American Society of Civil Engineers

Fatigue Strength of Repaired Prestressed Composite Beams

by Pedro Albrecht, M.ASCE, (Prof. Emeritus, 3000 Ibis Way #201, Venice, FL 45292. E-mail: and Akhrawat Lenwari, (Lectuer, Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Chulalongkorn Univ., Bangkok 10330, Thailand. E-mail:

Journal of Bridge Engineering, Vol. 13, No. 4, July/August 2008, pp. 409-417, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: Composite steel-concrete bridges constitute a major portion of the national bridge inventory. Many of these structures are approaching or have passed their service lives and are in need of repair and rehabilitation. External prestressing by means of high-strength bars or cables attached to the steel beams has been used as an effective technique for upgrading the load carrying capacity of composite steel-concrete girders. While several researchers have investigated the static behavior of prestressed composite beams, few have reported on the fatigue strength of this structural system. The writers present the results of the experimental and analytical study of ten composite girders that were prestressed with seven-wire strands and then fatigue tested to failure. Three methods of extending the fatigue life of cracks were then explored: (1) drilling a hole at the crack tip and installing a high-strength bolt; (2) splicing the web at the cracked section; and (3) increasing the prestressing force of the tendon. The efficacy of the three methods is compared.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Composite beams