In 2007, a failed Virginia cantilevered sign pole was forensically investigated at Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center. The investigation yielded inconclusive results, but evidence of zinc on the fracture surface raised a suspicion that a crack may have been preexisting from fabrication. In discussions with industry experts, there appeared to be a growing problem in the United States with hot-cracking or liquid metal embrittlement. This project was a first step to addressing the concern that began to define the reduction in fatigue strength due to galvanizing of socket connection details. The project fatigue-tested 24 socket connection details from two different fabricators. Both bare and galvanized specimens were tested from each fabrication source.
To quantify the reduction in fatigue strength of welded tube-to-plate socket connections from galvanization.