BACKGROUND: Structural supports for signs, luminaires, and traffic signals and other highway steel structures are generally galvanized to prevent corrosion and provide a long service life. However, recent investigations have revealed incidents of cracking in weldments of galvanized structures that appear to be induced during the galvanizing process. When placed in service, structures with such flaws will exhibit short service life and pose safety concerns. There was a need to identify the factors contributing to the occurrence of weldment cracking during the galvanizing process of steel highway structures and to propose improved design, materials, and construction specifications to help mitigate such cracking. This information will ensure that galvanized highway structures provide the intended service life and eliminate related safety concerns.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this research was to propose improved design, materials, and construction specifications of galvanized steel highway structures to mitigate weldment cracking caused by the galvanizing process. This research was concerned with structural supports for signs, luminaires, and traffic signals and bridge superstructures (other than decks).
STATUS: Research is complete; the final report has been published as NCHRP Research Report 965, Mitigation of Weldment Cracking in Steel Highway Structures Due to the Galvanizing Process.