A catastrophic brittle fracture occurred in a welded steel (ASTM A517 grade H) trapezoidal cross-section box girder while the concrete deck of a large bridge was being poured. The failure occurred across the full width of a 57 mm (2 in.) thick, 760 mm (30 in.) wide flange and arrested 100 mm (4 in.) down the slant web. Failure analysis revealed a major deficiency in fracture toughness. The failure occurred as a brittle fracture after the formation of a welding hot crack and approximately 40 mm (1 in.) of slow crack growth. It was recommended that bridges fabricated from this grade of steel undergo frequent inspection and that stringent test requirements be imposed as a condition of use in non-redundant main load-carrying components.
Carl E. Hartbower, Brittle Fracture of the Tension Flange of a Steel Box-Girder Bridge, Handbook of Case Histories in Failure Analysis, Vol 1, Edited By Khlefa A. Esaklul, ASM International, 1992, p 369–377, https://doi.org/10.31399/asm.fach.v01.c9001111
Download citation file: