A Comment on the Use of Polymer-Impregnated Concrete in Bridge Decks to Achieve a Reduction in Material Volume and First Cost

Report No: 75-R68

Published in 1975

About the report:

Three 180', simple span, composite plate girder structures were designed to approximate the material requirements and first cost associated with a polymer-impregnated concrete as compared to those for a conventional concrete bridge deck. The structures were designed by the working stress method, and although the AASHTO code was applied where applicable, some assumptions were made in the design of the polymer-impregnated deck. The results indicate that by using polymer-impregnated concrete rather than conventional concrete in a bridge deck, material requirements may be altered as follows, depending upon the assumptions and specifications applied in the design. 1. Deck concrete: 0 to 41% less, 2. Deck reinforcing steel: 0 to 115% more, 3. Structural steel: 0 to 16% less, 4. Substructure: 0 to 17% less. Assuming that polymer-impregnated concrete costs about twice as much as conventional concrete, the structures with a polymer deck cost from 0.5% less to 10.5% more than the structure with a conventional deck. Based on these findings it appears that the material savings that can be achieved by using polymer-impregnated concrete in a bridge deck may tend to offset the high unit cost of the concrete, but not enough to justify its use on a first cost basis. However, performance specifications for concrete polymer materials must be developed before an accurate determination of material savings can be made.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


Other Authors

Michael M. Sprinkel, P.E.

Last updated: February 5, 2024

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