Title page for ETD etd-52597-152950

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Howard, Joseph Neil
Author's Email Address jnhoward@vt.edu
URN etd-52597-152950
Degree Master of Science
Department Civil Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Weyers, Richard E.
Dolan, James Daniel Committee Chair
  • Timber Bridge
  • Deck deflection
  • Glulam Bridge
Date of Defense 1997-03-01
Availability unrestricted
Glue laminated wood deck systems are commonly used for

bridge decks on girder bridge systems. These decks are

usually covered with a hot-mix asphalt wearing surface

in conjunction with a bituminized fabric sheet waterproofing

membrane. Often cracks occur in the asphalt at the

intersection of two adjacent deck panels which limits the

useful life of the wear surface, provides a poor riding

surface and potentially allows moisture to flow to wooden

bridge components.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the

structural behavior of asphalt/wood/membrane deck systems.

This was accomplished experimentally by determining the

deflection of bridge deck panels with respect to each other

under simulated truck loading. A classical linear analysis

model and a finite element analysis model were developed for

the deck panel deflections. These analytical results were

compared to the experimental results and a value of

approximately 0.05 in for the interpanel differential

deflection was determined to be a reasonable, conservative

value for the typical configuration considered. This

deflection was then used to load various asphalt/membrane/

wood configurations to investigate the effectiveness of the

arrangement with regards to resisting hot-mix asphalt

cracking. It was found that when subjected to repeated

deflections of 0.05 in, the following experimental composite

bridge deck performed best in terms of reduced cracking:

1) hot-mix asphalt base layer applied directly onto the

glulam deck panel; 2) waterproofing membrane placed on the

base layer of asphalt; 3) hot-mix asphalt surface layer

placed on the waterproofing membrane.

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