Innovative steel-UHPC composite bridge girders for long-span bridges
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Steel and steel-concrete composite girders are two types of girders commonly used for long-span bridges. However, practice has shown that the two types of girders have some drawbacks. For steel girders, the orthotropic steel deck (OSD) is vulnerable to fatigue cracking and the asphalt overlay is susceptible to damage such as rutting and pot holes. While for steel-concrete composite girders, the concrete deck is generally thick and heavy, and the deck is prone to cracking because of its low tensile strength and high creep. Thus, to improve the serviceability and durability of girders for long-span bridges, three new types of steel-UHPC lightweight composite bridge girders are proposed, where UHPC denotes ultra-high performance concrete. The first two types consist of an OSD and a thin UHPC layer while the third type consists of a steel beam and a UHPC waffle deck. Due to excellent mechanical behaviors and impressive durability of UHPC, the steel-UHPC composite girders have the advantages of light weight, high strength, low creep coefficient, low risk of cracking, and excellent durability, making them competitive alternatives for long-span bridges. To date, the proposed steel-UHPC composite girders have been applied to 14 real bridges in China. It is expected that the application of the new steel-UHPC composite girders on long-span bridges will have a promising future.
Keywordssteel-UHPC composite bridge girder long-span bridge orthotropic steel deck fatigue cracking durability
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The authors would like to thank the following funders for providing support to this research: the National Key Research and Development Program of China (No. 2018YFC0705400); the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 51778223 and 51708200); the Major Program of Science and Technology of Hunan Province (No. 2017SK1010).
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