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Sponsored by: AGA_Extended_2014-Outline

100-Year Bridges: Design Practices and Performance Benefits of Hot-Dip Galvanized Steel

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100-Year Bridges: Design Practices and Performance Benefits of Hot-Dip Galvanized Steel

Duration:60 minutes


Hot-dip galvanizing has been used as a means of corrosion protection for more than 150 years, and new technologies and creative chemistries continue to evolve the coating. As FHWA, state DOTs, and local municipalities strive to build the 100-year bridge, what role does hot-dip galvanizing play? When best design practices are followed, hot-dip galvanized steel can provide a sustainable and cost effective 100-year bridge life. This webcast will explore some of the specific design practices to avoid pitfalls such as warpage and distortion and connection points, as well as address new research on galvanized slip critical connections and the final report of the galvanized bolts on the Bay Bridge in Oakland, CA. The presentation will also feature some case studies of galvanized bridges, including a video from a county engineer about his use of galvanized steel bridges over the years.

Learning Objectives

  1. Learn the basics of the hot-dip galvanizing process, as well as HDG benefits and performance.
  2. Identity the best design practices to ensure higher quality galvanized bridge components.
  3. Understand recent research on using hot-dip galvanizing in slip critical connections and high strength bolts.
  4. Examine case studies and hear the impact of galvanized steel in specifier's own words.


Todd Helwig, Ph.D., P.E.

Professor University of Texas at Austin Cockrell School of Engineering and Ferguson Structural Engineering Laboratory Todd Helwig, Ph.D., P.E. has had more than a 20-year career teaching and conducting research in the field of structural engineering. His primary area of interest is the design and behavior of steel structures with an emphasis in structural stability and bracing. He has served as the research supervisor on a wide range of research studies focusing on steel and concrete girder systems, including both the design and behavior in the finished bridge as well as the impact of construction practices on the structural behavior. His research methods have included laboratory testing, field monitoring, finite element parametrical studies, as well as the development of software for the analysis during construction stages. His past research has focused on stability issues, fatigue performance, the impact of thermal loads, the behavior of bridge bearings, and the slip performance of galvanized connections. His research work has led to design methods and improved details on a wide arrange of bridge systems.   In addition to his research experience, he is a member of several technical committees including the Texas Steel Quality Council, the American Institute of Steel Construction, the AISI/AASHTO T14 Design Advisory Group for Steel Bridges, the Transportation Research Board Committee on Steel Bridges, the Research Council on Structural Connections, and the Structural Stability Research Council (SSRC). He currently serves as the Vice Chair of the SSRC. His research has been recognized with several awards including the ASCE Collingwood Research Prize, the ASCE Moisseiff Award, the ASCE Shortridge Hardesty Award and also the SSRC Vinnakota Award. In 2010 his work on stability bracing systems in steel bridges was recognized at the North American Steel Construction Conference with a Special Achievement Award for his innovative solution to bridge bracing problems. He has developed and taught a number of continuing education courses focused on structural stability and bracing.

Rich Tavoletti

Director Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance   Rich Tavoletti was appointed director of the Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance (SSSBA) in January 2016. The SSSBA is a group of bridge and buried soil structure industry leaders who have joined together to provide educational information on the design and construction of short span steel bridges in installations up to 140 feet in length.   In addition to his SSSBA responsibilities, Tavoletti is also director of the SMDI Packaging Market Program, where he works with steel manufacturers, can manufacturers, food processors and affiliate members to communicate the nutritional value and convenience benefits of canned food to consumers, health professionals and government. Tavoletti has worked for the American Iron and Steel Institute since 2001. Prior to that, he worked for the Steel Recycling Institute.

Dr. Thomas Langill

Technical Director American Galvanizers Association   Dr. Thomas Langill has been with the American Galvanizers Association (AGA) since 1994 as its Technical Director. He has been active in helping shape the research programs for galvanizing programs. Tom has contributed to the ASTM committees that deal with the specifications used by the galvanizing industry and is Chairman of three separate ASTM Subcommittees including the subcommittee that maintains the standards for the hot-dip galvanizing process. He has provided technical support for many specifiers and engineers who have technical questions about galvanized steel or its use in a particular environment. Tom has authored and presents the Inspection of Hot-Dip Galvanized Products seminar.
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