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Fatigue Performance of Rib-to-Deck Welds for Steel Orthotropic Bridge Decks

Project Information

Project ID: 
Project Status: 
Start Date: 
Sunday, July 1, 2007
End Date: 
Friday, August 1, 2014
FHWA Program: 
FHWA Subprogram: 
FHWA Topics: 
Roads and Bridges--Structures
TRT Terms: 
Orthotropic; Steel Bridges; Bridge Decks; Fatigue Tests; Fatigue Cracking; Infrastructure; Bridges; Welds
FHWA Discipline: 
TRB Subject Area: 
Bridges and other structures, Research

Contact Information

First Name: 
Last Name: 
(202) 493-3080
Email Address: 
Bridge Engineering Team
Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Office Code: 

Project Details

Project Description: 

The current American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and American Welding Society requirements for rib-to-deck welds require an 80 percent penetration groove weld with no melt or blow through. The need for a highly defined weld is to ensure a geometry with a good fatigue performance. However, in practice this weld is difficult to produce to tolerances commonly put on design plans. This project will determine the fatigue performance of this ideal weld, as well as those made using gas metal arc welding, submerged arc welding, and hybrid laser weld processes of various weld penetrations (fillet, 20 percent, 40 percent, 60 percent, and 80 percent). Finally, welds will also be fabricated with intentional fit-up gaps to ensure they do not adversely affect the fatigue performance.


To determine the proper fatigue category based on fit-up tolerances and weld penetration for orthotropic rib-to-deck welds.

Partners and Other Sponsor/Managing/Performing Organizations: 


Deliverable Name: 
WORKING TITLE - "Optimization of Rib-to-Deck Welds for Steel Orthotropic Bridge Decks"
Deliverable Type: 
Technical report
Deliverable Description: 
The final report would include a description of the research methodology, the data collected, interpretations of the data, and recommendations.