Experimental Study of Asphalt Surfacing Influence on Rib-to-Deck Joints Considering Temperature and Dynamic Effects

Numerous fatigue cracks have been observed in many orthotropic bridge decks that have been in service for a long time. The cracks around rib-to-deck (RD) joints might affect traffic safety. In most current design specifications, the asphalt surfacing is treated merely as a layer dispersing wheel loads. To investigate critical transversal load cases for RD joints and to assess the influence of temperature and dynamic loads on stresses around RD joints, a full-size orthotropic bridge-deck specimen with asphalt surfacing was subjected to wheel loads under different thermal and dynamic conditions. Experimental results show that the most critical transversal load cases occurred when dual wheels traveled over the RD joint and also around adjacent RD joints. Stresses around RD joints were found to be extremely sensitive to asphalt temperature and dynamic loads. Hence, the asphalt’s temperature, vehicle speeds, and the number of heavy axles of trucks should be considered when evaluating RD joint fatigue life.


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  • Accession Number: 01602005
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Jun 1 2016 3:02PM