The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 70 (1992) > Issues > Issue 23/24 > Correspondence on Tests on Bonded Transverse Intermediate Web Stiffners by Dr. D.M. Martin
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Correspondence on Tests on Bonded Transverse Intermediate Web Stiffners by Dr. D.M. Martin

Mr A. C. G. Hayward (F) (Cass Hayward & Partners) Adhesive bonded stiffeners could well be a viable alternative to welding where fatigue loading governs design, as in bridge structures. Mere presence of welded stiffeners on a girder web automatically downgrades the bending stresses which can be used to those of a class ‘F’ detail under BS 54OO:Part 10. If such stiffeners could be attached by bonding (or other method which does not cause stress concentration), fatigue should rarely be critical, the classification being raised to at least ‘D’ because of presence of longitudinal web-to-flange welds or any butt welds to the flanges. Depending on stress levels, this would increase the fatigue life of the member by a factor at least 2, such that, if the predicted endurance was 60 years as controlled by class ‘F’ welded stiffeners, it would increase to 120 years if the stiffeners were bonded. Although fatigue is rarely critical in plate girder highway bridges designed to the fatigue spectra in BS 5400, it usually governs the working stresses in short-span rail bridges. But the situation with regard to highway bridges is worthy of review because load spectra in BS 5400 are becoming outdated owing to recent increases in intensity of road traffic.