Date of Award

Summer 2010

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Materials and Infrastructure Systems

First Advisor

Aziz Saber


The research presented herein describes the development of durable link slabs for jointless bridge decks based on using FRP grid for reinforcement. Specifically, the ductility of the FRP material was utilized to accommodate bridge deck deformations imposed by girder deflection, temperature variations, and concrete shrinkage. It would also provide a solution to a number of deterioration problems associated with bridge deck joints.

The design concept of the link slabs was then examined to form the basis of design for FRP grid link slabs. Improved design of FRP grid link slab/concrete deck slab interface was confirmed in the numerical analysis. The mechanical properties between the FRP grid and concrete were evaluated. The behavior of the link slab was investigated and confirmed for durability.

The results indicated that the technique would allow simultaneous achievement of structural need (lower flexural stiffness of the link slab approaching the behavior of a hinge) and durability need of the link slab. Also, the development length results confirm that the bond between the FRP grid and the concrete was highly improved. The overall investigation supports the contention that durable jointless concrete bridge decks may be designed and constructed with FRP grid link slabs. It is recommended that the link slab technique be used during new construction of the bridge decks and in repair and retrofit of the bridge decks.