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University of Balamand > Academics > Research > Seminars > Toni Gergess


SUBMITTED BY: Antoine N. Gergess
University of Balamand, Lebanon
Transportation Research Board (TRB), USA

ABSTRACT: Steel competitiveness in constructing curved bridges is jeopardized due to drawbacks in the present cut curving and heat curving fabrication methods. Cut curving results in excessive waste and heat curving is time consuming due to uncertainties. Fabricators prefer to use the much simpler cold bending approach in which loads are used to deform the girder. A related problem in using cold bending for curving is the concerns of federal and state agencies regarding possible cracking and fracture that may develop because of localized load effects.

During the past decade, several US fabricators approached state and federal agencies seeking approval for utilizing cold bending for curving. They even devised ingenious cold bending systems in order to prove that adverse effects of cold bending could be minimized if not prevented. In view of AASHTO’s disapproval for cold curving, they used their proposed system for curving steel girder bridges that fall in jurisdiction out of AASHTO, such as the Omni section of the Miami Metro-Mover Project. One fabricator stated that over 1 million dollars could have been saved on one bridge project if cold bending was allowed. Recently, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) completed a cold bending study for plate bent in the through thickness direction.

Fabricators are certain that cold curving will lead to significant cost and time saving. The proposed research will conduct a systematic investigation of a simple cold bending procedure usually used for straightening damaged girders. Full-scale testing and instrumentation will ensure that cost and time savings are real and not at the cost of long-term performance.
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