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Evaluation of deteriorated reinforced concrete channel beam bridge decks retrofit with glass fibre reinforced polymers Ross, Sherrill L.


There are several highway bridges in British Columbia constructed of reinforced concrete channel beam sections. These beams were a standard section used for highway bridge construction in British Columbia in the late 1950s and early 1960s. With years of use, these channel beam bridges have deteriorated. Because of this damage, the existing strength of these bridges has been questioned. Bridges with excessive deterioration must either be replaced or repaired. Replacing all of the channel beam bridges in British Columbia will be very expensive. If these bridges can be repaired rather than replaced there will be a significant cost saving for the taxpayers of British Columbia. One possible retrofit alternative is to repair reinforced concrete channel beam bridges using glass fibre reinforced polymers (GFRP). GFRP consists of thin diameter fiberglass reinforcing fibres in a polymer matrix. The use of GFRP for structural repair is relatively new. GFRP has the potential to be an effective retrofit material for these structures because of its high strength and stiffness, low specific weight, and resistance to corrosion. This study presents an evaluation of deteriorated reinforced concrete channel beam highway bridges retrofit with different types of GFRP. The use of two different types of GFRP retrofit materials are investigated including a traditional GFRP wrap, and a new GFRP spray material. The structural response of channel beam bridge decks with and without GFRP retrofit is found from an experimental program, finite element analysis, and design calculations. The effects of the two different types of GFRP on bridge deck structural properties are compared to non-retrofit bridge decks based on experimental and analytical results. Study results are also used to provide a comparison between the two different types of GFRP retrofit material. The accuracy of design calculation procedures for determining structural properties of GFRP retrofit channel beams is also determined in this study by comparing design calculation and experimental values. Based on the results of this study, recommendations regarding retrofitting British Columbia's channel beam highway bridges with GFRP are made.

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