Field and Laboratory Tests of a Proposed Bridge Deck Panel Fabricated from Pultruded Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Components

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Date

2001-05-14

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Virginia Tech

Abstract

Two 7" deep FRP deck panels were manufactured and tested in a controlled service environment. The deck panels were 15' by 5' in plan, and were composed of ten 15' long, 6" by 6" by 3/8" standard pultruded FRP tubes. The tubes were sandwiched between two 3/8" thick standard pultruded FRP plates. The material constituents of the FRP were E-glass fibers in a polyester matrix. When subjected to two strength tests, the first deck panel exhibited a safety factor with respect to legal truck loads of greater than 10. The second deck was subjected to AASHTO design loads, and under a simulated HS-25 axle plus impact the deck exhibited a maximum deflection of L/470. Upon completion of the laboratory testing, the second deck was placed in the field for further study. The maximum strain recorded during field testing was approximately 600 microstrain, which is less than 15% of the ultimate tensile strain of the FRP in its weakest direction. After being subjected to approximately 4 million load cycles (assuming 100,000 5-axle truck crossings per month) over a period of 8 months, the deck exhibited no loss in stiffness. In two post-service strength tests, the second deck exhibited a safety factor with respect to legal truck loads of greater than 8 and greater than 13.

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Keywords

pultrusion, bridge decks, fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP), fiberglass

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