Recommendations for Surface Treatment for Virginia Inverted T-Beam Bridge System
This thesis investigates the impact of interface surface treatment methods for use in the Virginia Inverted T-Beam bridge system. The specific system consists of precast beams with thin bottom flanges placed next to one another, with a cast-in-place slab on top. Previous research has shown that the strength of this system after cyclic loading is highly dependent upon the shear strength of the interface between the precast and cast-in-place sections, especially for the adhesion-based connection configuration. The approval of this bridge system for use in bridges with high daily traffic volumes hinges on the verification of its strength and durability for a 50-year lifespan.
The shear strength of ten different surface textures was tested using push-off tests to determine which interface roughening methods would prove adequate for use in the bridge system. The strength was found to depend on both the amplitude and the geometry of the undulations on the beam-to-slab interface. Using this information, a texture was selected for a new trial of the adhesion-based connection configuration, and a test specimen was constructed. After completing cyclic loading to simulate the design life of the bridge, it was found that the system achieved a strength similar to previous monotonically loaded specimens. It was concluded that the bridge is safe for use in high daily traffic areas provided that a surface roughening with adequate shear strength is used.