Mitigating Cracks in Concrete Members for Durable Bridge Construction

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CAIT project no.: CAIT-UTC-REG75

Fiscal Year: 2021/2022

Status: In Progress

Principal investigator(s): Ravi Ranade, Ph.D. (PI), SUNY-University at Buffalo
Pinar Okumus, Ph.D. (Co-PI), SUNY-University at Buffalo

Performing organization(s): SUNY-University at Buffalo

Managing organization: Rutgers CAIT

In cooperation with: LaBella Associates
Partner project manager: John J. Picard, Senior Associate Engineer

Supported by: USDOT-OST-R

UTC, grant, or agreement no.: 69A3551847102


The primary goal of this proposal is to investigate the use of steel wool in concrete to increase its crack resistance (fracture toughness and flexural strength) and enable durable, crack-free bridges. Unlike the majority of research efforts that have focused on higher compressive strength (common ultra-high performance concretes), the focus of this project will be on the tensile strength. This research will develop a concrete mix that has high tensile strength suitable for precast concrete bridge applications to support accelerated bridge construction.

The intended outcome of the project is to provide recommendations for implementing the newly developed concrete mix in field applications. Relevant documentation, along with the detailed report, will be provided to guide the adoption of the new material. For facilitating the adoption of the new concrete mix containing steel wool, demonstrations of mixing, curing, handling, and placement of the mix will be performed for DOT and industry representatives. Furthermore, an example of prestressed concrete girder design with the new concrete mix will be documented for implementation in bridge-related projects.