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Application of Polymer Concrete and Non-Proprietary Ultra-High Performance Concrete for Pre-fabricated Bridge Decks Field Joints
AdvisorMoustafa, Mohamed A
Civil and Environmental Engineering
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Pre-fabricated full-depth bridge deck panels are widely used to expedite bridge deck erection and accelerate bridge construction. However, these pre-fabricated deck panels dictate the need for field cast joints at least in one direction of the bridge. Currently, ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) full-depth deck joints with concave shear keys are commonly used in bridge decks. The robust UHPC mixes have gained popularity for deck field joint applications because of their unparalleled mechanical properties, high early strength, high bond strength, and high durability. However, the proprietary nature and relatively expensive cost of these mixes may restrain their implementation in the US bridge industry. Therefore, many research efforts have considered addressing these major drawbacks and have searched for other alternative advanced materials, like this doctoral study presented herein. The overarching goal of this study is to identify alternative materials to UHPC and experimentally proof-test their suitability for use in the deck field joints. Poly-methyl methacrylate polymer concrete (PMMA-PC) along with non-proprietary UHPC mix (NP-UHPC) developed using locally available materials in the western states were identified as the alternatives for deck field joint materials. To accomplish this goal, experimental investigation of nine full-scale specimens was done to study the structural performance of deck systems with PMMA-PC and NP-UHPC field joints and compare them with reference systems with proprietary UHPC (P-UHPC) field joints. The experimental program included testing of six specimens with transverse field joints and three other specimens that represent the longitudinal field joints in typical deck-bulb tee girders (DBTs). The specimens were subjected to vertical static loading up to failure to investigate the overall structural behavior of the deck specimens and the performance of the field joints. The results demonstrated that the PMMA-PC and the developed NP-UHPC mix can be efficiently used for full-depth bridge deck field joints with comparable performance to the proprietary UHPC joints. The study has also considered developing and updating design guidelines for the design of full-depth deck panels with PMMA-PC and UHPC field joints. Thus, based on the results and assessment of all specimens, the study is concluded with design and construction recommendations for both field joints with emerging materials and the deck panels.