Technical Papers

Finite-Element Fatigue Analysis of a New Rib-to-Floor Beam Connection for Orthotropic Steel Decks


The potential fatigue performance of a new type of rib-to-floor beam (RFB) connection for orthotropic steel decks, the slit connection, was investigated via finite-element analysis. The slit RFB connection combines aspects of the previously used fitted RFB connection and extended cut-out RFB connection. Various slit geometries, floor beam restraint conditions, floor beam geometries, finite-element analysis meshes, and loading conditions were studied. The results show that the slit RFB connection is well suited for orthotropic steel decks in bridge deck replacement applications, where the orthotropic deck is supported by existing, stiff, transverse floor trusses (or floor beams) that are often present in existing long-span cable-supported bridges.