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Romanian Journal of Transport Infrastructure

The Journal of Technical University of Civil Engineering Bucharest

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New And Existing Bridge Constructions - Increase of Fatigue Strength of Welded Joints by High Frequency Mechanical Impact Treatment

Thomas Ummenhofer
  • Head of Department, Chair for Steel Structures, Univ.-Prof. Dr.- Ing., KIT Steel and Lightweight Structures, Research Center for Steel, Timber and Masonry, Tel. +49 721 608 42215, Otto-Ammann-Platz 1,5 & 7, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany
  • Email:
/ Philipp Weidner
  • Research Assistant, Dipl.-Ing., KIT Steel and Lightweight Structures, Research Center for Steel, Timber and Masonry, Tel. +49 721 608 42215, Otto-Ammann-Platz 1,5 & 7, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany
  • Email:
/ Tim Zinke
  • Research Assistant, Dipl.-Ing. Dipl.-Wirtsch.-Ing KIT Steel and Lightweight Structures, Research Center for Steel, Timber and Masonry, Tel. +49 721 608 42215, Otto-Ammann-Platz 1,5 & 7, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany
  • Email:
Published Online: 2015-02-06 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/rjti-2015-0013


Numerous studies at KIT prove that high frequency mechanical impact (HFMI) treatment is an efficient method for increasing the fatigue strength of welded steel structures. Within different research projects it was found that HFMI-methods can be used successfully for new and existing structures in order to extend the fatigue life. This paper gives an overview of the current status of existing steel bridges in Germany regarding aspects like bridge age distributions and traffic loads. Based on that overview welded joints susceptible to fatigue failure are identified. Using component-like small scale specimens, HFMI-methods were investigated within the objective of implementing an effective application for new and existing structures. Applying the fatigue test data observed, existing design proposals are evaluated and design recommendations for HFMI-treated joints are given. As a result of the research work, a transfer into practice has been realized and different applications are illustrated using the example of bridge constructions made of steel.

Keywords: fatigue; welded structures; life-cycle; rehabilitation; high frequency mechanical impact (HFMI); fatigue strength improvement


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About the article

Published Online: 2015-02-06

Published in Print: 2013-07-01

Citation Information: Romanian Journal of Transport Infrastructure, ISSN (Online) 2286-2218, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/rjti-2015-0013. Export Citation

© 2015. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

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