February 20 - February 23, 2018

The Pennsylvania DOT is filling plug welds with bolts on 13 bridges in the wake of last year’s damage to the Delaware River Turnpike Bridge. Is this good preventive maintenance or is it unnecessary?

Answers Votes
Good maintenance—bolts will provide more strength to the otherwise weak spots. 67%
Unnecessary—not every plug weld represents a weak spot. 19%
Other (please explain in the comments section) 11%

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Tagged categories: Bridges; Carbon Steel; Quality Control; Welding

Comment from Michael Beitzel, (2/21/2018, 11:24 AM)

Good maintenance - removal of the plug weld will eliminate the potential stress raisers or potential different physical characteristics of the weld filler metal. Filling the hole with a bolt is likely only to prevent corrosion of the open hole or misreporting by inspectors as a missing fastener.

Comment from Simon Wadsworth, (2/21/2018, 12:48 PM)

The bolt hole should be larger than the original weld to capture the heat affected zone, and the bolt should be a pre-loaded type to put the hole edge into compression.

Comment from Alan Denney, (2/22/2018, 6:17 AM)

You need to see the full details in order to make a judgement on this.

Comment from Harman Metzger, (2/22/2018, 6:56 AM)

Agree with Alan Denney - There many variables to base a sound decision on. If the EOR determines the location is in a critical location, consider UT or RT to the D1.5 code requirements.

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