Bridge Deck Deterioration and Crack Control

by Joseph P. Callahan, Res. Engr.; Union Carbide Corp., Oak Ridge National Lab., Oak Ridge, TN,
James L. Lott, (A.M.ASCE), Materials Research Engineer; U.S. Army Constr. Engrg. Res. Lab., Champaign, IL,
Clyde E. Kesler, (F.ASCE), Prof. of Theoretical and Appl. Mech. and of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, IL,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1970, Vol. 96, Issue 10, Pg. 2021-2036

Document Type: Journal Paper


An evaluation is made of bridge deck survey findings and laboratory research data in order to characterize the most common types of bridge deck deterioration. Possible causes are identified from the findings of published bridge deck surveys. The most widely accepted mechanisms of deterioration and related results of research on concrete fracture are described. The thermal incommpatibility mechanism and structural cracking mechanism are introduced to explain certain laboratory tests results and observed bridge deck deterioration. The use of revibration, nonrusting reinforcement; polymerized concrete, mixes with improved resistance to early cracking, and the adoption of improved methods of mixture quality control and aggregate selection are suggested as possible preventatives.

Subject Headings: Bridge decks | Bridge tests | Laboratory tests | Deterioration | Cracking | Reinforced concrete | Geomatic surveys | Thermal effects

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