Continuous Composite-Bridge Model Tests

by Paul W. Botzler, (A.M.ASCE), Struct. Engr.; Tamarack Corp., Glen Arm, Md.; formerly, Grad. Research Asst., Civ. Engrg. Dept., Univ. of Maryland, College Park, Md.,
James Colville, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof.; Civ. Engrg. Dept., Univ. of Maryland, College Park, Md.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 9, Pg. 1741-1755

Document Type: Journal Paper


The results of ultimate-load tests on two continuous-span composite slab-girder bridge models are presented. One of the models was a three-girder two-span structure and the other was a three-girder three-span structure. Both models were tested to failure with a single concentrated load applied over the center girder. The purpose of the tests was to determine the variations in both the distribution of moment throughout the structures and the effective widths of slab acting with each girder as the load is increased to failure. The experimental results are compared with an existing analytical procedure and a major conclusion is that the analytical procedure may be used to conservatively model actual bridge structures up to failure loads. In addition, it is concluded that effective widths and distribution factors at failure loads are significantly different from values obtained at service loads. The implications of the latter observations in bridge design are discussed.

Subject Headings: Failure loads | Failure analysis | Bridge tests | Structural models | Structural failures | Load tests | Load distribution | Service loads

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