Jiongfeng Zhao, Yang Zhang, Yanyue Qin

Numerical and Experimental Studies on Crack Resistance of Ultra-High-Performance Concrete Decorative Panels for Bridges

  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • General Engineering
  • Instrumentation
  • General Materials Science

This study develops a new type of decorative bridge panel by ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC) based on the project of the Guangyangwan Bridge. First, the numerical analysis was carried out using MIDAS and ABAQUS to find the critical position of the bridge and decorative panels. The numerical results showed that the last concrete cantilever segment had the greatest vertical deflection, and the corresponding panel had the greatest stress response. Based on the numerical results, this study conducted a series of full-scale, self-balanced bending tests to examine the crack resistance of six UHPC panels and six glass fiber-reinforced concrete (GRC) panels with varying curved section thicknesses (from 25 to 40 mm). The experimental results indicate that, due to the high strength of the UHPC matrix and the wall effect of steel fiber distribution, the crack resistance of UHPC panels is significantly superior to that of GRC panels. UHPC panels possessed superior stiffness and ductility, while GRC panels showed brittle fracture when the curved section thickness reached 34 mm. The uniaxial tensile cracking strength of UHPC with a steel fiber volume fraction of 1.6% was 14.7% greater than that of GRC with a glass fiber volume fraction of 5%. At the same curved section thicknesses, UHPC decorative panels exhibit cracking loads and ultimate loads that are 64.3% to 123.0% and 29.2% to 115.0% greater than GRC panels, respectively. Hence, UHPC is more suitable to produce ultra-thin decorative panels for bridges that are subjected to severe environmental action and external forces.

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