New steel-concrete connection for prefabricated composite bridges
An investigation of a new type of connection between precast concrete decks and steel girders, for composite steel-concrete bridges, is being performed by the Steel Structures Laboratory, ICOM, of Ecole Polytechinque Federal de Lausanne, EPFL. The connection resists the loads by shear resistance between base materials. Hence, a fundamental part of the research focuses on the behaviour of the different confined interfaces of the connection, subjected to shear, static and fatigue loading. The confinement is a combined outcome of the kinematic law of the interfaces and the section geometry. Experimental investigation through a series of direct shear tests on confined interfaces has resulted in the development of failure criteria and constitutive and kinematic models describing the behaviour of the different interfaces. Those laws are used as an input for a model that simulates the connection behaviour. The model of the connection is validated by push-out tests on large-scale specimens. Finally, a composite beam has been tested under constant amplitude for five million cycles. A static test, following the fatigue sequence, has shown that the composite beam reaches its plastic moment capacity due to the sufficient ductility of the connection.