Repair of Impact-Damaged Prestressed Bridge Girders Using Strand Splices and Fabric Reinforced Cementitious Matrix

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Virginia Tech

This thesis investigates the repair of impact-damaged prestressed concrete bridge girders with strand splices and fabric-reinforced cementitious matrix systems, specifically for repair of structural damage to the underside of an overpass bridge girder due to an overheight vehicle collision. Collision damage to bridges can range from minor to catastrophic, potentially requiring repair or replacement of a bridge girder. This thesis investigates the performance of two different types of repair methods for flexural applications: strand splice repair, which is a traditional repair method that is often utilized, and fabric-reinforced cementitious matrix repair, which is a relatively new repair method. The overarching goal of this project was to provide guidance for assessment and potential repair of impact-damaged girders.

Prestressed concrete girders were tested to failure in flexure in this research. After a control test to establish a baseline for comparison, five tests were performed involving damaging a girder, repairing it using one of the repair methods, and testing it to failure. These tests showed that both strand splice repairs and fabric-reinforced cementitious matrix repairs can adequately restore the strength of an impact-damaged girder when up to 10% of the prestressing strands are severed. Combined repairs can also be a viable option if more than 10% of the prestressing strands are severed, though as the damage gets more severe, girder replacement becomes a more attractive option.

Bridge, Repair, FRP, FRCM, Strand Splice