Long-term study on the effect of temperature on composite action and variation of neutral axis in slab on girder bridges

Composite action between steel girders and concrete slab is an important mechanical feature that needs to be maintained so that bridges can carry the applied load safely. This mechanical feature is maintained through the shear studs installed at the top flange of the steel girders. These shear studs keep the steel girders and the concrete slab working as one unit, resulting in a stronger section than if each element works separately. The composite action can be investigated using several methods of which one is the study of the position of the neutral axis (NA). The variation of the position of the NA over time gives an indication about the structural performance of the composite section. In this study, the variation of the position of the NA over time is investigated. Two bridges located in Manitoba were investigated in this study. The variation of the NA is observed as a result of variation of ambient temperature (temperature). Regression models are suggested to relate variation of the NA to the temperature that was measured beside the web of one of the bridge girders. Repeatability analysis over 4 years was conducted, confirming that the NA varies cyclically over years. It is suggested that this variation indicates that there is a change in the degree of composite action assuming that cold temperatures will induce more connection between the steel girders and the concrete slab as a result of thermal contraction of the shear studs. In addition, the stiffness of the material could be affected due to change of temperature. The other possibility is that an axial force develops in the beam as a result of the bearing restraint during the passing of vehicles on the bridge. The results found in this study will eventually lead to enhancements of the design procedures that currently assume a fixed position of the NA over time of composite sections of bridges, similar to the bridges presented in this study.


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  • Accession Number: 01748984
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 4 2020 3:05PM