Name : Chathura Rajapakse

Supervisors : Prof. Boyan Mihaylov (ULiège), Prof. Hervé Degée (ULiège), Prof. Luc Courard (ULiège)

Co-supervisor : Dr. Rik Steensels (UHasselt), Sébastien Flawinne

Funding : Joint PhD agreement between University of Liège and University of Hasselt

Duration : 4 years

Modelling and Monitoring of Critical Connections in Aging Concrete Bridges





uch of the critical infrastructure in Europe was built in the 1970s and 80s. As a result, in the coming decade a large number of important structures will enter a critical age of 50 years, typically linked to significant levels of corrosion and deterioration. Therefore, monitoring and assessment of critical connections in such structures is of paramount importance.

This research focuses on critical dapped-end zones in existing Gerber-beam concrete bridges which are very common and have exhibited significant deficiencies, see Figure 1.

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(a)   A typical bridge with dapped-end connections

(b)   Deteriorated connection (Google Street View 2017)

 Fig. 1. Critical dapped-end connections


Initial aim of this research is to develop a rational kinematics-based model for the behavior of dapped-end connections capable of predicting crack displacements and deformation patterns. Such a model will allow the linking of measured crack displacements to the safety level of the structure, as it is crack displacements and deformation patterns that can be physically measured on site. Thus, the final aim is to develop a methodology for the monitoring of the dapped-end connections by coupling modern sensing technologies with the kinematic-based models to inform timely decision making based on the actual safety level of the structure


Assessment of Failure Along Re-Entrant Corner Cracks in Existing RC Dapped-End Connections, Article, 2020

A simplified kinematic approach for the shear strength of fibre-reinforced concrete deep beams, Article, 2020

Accounting axial-moment-shear interaction for force-based fiber modeling of RC frames, Article, 2019

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