Title page for ETD etd-12212009-101738

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Swenty, Matthew Kenneth
Author's Email Address mkswenty@vt.edu
URN etd-12212009-101738
Title The Investigation of Transverse Joints and Grouts on Full Depth Concrete Bridge Deck Panels
Degree PhD
Department Civil Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Cousins, Thomas E. Committee Co-Chair
Roberts-Wollmann, Carin L. Committee Co-Chair
Gomez, Jose P. Committee Member
Sotelino, Elisa D. Committee Member
Wang, Linbing Committee Member
  • Bridge Deck
  • Bridge Joints
  • Post-Tensioning
  • Grout
  • Deck Panels
Date of Defense 2009-12-08
Availability unrestricted
A set of experimental tests were performed at Virginia Tech to investigate

transverse joints and blockouts on full depth concrete bridge deck panels. The joints

were designed on a deck replacement project for a rural three span continuous steel girder

bridge in Virginia. Two cast-in-place and four post-tensioned joints were designed and

tested in cyclical loading. Each joint was tested on a full scale two girder setup in

negative bending with a simulated HS-20 vehicle. The blockouts were built as hollow

concrete rings filled with grout and left to shrink under ambient conditions. Thirteen

combinations of different surface conditions and grouts were designed to test the bond

strength between the materials. The strain profile, cracking patterns, and ponding results

were measured for all specimens. A finite element analysis was performed and calibrated

with the laboratory results.

The cast-in-place joints and the two post-tensioned joints with 1.15 MPa (167 psi)

of initial stress experienced cracking and leaked water by the end of the tests. The two

post-tensioned joints with 2.34 MPa (340 psi) initial stress kept the deck near a tensile

stress of 1.5√(f'c) and performed the best. These transverse joints did not leak water, did

not have full depth cracking, and maintained a nearly linear strain distribution throughout

the design life. Full depth deck panel may be effectively used on continuous bridges if a

sufficient amount of post-tensioning force is applied to the transverse joints. The finite

element model provides a design tool to estimate the post-tensioning force needed to

keep the tensile stresses below the cracking limit.

The blockouts with a roughened surface or an epoxy and a grout equivalent to

Five Star Highway Patch grout had the highest bond stresses, did not leak water, and had

smaller cracks at the grout-concrete interface than the control samples. A minimum bond

strength of 2.5√(f'c) was maintained for all of the specimens with a grout equivalent to

Five Star Highway Patch. A pea gravel additive in the grout reduced shrinkage and

reduced the bond strength. The finite element model provides a design tool to estimate

cracking at the grout-surface interface.

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