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An Experimental Study of Flat and Tapered Elastomeric Bridge Bearings With Design Recommendations
Author(s) and Affiliation(s):
Joseph V. Muscarella, Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering United States Military Academy at West Point Joseph A. Yura, Department of Civil Engineering University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
Principal Investigator:
Joseph A. Yura
Texas Department of Transportation
Research Start Date:
September 1, 1991
Expected Completion Date:
August 30, 1996
Research Objectives:
The purpose of this study is to analyze elastomeric bridge bearing performance on the basis of elastomer hardness, shape factor, reinforcing shim orientation, degree of taper, and compressive stress level with the goal of developing a simple design procedure which standardizes as many of these parameters as possible. Particular emphasis is placed on comparing the behavior of flat and tapered bearings. Experiments includes shear, compressive, and rotational stiffness tests, shear and compression fatigue loading, long-term compressive loading, and tests to determine compressive stress limits. In many cases, bearings are intentionally loaded non-uniformly to define safe limits for bearing- girder slope mismatches.
Expected Products or Deliverables:
Based upon experimental results and a finite element study, a simplified, standard design procedure will be recommended. Additionally, changes to the 1992 AASHTO Specification will be recommended which will allow for greater flexibility in the use of elastomeric bearings, especially with regard to the employment of tapered pads.

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