Static and Dynamic Testing of a Concrete T-Beam Bridge Before and After Carbon Fiber–Reinforced Polymer Retrofit

Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board
Design of Structures 2006
March 3, 2006

Catbas, F.N., Grimmelsman, K.A.Ciloglu, S.K., Burgos-Gil, I. and Coll-Borgo, M.

This paper summarizes the design and execution of field studies to improve the performance of a deteriorated bridge through the use of carbon fiber–reinforced polymer (CFRP) material. The objective of the CFRP retrofit was to extend the life of Bridge 2028 in Cayey, Puerto Rico, by increasing its load rating. Field testing before and after the retrofit was performed to evaluate objectively improvement in load capacity and stiffness. The field testing program included both static load tests and dynamic tests. The first set of field tests was conducted in November 2002 to capture baseline bridge performance characteristics before the retrofit. The CFRP retrofit was installed in October 2003, and a second set of nearly identical field tests was performed in August 2004. The test results indicated that the retrofit increased the bending stiffness of the bridge by 15% and decreased the tensile strains in the bottom rebars of the concrete T-beams by about 13%. Furthermore, the maximum rebar strains under a heavy truck load case were only 10% of the yield strength after the retrofit. The change in stiffness determined from static deflection measurements was well correlated with the stiffness change determined from the dynamic tests. The field testing program showed that the CFRP retrofit was successful in improving the mechanical behavior of the bridge. The long-term performance and durability of the CFRP retrofit could be affected by a number of parameters such as local environmental conditions. The field testing program is to be periodically repeated; alternatively, a continuous monitoring program could be implemented to evaluate objectively the long-term performance and durability of the CFRP retrofit.

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