Processing and performance of bridge deck subcomponents using two schemes of resin infusion

Department of Structural Engineering, MC-0085, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0085, USA
Composite Structures (Impact Factor: 3.32). 03/2001; 51(3):257-271. DOI: 10.1016/S0263-8223(00)00136-7


Due to their lightweight, ease of installation in the field, and potential life-cycle durability, fiber reinforced composites are increasingly being considered in applications such as replacement bridge decks. However, current costs associated with the fabrication of such decks are 4–5 times that of conventional reinforced concrete decks thus placing great importance on the development of cost-effective processes such as resin infusion. This paper describes results of a test program aimed at the assessment of two different resin infusion schemes for the fabrication of foam core filled truss-type bridge decks. Model flow studies and simple analytical procedures are used to assess flow phenomena. The results of process and performance comparisons show that although the use of a microgroove network can be more efficient than the use of a high-permeable medium, in terms of rate of infusion, and global structural performance may be comparable, there is a greater likelihood of defect formation. Process induced defect formation is different in the two schemes with the former having a higher susceptibility for localized effects. Defect types are identified, and comparisons of performance are made at both a local and global level.

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    • "It is estimated that with the use of road salt, the life of a conventional bridge deck is reduced to ten years. At this point, repair or replacement is required and this can be as high as 75% to 90% of the total annual maintenance cost of the structure (Karbhari et al, 2001). Current trends in North America have seen not only an increase in truckloads, but also an increase in the number of traffic lanes to meet the demands of a growing population. "
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