Analysis of an Orthotropic Deck Stiffened with a Cement-Based Overlay

Rasmus Walter, John Forbes Olesen, Henrik Stang, Tina Vejrum

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    Over the past years, with increasing traffic volumes and higher wheel loads, fatigue damage in steel parts of typical orthotropic steel bridge decks has been experienced on heavily trafficked routes. A demand exists to find a durable system to increase the fatigue safety of orthotropic steel bridge decks. A solution might be to enhance the stiffness of the traditional orthotropic bridge deck by using a cement-based overlay. In this paper, an orthotropic steel bridge deck stiffened with a cement-based overlay is analyzed. The analysis is based on nonlinear fracture mechanics, and utilizes the finite-element method. The stiffness of the steel deck reinforced with an overlay depends highly on the composite action. The composite action is closely related to cracking of the overlay and interfacial cracking between the overlay and underlying steel plate (debonding). As an example, a real size structure, the Farø bridges located in Denmark, are analyzed. The steel box girders of the Farø bridges spans 80 m, and have a depth of 3.5 m, and a width of 19.5 m. The focus of the present study is the top part of the steel box girders, which is constructed as an orthotropic deck plate. Numerous factors can influence the cracking behavior of the cement-based overlay system. Both mechanical and environmental loading have to be considered, and effects such as shrinkage, temperature gradients, and traffic loading are taken into account. The performance of four overlay materials are investigated in terms of crack widths. Furthermore, the analysis shows that debonding is initiated for a certain crack width in the overlay. The load level where cracking and debonding is initiated depends on the stress-crack opening relationship of the material.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Bridge Engineering
    Issue number3
    Pages (from-to)350-363
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


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