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Steel and Composite Structures
  Volume 7, Number 1, February 2007 , pages 1-18

Improvements to the analysis of floorbeams with additional web cutouts for orthotropic plated decks with closed continuous ribs
Wouter De Corte and Philippe Van Bogaert

    Additional cutouts in the floorbeam webs of orthotropic plated bridge decks relieve the highly stressed lower flange of the ribs passing through these floorbeam webs from possible fatigue damage. Conversely, the floorbeam webs themselves suffer from high stress concentrations, especially along the free edges of the additional cutouts. These stresses result from a combination of direct introduction of vertical traffic loads in the weakened web and from the truss action of the floorbeam. The latter differs from a simple beam action due to the presence of the openings and corresponds more to the behaviour of a Vierendeel truss. Close assessment of the appearing stresses, highly relevant for fatigue resistance, requires the use of elaborate finite element modelling. However, a full finite element analysis merely provides the results of total stresses, leaving the researcher or designer the difficult task of finding the origin of these stress components. This paper presents a calculation method for cutout stresses based on a combination of a framework analysis and a two dimensional finite element analysis of much smaller parts of the floorbeam. This method provides more insight in the origin of the stress components, as well as it simplifies any comparison of different additional cutout geometries, independent of the floorbeam topology.
Key Words
    orthotropic plated deck; floorbeams; closed ribs; web cutouts; stress concentrations.
Department of Civil Engineering, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

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