Field Performance Laboratory Simulation Tests for and Bridge Sealers

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Title: Field Performance Laboratory Simulation Tests for and Bridge Sealers

Author(s): George S. Kozlov

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 70

Issue:

Appears on pages(s): 335-351

Keywords: bridge decks; durability; joint sealers; joints (junctions); laboratory tests; manufacturing; performance tests; plastics, polymers and resins; quality control; resilience; rubber; seepage; specifications.

Date: 1/1/1981

Abstract:
The purpose of this research effort was to develop a realistic material specification closely related to the actual field performance of sealers. It succeeded in developing a method for testing the life expectancy of subject sealers by measuring the loss of sealer resiliency due to continuous simulated bridge end movements induced by actual environmental changes. Data gathered through such testing has established that the quality of preformed sealers is significantly nonuniform. This deficiency is believed to be a consequence of a general lack of sufficient uniformity in the production of synthetic rubber products. As a result of these and numerous other laboratory tests, it was determined that the current sealer specification, although having served to insure product quality on many occasions, evidently has failed in a significant number of instances to identify a sealer's total inadequacy for its intended purpose. However, the research indicated that, except for the addition of the compression set test and an upgrading of the minimum pressure requirement, most physical requirements in the subject specification cannot be improved. Unfortunately, the ultimate solution to the critical problem of identifying adequate sealers for bridge decks remains essentially unestablished. The task of quality assurance, therefore, still rests for the most part with the sealer manufacturers and their rubber specialists.