Using Extreme Loading® for Structures (ELS) software, structural engineers now be equipped with a powerful feature that allows them to consider the effects of corrosion over time while analyzing bridges and other structures. The area reduction due to corrosion effects can be applied to pre-stressing tendons, steel and/or composite sections. With automatic considerations of cracking, plastic hinges and failure mechanism, ELS is the only tool commercially available that makes it easy for bridge engineers to do such analysis of the bridge’s current status to decide whether it needs rehabilitation or not and study the effectiveness of a strengthening strategy. ELS is built around the Applied Element Method (AEM), the only analytical method that automatically calculates crack initiation, propagation and separation of elements.
Corrosion Analysis Features:
- Determine the new capacity of the corroded structure
- Determine the corrosion ratio at which a structure or structural component may fail
- For corroded structures, determine the new capacity after strengthening the bridge with FRP or other strengthening factors
Corrosion of gusset plates was identified as one of the main causes for failure in the catastrophic collapse of the Minnesota I-35 Bridge*. This tragedy triggered a national awareness of the inspection of existing bridges for corrosion and other deterioration factors to ensure that the bridges can carry their design loads. With tens of thousands of bridges to be inspected, a versatile tool that can take into account the corrosion effects is very important so that engineers can decide the deteriorated bridge’s capacity and whether it needs rehabilitation or not.The following case study illustrate two examples of this powerful new feature: