This report investigates the application of glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) rebars in concrete bridge decks as a potential replacement or supplement to conventional steel rebars. Tests were conducted to determine the material properties of the GFRP reinforcement, and experiments were performed to study aspects of GFRP rebar placement in actual bridge decks. These included observation of GFRP rebar handling characteristics and worker response during construction. Load tests of full-scale reinforced concrete specimens were conducted to evaluate the characteristics of three reinforcing schemes: (1) an epoxy coated steel (ECS) reinforcing scheme; (2) a GFRP reinforcing scheme, and (3) a Hybrid reinforcing scheme combining GFRP and ECS rebars.

Results of the investigation showed that the moduli of elasticity in tension and compression for the GFRP rebars were approximately the same, but the ultimate strength in compression was 50% of the ultimate strength in tension. Several recommendations were made for construction and repair procedures for decks reinforced with GFRP rebars. Modifications are suggested to existing theoretical expressions for predicting ultimate shear strength and maximum crack width of GFRP reinforced concrete members.

The results of this study show that bridge decks reinforced with GFRP rebars satisfy the AASHTO specifications for strength. AASHTO’s crack width requirements were not satisfied.

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The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors who are responsible for the facts and accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the University of Kentucky, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, nor the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification or regulation. The inclusion of manufacturer names or trade names are for identification purposes and are not to be considered as endorsement.