Composite action and adhesive bond between fiber- reinforced polymer bridge decks and main girders

Herbert Gürtler, Thomas Keller
Journal paper

This paper describes the behavior of hybrid girders consisting of fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) bridge decks adhesively connected to steel main girders. Two large-scale girders were experimentally investigated at the serviceability and ultimate limit state as well as at failure. One of the girders was additionally fatigue loaded to 10 million cycles. Compared to the behavior of a reference steel girder, deflections of the two girders at the SLS were decreased by 30% and failure loads increased by 56% due to full composite action in the adhesive layer. A ductile failure mode occurred: Deck compression failure during yielding of the steel girder. The adhesive connections were able to prevent buckling of the yielding top steel flanges. Thus, compared to the reference steel girder, the maximum deflections at failure could be increased up to 130%. No deterioration due to fatigue loading was observed. Based on the experimental results, a conceptual design method for bonded FRP/steel girders was developed. The proposed method is based on the well- established design method for hybrid girders with concrete decks and shear stud connections. The necessary modifications are proposed. © ASCE

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