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Design of Shear Pocket Connections in Full-Depth Precast Concrete Bridge Deck Systems

Raed Tawadrous, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The use of full-depth precast concrete deck systems in bridge construction has been increasing in recent years due to their high production quality, reduced construction duration and its impact on traveling public. Precast concrete deck systems can be either composite or non-composite with the supporting steel/concrete girders. Composite systems are more common due to their superior structural performance and reduced overall superstructure depth and cost. Most of the composite systems require the use of clustered shear connectors to simplify panel production and erection. Current bridge design codes do not provide specific procedures/criteria for designing full-depth precast concrete deck systems, specifically those with shear pockets and clustered shear connectors. Instead, these connections are designed on a case-by-case basis by either conducting necessary testing or adopting the design procedures/criteria developed primarily for cast-in-place concrete deck systems. Shear pocket connections formed using hollow steel sections (HSS) provide a promising solution for connecting precast concrete deck panels to the supporting girders due to their superior structural performance and simplicity of fabrication. The main objective of this research is to develop procedures/criteria for designing HSS-formed shear pockets with clustered shear connectors for full-depth precast concrete deck systems. These procedures/criteria will assist in sizing shear connectors, selecting shear pocket dimensions and HSS thickness, and determining pocket anchorage and reinforcement necessary to maximize the connection capacity while allowing adequate construction tolerance. Experimental investigation (push-off testing) and finite element analysis (FEA) were performed to validate the developed design procedures/criteria. Analysis and testing results validated the adequacy of the developed design procedures/criteria for HSS-formed shear pocket connections. In addition, the results of 162 push-off tests conducted by the author and others obtained from the literature were used to check the feasibility of using current interface shear prediction models provided by AASHTO LRFD, fib MC 2010, Eurocode-2, and CSA-S6 design codes. Comparisons indicated that existing code provisions are applicable for predicting interface shear resistance of clustered shear connectors with different levels of accuracy.

Subject Area

Engineering|Civil engineering

Recommended Citation

Tawadrous, Raed, "Design of Shear Pocket Connections in Full-Depth Precast Concrete Bridge Deck Systems" (2017). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI10285994.