A Systematic Investigation of Shear Connections Between Full-Depth Precast Panels and Precast Prestressed Bridge Girders



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Full-depth precast panels are used in concrete bridges to provide several benefits such as faster construction, lower cost and reduced constructional hazard. However, one construction drawback is that connectors are required to transmit horizontal shear across the interface between the girder and deck. Shear connector performance is characterized by a series of experiments performed on part of a bridge system that mimics a full-depth precast deck on concrete girder with a pocket-connector-haunch system. Following initial breakaway of the adhesive bond within the haunch region, the specimens slide with frictional resistance provided by the clamping force of the anchor bolt. This leads to bolt yield with an observed sliding friction coefficient of 0.8 (+/- 20%) with lower values occurring at higher displacements. It is concluded that for a viable connector system to be developed a key feature is to have sufficient stirrups in the neighborhood of the anchor bolt to form a non-contact splice and to ensure the high pull-out force can be sustained without leading to premature beam failure. The successful implementation of a full-depth precast deck-panel system requires the use of a viable design methodology that properly accounts for system behavior. The design of a deck-haunch-girder system uses a truss modeling approach to design for the shear forces created by service loading. The truss model approach is considered more suitable for a concrete member due to the premise that the member will be substantially cracked at an ultimate limit state and that traditional beam theory does not account for the decreased ability of shear stresses to transfer across open cracks. Experimental results from Chapter II, such as the friction coefficient mu, are used along with a previously developed crack angle model to layout the geometry of the truss within a deck-panel span. Design solutions are presented utilizing the Rock Creek Bridge in Parker County, Texas as an example structure.