Shape Memory Alloy Enhanced SMART Bridge Expansion Joints

This project will develop, evaluate, and demonstrate the application of a new class of bridge expansion joints based on shape memory alloys (SMAs) to provide superior resistance to fatigue, dynamic loads, and corrosion. The project will be carried out in three stages. Work in Stage 1 will focus on component testing and design of the SMART bridge expansion joint. Tests of SMA components that will form the basis of the SMART expansion joint will be conducted. The device will be tested under a range of loading conditions employing different displacement levels and loading rates. The results from the component tests will be used to design a prototype SMART joint in coordination with the industrial partner (The Watson Bowman Company). Work in the second stage will focus on full-scale tests of the SMART joint system. A full-scale expansion joint will be fabricated and tested under dynamic conditions as part of the experimental program of this study. A base full-scale joint will be procured from the Watson Bowman company and modified with SMA components developed and characterized in Stage 1. A series of tests on the joint system will be performed under a range of loading conditions. Work in the third and final stage will involve analytical modeling and life-cycle cost analysis of the SMART expansion joints. The results of the experimental testing program will be used to develop elements for analytical modeling of the SMA-based expansion joints. The analytical models of the connection element will be calibrated using experimental data to capture such characteristics as hysteretic properties, peak force transfer, effective damping, etc. The models will be implemented in the nonlinear analysis program OpenSEES for further dynamic analyses of typical bridge systems using SMART expansion joints. Fragility modeling and life-cycle cost models will be developed for bridges that include the SMART expansion joints along with a detailed cost-benefit analysis example for the joints. The final report will provide all relevant data and results along with life-cycle cost analysis and specifications and guidelines for the design and implementation of SMART expansion joints in highway bridges.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $140000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-30, IDEA

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 225
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Jawed, Inam

  • Performing Organizations:

    Rice University

    6100 Main Street
    Houston, TX  United States  77005
  • Principal Investigators:

    Padgett, Jamie

  • Start Date: 20091027
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20131109
  • Source Data: RiP Project 24029

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01547241
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Cooperative Highway Research Program
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-30, IDEA
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Dec 4 2014 1:00AM