Performance of Buried-Type Expansion Joints in Composite Viaduct Structures


  • The International Concrete Abstracts Portal is an ACI led collaboration with leading technical organizations from within the international concrete industry and offers the most comprehensive collection of published concrete abstracts.

International Concrete Abstracts Portal


Title: Performance of Buried-Type Expansion Joints in Composite Viaduct Structures

Author(s): A. R. Price

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 70


Appears on pages(s): 311-333

Keywords: bitumens; bituminous concretes; bridge decks; control joints; dynamic loads; field tests; highways; joint (junctions); moving loads; performance; temperature; viaducts.

Date: 1/1/1981

In the United Kingdom normal gap-graded dense bituminous surfacing is usually laid on bridge decks. At the expansion gap, below pavement (buried) joints have been widely used to provide a smooth and continuous running surface and for ease of resurfacing. On all-concrete structures this type of joint has been used successfully but on steel/concrete composite decks there have been premature failures, particularly when there is a large volume of commercial vehicles. A survey and field trials investigated the factors influencing the performance and the requirements for buried joints. Measurements established that dynamic traffic loading produced movements and rotations at the expansion gap that were detrimental to the performance of buried joints, particularly on composite structures. It was also found that restraints at the bearings lower the centre of rotation and so increased the joint opening. The survey showed that only limited improvements in joint performance could be obtained from modifications to the design. Trials were therefore made on a 600m length of motorway viaduct with modified surfacings. It was found that a rubberised bitumen and a high penetration bitumen both showed a substantial improvement compared with normal bitumen. Delays caused one carriageway of the trial to be laid in cold, wet and frosty conditions and the subsequent performance was very inferior to the carriageway laid in dry warm weather. Workmanship and weather during laying both have a major effect on the behaviour of the joint. Alternative types of joint with flexible surfacing materials which are able to absorb all joint movements gave a good performance where conventional buried joints have proved unsatisfactory