Shear transfer between precast prestressed bridge beams and in-situ concrete crosshead in continuous structures
A detailed investigation was made to study the shear transfer between precast prestressed beams and in-situ concrete in a relatively new method of construction of continuous bridge decks where the ends of precast beams are connected to an integral in-situ crosshead away from the supports. Two series of tests were carried out. In the first series 1/3 scale models of the M. o. T, C&CA M-8 sections were used, and these were modified in the second series to study the effect of the beam's top flanges within the connection. One of the most important mechanisms of shear transfer proved to be the top flanges of the precast beam. For the precast beams with top flanges (first series), and with a 300mm beam embedment length, it was discovered that: a) The shear force is transferred from a small length at the end of the beam. b) The in-situ concrete nibs (concrete surrounding the web) can take this shear force without stirrups. c) There is no need either to project all the bars from the precast into the in-situ concrete or to prestress the connection transversely as a means of improving shear transfer. d) It was possible to transfer the whole shear force at the connection with a reduced embedment length of 100mm with nib stirrups. For the precast beam without top flanges, the transfer of the shear force at the connection required other improving details. In this respect transverse prestressing and web shear connectors were utilized effectively. The effect of projecting bars was also examined. In the general behaviour of composite continuous beams subjected to shear a detailed comparison was made between different Code predictions for the web cracking shear and web crushing strength. A mathematical model is also proposed to predict the stirrup stress according to shear span, effective depth and stirrup ratio when failure is controlled by web crushing. Stirrup stress measurement in the vicinity of continuous support made it possible to predict the enhanced shear strength and a design method is proposed for the continuous beams. A comparion is also made between different Code predictions in this respect. To obtain more information about the strength of web shear connectors used in the secod series, a separate dowel shear specimen was designed. Different interface conditions including bond, dowel bar size and strength and the effect of shrinkage were examined. A design method is proposed together with a comparison with different Code predictions.