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Concrete Bridge Resilience: Design, Construction, Evaluation and Retrofit (ACI Fall 2023, Boston, MA) In the coming years, transportation networks will experience unprecedented demands due to trends in freight as well as extreme weather driven by climate variability. These demands are set against a backdrop of infrastructure deterioration as many bridges reach the end of their intended service lives. The resiliency framework has allowed bridge owners to be proactive at every level from materials and detailing through retrofits, rapid replaceability and route redundancy. Two aspects of structural resiliency will be examined. Firstly, the use of technology to load test in-service culverts that are experiencing loads that they were not originally designed for. Information gained allows bridge owners to assess performance and potentially avoid major rehabilitation, diverting critical funds elsewhere. Separately, it may lead to removing postings which can improve freight network efficiency. Secondly, rapid replacement of single span bridges by filler beam structures will be discussed. These structures simplify logistics during erection, are less sensitive to supply chain issues due to allowable variation in beam size, are highly resistant to truck impact and are shallower than conventional spans. Rapid replaceability can prove consequential in returning to normal after an extreme weather event affects an entire region and strains the construction supply chain. Small bridges can also play an outsized role in network vulnerability.


Upcoming Presentation

April 8 - 14

Measurement and Characterization of Chloride Transport Properties for Belitic Calcium Sulfoaluminate (BCSA) Cement Concrete
Presented by: Tayyab Adnan Habibur Rahman, Clarkson University

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Research in Progress (ACI Fall 2023, Boston, MA) Belitic calcium sulfoaluminate (BCSA) cements are alternative cements with rapid strength-gaining properties, which favor their use for infrastructure repair. Recently, BCSA’s low embodied carbon generated interest in its use for structural concrete. However, knowledge gaps around its engineering properties and durability limit its practical adoption. This research investigates chloride penetrability in BCSA cement, which has been questioned in recent literature. We use qualitative (electrical) and quantitative (diffusion-based) tests to measure chloride transport properties for a range of BCSA cement concretes. Qualitative test results suggest BCSA cements are more resistant to chloride penetration that portland cement (PC), but these results do not correlate with quantitative diffusion coefficients—probably due to changes in pore solution chemistry. Results also suggest that BCSA cements may have lower chloride binding capacity than PC. However, these results mainly indicate a need for more suitable testing protocols for chloride penetrability in non-PC systems.

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