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Laboratory Tests of a Bridge Deck Prototype With Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer Bars as the Top Mat of Reinforcement
Cawrse, Jason Kyle
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The primary objective of this project was to test a full-scale prototype of an actual bridge deck containing GFRP bars as the top mat of reinforcement. The purpose of the tests was to verify that the design would resist the loads for which it was designed and provide assurance that the deck would not unexpectedly fail due to the use of this new material. Behavior of the bridge and deck, such as failure load, failure mode, cracking load, crack widths, deflections, and internal stresses, were examined. Four tests were performed on the deck, all of which tested the deck in negative moment regions. From the tests, it was concluded that the design of the deck was very conservative and that unexpected failure should be of no concern. The secondary objective of this project was to comment on the construction of a bridge deck reinforced with GFRP bars and to note its advantages and disadvantages along with a critique of the current state-of-the-art of designing bridge decks with FRP reinforcement. It was found that the advantages of construction with GFRP bars far outweighed the disadvantages, and that the placing of the top mat of GFRP bars was much easier than the placing of the bottom mat of steel bars. It was also concluded that the current state-of-the-art of designing bridge decks reinforced with GFRP is, for the most part, inaccurate in its prediction of behavior and that more research is needed to create more accurate design equations and procedures. Although current methods do not result in accurate predictions of behavior, they do, as mentioned above, result in conservative designs.
- Masters Theses