EXPERIMENTAL STUDY OF BEHAVIOUR AND STRENGTH OF SHEAR STUDS IN COMPOSITE BRIDGE DECK CONSTRUCTION
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Cast-in-place concrete in composite with steel sections is commonly used in bridge deck constructions. The shear transfer between the concrete and steel section is achieved by shear connectors and the strength calculation of conventional shear connectors, i.e. shear studs, is provided in various design codes in North America. Due to the fact that the strength equation is largely based on experimental results, the applicability of the equation is only warranted where the design matches the experimental configuration of the test specimens. Thus, the codes specify detailing requirement for the stud height and the elevation of the reinforcement mesh in relation to the stud height. However, these requirements, in particular, the elevation of the reinforcement mesh, may be difficult to meet accurately in construction practice. The implications of not meeting the mesh requirement to the strength of the shear stud and the remedy solutions are examined in this study. An experimental program involving the test of thirty-three push-out specimens was designed and conducted with a focus on the shear studs' performance. Testing parameters included reinforcement mesh position, shear stud height, presence of stud head, shear stud spacing, and steel flange surface treatment. In addition, the performance of a new type of shear studs, referred to as adjustable studs, was also studied experimentally. The ultimate load and load vs. slip curves were presented and discussed in the forms of tables and graphs. The failure modes were noted and the relationship between the failure modes and the ultimate capacity was discussed. Ultimate loads obtained from specimens were then used to assess the efficacy of code suggested values. Results showed that depending on the elevation of reinforcement mesh, three failure modes were observed including concrete related failure, combined concrete failure and bent studs and stud shear-off from the steel flange. The elevation of the reinforcement mesh had a significant effect on the ultimate load of the specimen. As the mesh elevation increased from intercepting the stud to being in flush with the top of the stud to above the stud, the ultimate load decreased. Specimens with unheaded shear studs had lower ultimate load than specimens with headed shear studs. Flange treatment had an impact on the ultimate load, where the coating on flanges resulted in a decrease in the ultimate load. Test results also showed that the close placement of the shear studs result in a reduction on the ultimate load when the other parameters were kept the same. In the comparison between conventional and adjustable shear studs, specimens with adjustable studs shared similar failure mode to those with conventional studs, but attained on average lower load capacity. The comparison with the code suggested values showed that the code suggested value is only ensured when double-layer reinforcement mesh is used and placed at code specified elevation. A single layer mesh intercepting the studs resulted in the ultimate load slightly lower than the code value. The code values for adjustable studs are markedly higher than the experimental value, which raises the question whether the code equation for conventional studs is directly transferrable to adjustable studs.