In the past decade significant advances have been made in the field of high performance concretes. The next generation of concrete, Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC), exhibits exceptional strength and durability characteristics that make it well suited for use in highway bridge structures.
This material can exhibit compressive strength of 28 ksi, tensile strength of 1.3 ksi, significant tensile toughness, elastic modulus of 7600 ksi, and minimal long-term creep or shrinkage. It can also resist freeze-thaw and scaling conditions with virtually no damage and is nearly impermeable to chloride ions.
Prestressed highway bridge girders were cast from this material and tested under flexure and shear loadings. The testing of these AASHTO Type II girders containing no mild steel reinforcement indicated that UHPC, with its internal passive fiber reinforcement, could effectively be used in highway bridge girders.
A large suite of material characterization tests was also completed. Based on this research, a basic structural design philosophy for bridge girder design is proposed.
Source: University of Maryland
Author: Graybeal, Benjamin Allen