Modern concretes for precast bridges

State of the art in Germany and internationally

Generally speaking, the use of precast elements in bridge construction is a tried-and-tested method, which, in Germany, is usually restricted to combining structural precast elements with cast-in-situ infill concrete (with only a few exceptions). On an international scale, however, other bridge construction techniques such as the segmental method play a major role. Precast elements are used for simple overpasses as well as large bridges across valleys and long-spanning structures composed of several bridge sections. Precast methods provide a high degree of prefabrication and production under controlled factory conditions, which is why they lead to additional benefits in terms of efficient utilization and shorter construction times, for instance when designing new structures to replace existing bridges. Various options exist for producing innovative types of concrete, which can be self-compacting and/or textile-reinforced whilst providing greater durability or mechanical strength, or belonging in the ultra-high-performance category. Such concretes open up additional opportunities and new potentials for using precast elements in bridge construction. This paper initially refers to the use of precast elements both in Germany and on an international scale, primarily outlining design principles and fields of application in international bridge construction. Furthermore, this paper presents the knowledge and expertise gained to date as well as current trends. Reference will also be made to first examples of pioneering applications in Germany whilst discussing current developments and design considerations with a view to utilizing modern types of concrete, focusing on ultra-high-performance, fiber-reinforced concrete. In this context, this paper discusses related benefits and disadvantages as well as prerequisites and conditions for meaningful use. In addition, it presents experimental investigations into precast prestressed UHPFRC bridge components that are currently underway at the Chair of Concrete and Masonry Structures at TU Munich.

Related articles:

Issue 2017-02 Potentials for the precast industry

Bridge construction with UHPFRC precast elements

Stringent requirements for bridge structures due to rising traffic volumes, accompanied by the age structure of bridges in Germany, are calling for fast construction of new and replacement structures....

more
Issue 2021-03 KLEIHUES BETONBAUTEILE

Faster construction with precast elements – Railway bridge near Steinfurt

The rehabilitation of railway bridges is generally focusing on one central objective: In order to reduce disruptions of the rail traffic to a minimum, the line closures, during which the rail traffic...

more
Issue 2021-12 KLEIHUES BETONBAUTEILE

Precast elements are a perfect match for architectural-landmark retaining walls

The single-span railroad crossing over the Nürnberg – Schirnding railroad line in Hersbruck, in Middle Franconia, Germany, spans Keller Street. The railroad crossing was erected in 1900 with a...

more
Issue 2020-12 ZEMENT+BETON

Global innovation in bridge construction

With the type of „folding bridge“ developed at TU Wien another Austrian innovation does exist that saves costs and time in the implementation of infrastructure projects. Two bridges are being...

more
Issue 2013-08 Research project of TU Vienna

Thin-walled precast concrete girders for bridge construction and civil engineering

In building and industrial construction, lattice-girder floor slabs and double-wall elements have been successfully used for years. These semi-precast elements of 5-7cm thickness serve as permanent...

more