Samuel Lewis

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Civil Engineering

Major Professor

Zhongguo Ma

Committee Members

Edwin Burdette, Qiuhong Zhao


This thesis presents the experimental investigation of two joint details for use in precast bridge deck systems. U-bar and headed bar joint details were developed for use in accelerated construction applications. Both details, in practice, would consist of staggered protruding reinforcement that would allow for the anchorage of the precast deck component into the joint. Six specimens containing the joint details were constructed and tested. Three specimens were tested in flexure to simulate the forces that would be experienced in a longitudinal deck joint, and three specimens were tested in tension to simulate the forces that would be experienced in a transverse joint over an interior pier. The three specimens of each test type consisted of one specimen containing the headed bar detail and two specimens containing the u-bar detail. The u-bar detail was tested utilizing two materials, welded wire reinforcement and stainless steel reinforcement. Welded wire reinforcement and stainless steel reinforcement were used for the u-bar detail due to their ductility which was needed to fabricate the tight bend (3db) used in the detail. The tight bend was used to minimize the thickness of the deck. The main objective of the testing was to determine if the joint details could create a precast deck system that could emulate the monolithic behavior of the predominately used cast-in-place deck systems. To achieve monolithic behavior in a precast deck system the joints must be able to transfer shear and tension forces as well as moments. The second objective of this investigation was to determine the best performing detail for further investigation. The additional investigation of the best performing joint detail would then be the first step in creating standard design guidelines and details to ease the future implementation of joints for precast bridge deck systems.

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