Date of Award:

5-2009

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Advisor/Chair:

Marvin W Halling

Abstract

Precast concrete bridge deck panels have been used for decades to accelerate bridge construction. Cracking of the transverse connection between panels is a common problem that can damage deck overlays and cause connection leaking leading to corrosion of lower bridge elements. To better understand the behavior of bridge deck transverse female-to-female connections, shear and moment lab testing were performed at Utah State University for the Utah Department of Transportation. Two existing UDOT connections were tested, a welded stud connection and a post tensioned connection. A variation of the welded connection using rebar was also tested. In addition, two new curved bolt connections were tested as a new method of post tensioning a connection. The manner of connection cracking and associated cracking loads were recorded along with the ultimate connection capacities. The connections were also tested in a low cycle, high amplitude cyclical shear test. Lab testing showed that the welded stud connection had the lowest moment capacity. It also showed that the welded rebar connection had significantly higher strength than the welded stud connection with higher cracking and ultimate loads. Curved bolts were also shown to be a good way to post tension a connection with similar moment capacities as the post tensioned connection. Longer curved bolts were found to perform better than shorter curved bolts.

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