Strength of Reinforced Concrete Bridge Decks Under Compressive Membrane Action

Compressive membrane action exists in the slabs of typical reinforced concrete beam-and-slab bridge decks, significantly increasing the slab's stiffness and strength in both flexure and punching shear. Approximate methods to account for compressive membrane action have been developed by previous researchers. However, compressive membrane action is usually not taken into account when determining the strength of reinforced concrete slabs, because it is difficult to measure the restraint stiffness that exists for the slab. This article presents a design method for assessing the restraint stiffness that exists for the slab of typical beam-and-slab bridge decks and the strength enhancement due to compressive membrane action. The results offer a more accurate prediction of the strength of the slab. The method has been developed through the laboratory testing of concrete specimens and the use of nonlinear finite element modeling. The authors conclude that a significant amount of compressive membrane action can be expected to develop transversely in the slabs of actual beam-and-slab bridge decks. The stiffness and strength of the slabs can then be expected to be significantly higher than that predicted using methods that do not incorporate the enhancing effects of compressive membrane action.

  • Availability:
  • Authors:
    • Hon, Alan
    • Taplin, Geoff
    • Al-Mahaidi, Riadh S
  • Publication Date: 2005-5


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01000378
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 25 2005 8:13AM