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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
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Research and Development (R&D) Project Sites

Project Information
Project ID:   FHWA-PROJ-07-0014
Project Name:   Galvanizing Effect on the Fatigue Performance of Sign and Signal Socket Connection Details
Project Status:   Active
Start Date:  July 1, 2007
End Date:  August 1, 2014
Contact Information
Last Name:  Ocel
First Name:  Justin
Telephone:  202-493-3080
E-mail:  justin.ocel@dot.gov
Office:   Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Team:   Bridge and Foundation Engineering Team [HRDI-40]
Program:   High-Performing Steel Bridge
Laboratory:   Structures Laboratory
Project detail
Roadmap/Focus area(s):   Infrastructure Research and Technology Strategic Plan and Roadmap
Project Description:   In 2007, a failed Virginia cantilevered sign pole was forensically investigated at Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center. The investigation yielded inconclusive results, but evidence of zinc on the fracture surface raised a suspicion that a crack may have been preexisting from fabrication. In discussions with industry experts, there appeared to be a growing problem in the United States with hot-cracking or liquid metal embrittlement. This project was a first step to addressing the concern that began to define the reduction in fatigue strength due to galvanizing of socket connection details. The project fatigue-tested 24 socket connection details from two different fabricators. Both bare and galvanized specimens were tested from each fabrication source.
Goals:   To quantify the reduction in fatigue strength of welded tube-to-plate socket connections from galvanization.
Product Type:   Technical report
Test Methodology:   Full-scale experimental
Expected Benefits:   More robust fatigue design guidelines for ancillary sign structures.
Deliverables: Name: WORKING TITLE - "Fatigue Testing of Galvanized and Ungalvanized Socket Connections."
Product Type(s): Technical report
Description: The report will cover the methodology of the overall research, data collected, and interpretation of that data.
FHWA Topics:   Roads and Bridges--Structures
TRT Terms:   Fatigue (Mechanics)
Fatigue Cracking
Tubular Structures
Traffic Signs
Steel Bridges
FHWA Disciplines:   Structures
Subject Areas:   Bridges and other structures


Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000
Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center | 6300 Georgetown Pike | McLean, VA | 22101