Damage evaluation in gap tubular truss 'K' bridge joints using SFEM
Journal of Constructional Steel Research
Civil Engineering Department, University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Nigeria; Electrical Engineering, University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Nigeria
A damage stiffness parameter a of the shell element is calculated analytically using the fracture mechanics concept. A smooth quad T4 element was modified using the calculated parameter α. The modified element was introduced at the junction between the chord/brace connection where welding defect had taken place, while the unmodified same element was used elsewhere on the joint. Thereafter, a finite element analysis was carried out using thin shell theory and the smooth element formulation to investigate the effect of brace spacing on the distribution of stress concentrations in the welded tubular 'K' joint. This was done in order to investigate the level of stress concentrations and damage in the welded connection in the tubular joint. The joint was first modelled with no gap between the braces and a finite element computer run was made. Thereafter, the joint was modelled with brace gaps from 10 mm to 70 mm and finite element computer runs were made. The results obtained were then compared with those published in the literature. It was found that the presence of variable gaps between braces of the joint together with pre-crack affects the strength of tubular 'K' joints appreciably. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Effect of bracing; Element formulation; Smoothed finite elements; Stiffness parameters; Structural joints; Thin shell theory; Tubular truss; Welded connections; Computer simulation; Fracture mechanics; Trusses; Welding; Stress concentration