Performance of Multiple UHPC-Class Materials in Prefabricated Bridge Deck Connections

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Ultra-high performance concrete is gaining attention as an alternative to cementitious non-shrink grouts for closure pours in prefabricated bridge element (PBE) connections. One common method of joining PBEs is to use field-cast grout which is cast over interlaced reinforcing bars or connectors to achieve structural continuity between elements. Previous research has indicated that connections employing UHPC require shorter rebar lap splice lengths and reduced material volumes compared with those employing conventional grout materials. Furthermore, the resulting connections are more robust in regard to structural performance. This paper presents research being conducted at the FHWA Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center on the performance of five different, commercial-available UHPC-class materials in prefabricated bridge deck connections. To evaluate the different materials, a series of large-scale precast deck panel connection tests were carried out. Each deck panel test specimen employed the same reinforcement and geometric details in the connection region. The primary difference between specimens was the type of UHPC employed in the connection. Deck panel connection assemblies were subjected to three different loading protocols, which included cyclic crack loading, fatigue loading, and monotonic loading until failure. The different loading protocols were developed to assess the bond strength between precast concrete and UHPC, the connection’s resistance to cracking and damage under cyclic loading, and the ultimate load and deflection capacity of the deck panel system. Bond strength between precast concrete and UHPC was also assessed using a series of small-scale companion bond tests, which will also be discussed. Results will be presented such that comparisons can be drawn among the different UHPC-class materials. Some comparisons will also be made between the behavior of connections with UHPC and those employing conventional cementitious grouts.

Keywords: fatigue, bridge deck, bond strength, accelerated bridge construction, cracking

How to Cite: Graybeal, B. A. & Haber, Z. (2016) “Performance of Multiple UHPC-Class Materials in Prefabricated Bridge Deck Connections”, International Interactive Symposium on Ultra-High Performance Concrete. 1(1). doi: