• Durability and Smart Condition Assessment of Ultra-High Performance Concrete in Cold Climates

      Qiao, Pizhong; Zhou, Zhidong; Allena, Srinivas (Center for Environmentally Sustainable Transportation in Cold Climates, 2016-12-31)
      The goals of this study were to develop ecological ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) with local materials and supplementary cementitious materials and to evaluate the long-term performance of UHPC in cold climates using effective mechanical test methods, such as “smart aggregate” technology and microstructure imaging analysis. The optimal UHPC mixture approximately exhibited compressive strength of 15 ksi, elastic modulus of 5,000 ksi, direct tensile strength of 1.27 ksi, and shrinkage of 630  at 28 days, which are characteristics comparable to those of commercial products and other studies. The tensile strength and modulus of elasticity in tension, dynamic modulus, and wave modulus show slight increases from the original values after 300 freeze-thaw (F-T) cycles, indicating that UHPC has excellent frost resistance in cold climates. Although porosity deterioration was observed in the F-T cyclic conditioning process, no internal damage (cracks or fractures) was found during imaging analysis up to 300 cycles. Since structures for which UHPC would be used are expected to have a longer service life, more F-T cycles are recommended to condition UHPC and investigate its mechanical performance over time. Moreover, continuum damage mechanic-based models have the potential to evaluate damage accumulation in UHPC and its failure mechanism under frost attack and to predict long-term material deterioration and service life.
    • Pre-stress loss due to creep in precast concrete decked bulb-tee girders under cold climate conditions

      Vandermeer, Drew E.; Ahn, Il-Sang; Liu, Juanyu (2019-05)
      This report presents guidelines for estimating pre-stress loss in high-strength precast pretensioned concrete Decked Bulb-Tee (DBT) bridge girders in cold climate regions. The guidelines incorporate procedures yielding more accurate predictions of shrinkage and concrete creep than current 2017 American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) specifications. The results of this report will be of particular interest to researchers and cold climate bridge design engineers in improved predictions of design life and durability. The use of high-strength concrete in pre-tensioned bridge girders has increased in popularity among many state highway agencies. This fact is due to its many beneficial economic and constructability aspects. The overall cost of longer girders with increased girder spacing in a bridge that is precast with high strength concrete can be significantly reduced through the proper estimating factors. Recent research indicates that the current provisions used for calculating prestress losses in cold regions for high-strength concrete bridge girders may not provide reliable estimates. Therefore, additional research is needed to evaluate the applicability of the current provisions for estimating pre-stress losses in high-strength concrete DBT girders. Accurate estimations of pre-stress losses in design of pre-tensioned concrete girders are affected by factors such as mix design, curing, concrete strength, and service exposure conditions. The development of improved guidelines for better estimating these losses assists bridge design engineers for such girders and provide a sense of security in terms of safety and longevity. The research includes field measurements of an environmentally exposed apparatus set up to measure shrinkage, creep and strain in cylinders loaded under constant pressure for a full calendar year.