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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A FEM study on the mechanical behavior of corrugated-core steel sandwich welded panels in bridge deck applications Tehrani, Mehdi


A critical challenge in bridge design and construction process is to reduce the weight of bridge deck. Designers and manufactures tend to put a lot of effort to come up with different solutions for innovative bridge decks. Specifically, in small aged bridges, light modules provide an easy and fast bridge deck renewal. Sandwich panels were introduced as such light weight bridge decks a few decades ago. Steel sandwich panel is composed of three layers of plates; two face sheets and a corrugated core. Low density and high specific strength of the panels provide remarkable advantages for a wide variety of industrial applications. The main objective of this study is to investigate the effect of geometric parameters on the mechanical behavior of the corrugated-core steel sandwich panel. In order to mathematically simulate the panel two mechanical responses of maximum panel deflection and maximum shear force at core and face sheets interface are investigated. A regression model is introduced for each response which obtained from the contributions of the geometric parameters and their interactions. The effect plots revealed that core and face sheet thicknesses highly affect the panel deflection response and weld spacing highly affects the maximum shear force response. Predicted response values obtained from regression model are reasonably close to FEM results. The research also focuses on potential failure scenarios which may occur at the core and face sheets bonding connected via spot weld in the case of over loading. The failure analysis showed that the spot weld detachment in all welding paths starts from the panel edges near the girder supports and propagates toward the center of panel. In addition, as the applied load increases up to 300% of service load, the number of failed welds increases exponentially.

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