- Publication no: ABC-IAR008-11
- Published: 31 October 2011
The paper summarizes laboratory tests carried out by RTA Bridge Engineering to investigate different factors affecting the reliability of bolted connections for bridge deck expansion joints. The test rig comprised steel plates bolted to a large concrete block by ferule-anchored fasteners. Test variables were tensioning technique, tensioning sequence of fastener groups, use of lubricants, application of preload in stages, and type of surface finish. The paper describes the statistical analysis of the measured preloads and provides values for design parameters which have been incorporated into recommended RTA design procedures for bolted bridge deck joints. The paper also makes recommendations for the installation of connections of this type; however, they are also applicable for bolted connections in structural steelwork.