Maintenance-Free Corrosion-Resistant Steel Plate For Bridges

Report No: 19-R21

Published in 2019

About the report:

This study compared the fabrication requirements, corrosion resistance, mechanical properties, construction components, and cost of using traditional bridge steels and corrosion-resistant steels.  Comparisons were made based on existing literature, discussions with and knowledge gained from industry experts, experimental testing, and field visits. 

Types of corrosion-resistant steel plate included in the study were galvanized weathering steel; steel plate meeting the chemistry requirements of ASTM A1035CS (and AASHTO M334M, Alloy Type 1035 CS); ASTM A709 Grade 50CR steel; and duplex stainless steels, such as Grades 2101, 2202, 2304, and 2205. 

The results showed that the galvanized weathering steel had performed well on a bridge for 6 years without any major issues. The steel plate meeting the chemistry requirements of ASTM A1035CS showed good corrosion resistance and material properties, and further research is recommended to determine its suitability for use as a steel bridge material.  The ASTM A709 Grade 50CR steel showed good tensile and slip-critical bolted fatigue behavior that met the requirements of ASTM A709 Grade 50 steel. The study also showed that it can be successfully fabricated into a steel plate girder and has had good corrosion resistance in bridge applications. 

The study recommends that the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) consider further implementation of ASTM A709 Grade 50CR steel and that the Virginia Transportation Research Council (VTRC) work with the VDOT districts on two bridge projects using the steel.  The duplex stainless steel showed excellent mechanical properties and has been successfully designed and fabricated for bridge use in the United States and worldwide.  It is recommended that VTRC initiate a study comparing the mechanical and corrosive properties of dissimilar metal welded connections of ASTM A709 Grade 50CR and duplex stainless steels to those of conventionally used steels.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


Last updated: November 10, 2023

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