There are many factors that affect the strength of a gusset plate. This project focuses on how the strength varies with the spacing of rivet holes. Sometimes cracks can develop near the rivet holes in the presence of plastic deformation, which reduces the plate’s strength. The study was inspired by the University of Minnesota’s research on the failed gusset plate in the I-35W bridge collapse. Their research investigated the failure of the gusset plate as a yield-dominant failure (occurred by plastic collapse), and this research expands on that analysis but focuses on the possibility of a fracture-dominated failure.
Goal: To develop design curves that relate rivet hole spacing and material properties to load-carrying capacity.