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Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-17-110    Date:  January 2018
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-17-110
Date: January 2018


Fatigue Performance of High-Frequency Welded Steel I-Beams

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This report documents limited fatigue testing of I-beams where webs and flanges were joined together with a solid-state, high-frequency welding process. The results of the testing show these beams have commensurate fatigue strength with those welded using traditional fusion welding processes. Solid-state welding offers the advantage of faster welding speed with less heat input, resulting in less distortion, which would be of benefit to the steel fabrication industry. The results of this work would benefit those interested in the fatigue behavior of welded beams used in the construction of steel bridges, including State transportation departments, researchers, and design consultants.

Cheryl Allen Richter, Ph.D., P.E.
Director, Office of Infrastructure
Research and Development


This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers’ names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document.

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Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.


2. Government Accession No.


3 Recipient's Catalog No.


4. Title and Subtitle

Fatigue Performance of High-Frequency Welded Steel I-Beams

5. Report Date

January 2018

6. Performing Organization Code


7. Author(s)

Benjamin Cross, Ph.D., and Justin Ocel, Ph.D., P.E.

8. Performing Organization Report No.


9. Performing Organization Name and Address

Professional Service Industries, Inc.
13873 Park Center Road, Suite 315
Herndon, VA 20171

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)

11. Contract or Grant No.


12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Federal Highway Administration
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101-2296

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

Final Report; June 2013–June 2016

14. Sponsoring Agency Code


15. Supplementary Notes

The FHWA Contracting Officer's Representative for this report was Fassil Beshah (HRDI-40).

16. Abstract

Fatigue is an important consideration in the design of steel bridges. Historically, the fatigue strength of welded details has been based on full-scale experimental testing. This work looked at the fatigue strength of I-beams that used solid-state, high-frequency welds to make the web-to-flange welds, where traditionally this would be performed with fusion welding processes. The specimens closely replicated those used to derive the current category B classification of web-to-flange welds. The limited fatigue testing demonstrated the fatigue resistance was approximately category B; however, it is only based on three specimens, and additional testing is warranted.

17. Key Words

Steel bridges, fatigue, solid-state welding, high-frequency welding

18. Distribution Statement

No restrictions. This document is available through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161.

19. Security Classification
(of this report)


20. Security Classification
(of this page)


21. No. of Pages


22. Price


Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72) Reproduction of completed page authorized

SI* (Modern Metric) Conversion Factors

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List of Figures

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List of Abbreviations


American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials


complete joint penetration





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