The century-old Harvard bridge spans the Charles River between Boston and Cambridge. About half of the 23 spans are suspended by wrought iron eyebars. Recent failures of some of these eyebars were examined. The primary cause of failure was the seizure of the joints at the eyebar pin locations as a result of the intrusion of water and salt, and the consequent heavy corrosion of the joint. The seizure of these joints led to high edgewise bending stress in the bars as the bridge underwent thermal movement. The cracking was enhanced by the presence of the corrosive medium so that the cracks were initiated and caused to grow by some combination of corrosion fatigue and stress-corrosion cracking, the former probably being predominant.
Ronald F. Brodrick, Harvard Bridge Eyebar Failures, ASM Failure Analysis Case Histories: Buildings, Bridges, and Infrastructure, ASM International, 2019, https://doi.org/10.31399/asm.fach.bldgs.c9001147
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