The objective of this study was the evaluation of frost resistance of concrete bridge decks with stay-in-place galvanized steel deck forms. The evaluation included specific aspects related to the potential for D-cracking in concrete bridge decks with these forms. The experimental program has been set up so that the real parameters of the bridge deck overlays and the environmental conditions could have been modeled. The program included freezing-and-thawing testing of large concrete slab specimens (22 ¼” x 17 ¼” x 5 ¼”) situated in a computer-controlled environmental chamber and of small specimens (3” x 4” x 12”) immersed in water situated in a freezing-and-thawing machine. The following tests have been carried out: relative ultrasonic pulse velocity, expansion of small specimens, weight changes of small specimens. Relative humidity and moisture content have been measured for controlling the moisture state of concrete. The results of this study suggest that corrugated steel deck forms may promote the damage of concrete made with D-cracking coarse aggregate due to freezing-and-thawing action. The coarse D-cracking aggregate may by itself cause cracking and scaling of concrete bridge decks with or without steel deck forms.

Report Number



steel, d-cracking, moisture, relative humidity, freezing, thawing, pulse velocity, scaling, popout, HPR-2062

SPR Number


Project Number


File Number


Performing Organization

Joint Highway Research Project

Publisher Place

West Lafayette, IN

Date of this Version