Influence of reinforcement on the behavior of concrete bridge deck slabs reinforced with FRP bars

Sherif El-Gamal, Ehab El-Salakawy, Brahim Benmokrane*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents the results of an experimental study to investigate the role of each layer of reinforcement on the behavior of concrete bridge deck slabs reinforced with fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) bars. Four full-scale concrete deck slabs of 3,000 mm length by 2,500 mm width and 200 mm depth were constructed and tested in the laboratory. One deck slab was reinforced with top and bottom mats of glass FRP bars. Two deck slabs had only a bottom reinforcement mat with different reinforcement ratios in the longitudinal direction, while the remaining deck slab was constructed with plain concrete without any reinforcement. The deck slabs were supported on two steel girders spaced at 2,000 mm center to center and were tested to failure under a central concentrated load. The three reinforced concrete slabs had very similar behavior and failed in punching shear mode at relatively high load levels, whereas the unreinforced slab behaved differently and failed at a very low load level. The experimental punching capacities of the reinforced slabs were compared to the theoretical predictions provided by ACI 318-05, ACI 440.1R-06, and a model proposed by the writers. The tests on the four deck slabs showed that the bottom transverse reinforcement layer has the major influence on the behavior and capacity of the tested slabs. In addition, the ACI 318-05 design method slightly overestimated the punching shear strength of the tested slabs. The ACI 440.1R-06 design method yielded very conservative predictions whereas the proposed method provided reasonable yet conservative predictions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-458
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Composites for Construction
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Bridge decks
  • Bridges, concrete
  • Concrete slabs
  • Concrete, reinforced
  • Fiber reinforced polymers
  • Reinforcement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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