Parametric Study on Shear Capacity of Plate Girders with Web Openings

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Addis Ababa University


This thesis studies parametrically the ultimate shear capacity of plate girders with web holes. The variables include the span length, the opening depth, the opening number, the opening location, and the opening form. This study will provide guidelines for which form of openings to use, how deep to cut the web, where to cut the web, and how many openings to use when web openings are required to pass utility lines and for inspection purposes without adversely reducing the plate girder's ultimate capacity. The finite element software, ABAQUS, was employed as a practical design tool. The accuracy of the developed model is evaluated by comparing its predictions with tests that were carried out experimentally on plate girders, which showed a good agreement in terms of deformations and ultimate loads. The results demonstrated that the behavior of plate girders with web openings is significantly influenced by the shape and depth of the opening, particularly when the opening depth exceeds 50% of the web depth and the opening takes on a square shape. SPGs with two holes each situated up to two times the web depth from supports showed no discernible impact on the ultimate capacity. Increasing the number of openings resulted in additional mid span deflections and a considerable reduction in ultimate capacity. The depth of the opening was found to be the most influential parameter in the sensitivity analysis. The ultimate capacity of the weakest SPGs with web openings is greatly increased by providing steel plates around the openings.



Steel plate girder (SPG), Web openings, Ultimate capacity, Parametric study