Evaluation of Stay-in-Place Metal Forms
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Evaluation of Stay-in-Place Metal Forms

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    Final Report
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    An experimental study was conducted to determine if the use of stay-in-place metal forms (SIPMF) resulted in reduced bridge deck concrete quality over the life of the bridge compared to bridge decks formed conventionally without SIPMF. A corollary problem addressed was to determine the potential for using ground penetrating radar (GPR) to inspect the bridge deck concrete quality immediately above the SIPMF. Experimental studies were carried out on three Northern Ohio bridges that were partially constructed approximately 40 years ago using SIPMF. All these bridges had regions where there was no SIPMF. Cores were extracted from these bridges. The deck concrete quality in regions with SIPMF was compared to the concrete quality in regions without SIPMF. Visual inspections and compression, chloride, permeability and ultrasound tests were performed. Ultrasound is a very discriminating technique to use for comparison. Analysis of the inspection and test data showed no significant difference between the concrete quality in regions with and without SIPMF. This is consistent with the literature. An experimental study was carried out that compared the predicted concrete quality from a GPR survey to the concrete quality measured by testing verification cores. A GPR signal attenuation map was developed to predict the quality of the concrete in the bridge. This attenuation map was used to select the locations of the verification (ground truth) cores to be harvested. Visual inspections and compression and ultrasound tests were carried out on the ground truth cores. Ultrasound, when coupled with compression testing, is a well established technique to assess concrete condition. Analyses of the inspections and test data showed that GPR was not effective in predicting concrete quality between the bottom layer of rebar and the top of the SIPMF. The implementation potential for SIPMF in Ohio was considered. Nothing in the present research indicates that implementation of SIMPF in Ohio will be less successful than in the neighboring northern states. Reaping the full benefits will require some time as Ohio contractors and bridge inspectors become familiar with SIMPF. Important aspects of implementation are inspection, materials, repair and specifications.
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