Behavior of GFRP Bridge Decks for Highway Bridges

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Title: Behavior of GFRP Bridge Decks for Highway Bridges
Author: Nelson, James Lee
Advisors: Dr. Eric Klang, Committee Member
Dr. Emmett Sumner, Committee Member
Dr. Sami Rizkalla, Committee Chair
Abstract: This research presents the results of an experimental program undertaken at the North Carolina State University (NCSU) Constructed Facilities Laboratory (CFL) to evaluate the performance of a new innovative glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) bridge deck. This bridge deck is produced commercially by Martin Marietta Composites of Raleigh, NC under the trade name of DuraSpan. The experimental program involved examining the behavior of 5.00 inch deep and 7.66 inch deep DuraSpan bridge deck profiles. The program included numerous quasi-static flexural tests, testing of connection details to facilitate the development of a railing system, evaluation of the performance of the bond lines in negative moment regions, and an evaluation of the coefficient of thermal expansion. A finite element model was developed to predict the stiffness of the bridge deck at service load levels. Finite element optimization techniques were used in conjunction with coupon test data and the large scale flexural test data to calibrate the model.
Date: 2005-12-06
Degree: MS
Discipline: Civil Engineering

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