Study of Expansion Joints and Buried Joints for Bridges in Belgium


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Title: Study of Expansion Joints and Buried Joints for Bridges in Belgium

Author(s): C. Clauwaert

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 94


Appears on pages(s): 613-642

Keywords: bridges (structures); control joints; durability; dynamic loads; expansion; joints (functions); stress analysis; surface roughness; Construction

Date: 7/1/1987

In past decades, several types of bridge joints have been installed in Belgian bridge decks. These joint types behave very differently in time, and the lifetime of a bridge joint is determined by numerous interacting factors. Because of the increasing maintenance costs and the difficulties encountered during the repair of these vulnerable structures, a research project on bridge joints was started in 1980 at the Belgian Road Research Center. The objectives of this research are the basis of the present article. These objectives were originally based on the results of visual inspections of bridges, and they have been continuously modified during the past five years. The following topics are addressed: the relationship between the roughness of the road in the vicinity of the joint and the resulting dynamic amplification of traffic load; the movements (both horizontal and vertical) produced at the joint by heavy trucks; the determination of stresses in the anchorage of expansion joints and buried joints by means of computer programs and model studies; the calculation of the lifetime of buried joints by combining displacement spectra resulting from the deformation of the bridge, the Wholer curve of the mix constituting the joint, and the particular stress distribution in the joint; and the application of research results in practice.