To ensure full composite action in a steel-girder bridge, shear studs must be provided along the length of a bridge at the interface between the concrete deck and the steel section to resist the interface shear and prevent slip along the interface. Currently, designers determine the stud proportions and the required stud pitch to satisfy both the fatigue and strength limit states. There have been instances where some designs have appeared to have an excessive number of shear studs. Shear stud quantity and subsequent installation increases steel bridge fabrication cost. In addition to undesirable increases in costs, an excessive number of shear studs produces unsafe conditions since the studs can pose a tripping hazard for iron workers.
In addition, further research is necessary to understand the demand on shear studs for steel-girder bridges at the fatigue limit state. It is anticipated that the demand on shear studs at the fatigue limit state will be reduced, which will reduce the quantity of required shear studs without compromising the safety of steel girder bridges. A reduction in the number of shear studs will also increase the efficiency of fabrication and erection as well as decreasing the number of tripping hazards during construction.
The objective of this research is to develop more accurate demand predictions on shear studs for composite steel bridge design. Proposed changes from this research should further reduce the number of shear studs required on steel girder bridges, which will reduce engineering costs, improve fabrication and construction efficiency, and improve erection safety.