Field destructive testing of a reinforced concrete bridge deck slab
Journal article, 2020

Many bridge deck slabs in Europe are rated insufficient load-carrying capacity in shear and punching according to the Eurocodes. In the past, assessment models have mainly been developed from laboratory studies that simplified real-world conditions. Large-scale or full-scale field experiments are needed to validate more recent improved models. The goal of this study is to calibrate improved models using data obtained from a full-scale bridge deck slab shear test; the objective is to exploit and share our findings and to make recommendations for the planning, design, and implementation of such a complex experiment. Full-scale destructive tests of a 55-year-old reinforced concrete bridge deck slab on prestressed concrete girders were conducted to calibrate a model used to assess existing bridges. Concrete properties were also tested to evaluate the condition of the bridge. Results show that both the load-carrying capacity of the bridge deck slab and the strength of the concrete were much greater than were assumed in design. Finite-element analysis of the parameters governing loading positions and prestress in the girders showed that arch action and boundary condition simplification had important effects on shear distribution.

Shear and punching

Field destructive test

Full-scale bridge

RC bridge deck slab


Jiangpeng Shu

Zhejiang University

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering

Niklas Bagge

Luleå University of Technology

Jonny Nilimaa

Luleå University of Technology

Journal of Bridge Engineering

1084-0702 (ISSN)

Vol. 25 9 04020067

Subject Categories

Applied Mechanics

Infrastructure Engineering

Building Technologies



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