Date of Award

1-1-2009

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Hsiao, J. Kent

Abstract

Gussets plates are used in truss structures to connect multiple members. It is for this reason that it is important that the gusset plate have adequate strength to transfer forces between members, otherwise a failure in a gusset plate can cause the entire truss structure to fail. This study will focus on a gusset plate that is believed to have been under designed on the I-35W Minneapolis bridge. Three possible sources of failure will be investigated: yielding of the gusset plate, fracture of the gusset plate, and buckling of the gusset plate. Various sources such as the plans for the truss and an interim report on its failure will be utilized to construct the model for the finite element analysis. The results obtained from the finite element analysis and the traditional analysis approach using uniform force method will be used to investigate the failure of the gusset plate.

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