigan, Edward

  • Performing Organizations:

    Lehigh University

    ATLSS Engineering Research Center
    IMBT Laboratory
    Bethlehem, PA  United States  18015-4729
  • Principal Investigators:

    Connor, Robert

  • Start Date: 20030327
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20080331
  • Source Data: RiP Project 8556

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01547931
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Cooperative Highway Research Program
  • Contract Numbers: Project 10-63
  • Files: RIP
  • Created Date: Dec 17 2014 1:00AM