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Predicting Fatigue Lifetime from Strain Histograms in an Abbreviated Time Window - Executive Summary
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    This work presents the development of a methodology for estimating the year in which American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)-prescribed fatigue lifetime expectations will be reached for a structural detail on a steel highway bridge. The methodology is based upon a year-round strain monitoring program of an ensemble of 24 bridge structures, located on Ohio highways of 8 different functional classes. The data from the strain monitoring program was processed into a normalized temporal representation of the expected accumulation of fatigue damage for the 8 different highway functional classes studied. An algorithm is presented to estimate the annual damage for a particular detail from a site-specific strain histogram, collected over an abbreviated time window. The extrapolation of the short-term histogram to an annual fatigue damage estimate is carried out utilizing the normalized temporal damage accumulation model for the appropriate highway functional class. Sample statistics and probability theory are used to construct confidence intervals associated with the estimate of annual damage. Projected growth rates of traffic volume and/or truck weights can be readily incorporated into the lifetime projection.
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