Use of All Lightweight Concrete in Conjunction with UHPC Connection for Prefabricated Barrier System

Project Information
Link to the Latest: September 2021 Progress Report

Background:
Barriers are one of the essential components in bridges to ensure safety for vehicles and redirect the errant vehicles passing over bridges. Several attempts were taken place to develop prefabricated barriers with connection to the bridge deck using post-tensioned thread rods and stainless-steel bars. However, those connections are associated with higher cost and durability issues. A new prefabricated barrier system utilizing UHPC connection to deck overhangs was developed under an on-going project [ABC-UTC-2016-C3-FIU05]. To further enhance the developed prefabricated barrier system, the barriers, in this proposed project, will be fabricated from all lightweight concrete with a unit weight of 100 pounds per cubic yard. The use of all lightweight concrete in barriers and in some cases bridge overhangs provides a reduction in the total weight of the barriers by almost 33% allowing the transportation of more barrier units on one truck and easy handling. Furthermore, in seismic regions, lighter barrier contributes to a lesser total mass of bridge superstructures which is beneficial in many cases. In this project, two barriers, made of all lightweight concrete, will be tested under static load test setup and the results will be compared to the specimens which are being tested under project number [ABC-UTC-2016-C3-FIU05].

Objective:
1- Verification of the suitability of the developed UHPC connection for all-lightweight concrete barrier systems,

2- Conducting detailed finite element modeling on the proposed all-lightweight concrete barrier system and connections,

3- Conducting experimental work on the proposed prefabricated/all lightweight concrete barriers with UHPC connections,

4- Assessment of the performance of prefabricated/all-lightweight concrete barriers with UHPC connections if compared to barriers made of normal concrete (prefabricated and cast-in-place barrier), and

5- Developing detailed finite element models for the proposed all-lightweight concrete barriers with UHPC connections for better understanding of system performance, therefore, extending the study to analyze other specimens which will not be possibly tested.

Scope:
Task 1– Verification of the proposed UHPC connection for all-lightweight concrete barrier systems
Task 2– Preliminarily finite element modeling for the proposed all-lightweight concrete barrier system
Task 3– Construction and Experimental work
Task 4 – Assessment of the performance of the proposed prefabricated/all lightweight concrete barrier system
Task 5 – Final Report

Research Team:
Principal Investigator: Atorod Azizinamini
Co-Principal Investigator: Islam M. Mantawy
Research Assistant: Muhammad Atif Anwer

Previous Progress Reports: