Modeling parameters for predicting the postbuckling shear strength of steel plate girders

Jonathan D. Glassman, Maria E. Moreyra Garlock, Esam M. Aziz, Venkatesh K. Kodur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Bridge fires are becoming an increasing concern, and for steel plate girder bridges in particular, web shear buckling is one of the failure mechanisms that can make it necessary to replace the girder after the fire is extinguished. The objective of this study is to evaluate the web shear buckling response of two experimental plate girder specimens subject to fire conditions, and also to determine how complex computational models must be to accurately characterize the web shear buckling response of steel plate girders subjected to fire. Three parameters are evaluated: boundary conditions representing the flange, representation of thermal gradients, and composite action with the slab. To meet this objective, finite element models with varying parameters are compared to each other and to experimental results. Results show that the presence of a composite slab significantly increases the shear capacity of the plate girder. The presence of thermal gradients makes finite element modeling of the flange more sensitive to the results compared to a uniform temperature distribution. Modeling the girder with a uniform temperature equal to the temperature of the web leads to similar results as modeling with thermal gradients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-143
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Constructional Steel Research
StatePublished - Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Metals and Alloys


  • Bridge fire
  • Finite element
  • Postbuckling
  • Shear strength
  • Steel plate girder
  • Thermal gradient


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