Life Cycle Assessment and Life Cycle Cost for Composite Bridges - Stainless Steel Corrugated Web Girders vs. Carbon Steel Flat Web Girders

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Nissan, Ashur
Woldeyohannes, Yohannes
Bridge constructions account for numerous material and energy consumptions. Hence, it is crucial to evaluate bridges’ environmental impact and total life cycle cost in the early design stages. Data assumptions are made throughout the inventory stage due to the lack of significant required data; therefore, the sensitivity of the LCA and LCC outcomes should be considered. Steel is strongly used in bridge constructions due to its high strength and efficient recycling rates. However, steel has low resis tance against corrosion which requires applying additional coating layers throughout its life cycle and returns in additional expenses. Accordingly, the bridge industry has been increasingly interested in providing more sustainable solutions. Stainless steel has been widely used in bridge designs thanks to its high corrosion resistance. Therefore, stainless steel bridges do not require regular maintenance activities. Nev ertheless, stainless steel has high material initial costs. Thus bridge designers have developed different bridge design concepts to lower the total weight of stainless steel required in bridges made of this material. One of these design concepts is the application of corrugated webs in stainless steel bridges. In this master’s thesis, a parametric model in Python has been developed to evaluate the environmental impact of global warming potential and the total life cycle cost of different bridge design concepts. In particular, two design concepts have been introduced and com pared, carbon steel S355 with flat web and Duplex stainless steel with corrugated webs. The results showed that the stainless steel design concept has a lower total environmental impact contributing to the global warming potential. Considering the total life cycle cost, the results indicated that the economic feasibility of using stainless steel with corrugated webs is highly dependent on the fluctuating prices of stainless steel. Additionally, the outcome stated that when the average daily traffic was relatively high, the stainless steel design concept became more economically feasible than the carbon steel design concept. This study concluded the following parameters as critical for LCC: the average daily traffic, the material initial costs, the discount, and the escalation rate. The developed tool has been used in another master thesis to optimize steel bridges based on LCA and LCC.
life cycle assessment, life cycle cost, optimization, corrugated webs, global warming potential, bridge industry, inital costs, average daily traffic.
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