Laminated Wood Deck System for Folded Plate Girder

Project Information
Link to Latest Report: September 2022 Progress Report

Folded plate girder (FPG) is a superstructure bridge system which involves a cold bend out of a single sheet of steel with an open bottom flange. The cold bend eliminates the costly and inconsistent shop weld found in traditional girders. The FPG concept works for both traditional construction and accelerated bridge construction (ABC). In traditional construction, formwork is needed along with the placement of deck reinforcement then the concrete is placed. In ABC, the deck slab is fabricated in the factory with transverse steel reinforcing bars extended outside the cured slab portion to form closure joint with adjacent deck slab then ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) is placed at closure joints. In order to reduce the construction time further, a laminated wood deck is suggested in this proposal in order to further accelerate the on-site construction. Many advantages can be achieved by integrating laminated wood deck with FPG such as lighter prefabricated modular unit, easy fabrication of the modular unit, reducing on-site construction by eliminated construction joints, and suitability for rural regions where heavy equipment or cranes are not accessible.

The main objectives of this project are:

  1. Developing a new deck system for FPG using laminated wood deck panels to reduce the modular weight, minimizing on-site constructions and field closure joints, and facilitate the use of FPG in rural areas where heavy equipment and cranes are not accessible.
  2. Conducting proof of concept experimental work on full-scale FPG with laminated wood deck.
  3. Assessment of the performance of the proposed deck system compared to a precast deck panel and traditional construction.
  4. Developing finite element models for the proposed section for better understanding of system performance, therefore, extending the study to analyze other specimens which will not be possibly tested

An overview of the study tasks is given below.

  • Task 1 –  Literature Review
    • In this task, a comprehensive literature review on a laminated wood deck and FPG will be conducted in order to identify the issues that may concern integrating laminated deck wood with FPG.
  • Task 2–Specimen Design and Preliminarily Analysis
    • In this task, the specimen dimension, test setup and instrumentation plan will be developed in addition to a preliminarily finite element model using ABAQUS software.
  • Task 3– Experimental Work for Large Scale Specimen
    • In this task, experimental work will be conducted on the proposed system including:
      1. Fatigue and cyclic loading test for the service life of the girder.
      2. Ultimate load test.
  • Task 4– Comparable Performance Assessment with Current Deck Systems for FPG
    • In this task, a comparison will be conducted for FPG with a laminated wood deck with prior results from testing FPG with full-depth deck panel. Finding from this comparison will be used to ensure the proposed system enhancement.
  • Task 5 –  Finite Element Modelling of the Tested Specimen
    • In this task, the developed preliminarily finite element model, from Task 2, will be revised to calibrate it with the experimental results. therefore, extending the study to analyze other specimens which will not be possibly tested
  • Task 6 –  Final Report
    • In this Task, Full assessment of the findings from Task 1 throughout Task 5 will be conducted and a report will be published including design recommendations of the proposed laminated wood deck for FPG

Research Team:
Principal Investigator:  Dr. Atorod Azizinamini
Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Islam Mantawy
Co-Principal Investigator: Ankitha Arvan
Graduate Assistant: Muhammad Faheem Afzal