October 1, 2004.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author James L. Hanson was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
A comprehensive research investigation was conducted to evaluate the use of Stay-in-Place Metal Forms (SIPMFs) in construction of concrete bridge decks. The objectives of this research project were to establish the state-of-the-practice for use and performance of SIPMFs for bridge decks, to evaluate the field performance of bridge decks with and without SIPMFs, and to investigate the behavior of environmentally conditioned large-scale laboratory bridge deck specimens with and without SIPMFs. A survey was developed and administered to all DOTs to examine the state-of-the-practice of using SIPMFs for concrete bridge deck construction. Additionally, a field investigation was conducted to evaluate the performance of existing concrete bridge decks constructed with and without SIPMFs. This field investigation included visual inspection of 10 bridge decks and laboratory investigation of full-depth cores obtained from the inspected bridge decks. The cores were investigated using visual inspection, compressive strength tests, and ultrasonic tests. A laboratory durability investigation was conducted on 24 large-scale bridge deck slab specimens with and without SIPMF. Four specimens were used as control specimens, and the remaining 20 specimens were subjected to either freeze/thaw exposure and repeated load cycles or salt-water exposure and repeated load cycles. All specimens were constructed using epoxy-coated steel reinforcing. At various stages before, during, and after the environmental exposures, ultrasonic pulse-echo testing was used to determine the quality of contact between the SIPMFs and concrete for specimens with SIPMFs. Furthermore, after the completion of the environmental exposure, ultrasonic through-transmission testing was used to assess the condition of the concrete for all specimens. Overall, a statistical bias was present in the results of the survey as a function of climate region. Apparent equivalency of deck performance was observed using field inspection as well as visual inspection, compressive strength, and pulse-velocity profiles of the cores. Small changes in the performance of bridge deck specimens with and without SIPMF were measured during the structural and ultrasonic laboratory test programs.
Civil and Environmental Engineering
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