Composite Bridge Systems with High-Performance Lightweight Concrete


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Title: Composite Bridge Systems with High-Performance Lightweight Concrete

Author(s): G. S. Sylva, N. H. Burns, and J. E. Breen

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 218


Appears on pages(s): 91-100

Keywords: development length; economic analysis; lightweight concrete bridges; lightweight concrete mix design; pretensioned deck panels; pretensioned girders; transfer length

Date: 2/1/2004

The Texas Department of Transportation sponsored Project 0-1852 at The University of Texas at Austin to determine the feasibility of using high-performance lightweight concrete in composite bridge girders and precast concrete deck panels. The scope of the research project included lightweight concrete mixture design development; full scale testing of TxDOT Type A (AASHTO Type I) girders with composite decks; an analytical design comparison of normal and lightweight concrete girders with various deck combinations; and an economic analysis. The purpose of this paper is to highlight some of the findings of this research to give engineers and designers a better understanding of high-performance lightweight concrete and its use in composite bridge systems. Some of the potential advantages of using lightweight concrete include lower loads on the substructure and foundation, lower crane capacities, increase in live load capacity, and lower shipping costs. However, lightweight concrete has unique features that must be considered during the design phase to insure a successful project. Some of these considerations include higher material costs and the higher elastic shortening losses that will result due to a lower modulus of elasticity.