AbstractTransportation industries have commonly used welded connections in the production of dynamic message signs (DMSs) for several years. Even though with numerous alternatives such as bolt/rivet connections, the majority of the clients prefer welded connections in DMSs. However, the structural behavior of DMSs with welded connections has not been rigorously examined through computational analysis to date. Therefore, this study was conducted with the aim of computationally investigating the ultimate strength of DMS with welded connections. To achieve this aim, a finite element (FE) model was generated to examine the ultimate strength of the welded DMS tested. The FE model created in ABAQUS software was validated utilizing the testing data and observed an error of 3.33% only for the ultimate strength. Design parameters of the validated FE model such as weld length and damage adjustment factors like tensile yield strength and shear yield strength of filler weld were tuned to identify their influence on the ultimate strength of welded DMS via multiple parametric simulations. The damage adjustment factors were found to be the most influential parameters affecting the ultimate strength of the welded DMS. The parametric simulation studies further revealed that the performance of welded DMS was able to be optimized to improve the ultimate strength of DMS up to 29.95% compared to that of tested DMS. A design equation generated in a statistical manner was also proposed incorporating the most influential parameters to predict the ultimate strength of welded DMS. The design equation showed an average error of 10.46% for the prediction of ultimate strength of welded DMS in comparison to the results of tested DMS.

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