Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Dr. David Garber

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Dr. Atorod Azizinamini

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Dr. Kingsley Lau

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Dr. Armin Mehrabi

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fifth Advisor's Name

Dr. Wallied Orabi

Fifth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


Shear Friction, Prefabricated Bridge Elements and Systems, Precast concrete, Sub-structure connection.

Date of Defense



Prefabricated Bridge Elements and Systems (PBES) are being more widely used, as they can significantly reduce on-site construction time impacting traffic. The main concerns when using PBES are the final assembly of the elements to achieve the monolithic behavior of the structure. The currently recommend connection detail between the precast pile cap and precast pile is a pocket connection, which relies on the bearing strength between the end of the pile and pile cap and the shear friction capacity between the cast in place (CIP) plug and the precast cap. Current code expressions for shear friction include components for cohesion or aggregate interlock and a contribution from steel crossing the interface or a clamping force, but were developed primarily on the basis of shear friction tests with steel crossing the interface. In pocket connections there is no steel crossing the shear friction interface meaning that the shear friction failure is controlled by the cohesion and interlock of the CIP concrete to precast concrete or surrounding material. An experimental investigation was conducted on thirty-seven small-scale specimens and eight large-scale specimens to explore experimentally the behavior of this interface and the effect of different variables like reinforcement configuration around the pocket, type of pipe used to make the pocket, and surface preparation of the interface. Three principal conclusions were made (1) all specimens simulating pocket connections had a shear friction failure at the interface, (2) having a corrugated interface and 1/4-inch roughness in the interface led to higher capacity and (3) equation found on AASHTO LRFD Guide Specifications for ABC led to conservative results and it is recommended to estimate the shear friction capacity in pocket connections. Findings, current code performance, and design recommendations from the numerical and experimental work are presented in this dissertation.




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