Experimental Verification of the Feasibility of a Novel Prestressed Reactive Powder Concrete Box-Girder Bridge Structure

Two types of damage—numerous cracks in the main girder and excessive midspan deflections—are sometimes observed in conventional long-span prestressed concrete box-girder bridges. To this end, a new box-girder bridge structure is proposed based on the superior properties of the reactive powder concrete (RPC). Diaphragms are densely distributed in the proposed structure to reduce the torsional warping stresses of the box girder and the local stresses of the deck slabs under wheel loads, as well as to improve the shear performance of the webs and the compression stability of the bottom slabs. Moreover, compared to the conventional box-girder bridge, the proposed structure is characterized by unidirectional (longitudinal) and partial external prestressing, as well as thinner slabs. According to the aforementioned characteristics of the proposed structure, the experimental model of the RPC box girder was designed and fabricated to explore its feasibility and mechanical performance. Tests on the deck slabs of the experimental model were first carried out to investigate the load path in deck slabs and evaluate the effect of diaphragm spacing. Results show that it is feasible to remove the transverse prestressing tendons in the deck slabs of the proposed box-girder structure. Subsequently, the shear failure test on the new box-girder structure was conducted. It was found that the postcracking shear performance of the proposed structure is improved due to the presence of the ribbed structures consisting of diaphragms and webs. Combined with the finite-element (FE) analyses, the safety factor of the shear cracking resistance of the web was calculated, up to 1.844 for a 400-m RPC box-girder bridge. Thus, it is feasible to remove the vertical prestressing tendons in this new structure. In addition, the shear capacity of the tested box girder was predicted by using the related design recommendations. Comparisons were performed among these predicted values and the test results. Although the feasibility of the proposed bridge structure is clearly demonstrated in this paper, further studies prior to its practical applications are being extensively performed to clarify its flexural capacity, shear behavior of webs, torsional behavior, fatigue behavior of deck slabs, seismic behavior, dynamic behavior under wind loads, prestressing optimization, and anchor details.


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  • Accession Number: 01641877
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Mar 3 2017 3:01PM