WIT Press

Transverse Cracking Of Composite Bridge Decks


Free (open access)

Paper DOI






Page Range

317 - 325




421 kb


Ayman N. Ababneh


Early age cracking of concrete bridge deck is a frequent problem for bridges worldwide. This work provides a framework for a thermo-hygro-mechanical mathematical model for the analysis of early age transverse cracking of the bridge deck. The model includes the determination of the temperature and moisture gradients in the deck slab, and the prediction of the thermal and drying shrinkage strains. These strains were superimposed with the strains from creep and mechanical loads and applied to an elasto-plastic damage approach to quantify the damage and stresses in deck slab. The model was implemented in finite element computer software to accurately predict the cracking and damage evolution in concrete bridge decks. Accurate prediction of crack tendency is essential for durability design of bridge decks, thus more sustainable bridges with increased usable life span and low life-cycle costs. Keywords: transverse cracking, bridge deck, thermo-hygro-mechanical model. 1 Introduction Bridges usually developed early cracking of their decks [1]. Early age cracks usually develop in the transverse direction of the traffic. The cracking could initiate almost immediately after construction and sometimes appear within a few months after deck is constructed. The problem of deck cracking is still significant, even after the adoption of high performance concrete (HPC) for bridge decks. In a survey conducted by New York Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), it was observed that 48% of an 84 bridge decks built in New York State between 1995 and 1998, using HP concrete, have developed transverse cracks [2]. Figure 1 shows the mechanism of the transverse cracking of a concrete deck slab. The composite action between the deck and the girders provides restraining


transverse cracking, bridge deck, thermo-hygro-mechanical model