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Journal of Constructional Steel Research 65 (2009) 299307

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Remaining capacity assessment of corrosion damaged beams
using minimum curves
R. Rahgozar

Department of Civil Engineering, University of Kerman, Kerman, P.O. Box: 76169-133, Iran
Received 29 September 2007; accepted 10 February 2008
Abstract
The number of exposed steelwork structures used in various industries is steadily increasing as a result of building new structures and extending
the life of older structures. Most of these structures are subjected to corrosion due to environmental exposure which can reduce their carrying
capacity. Corrosion damage is a serious problem for these structures. Current assessment methods of corrosion damaged steelwork involve visual
inspection which tends to be used very conservatively. There is a need for more accurate assessment method which can be used to make reliable
decisions affecting the cost and safety. In this paper, various forms of corrosion are reviewed along with how uniform corrosion affects steel
structures. Corrosion decay models are developed based on the information on the locations where corrosion occurs. The effects of corrosion on
steel beams are analyzed by evaluating the remaining capacity with regard to bending stresses, shear failure, lateral torsional buckling, and bearing
failure. Four samples of corrosion damaged beams, which were removed from a chemical works, were measured for their thickness loss and then
subjected to load test for their ultimate capacities. The failure loads of the beams are compared with the calculated capacities of various corrosion
damage models. In order to estimate the percentage remaining capacity of corrosion damaged I-beams, minimum curves for different types of
universal beams which are developed can be used in conjunction with the information on the thickness loss.
c 2008 Published by Elsevier Ltd
Keywords: Corrosion; Damaged beam; Minimum curves; Remaining capacity
1. Introduction
Corrosion of steel structures is a serious problem
throughout the world. Many of these structures are undergoing
deterioration due to corrosion. The deterioration of steel
structures has become a very important issue. In the USA,
40% of the bridges are built of steel. Many of these bridges
are deteriorating due to corrosion caused by aggressive
environments and inadequate maintenance Kayser [1]. In
the UK the petrol-chemical industry has been using steel
extensively as the primary structural material for structures
such as pipe bridges, frame support for vessels and process
equipment. Many of these structures have reached nearly
50 years of service life are in a severely deteriorated condition
due to aggressive environments combined with their age [2].
As a consequence, inspection, maintenance and repair are
becoming increasingly complex and costly because of the

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E-mail address: rahgozar@mail.uk.ac.ir.
need to keep important manufacturing processes in continuous
operation. The cost of closing down plants and consequent loss
of production of a continuous process may be very high. This
cost should, if possible, be compared with costs arising from
structural failure. The latter may also be very high depending
on the nature of the materials being processed, whether they are
toxic, explosive, inammable, or alternatively, relatively less
hazardous.
Currently deteriorated structures are visually inspected and
categorized into four condition categories according to the
level of deterioration [3]. The categories with most severe
condition are then subjected to design checks using section
properties based on the measured section sizes. Although these
practices appear to be reasonably safe, on the one hand they
may be conservative while on the other hand there may be
critical details which receive insufcient attention. Therefore,
a more precise method of evaluation of remaining capacity of
deteriorated structures will be an advantage in terms of cost and
safety.
0143-974X/$ - see front matter c 2008 Published by Elsevier Ltd
doi:10.1016/j.jcsr.2008.02.004
300 R. Rahgozar / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 65 (2009) 299307
(a) Uniform thickness loss (Model 1).
(b) Varying thickness loss (Model 2).
Fig. 1. Corrosion decay models simulated by reducing the thickness of element (uniform and varying thickness loss).
2. Corrosion of steel structures
2.1. Forms of corrosion
Steel has been used extensively throughout the world for
the construction of buildings, bridges, factories, etc. In order to
produce steel, iron ores must be processed. During the process
of metal extraction, it consumes a large amount of energy to
separate the metal from ore. In the natural environment, it has
a tendency to oxidize to a form similar to its natural state
under the inuence of air and water. This deterioration process
is known as corrosion. Corrosion may appear in many forms.
These forms are classied according to how the corrosion
attacks the metal. The types of metal corrosion which occur
in different types of steel structures are uniform corrosion,
pitting corrosion, crevice corrosion, stress corrosion, galvanic
corrosion and corrosion fatigue.
Uniform corrosion is the formation of oxide, distributed
uniformly over an exposed surface. This is the most common
form of the corrosion, which will lead to the gradual thinning of
members, accordingly for the greatest destruction of metal [4].
Also it has been pointed out by Kayser [1] that this type
of corrosion is the most serious form of corrosion observed
on steel bridge. The rate of uniform corrosion loss is highly
variable, depending on conditions such as temperature, time of
wetness, and chemistry.
If the corrosion is concentrated in small area it may form a
pit at the metal surface. This form of corrosion can be serious
in high-stress region because it can penetrate into the metal
showing little evidence of its existence [5]. Pits will form
imperfections on the metal surface and these imperfections will
act as stress concentrations, reducing the fatigue capacity of
the metal and increasing the metals sensitivity to cracking [6].
Pitting is random in nature and occurs quickly. Pitting may be
initiated by external factors, e.g. where external deposits such
as debris and de-icing salts have settled on the metal surface.
Pitting corrosion is prone to occur in certain environments,
particularly in the presence of salt. For more details about all
types of corrosion refer to Fontana [4].
2.2. Corrosion pattern
The main critical factor corrosion of steel is the local
environment. Another important aspect is the occurrence of
various forms of corrosion. The most common form is the
general surface corrosion which causes the gradual thinning of
members. Corrosion of steel occurs on the surface where water
and contaminants can accumulate. Detailed measurements
of corrosion penetration lead to the following conclusions
concerning the corrosion pattern of an I-beam [1]; as shown
in Fig. 1:
1. The top surface of the bottom ange and the bottom part of
the web (0.25h
w
) are the places where the severest corrosion
takes place.
2. Corrosion takes place on the surface of the top ange but not
to the extent of bottom ange.
3. Corrosion also takes place in the top part of the web (0.75h
w
)
but the loss is very much less compared to that bottom part
of the web.
R. Rahgozar / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 65 (2009) 299307 301
Table 1
Average measured thickness of samples of corrosion damaged beams
Element As-new Beam 1 Beam 2 Beam 3 Beam 4
Top ange (T
T
) 10.20 7.45 7.81 7.23 7.83
Bottom ange (T
B
) 10.20 5.62 5.85 4.84 7.61
Average ange thickness (T) 10.20 6.54 6.83 6.04 7.72
Average thickness loss of (T) 0.00 3.66 3.37 4.16 2.48
%Average thickness loss of (T) 0.00 35.9 33.0 40.8 24.3
Upper part of web, 0.75h
w
, (t
U
) 6.10 5.63 5.74 5.45 5.84
Lower part of web, 0.25h
w
, (t
L
) 6.10 3.16 4.32 3.18 4.74
Average web thickness (t ) 6.10 5.01 5.39 4.88 5.57
Average thickness loss of (t ) 0.00 1.09 0.71 1.22 0.53
%Average thickness loss of (t ) 0.00 17.8 11.7 20.0 8.77
Average stiffener thickness (t
S
) 9.53 8.55 8.66 8.63 8.71
Average thickness loss of (t
S
) 0.00 0.98 0.87 0.90 0.82
%Average thickness loss of (t
S
) 0.00 10.3 9.13 9.44 8.60
All measurements are in millimeters
4. In the initial stages of corrosion, corrosion penetration may
be taken uniform everywhere.
The top surface of the top ange can also accumulate
contaminants due to spillage from tanks especially in chemical
industries. This would cause the corrosion of the top surface
of the top ange as well, but may not be to the extent of the
bottom ange. Loss of material in the web near the supports
may also occur because of the leakage from the top. Visual
examination and measurement of the thickness of four corroded
I-beam obtained from a chemical industry also indicated that
the corrosion pattern is similar to what is described above.
2.3. The effects of corrosion damage
The main effects of corrosion on steel structures can be loss
of material fromthe surface which leads to thinner sections, loss
of material strength and accumulation of corrosion products
(rust) on the surface. The section properties of a member, such
as second moment of area, area, radius of gyration, etc., would
be reduced due to loss of material, thus causing a reduction
in the carrying capacity of the structure. There is a danger of
crevice corrosion in bolted joints which will lead to loss of area
of the bolts.
The class of a section (plastic, compact, semi-compact, or
slender) may be changed from one to another due to the loss
of thickness of compression ange and web due to corrosion.
For example, a section that is plastic or compact at its as new
condition may become semi-compact due to loss of thickness
and local buckling may prevent the development of full plastic
moment [7] in such cases.
3. Development of minimum curves
3.1. Analysis of corrosion damaged beams
A steel member subjected to bending can fail in different
ways depending on the governing factor. The main mode of
failures can be:
(1) The webs, which carry shear forces, can fail in shear.
(2) Excessive yielding of steel under direct stresses.
(3) Lateral torsional buckling.
(4) Bearing failure can occur in the web near the support or at
the loads.
In order to estimate the percentage remaining capacity of
corroded I-beams with regard to all the above mentioned failure
modes, an analysis was carried out on a corrosion damaged
model which is simulated by reducing the thickness of anges
and webs. Four identical universal beams (305165 UB 40 kg)
were recovered from the site of a chemical plant undergoing
demolition. The beams formed corner supports for a steel
tank, all in severely corroded condition (nearly 30 years old).
The thicknesses of these beams were measured. The measured
thicknesses of the elements are given in Table 1. As many
readings as possible (up to 200 readings for each element) were
taken in order to increase the accuracy of the measurements. It
will be noted in Table 1 that the loss of thickness on average
was more signicant in the ange than the web. The loss of
thickness of ange and web in this model were in similar
proportion to the thickness loss of the corrode beams obtained
from ICI Ltd as shown in the Fig. 1.
The beams obtained from ICI Ltd have a cut-out at one end
of the top ange. These beams are called coped beams and the
lateral end restraint is considerably reduced because rotation
of the ange in plan is not resisted at the coped end. Lateral
torsional buckling is the most important failure mechanism for
these coped beams. The method of assessment proposed by
Cheng et al. [8] was used in this case. BS 5950 was used for the
assessment of the moment capacity, which is mainly dependent
on the yield strength of the steel and the ange area [7].
Failure of the web due to shear was the next most signicant
failure mechanism. The effect of varying web thickness and
the effect of uniform thickness loss were calculated based on
BS 5950 [4]. The buckling capacity of web was estimated by
using the method proposed for the local buckling of plates by
Johnston [9] and Timoshenko et al. [10]. The edge conditions
for the web were considered as simply supported. The web
bearing capacity and stiffener buckling capacity were estimated
using BS 5950 [7]. The results obtained from the theoretical
302 R. Rahgozar / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 65 (2009) 299307
(a) Geometry of a web panel. (b) Buckled shape.
Fig. 2. Web buckling due to pure shear.
Table 2
Results obtained from the theoretical analysis of samples of corrosion damaged
beams
Beam no. Thickness
loss/mm
Ultimate load/kN
Moment Shear Bearing Lateral
torsional
buckling
As-new 0.00 672.2 667.1 857.1 523.9
Beam1 3.94 404.7 233.4 667.7 212.1
Beam2 3.65 424.7 348.9 716.7 240.5
Beam3 4.51 377.9 212.7 655.7 170.5
Beam4 2.63 471.7 462.6 742.8 340.4
analysis of samples of corrosion damaged beams are given in
Table 2.
3.2. Shear capacity
The shear capacity of corroded beams can be evaluated using
BS 5950: Part 1: 1985 [7]. The shear capacity of a section is
dependent on the slenderness of the web which in turn depends
on the depth to thickness ratio, d/t . The code recommends that
when d/t exceeds 63 it should be checked for shear buckling
in accordance with BS 5950. This shows that can be an
important factor on the shear capacity. The equation for
which is given by =
_
_
275/P
y
_
, shows that the design
strength, p
y
, can be an important factor on the shear capacity.
The code recommendations for the shear capacity without using
tension eld action were based on the theory of buckling of
plates [9,10].
The shear stress at which the web buckles can be predicted
from plate buckling theory [10]. It is assumed that all four edges
of the web are simply supported. As shown in Fig. 2, the elastic
critical web buckling stress,
cr
, is given by:

cr
= k
_

2
E
12
_
1
2
_
(d/t )
2
_
(1)
where k is given by [9]:
k = 4.00 +
5.34

2
for 1 (2a)
k = 5.34 +
4

2
for > 1 (2b)
where = a/d as shown in Fig. 2. If the numerical values for
= 0.3, E = 205 KN/mm
2
and each of the Eqs. (2a) and (2b)
substituted into Eq. (1) separately, then:

cr
=
_
0.75 +
1
(a/d)
2
__
1000
(d/t )
_
2
for 1 (3a)

cr
=
_
1 +
0.75
(a/d)
2
__
1000
(d/t )
_
2
for > 1. (3b)
The code uses the notation, q
e
, instead of
cr
for the elastic
critical shear stress. The code identies three modes of behavior
of webs. The rst is where the web strength is governed by
its ultimate web capacity, i.e. 0.6p
yw
, the third is where the
capacity is solely governed by the elastic critical shear stress,
q
e
, and the intermediate stage is where an interaction occurs
between the rst and third behaviors. The divisions between
the three modes are quantied by equivalent web slenderness
factor.
w
, which is given by:

w
=
_
0.6P
yw
q
e
_
1/2
. (4)
The code gives the critical shear strength, q
cr
, of a web panel
as follows:
q
cr
= 0.6p
yw
for
w
0.8 (5a)
q
cr
= 0.6p
yw
[1 0.8 (
w
0.8)] for 0.8 <
w
< 1.25 (5b)
q
cr
= q
e
for
w
1.25. (5c)
3.3. Effect of corrosion on shear capacity
The corrosion in the web and anges results in the reduction
in shear capacity. In addition, the class of a section may be
changed from one to another due to the loss of thickness of web.
For example, an element that is plastic or compact at its as new
condition may become semi-compact due to loss of thickness.
The code recommends that when d/t exceeds 63 it should be
checked for shear buckling. The web thickness of a corroded
beam can be uniform at the initial stages of corrosion. If webs
of corrosion damaged beams vary in thickness signicantly,
the shear capacity should be calculated from rst principles
assuming elastic behavior. In sections where the variation in the
web thickness due to corrosion is small, average web thickness
may be used for evaluating the shear capacity.
The aim of this study is to obtain minimum curves for
the percentage remaining shear capacity that can be caused to
predict the shear capacity of corroded beams. This minimum
curve can be obtained by identifying the worst possible case.
The Eq. (3b) shows that a minimum q
e
can be obtained when
= a/d is large or innitive, i.e. when no stiffener is provided.
R. Rahgozar / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 65 (2009) 299307 303
Using Eqs. (3b) and (4) and a/d = , it can be shown that,
d
t
= 62.3 for
w
= 0.8 (6a)
d
t
= 97.3 for
w
= 1.25. (6b)
Therefore, using the above information and taking into account
the fact that corrosion may change the class of an element, two
main categories of sections in terms of d/t are considered for
the development of minimum curves for the shear capacity. The
two categories are given below:
Category 1 sections with d/t 63
Category 2 sections with d/t > 63.
3.4. Minimum curves for shear capacity
The category 1 (C1) sections are considered rst to analyze
and possibly identify minimum curves that can be used to
estimate the remaining shear capacity of corroded beams.
Although the corrosion reduces the thickness of a web, some
sections which have lowest value of d/t at their as new
condition may remain as C1 throughout or part of their service
life. For C1 beams, the shear capacity, P
N
, is given by:
P
N
= 0.6p
y
D t for as new section. (7)
Shear capacity of a rolled I-beam,
P
C
= 0.6p
y
A
C
for corroded section (8)
where A

, is the shear area taken as tD for rolled I-sections,


and t d for welded I-sections. For corroded I-beams of the same
section size, the depth, D and d can be taken as constant
throughout its service life. The percentage remaining shear
capacity (%RSC) of a corroded beam is the ratio of the capacity
of the corroded beam (P
C
) to the capacity of the beam at its as
new condition (P
N
).
%RSC = 100
_
P
vC
P
vN
_
. (9)
Using Eq. (8),
P
N
= 0.6p
yw
Dt
N
(10)
P
C
= 0.6p
yw
Dt
C
, (11)
where t
N
and t
C
are web thicknesses at its as new condition and
corroded state respectively. By substituting Eqs. (10) and (11)
into Eq. (9), the percentage remaining shear capacity (%RSC)
is given by:
%RSC = 100
_
t
C
t
N
_
. (12)
Eq. (12) can be given in another form in terms of the percentage
loss of web thickness (%LWT) as follows:
%RSC 100
_
1
t
N
t
C
t
N
_
(13)
%RSC 100 %LWT. (14)
Therefore, the percentage remaining shear capacity curve of
sections that are C1 at their as new condition and remain the
same throughout their service life will be a straight line with
a slope of approximately 1. In this case, the Eq. (14) can be
used as the minimum curve for the remaining shear capacity of
sections that are C1 ate their as new condition and remain the
same throughout or part of their service life, as the percentage
remaining shear capacity is a function of percentage loss of web
thickness alone.
Minimum curves may also be obtained using another
approach. If the percentage remaining capacity of a beam with
regard to a particular failure mode against the loss of thickness
is plotted, we will get a curve which gives the relationship
between them. If this is repeated for all of the available
I-section, we will get a number of curves from which we should
be able to identify the curve that gives the lowest value of
remaining capacity. This curve can be taken as the minimum
curve for that particular failure mode and can be used to
estimate the percentage remaining capacity with regard to that
particular failure mode. The estimates will be conservatives
for some sections since we considered the worst case as the
minimum curve.
Based on the above approach a family of sections was
analyzed to study the behavior of the percentage remaining
shear capacity of corroded beams. The design strength was
chosen such that all the sections remain as C1. The results are
shown in Fig. 3.
It can be seen from Fig. 3 that the percentage remaining
shear capacity curves of beams that are C1 at their as new
condition and remain the same throughout their service life
are straight lines with slopes of approximately 1 as predicted
earlier. The section with the lowest value of d/t gives the
minimum curve for the family when they remain as C1 beams.
Based on the above observation, sections with the least value
of d/t from each of the families were analyzed to obtain a
minimum curve for the sections that are C1 at their as new
condition and remain the same throughout or part of their
service life. The results for ve sections are shown in Fig. 4.
The Fig. 4 shows that the section with the lowest value of
d/t gives the minimum curves for the whole range of beams
that are C1 at their as new condition and remain the same
throughout or part of their service life. As predicted earlier, the
minimum curve is a straight line with a slope of approximately
1. The variation in the percentage remaining shear capacity
of beams with the maximum and minimum of d/t is very
negligible (<1%).
In order to verify the effect of design strength on the
percentage remaining shear capacity of corroded beams, a
universal beam, UB 16, was analyses. Four cases were
considered by varying the design strength from 245 to
450 N/mm
2
and using the same section size. The results from
the analysis are shown in Fig. 5. It can be seen from Fig. 5
that the effect of design strength on the percentage remaining
shear capacity is quite considerable. When the design strength
increases the percentage remaining shear capacity of the section
is decreases. The highest value of the design strength gives the
minimum curve for the section.
304 R. Rahgozar / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 65 (2009) 299307
Fig. 3. Behavior of a family that remains as C1.
Fig. 4. Sections with the least value of d/t from ve families.
Fig. 5. Effect of design strength on percentage remaining shear capacity.
These analyses show that it is possible to obtain minimum
curves that can be used to estimate the percentage remaining
shear capacity of corrosion damaged beams with considerable
accuracy. By repeating the above analysis, taking into account
the effect of design strength on the percentage remaining shear
capacity and the effect of corrosion on the class of section,
R. Rahgozar / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 65 (2009) 299307 305
Fig. 6. Minimum curves to estimate the remaining shear capacity of corroded
beams with uniform loss of web thickness.
Fig. 7. Minimum curves to estimate the remaining shear capacity of corroded
beams with varying loss of web thickness.
minimum curves were obtained for the cases described below
and are given in Figs. 6 and 7. Alternatively these results can be
formulated as below:
I. Uniform or average web thickness
A. Sections that are C1 at their as new condition and
remains the same throughout or part of their service life
(C1),
B. Sections that are C1 at their as new condition and
become C2 due to corrosion and P
y
= 245 (C1 and C2;
P
y
= 245),
C. Sections that are C1 at their as new condition and
become C2 due to corrosion and 245 P
y
275 (C1
and C2; P
y
= 275),
D. Sections that are C1 at their as new condition and
become C2 due to corrosion and 275 P
y
355 (C1
and C2; P
y
= 355),
E. Sections that are C2 at their as new condition and 355
P
y
450 (C2; P
y
= 450).
II. Varying web thickness
Fig. 8. Minimum curves to estimate the remaining moment capacity of
corrosion damaged beams.
A. Sections that are C1 at their as new condition and remain
the same throughout their service life or become C2
due to corrosion and P
y
< 275 (C1 or C1 and C2;
P
y
< 275),
B. Sections that are C1 at their as new condition and
become C2 due to corrosion and P
y
> 275 or section
that are C2 at their as new condition (C1 and C2 or C2;
P
y
> 275).
Using the similar approaches, minimum curves can be
developed to estimate the remaining capacity of corroded
beams with regard to other failure modes.
3.5. Minimum curves for remaining moment capacity
The corrosion in the anges and web results the reduction in
the moment capacity. In addition, the class of a section (plastic,
compact, semi-compact, or slender) may be changed from one
to another due to the loss of thickness of compression ange.
For example, a section that is plastic or compact at its as new
condition may become semi-compact due to loss of thickness
and local buckling may prevent the development of full plastic
moment [7] in such cases. In order to estimate the remaining
moment capacity, taking into account the above facts, four
minimum curves, shown in Fig. 8, were developed for the cases
given below:
1. Plastic, Compact or Semi-Compact Sections with LowShear
Load, LSL (C1, 2 or 3), Although the corrosion reduces the
thickness of compression ange of a section, some sections
that are plastic, compact or semi-compact at their as new
condition may remain as the same during their part of or
whole service life.
2. Plastic or Compact to Semi-Compact with Low Shear Load,
LSL (C1, 2 to 3),
Sections that are plastic or compact at their as new
condition may become semi-compact due to corrosion
during their service life.
306 R. Rahgozar / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 65 (2009) 299307
Fig. 9. Minimum curves to estimate the remaining lateral torsional buckling
capacity of corrosion damaged beams.
Fig. 10. Minimum curves to estimate the remaining web buckling and bearing
capacities of corrosion damaged sections.
3. Semi-Compact to Slender with Low Shear Load, LSL (C3 to
4),
Sections that are semi-compact at their as new condition
may become slender due to corrosion during their service
life.
4. Any compact sections with High Shear Load, HSL (AC).
For sections that change from plastic or compact to semi-
compact during their service life, the minimumcurve LSL (C1,
2 or 3) when the section is plastic or compact and the minimum
curve LSL (C1, 2 to 3) when the section is semi-compact can
be used. For sections that change from semi-compact to slender,
the part of the minimum curve LSL (C3 to 4) with increased
slope can be used when section is slender.
3.6. Minimum curves for lateral torsional buckling capacity
The lateral torsional buckling capacity of beams depends
on several geometric parameters such as the beam length, end
support condition, plastic modulus, lateral stiffness, torsional
properties and the warping resistance of the section. After
analyzing the importance of these factors on the lateral
torsional buckling capacity, four cases were identied for the
development of minimum curves to assess the percentage
remaining of lateral torsional buckling capacity of corroded
beams. The restraint condition was taken as simply supported
at the ends which is the worst possible case.
For uncoupled beams, two groups namely short beams with
L
E(Cri t )
and long beams with L
E
/D = 30 or = 200 span
length beams were used to obtain minimum curves. For coped
beams, two minimum curves were obtained for the case of short
beams coped at one end and both ends. For long coped beams
it was found that the minimum curves for the uncoupled long
span beam can be used. The minimum curves for these cases
are given in Fig. 9. The minimum curves for the short and long
span length beams may be used to estimate the remaining lateral
torsional buckling capacity of intermediate span length beams
by using interpolation.
3.7. Minimum curves for web buckling and bearing capacity
The buckling resistance of unstiffened webs can be evaluated
using BS 5950: Part 1 [7]. The code suggests that if compressive
forces applied through a ange by loads or reactions exceed the
buckling resistance, P
w
, of unstiffened webs, load carrying web
stiffeners should be provided. The web bearing capacity can be
evaluated using BS 5950: Part 1 [7]. The code suggests that if
the forces applied through a ange by loads or reactions exceed
the local capacity of the web at its connection to the ange,
then bearing stiffeners should be provided. It was found that
only one minimum curve is adequate to assess the remaining
web buckling and bearing capacities of unstiffened web. The
minimum curves are given in Fig. 10.
4. Comparison of experimental failure loads
An attempt was made to compare the suggested minimum
curve for the short beams coped at one end with the failure
loads of four corroded damaged I-beams under uniform
corrosion, obtained from ICI Ltd. These four beams were tested
individually for their ultimate failure loads in the laboratory.
The comparison of the experimental results and the suggested
minimum curve is given in Fig. 11. This gure suggests
that it may be possible to estimate the remaining capacity of
corroded beams using the minimum curve. The estimates will
be conservative since the minimum curves were obtained for
the worst possible sections.
It should be noted that in order to calculate the percentage
remaining capacities of these beams, the capacity of the new
beam is required. Since such a beam was not tested in the
laboratory, an estimate of its failure load had to be made based
on the theory of lateral torsional buckling capacity of a new
beam with the same size and the pattern in which the theoretical
capacities of corroded beams differed from their experimental
capacities.
R. Rahgozar / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 65 (2009) 299307 307
Fig. 11. Comparison of experimental results with the minimum curve for short
beams coped at one end.
5. Conclusions
The analysis of corrosion effects on the carrying capacity of
corrosion damaged beams showed that while loss of thickness
of a section due to corrosion generally reduces the capacity of
a loaded beam, it can also change the mode of failure from
one mechanism to another depending on the relative thickness
loss in the various parts. In addition to these, loss of thickness,
may also change the class of an element from one to another
(e.g. plastic to semi-compact).
It is possible to obtain minimum curves for reliable
estimation of the percentage remaining capacity of corrosion
damaged beams with regard to any failure mode. In relation
to corrosion pattern, it may be possible to nd this solution to
two cases namely uniform thickness loss and varying thickness
loss due to uniform corrosion, where loss of thickness in the
bottom ange is greater than that of top ange. For all practical
purposes, the purposed minimum curves can be used along
with the information on the material loss (percentage loss of
thickness) to estimate the percentage remaining capacities of
corrosion damaged beams.
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