Behavior of field-cast ultra-high performance concrete bridge deck connections under cyclic and static structural loading
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Behavior of field-cast ultra-high performance concrete bridge deck connections under cyclic and static structural loading

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    The use of modular bridge deck components has the potential to produce higher quality, more durable bridge decks; however, the required connections have often proved lacking, resulting in less than desirable overall system performance. Advanced cementitious composite materials whose mechanical and durability properties far exceed those of conventional concretes present an opportunity to significantly enhance the performance of field-cast connections thus facilitating the wider use of modular bridge deck systems. Ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) represents a class of such advanced cementitious composite materials. Of particular interest here, UHPCs can exhibit both exceptional bond when cast against previously cast concrete and can significantly shorten the development length of embedded discrete steel reinforcement. These properties allow for a redesign of the modular component connection, facilitating simplified construction and enhanced long-term system performance. This study investigated the structural performance of field-cast UHPC connections for modular bridge deck components. The transverse and longitudinal connection specimens simulated the connections between precast deck panels and the connections between the top flanges of deck-bulb-tee girders, respectively. Testing included both cyclic and static loadings. The results demonstrated that the field-cast UHPC connection facilitates the construction of an emulative bridge deck system whose behaviors should meet or exceed those of a conventional cast-in-place bridge deck.
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