Optimizing Performance Characteristics of Steel Fiber-Reinforced Lightweight Concrete (SFRLWC) for Wearing Surface Application on Orthotropic Steel Decks

Research Project

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Optimizing Performance Characteristics of Steel Fiber-Reinforced Lightweight Concrete (SFRLWC) for Wearing Surface Application on Orthotropic Steel Decks

Researcher(s)

Principal investigators: Vellore Gopalaratnam, University of Missouri - Columbia

Project status

In progress

Start date: 05/01/15
End date: 12/31/16

Sponsor(s)/partner(s)

Sponsor(s): HDR, Inc.
Midwest Transportation Center
USDOT/OST-R

About the research

Research objective:

Proper design and selection of wearing surfaces can significantly enhance the fatigue life of the bridge, contributing to a cost-effective rehabilitation of such bridges. In addition, new orthotropic decks can be built, that are cost-competitive with other types of bridge configurations. A steel fiber-reinforced lightweight concrete (SFRLWC) wearing surface recently designed for use on the Poplar Street Bridge (PSB) provides stiffness to the flexible orthotropic steel deck while at the same time exhibiting less sensitive thermal softening characteristics compared to polymeric or asphalt-based wearing surfaces. The wearing surface on the PSB also uses continuous steel reinforcing bars and shear studs to anchor the wearing surface to the deck plate. The need for use of continuous reinforcement with low clear covers can be eliminated with proper engineering of the fiber composite system. Optimizing the design of the fiber reinforced concrete composite for this application will allow superior performance and reduced costs by also allowing a redesign of the currently used shear-stud-based anchoring system. Mechanical and durability characteristics desired in wearing surfaces can also be engineered in the systematic optimization of the SFRLWC composite proposed.

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