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Rivet Replacement Analysis

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Final rept.

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Recently there has been much discussion concerning deterioration of the infrastructure in the United States. Associated with this concern is the decay of structures built with steel some 30 to 40 years ago. Examples are numerous and include bridges on our highways, school and office buildings, and hydraulic structures used in flood control and water supply, just to name a few. An integral part of each of these structures is their connections. Since riveted connections were widely used, there is particular interest in material loss due to corrosion in rivets and its effect on connection performance. Currently there is very limited information available to evaluate these effects and determine the structural integrity of the connection. This research is directed at developing criteria to determine when a corroded rivet should be replaced. This research develops numerical modeling to simulate the deterioration of a rivet. This model incorporates the stress that is developed from service loading. A two dimensional axisymmetric model is developed using a numerically integrated finite element analysis computer program. Service loads are applied to determine the state of stress within the rivet. Elements modeling the rivet head are then made inactive to stimulate the corrosion process. Additional analyses are performed incrementally reducing the number of elements modeling the rivet head to provide sufficient data to plot stress variations versus reduction of head area. This plot is used to identify a material loss threshold that may exist and its effect on rivet stability. in addition, it is proposed that this research be used to determine how much rivet head material can be lost before the rivet must be replaced.

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  • Structural Engineering and Building Technology

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