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The Resistance of Welded Joints of Galvanized RHS Trusses with Different Vent Hole Geometries

  • serrano, miguel a.
  • lópez-colina, carlos
  • gayarre, fernando l.
  • wilkinson, tim
  • suárez, jesús
Publication Date
Apr 15, 2019
DOI: 10.3390/app9081553
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A worldwide-accepted technique to protect steel lattice girders with welded hollow sections against corrosion is the hot-dip galvanizing process. In this process, vent holes are required in braces to fill the inner part protecting them from corrosion, to allow the immersion of the structure in the zinc bath and to recover the excess fluid after the bath. The cross-section reduction due to the vent hole could lead to a decrease in the effective brace resistance / this is not easily quantified, because there are neither prescriptions nor recommendations in the design codes to assess this effect. Therefore, the hollow structural sections could be underutilized due to doubts regarding the safety of this type of joint. This research was conducted in order to categorize different geometries and positions of vent holes in order to determine the best in terms of joint efficiency. A validated finite element model considering welds on lattice girders joints was extended to take into account different vent hole shapes. This research concludes that the presence of ventilation holes such as the ones considered in this study does not significantly affect the joint resistance, and that all the analyzed hole shapes could be proposed as a valid solution for machining vent holes. The conclusions drawn up from this work could be useful for structural steel designers, providing them with valuable design recommendations.

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