Recommendations for the Connection Between Full-Depth Precast Bridge Deck Panel Systems and Precast I-Beams
Don P. Scholz
Joseph A. Wallenfelsz
Roberts-Wollmann, Carin L.
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Precast bridge deck panels can be used in place of a cast-in-place concrete deck to reduce bridge closure times for deck replacements or new bridge construction. The panels are prefabricated at a precasting plant providing optimal casting and curing conditions, which should result in highly durable decks. Precast panels can be either full-depth or partial-depth. Partial-depth panels act as a stay-in-place form for a cast-in-place concrete topping. This study investigated only the behavior of full-depth precast panels. The research described in this report had two primary objectives. The first was to develop a performance specification for the grout that fills the haunch between the top of the beam and the bottom of the deck panel, as well as the horizontal shear connector pockets and the panel-to-panel joints. Tests were performed using standard or modified ASTM tests to determine basic material properties on eight types of grout. The grouts were also used in tests that approximated the conditions in a deck panel system. Based on these tests, requirements for shrinkage, compressive strength, and flow were established for the grouts. It was more difficult to establish a test method and an acceptable performance level for adhesion, an important property for the strength and durability of the deck panel system. The second objective was to quantify the horizontal shear strength of the connection between the deck panel and the beam prestressed concrete beams. This portion of the research also investigated innovative methods of creating the connection. Push-off tests were conducted using several types of grout and a variety of connections. These tests were used to develop equations for the horizontal shear strength of the details. Two promising alternate connections, the hidden pocket detail and the shear stud detail, were tested for constructibility and strength. The final outcome of this study a set of recommendations for the design, detailing, and construction of the connection between full-depth precast deck panels and prestressed concrete I-beams. If designed and constructed properly, the deck panel system is an excellent option when rapid bridge deck construction or replacement is required.