Carbon Fiber Shear Reinforcement for Prestressed Bridge Girders

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CAIT project no.: CAIT-UTC-NC2

Fiscal Year: 2013/2014

Status: Final

Rutgers-CAIT Author(s): Carin Roberts-Wollmann, Ph.D., Virginia Tech, Patrick Szary, Ph.D., CAIT

External Author(s): Mike Brown, Virginia Center for Transportation Innovation and Research, Andy Zickler, Virginia Department of Transportation

Sponsor(s): USDOT-FHWA, Virginia Center for Transportation Innovation and Research


This research will determine the relative merits and design philosophy of several carbon fiber shear reinforcement schemes for pretensioned, prestressed concrete girders. The primary use of carbon fiber shear reinforcement would be in bridge girders prestressed with carbon fiber prestressing strands. This is done to provide a completely non-metallic reinforcement system, and , therefore, to provide for a longer girder life. The project will begin with a thorough literature and state-of-the-practice review. Based on this review, the three most promising reinforcement methods will be selected for further study. In addition, a design methodology for each reinforcement scheme will be developed. Square, reinforced concrete panels (mimicking the web area near the end of a full sized prestressed girder) will be fabricated with each of the three reinforcement methods so that a direct comparison of construction and design issues can be made. The panels will be tested in direct shear with load, deflections, and strains at critical locations continuously recorded. The behavior of the panels at both service load and strength will be observed and recorded. The project will conclude with developing fabrication and design recommendations for use by the VDOT and other state agencies.