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Laser welded steel sandwich panel bridge deck development : finite element analysis and stake weld strength tests.
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    This report summarizes the analysis of laser welded steel sandwich panels for use in bridge structures and static testing of laser stake welded lap shear coupons. Steel sandwich panels consist of two face sheets connected by a relatively low-density core resulting in high strength and stiffness, which leads to promising design advantages. Steel sandwich panels offer substantial resistance to static and dynamic loads due to their high stiffness and substantial energy absorbing capacity. Panels of this kind are of interest for potential use in bridges for deck replacement. They are especially efficient in resisting dynamic events such as fatigue, impact or shock loading. A verification study is performed comparing finite element analysis and an analytical model to an experimental study documented in the literature. Results demonstrate good agreement between the approaches. Modeling techniques are developed from the verification study. Finite element analyses are subsequently employed to study the response of a laser welded steel sandwich panel case study of a deck replacement for a steel bridge located in Gardiner, Maine. The deck design results in a stiff structure that has a deflection of 1/1500 of the span at a depth of 7.25 inches. Structural response of stake welds was also investigated experimentally in a single lap shear configuration. Multiple pass welds consisting of 2 and 4 stake weld passes were fabricated and tested to assess the process of using multi-passes to increase weld resistance.
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