An Evaluation of the Durability of Polymer Concrete Bonds to Aluminum Bridge Decks
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The objective of this study is to evaluate the bond durability of an epoxy-based polymer concrete wearing surface bonded to aluminum bridge decks. In the bridge design, an aluminum alloy bridge deck is used with a polymer concrete wearing surface. A modified mixed mode flexure fracture test was developed to assess the bond durability of specimens aged in the following environmental conditionings: 30Â°C [86Â°F], 98% RH; 45Â°C [113Â°F], 98% RH; 60Â°C [140Â°F], 98% RH; freezing and thawing; salt (NaCl) water soak; and 60Â°C [140Â°F], dry. The exposure times varied from none to twelve months. The critical strain energy release rate (Gc) of the bond was determined using a compliance technique. In spite of considerable scatter in the data, the results suggested that the interfacial bond toughness had been degraded by exposure conditions. The aging appeared to affect the polymer concrete overlay (silica aggregates/epoxy bond) as well. Fracture analysis and finite element modeling were completed for linear elastic behavior. Analytical and numerical solutions were in reasonably good agreement. Characterization of the bridge components and failure specimens were accomplished using analytical measurements including thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA). Techniques employed in the surface analysis included x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM).
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