Prestressed PCBT Girders Made Continuous and Composite with a Cast-in-place Deck and Diaphragm

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Virginia Tech

This research document focuses on prestressed PCBT girders made composite with a cast-in-place concrete deck and continuous over several spans through the use of continuity diaphragms. The current design procedure in AASHTO states that a continuity diaphragm is considered to be fully effective if a compressive stress develops in the bottom of the diaphragm when the superimposed permanent load, settlement, creep, shrinkage, 50 percent live load, and temperature gradient are summed, or if the girders are stored at least 90 days when continuity is established. It is more economical to store girders for fewer days, so it is important to know the minimum number of days that girders must be stored to satisfy AASHTO requirements.

In 2005, Charles Newhouse developed the positive moment diaphragm reinforcement detail that is currently being adopted by VDOT. This thesis concludes that Newhouse's detail, four No. 6 bars bent 180° and extended into the diaphragm, is adequate for all girders except for the PCBT-77, PCBT-85, and the PCBT-93 when the girders are stored for a minimum of 90 days. It is recommended that two additional bent strands be extended into the continuity diaphragm for these three girder sizes.

It was also concluded that about half of the cases result in a significant reduction in the minimum number of storage days if the designer is willing to perform a detailed analysis. The other half of the cases must be stored for 90 days because the total moment in the diaphragm will never become negative and satisfy the AASHTO requirement. In general, narrower girder spacing and higher concrete compressive strength results in shorter required storage duration. The PCA Method was used in this analysis with the updated AASHTO LRFD creep, shrinkage, and prestress loss models. A recommended quick check is to sum the thermal, composite dead load, and half of the live load restraint moments. The girder must be stored 90 days if that sum is positive, and a more detailed time-dependent analysis would result in a shorter than 90 day storage period if that sum is negative.

Restraint Moment, PCA Method, Diaphragm, PCBT Girders