Conception and Justification of a New Test Setup for Assessment of the Fatigue Strength of Connections Between Precast Railway Bridge Girders

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Frutuoso Sousa
Carlos Sousa
Pedro Delgado
António Arêde
Nelson Vila Pouca

Abstract

Important investments have been made worldwide in the modernization and construction of railway lines. Plans for new constructions have also been laid out. Recently, precast concrete has been widely employed in the construction of railway bridges and viaducts. Several precast solutions have been applied, namely: I-shaped or U-shaped precast girders and uni-cellular or bi-cellular precast box girders.  Regarding the structural scheme in the longitudinal direction, either simple span or continuous decks have been used.  In this context, this work aims to contribute to the knowledge about the real performance of these structures through the development of a laboratory tests setup, for the study of this type of structure, focusing on the connection between the precast beams. The setup will be implemented at the Laboratory of Earthquake and Structural Engineering (LESE), several experimental campaigns on the cyclic behaviour of reinforced concrete elements have been carried out.

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