American Society of Civil Engineers


Behavior of Bridge Asphalt Plug Joints under Thermal and Traffic Loads


by Philip Park, Ph.D., (Student, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Univ. of Michigan, 2350 Hayward, GG Brown Bldg., Ann Arbor, MI 48109. E-mail: parkph@umich.edu), Sherif El-Tawil, (corresponding author), (Professor, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Univ. of Michigan, 2350 Hayward, GG Brown Bldg., Ann Arbor, MI 48109 E-mail: eltawil@umich.edu), Sang-Yeol Park, (Professor, Dept. of Civil Engineering, Cheju National Univ., 690-756, Jeju-do, Jeju City, Jejudaehakro 66, Republic of Korea. E-mail: sypark@cheju.ac.kr), and Antoine E. Naaman, (Professor, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Univ. of Michigan, 2350 Hayward, GG Brown Bldg., Ann Arbor, MI 48109. E-mail: naaman@umich.edu)

Journal of Bridge Engineering, Vol. 15, No. 3, May/June 2010, pp. 250-259, (doi:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)BE.1943-5592.0000056)

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: An asphalt plug joint (APJ) is a type of expansion joint providing quick, easy, and cheap installation along with good surface flatness. However, APJs are known to suffer from premature failure, and their behavior, especially under thermal movement, has not yet been fully established. In this paper, the behavior of a typical APJ subjected to thermal and traffic loads is examined through a series of finite element analyzes employing a temperature-dependent viscoplastic material model. The material parameters are calibrated by using previously published test data, and the model is validated by comparing simulated responses to APJ test data. The developed models are then used to investigate stress and strain distributions, vulnerable locations to cracking failure, and local demands at those locations when a prototype APJ is subjected to various loading and temperature conditions. Sensitivity studies are also conducted to quantify the effect of debonding the bottom of the APJ and loading rate. The model results shed light about APJ response under traffic and thermal loading and provide new, fundamental information that can be used to improve the durability of APJs. For example, the simulation results suggest that intentionally debonding the interface between the gap plate and the APJ is a practical and low cost solution to mitigate the risk of premature APJ failure.


ASCE Subject Headings:
Asphalts
Bridges
Joints
Thermal factors
Failures
Cracking
Fatigue

Author Keywords:
Asphalt
Bridge
Plug joint
Expansion joint
Thermal
Failure
Cracking
Fatigue