Evaluation of Bridge Deck Patching Materials

Open Access
Cervo, Nicholas Michael
Graduate Program:
Civil Engineering
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
Committee Members:
  • Andrea Schokker, Thesis Advisor
  • bridge repair
  • patching materials
  • bridge deck
The deterioration of bridge decks in Pennsylvania is becoming an increasing concern. With the abundance of recent media coverage on bridge collapses, and the poor state of the nation’s infrastructure, keeping the roads and bridges in safe, working condition has come to the forefront of the public’s attention. With this public safety in mind, it is of the utmost importance, to properly repair bridge decks that have deteriorated over time. When deterioration is beyond repair, a full deck replacement is warranted, but if the deterioration only occurs in some portions of the deck, there is another option. The deteriorated concrete in those areas can be removed, and rapid setting patching materials can be placed in its stead. These rapid setting patching materials set quickly and achieve high early strength, allowing the bridges to reopen quickly after repair. Unfortunately, many of these patching materials have proven themselves to be ineffective in the long run, due to heavy traffic loadings and vibration issues. Therefore, it is necessary to test a variety of these patching materials that are on the market to determine their overall effectiveness. By testing six of these materials with standard ASTM tests, material properties such as compressive strength, shrinkage, coefficient of thermal expansion, bond strength, resistance to freeze-thaw deterioration, and time of setting can be determined. From this information, the best two candidates can be established, and further testing can be performed on them. This additional testing includes determining the material’s corrosion resistance, abrasion resistance, as well as the ability of the patch to resist separation from the base concrete. From this testing, recommendations on which patching material should be used in future repairs can be made.