Modeling the Pre-Existing Cracks at the Base of High Mast Illumination Poles

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The High Mast Illumination poles (HMIPs) in Texas are subjected to galvanization induced cracks at the shaft to base plate connection. The major load that HMIPs experience over the entire design life is the wind induced fatigue load. The pre-existing galvanization induced cracks could have detrimental effects on the long-term durability and serviceability of HMIPs. Previous research efforts focused on conducting fatigue tests on HMIPs in the laboratory, monitoring the field HMIP dynamic behavior under different wind conditions, and modeling and predicting the fatigue life of HMIPs. Based on previously measured crack growth data collected from high cycle fatigue tests of HMIPs under low stress ranges (≤ 41.4 MPa), this thesis focuses on modeling the pre-existing cracks in ABAQUS and FRANC3D, predicting the fatigue growth at a bend, and quantifying the model uncertainties associated with the fatigue crack growth.

Crack growth, S-N curve