Analysis, prediction, and case studies of early-age cracking in bridge decks
Early-age cracking can adversely affect strength, serviceability, and durability of concrete bridge decks. Early age is defined as the period after final setting, during which concrete properties change rapidly. Many factors can cause early-age bridge deck cracking including temperature change, hydration, plastic shrinkage, autogenous shrinkage, and drying shrinkage. The cracking may also increase the effect of freeze and thaw cycles and may lead to corrosion of reinforcement. This research paper presents an analysis of causes and factors affecting early-age cracking. It also provides a tool developed to predict the likelihood and initiation of early-age cracking of concrete bridge decks. Understanding the concrete properties is essential so that the developed tool can accurately model the mechanisms contributing to the cracking of concrete bridge decks. The user interface of the implemented computer Excel program enables the user to input the properties of the concrete being monitored. The research study and the developed spreadsheet were used to comprehensively investigate the issue of concrete deck cracking. The spreadsheet is designed to be a user-friendly calculation tool for concrete mixture proportioning, temperature prediction, thermal analysis, and tensile cracking prediction. The study also provides review and makes recommendations on the deck cracking based mainly on the Florida Department of Transportation specifications and Structures Design Guidelines, and Bridge Design Manuals of other states. The results were also compared with that of other commercially available software programs that predict early-age cracking in concrete slabs, concrete pavement, and reinforced concrete bridge decks. The outcome of this study can identify a set of recommendations to limit the deck cracking problem and maintain a longer service life of bridges.
International Journal of Advanced Structural Engineering
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
ElSafty, Graeff, M. K., El-Gharib, G., Abdel-Mohti, A., & Mike Jackson, N. (2016). Analysis, prediction, and case studies of early-age cracking in bridge decks. International Journal of Advanced Structural Engineering (IJASE), 8(2), 193–212. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40091-016-0123-z