Title: Performance of Latex-Modified Concrete (LMC) Overlays on Bridge Decks Under Laboratory and Field Conditions
Author(s): Nakin Suksawang and Hani Nassif
Publication: Symposium Paper
Appears on pages(s): 73-96
Keywords: curing, durability, latex-modified concrete, structural health monitoring, shrinkage, permeability, bond strength
For many decades, latex-modified concrete (LMC) overlays have been successfully used in the United States, inclusive of providing protection for many bridge decks and their steel reinforcements. LMC remains one of the most desirable rehabilitation materials for concrete bridge decks because it is easier to place and requires minimal curing. Nevertheless, as is the case with any cement-based material, LMC overlays are susceptible to plastic shrinkage and delamination. These problems are often solved by proper curing and better surface preparation. Yet, despite these solutions, many questions have been raised regarding the best practices for placing LMC overlays and the proper curing and placement conditions. The current curing practice for LMC in most states simply follows the latex manufacturer’s recommendation because very little information on the proper curing methods is available. There is a need to establish detailed technical specifications regarding curing and placement conditions that will provide more durable LMC overlays. This paper provides an in-depth laboratory-based experimental study of the effect of curing methods and duration on the mechanical properties and durability aspects of LMC. Four different curing methods were examined: (1) dry curing, (2) 3 days of moist curing, (3) 7 days of moist curing, and (4) compound curing. Based on the results from the laboratory tests, technical specifications were developed for field implementation of LMC. Various types of sensors were installed to monitor the behavior of the LMC overlays on bridge deck. Results show that extending the moist-curing duration to a minimum of 3 days (and a maximum of 7 days) significantly improves both the mechanical properties and durability of LMC.