Comparative Performance Study of Chip Seal and Bonded Wear Course Systems Applied to Bridge Decks and Approaches

Principal Investigator(s):

Eshan Dave, Former Assistant Professor, UMD-Civil Engineering


Project summary:

The recent development and commercialization of various polymeric chip seal (PCS) and ultra thin bonded wear courses (UTBWC) create several key questions with respect to the widespread application of these to bridge deck surfaces. Choices must be made among those available in the absence of data allowing for sound comparative assessment. Primary concerns focus on the following performance characteristics: (1) materials quality and performance quality of materials in a given system, including both the sealing material (e.g., polymer in a PCS system) and the aggregate component; (2) skid resistance afforded by the overlay system, evaluated by friction measurement over the first few years of service life; (3) improved safety provided by higher friction as manifested in accident reduction at the application sites; (4) effectiveness of the sealing component to reduce or eliminate chloride ingress into the deck as a consequence of the use of deicing chemicals; (5) examination of issues relating to moisture trapping at the seal coat/concrete interface which may cause premature degradation of the concrete; and (6) cost/benefit considerations as related to the above.

Project details:

  • Project number: 2011006
  • Start date: 07/2010
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Infrastructure
  • Topics: Bridge design and sensing