Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Civil Engineering

Committee Chair/Advisor

Nielson, Bryant G

Committee Member

Schiff , Scott

Committee Member

Pang , WeiChiang


State Departments of Transportation have been using adjacent precast bridges for many years. A vital component of this type of bridges is the connection between the members, which is typically done with a grouted shear key. Shear keys have changed through time to adapt to the requirements of bridge design. An assessment of the Northeast Extreme Tee with integral deck (NEXT-D) was performed for the SCDOT as a development possibility for short span bridges. This research focuses on the finite element analysis study of the NEXT-D's specific shear key configuration.
A review of shear key configurations used by different DOTs around the country was performed, along with a brief evaluation of their performance. Likewise, an additional review of finite element modeling techniques of shear key components was performed with the objective of understanding the most accurate way to capture the behavior of the NEXT-D shear key.
A calibration stage was undergone to adjust parameters in the finite element model. The interaction between materials was the major focus of this process. This calibration helped define specific values to be used in the model of the NEXT-D shear key, like real constants and material tables.
A finite element model of the NEXT-D shear key was created using the software package ANSYS 12.0. This model was used to determine load-displacement and moment-rotation relationships for the shear key. The relationships were defined as translational and rotational stiffness values. These values are to be used as a stiffness matrix for a zero-length element in a full scale analysis of the NEXT-D bridge system.



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