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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/P021700/1
Title: Corrosion resistant composite bridges using stainless steel I-sections and shear studs
Principal Investigator: Sheehan, Dr T
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Outokumpu Stainless Holdings Ltd Steel Construction Institute
Department: Faculty of Engineering and Informatics
Organisation: University of Bradford
Scheme: First Grant - Revised 2009
Starts: 01 July 2017 Ends: 01 May 2018 Value (£): 100,424
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Structural Engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
09 Feb 2017 Engineering Prioritisation Panel Meeting 9 and 10 February 2017 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
This project investigates the use of stainless steel I-sections and shear studs in steel-concrete composite bridges. Bridge structures present many challenges to contractors and structural designers owing to harsh environments, large/variable structural loading and limited access to the sites in which they are often located. Construction and maintenance of these structures can be timely and expensive, particularly in environments where salt and water are present. Unfortunately, on some occasions in the past such as the Mianus River Bridge in Connecticut, corrosion of certain elements in bridges has led to structural collapse and loss of life. Steel-concrete composite beams, comprising a steel I-section connected to a concrete slab by shear connectors, are widely used in buildings and bridges since this system optimises the use of each material and enables beams to span long distances unsupported. However, most research to date has focussed on carbon steel in these applications. Stainless steel has been traditionally less popular owing to its higher material cost and limited available design guidance. Researchers have also increasingly turned their attention to this material in recent years, leading to a better understanding of its structural properties and performance. Stainless steel offers many advantages over carbon steel, most notably superior corrosion resistance. This reduces the need for bridge maintenance and so the higher material cost is compensated for by lower life-cycle costs. This improved corrosion resistance also reduces the likelihood of structural failure. The aim of this research project is to conduct a series of laboratory experiments (push-out tests and full member bending tests) on stainless steel-concrete composite specimens using stainless steel I-sections and shear studs in order to assess the performance of stainless steel. The experiments will be conducted in the strong floor in the structural engineering laboratory of the University of Bradford. Comparisons will be drawn between the performance of stainless steel and carbon steel components. Different types of shear stud will also be compared - welded and bolted/demountable. The demountable shear studs offer further potential advantages with regard to ease of construction/dismantling and a potentially better performance under fatigue loading than welded studs. Following the experiments, numerical models will be developed using finite element software in order to extend the results of the research and enable parametric studies. The results will eventually be used to develop guidelines for incorporation into Eurocode 4, promoting the exploitation of stainless steel to provide safer, cost-effective and lower maintenance steel-concrete composite structures.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.brad.ac.uk