Thin Polymer Wearing Surfaces for Preventive Maintenance of Bridge Decks


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Title: Thin Polymer Wearing Surfaces for Preventive Maintenance of Bridge Decks

Author(s): P. D. Carter

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 137


Appears on pages(s): 29-48

Keywords: bonding; bridge decks; corrosion; cracking (fracturing); deicers; deterioration; maintenance; permeability; plastics, polymers and resins; reinforcing bars; repairs; service life; skid resistance; Materials Research

Date: 6/1/1993

Discusses the lessons learned from 66 Alberta bridge sites, where thin polymer wearing surfaces have been placed by contractors on existing concrete bridge decks. The repair is intended to be a retrofit surface membrane designed as preventive maintenance for use on existing decks where deterioration has not progressed too far. It is intended to reduce the rate of deterioration caused by the penetration of chlorides and water to extend the service life of the bridge deck. The climatic exposure conditions of the decks vary from deck temperatures of 45 C to -45 C and average freeze-thaw cycles from 69 to 135 per year. Case histories are presented from the 87,000 m 2 of installed polymer wearing surface systems. Permeability, skid resistance, and CSE test data are reported as a measure of the success of the systems in stabilizing reinforcing bar corrosion in salt-contaminated existing decks. Observations are made on the cause and prevention of typical localized failures and their frequency of occurrence at typical sites. Comments on life expectancy and cost are presented, based on actual performance in a severe climate.