Performance of Bridge Deck Expansion Joints by Large-Scale Accelerated Testing Apparatus


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Title: Performance of Bridge Deck Expansion Joints by Large-Scale Accelerated Testing Apparatus

Author(s): Shiou-San Kuo and D. Michael Waddell

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 164


Appears on pages(s): 197-214

Keywords: Accelerated tests; bridge decks; bridges (structures); control joints; joints (junctions)

Date: 11/1/1996

The design of a bridge deck joint must be able to withstand the wear and impact of heavy traffic loads, and resistant to roadway oils and chemicals, debris, ultraviolet rays, and other environmental factors. Failure of a joint system can occur from a debonding of the nosing and substrate; a delamination of material layers; severe wearing, cracking or spalling of the nosing; or improper aterial mixing and joint installation. Loose steel armor retainers and leaking joint seals also cause joint system failures. A large scale accelerated testing facility designed and constructed at the University of Central Florida has tested over twenty different bridge deck joints for wear, abrasion, impact loading, and leakage. Many of the aforementioned failure criteria were observed during the course of testing. The testing program also established a simulated life expectancy for each joint system as a result of its performance under full-scale live loading, during a five week test period. This method of testing proved to be a timely, feasible alternative to live bridge applications and monitoring procedures. Test results indicated several areas of deficiency common to many of the joint components and systems and promoted further development of some of these products to enhance their performance.