Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair

Karl E. Barth.


Current AASHTO bridge specifications limit the allowable maximum strength of simple spans and positive bending regions with adjacent compact pier sections to a value between the full plastic moment and the hypothetical yield moment of the cross section. The equation used for this strength prediction is given as a linear function, related to the depth of web in compression. However, this method of strength prediction is based on a series of parametric studies from which the data did not suggest the values close to the yield moment that may be computed using the associated strength equations.;Recent experimental tests by others coupled with finite element analysis and a mechanistic evaluation of the cross-section flexural capacity conducted in this research suggest that significantly larger capacities may be achieved than those determined with AASHTO's prediction equations. Further, AASHTO places restrictions on the bending capacity for sections with non-compact adjacent pier sections (ie., Mn = 1.3 Rh My) that for some girder geometries may be too liberal.;This study evaluates the behavior of composite positive bending specimens through performing focused experimental testing coupled with refined analysis. Results of this effort are focused on producing less conservative strength prediction equations for compact composite steel positive bending sections.