Steel H-piles have been used widely in bridge construction throughout the U.S. because of their relatively large load-carrying capacity while occupying a small area. However, many H-piles suffer from corrosion, which may lead to abrupt collapse. A cost-effective repair technique, including encasing the corroded region of the steel pile into a concrete jacket, which acts as an alternative load path for the applied axial load, has been used by several state Departments of Transportation. Methyl methacrylate polymer concrete (MMA-PC) is a type of concrete that is commonly used as a repair material. However, there is limited research on the assessment of bond strength between MMA-PC and steel elements. This paper investigates experimentally the bond behavior of seven full-scale steel H-piles encased in concrete jackets. The jackets were cast using either MMA-PC or Portland cement concrete (CC). Different embedment lengths of 63.5mm (2.5 in.), 127mm (5 in.), and 190.5mm (7.5 in.) were used for the MMA-PC and one embedment length of 254mm (10 in.) was used for the CC jacket. Cylindrical and prismatic jacket configurations were used and tested using push-out. The experimental results revealed that using the MMA-PC jacket was more effective compared with the CC jacket in relation to the load-carrying capacity. For design purposes, a shear bond stress of 2.96 MPa [0.43 kips per square inch (ksi)] can be used for MMA-PC jackets having an embedment length of at least 127mm (5 in.) whereas a value of 0.83 MPa (0.12 ksi) can be used for CC.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering


The work in this research project was partially funded by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT).

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Article - Journal

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Final Version

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Publication Date

11 Mar 2020