Foundation, Concrete and Earthquake Engineering

Concrete for Prefabricated Bridge Elements and Systems

Concrete is a construction material which is formed due to cementitious action of cementitious materials (like cement,slag cement etc.) with both coarse aggregate and fine aggregate in presence of water and in some special cases, chemical admixtures. . Concrete is used to make pavements, pipe, architectural structures, foundations, motorways/roads, bridges/overpasses, parking structures, brick/block walls, footings for gates, fences and poles and even boats. Besides this regular construction approach concrete is now used in prefabricated elements like Bridge Elements and Systems. 

Mechanical connection between pier and girder
Concrete is a popular material for prefabrication and accelerated construction projects. The ability to build elements off site in virtually any shape makes this material a prime choice for designers. Common prefabricated concrete elements include beams and girders, full depth deck slabs, and pier caps. Several states have built entire bridges using precast concrete elements including pier columns, abutment stems, footings, and retaining walls. 

Concrete is also used for making connections between different prefabricated bridge elements. These connections often require the use of high early strength concrete to allow for accelerated construction processes. 

Precast concrete inverted T beam
Durability is a major concern of bridge owners. The new generation of high performance concretes offer durability that far exceeds the performance of past concretes. Plant produced precast concrete also has the advantage of being constructed in a controlled environment with higher production and curing standards than normally found in the field. This benefit of accelerated construction projects is often overlooked by designers.
mPrecast Bridge

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