Service Histories and Laboratory Testing

by Harold S. Reemsnyder,
John W. Fisher,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1968, Vol. 94, Issue 12, Pg. 2699-2712

Document Type: Journal Paper


This paper describes the need for acquisition of strain histories of actual bridge structures to establish the expected number and magnitudes of the load cycles. This is needed to assist in the selection of cycle lives and design stress levels. Several factors are described that affect the strain history. They include stress history, environment, and material conditions. Many of these factors have been studied in the laboratory under uniform cyclic loading. However, this does not forecast the service life of a structure with any confidence. The various types of service load simulations are described. They include block or programmed loading, random process generated loads, and loads generated by magnetic tape recordings. It is noted that many problems are encountered when interpreting the measured load histories and attempting to correlate them to constant cycle tests and to design conditions.

Subject Headings: Cyclic loads | Service loads | Load history | Laboratory tests | History | Load tests | Strain | Bridge design

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