• Use of Cellular Concrete for Air Convection Embankment to Protect Permafrost Foundations in Cold Regions: Feasibility Study

      Liu, Jenny; Wu, Hanli (2019-08-15)
      The air convection embankment (ACE) is a technique used to protect permafrost from thawing in road construction in cold regions. However, the desired materials needed for ACE are not readily available, which prevents its extensive use in Alaska. To overcome the limitation of traditional ACE, and further improve the cooling effect of ACE, this study investigated the feasibility of using cellular concrete as an alternative material for ACE in cold regions. The heat transfer patterns of the cellular concrete ACE, the crushed-rock ACE, and the sand/gravel embankment were studied using the numerical simulation. The results of the present study show that the cooling performance of both cellular concrete ACE and crushed-rock ACE are superior to the traditional sand/gravel embankment. The cellular concrete ACE has better heat insulation property in the summer, and the crushed-rock ACE has stronger natural convection in winter. For the annual cooling efficiency of the two different ACE techniques, the proposed cellular concrete ACE has a better cooling effect on the foundation soil than the crushed-rock ACE. These results indicate that the thermal conductivity and specific heat capacity of construction materials have significant impacts on the performance of the ACE.
    • A New Sustainable Additive for Anti-Icing Pavement

      Zhang, Yan; Shi, Xianming (2019-08-30)
      Based on a review and synthesis of the state-of-the-art literature on asphalt pavement with anti-icing additives, this laboratory study developed an anti-icing asphalt pavement that incorporates innovative salt-storage additives with a sustained salt-release rate. These additives were prepared through a surface treatment approach, in which zeolite containing CaCl2 was coated by a porous epoxy layer. The anti-icing performances and mechanical properties of asphalt mixture with the obtained additives were investigated. The experimental results indicated that the anti-icing capability of asphalt mixture at both -3.9 °C (25°F) and -9.4 °C (15°F) was significantly improved by the addition of the additives, and the friction coefficient of the pavement at 60 min after moisture spray was 0.75 at -3.9 °C to 0.55 at -9.4 °C. Reducing the size of additives resulted in a further improved anti-icing capability. Under simulated conditions, the estimated effective anti-icing period of asphalt pavement with additives #8, #16, and #30 were 5.8 years, 9.9 years and 15.3 years, respectively. The incorporation of the additives exhibited negligible effect on the moisture damage resistance of asphalt mixture, and almost all the mixtures passed the WSDOT specification as well as the Wisconsin and Iowa specifications. The rutting resistance, mid-temperature (fatigue) cracking resistance, and low-temperature (thermal) cracking resistance of asphalt mixture improved due to the addition of these anti-icing additives to various extents.
    • Cost-Effective Use of Sustainable Cementitious Materials as Reactive Filter Media (Phase I)

      Li, Wenbing; Shi, Xianming (2019-08-31)
      This report presents a laboratory study on the use of nano SiO2 as modifier in crushed fines recycled concrete (CFRCs), coupled with thermal treatment, with the goal of fabricating a sustainable reactive medium to capture the chloride anions in deicer-laden stormwater runoff. A uniform design (UD) scheme was employed for the statistical design of experiments. Predictive models were developed based on the experimental data to quantify the influence of each design parameter on the effectiveness of removing Cl- ions from simulated stormwater. The models were verified, and then employed for predictions. Finally, the samples of different CFRCs modified by nano SiO2 and heating regimes were prepared under the optimal parameters identified via the Response Surface Methodology (RSM). The optimal processing of CRFCs include the use of admixing nano SiO2 at 0.3% (by mass), then heating the material at 525oC for 3h. The structure and properties of these CFRCs materials were characterized by XRD, FTIR, BET, SEM and EDS. These advanced characterization tools revealed that the modified CFRCs achieved great potential to chemically bind chloride anions. This work is expected to produce substantial benefits for highway agencies and other stakeholders of deicer stormwater runoff, through enhanced understanding of the efficacy and appropriateness of cementitious filter media in passive reactive systems for decreasing contaminant loading in stormwater runoff. The use of CRFCs as a low-cost sorbent will be economically attractive and environmentally sustainable, diverting them from waste stream and landfill and towards sustainable stormwater management.
    • Examination of the Variability in Grout Test Results

      Ahn, Il-Sang; Friend, Trenton (2019-08-31)
      Keyway grouting is an operation that connects decked bulb-tee girders into one system. The quality of grout should be well maintained through reliable material test procedures. Due to the issues of discrepancy and variability, there have been several cases in which grout materials did not satisfy the compressive strength standard specified in the DOT&PF Standard Specifications for Highway Construction. This research examined the causes of such issues. Six factors – grout material, mix consistency, workmanship, initial curing/storing, curing method, and test equipment – were identified as the causes of strength variation. Their effects on strength variation were investigated by testing compressive strength of cube and cylinder specimens made from 5 grout materials that were used or considered to be used in DOT&PF projects. Grout material characteristics such as grout material and mix consistency have significant effect on strength variation. Workability and consolidation can be different from one material to another. Consequently, they affect compressive strength and its variation. Workmanship and test equipment were evaluated in this research to have moderate effect on strength variation. Especially, strength variation can increase when the workmanship factor combines with the grout material characteristics factor.
    • Numerical Simulation of Snow Deposition Around living Snow Fences

      Petrie, John; Zhang, Kun; Shehata, Mahmoud (2019-09-13)
      In this study, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) was used to investigate the air flow around porous snow fences to gain insight into snow transport and deposition in the vicinity of fences. Numerical simulations were performed to validate the CFD approach using experimental data from a wind tunnel study. Subsequent simulations were used to test the use of a porosity model to represent fence geometry and determine the effect of fence spacing for fences comprised of multiple rows. The results demonstrate that CFD simulations can reproduce the aerodynamics around porous fences. Additionally, the flow field generated with a porosity model is in close agreement with that from a model with explicit representation of fence porosity. Simulations of fences comprised of two rows spaced at various distances demonstrate that when the row spacing is small the fence behaves as a single row.
    • Mapping the Wolverine Way: Identifying Conservation Corridors and Transboundary Linkages in the Canadian Crown of the Continent Region

      Clevenger, Anthony P. (2019-09-13)
      The Canadian Crown of the Continent (CCoC) is one of three zones where wolverines can move between Canada and the US, providing the last links for recruitment and ultimately gene flow to the highly fragmented population in the US Rocky Mountains. However, a combination of rapidly expanding logging, energy development and motorized recreation, along with a growing road network, threatens to fragment and diminish connections in this critical transboundary linkage between the US and Canada. This report summarizes a project to complete a 3-year sampling effort in the CCoC, which in turn completed a larger 6-year effort over a vast area of the central and southern Canadian Rockies. In 2016, the research team surveyed the last unsampled portion of the Alberta Rockies (south of Kananaskis Country to Highway 3) in addition to a substantial portion of the East Kootenay region of the British Columbia Rockies (BC; >9000 km2). This follow-up effort allowed the team to complete an entire ecoregion-wide wolverine survey in the Canadian Rockies ecoregion, from the US-Canadian border north to Banff and Yoho National Parks. From this data, researchers created density estimates and occupancy models of wolverine distribution and its multiple landscape stressors across an extensive and complex region of the Great Northern Landscape. The report summarizes research findings and makes recommendations regarding management strategies.
    • A Novel Systematic Strategy Towards Air-Purifying, Corrosion Resistant and Self-Healing Concrete Infrastructure

      Yang, Zhengxian (2019-09-15)
      Transportation causes major emissions of harmful gases (NOx, CO, VOCs). These pollutants also travel long distances to produce secondary pollution such as acid rain. The most popularly used photocatalytic cementitious composites based on TiO2 achieve the air purification function under ultraviolet sunlight, significantly impeding a broader application of photocatalytic cementitious composites. This study focused on developing an environmentally friendly and durable cementitious system based on the multifunctional photocatalytic Graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4). The photocatalytic cementitious composites (PCC) were prepared in three manners: (1) incorporating g-C3N4 nanosheets (CNNs) in cement at three mixing dosages (0.5%, 1% and 2% by weight of cement), (2) applying CNNs at various concentration levels as the coating on recycled asphalt pavement aggregate, (3) applying CCNs s with vinyl chloride/vinyl ester/ethylene copolymer (as a binder) as the coating on cement mortar. The photocatalytic performance and durability of the newly developed cementitious composites were evaluated systematically and the results showed that the PCC hold marked efficiency in terms of NOx removal and self-cleaning when the CNNs were applied in a proper way. The obtained knowledge sheds light on a future perspective of developing a novel systematic strategy towards air-purifying, corrosion resistant, and self-healing concrete infrastructure.
    • Development of a Computer Vision-Based Three-Dimensional Reconstruction Method for Volume-Change Measurement of Unsaturated Soils during Triaxial Testing

      Zhang, Xiong; Xia, Xiaolong (2019-10)
      Problems associated with unsaturated soils are ubiquitous in the U.S., where expansive and collapsible soils are some of the most widely distributed and costly geologic hazards. Solving these widespread geohazards requires a fundamental understanding of the constitutive behavior of unsaturated soils. In the past six decades, the suction-controlled triaxial test has been established as a standard approach to characterizing constitutive behavior for unsaturated soils. However, this type of test requires costly test equipment and time-consuming testing processes. To overcome these limitations, a photogrammetry-based method has been developed recently to measure the global and localized volume-changes of unsaturated soils during triaxial test. However, this method relies on software to detect coded targets, which often requires tedious manual correction of incorrectly coded target detection information. To address the limitation of the photogrammetry-based method, this study developed a photogrammetric computer vision-based approach for automatic target recognition and 3D reconstruction for volume-changes measurement of unsaturated soils in triaxial tests. Deep learning method was used to improve the accuracy and efficiency of coded target recognition. A photogrammetric computer vision method and ray tracing technique were then developed and validated to reconstruct the three-dimensional models of soil specimen.
    • Development of Landslide Warning System

      Riad, Beshoy; Zhang, Xiong (2019-11)
      Landslides cause approximately 25 to 50 deaths and US$1 - 2 billion worth of damage in the United States annually. They can be triggered by humans or by nature. It has been widely recognized that rainfall is one of the major causes of slope instability and failure. Slope remediation and stabilization efforts can be costly. An early warning system is a suitable alternative and can save human lives. In this project, an early warning system was developed for a 40-foot-high cut slope on the island of Hawaii. To achieve the objective, subsurface investigations were performed and undisturbed samples were collected. For the purpose of unsaturated soil testing, new testing apparatuses were developed by modifying the conventional oedometer and direct shear cells. The unsaturated soil was characterized using two separate approaches and, later, the results were discussed and compared. The slope site was instrumented for the measurement of suction, water content, displacement, and precipitation. The collected climatic data along with the calibrated hydraulic parameters were used to build an infiltration-evapotranspiration numerical model. The model estimations were compared with the field measurements and showed good agreement. The verified model was used to determine the pore-water pressure distribution during and after a 500-years return storm. Later, the pore-water pressure distribution was transferred to a slope stability software and used to study the slope stability during and after the storm. Based on a 2D slope stability analysis, the slope can survive the 500-year storm with a factor of safety of 1.20. Instrument threshold values were established for water content sensors and tensiometers using a traffic-light-based trigger criterion.
    • A Bio-Wicking System to Prevent Frost Heave in Alaskan Pavements: Phase II Implementation

      Galinmoghadan, Javad; Zhang, Xiong; Lin, Chang (2019-11)
      Water within pavement layers is the major cause of pavement deterioration. High water content results in significant reduction in soil’s resilient behavior and an increase in permanent deformation. Especially in cold regions, frost heave and thaw weakening cause extensive damage to roads and airfields. Conventional drainage systems can only drain gravity water not capillary water. Both preliminary lab and field tests have proven the drainage efficiency of a newly developed H2Ri geotextile with wicking fabrics. In this report, continuous research was conducted to verify the effectiveness of the wicking fabric in mitigating frost boil issues in Alaskan pavemnets. Two test sections were selected at two low volume roads on the campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Soil moisture and temperature sensors were installed within the road embankments. The monitored data was used to analyze the soil migrations and evaluate the drainage performance of the wicking fabric. Preliminary monitoring results showed that the wicking fabric was effective in mitigating the frost boil problem.