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Unpainted steel structures exposed to atmospheric environments lose initiation life due to rust pitting and propagation life due to corrosion fatigue. The former loss is determined from an analysis of 1195 fatigue tests of six types of details that were weathered up to four years; the latter from corrosion-fatigue crack growth rates. Proposed equations predict the total loss in life or stress range for Category A to Category E details, as defined in all fatigue specifications for civil engineering structures. The losses are largest for Category A and diminish with increasing severity of the detail. The findings are applied to simple-span bridges.
steel, fatigue, weathering, corrosion, bridges, weldments
Professor, University of Maryland, College Park, Md.