Active Projects

Improving Bridge Assessment through the Integration of Conventional Visual Inspection, Non-Destructive Evaluation, and Structural Health Monitoring Data.

Project Objectives:

Recently, there have been numerous investigations on merging the fast-growing cyber-physical structural health monitoring (SHM) technologies as well as non-destructive evaluation (NDE) techniques into infrastructure monitoring. Despite the obvious advantages of all these techniques, there is a huge gap in the establishment of effective approaches to fuse the data acquired from all of these paradigms to make informed decisions related to assessment, management, preservation, and renewal.

The primary purpose of this study is to establish a framework capable of leveraging emerging Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) and Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE) techniques to provide improved performance assessment of bridges. In particular, the proposed framework would focus on addressing the principal challenges associated with studying the service life of bridge structures, which are related to (a) the long-time scales (which requires accelerated aging), and (b) the diverse outputs related to bridge condition (in terms of data collected through SHM, NDE, and visual inspection). The primary focus would be on identifying the synergies among bridge degradation, remaining service life, and the results taken from the multimodal sensing technologies (such as SHM and NDE). 

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Early Opening of Concrete Pavements to Traffic.

Project Objectives:

Current empirical methods for determining traffic-opening criteria can be overly conservative causing unnecessary construction delays and user costs.  These criteria require wait periods after concrete placement or achievement of certain levels of compressive and/or flexural strength of concrete.

The proposed research will develop innovative mechanistic-based procedures for quantifying the risk of premature failure and long-term damage caused by traffic opening at various concrete strength levels.  A methodology for the accurate monitoring of in-situ concrete early age development will be proposed.  The objective of the research is to develop a strategy that can be implemented by IRISE members for the optimal timing of the opening of new concrete pavements to traffic.

The scope of the project includes literature review, lab and field testing, development of a mechanistic-empirical model for prediction of concrete pavement damage due to early opening, and recommendations for early opening data analysis.  It will utilize recent developments in nondestructive testing of concrete.  

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Towards Using Microbes for Sustainable Construction Materials: a Feasibility Study

Abstract: Reinforced Concrete (RC) structures are susceptible to damage from long-term exposure to chloride-based compounds (e.g., from marine environments or deicers) and/or repeated freeze/thaw cycles. To mitigate damage and degradation from environmental loading, an estimated $16 billion per year is spent on the rehabilitation of RC structures using cementitious patching materials and/or chemical treatments, which contribute to pollution and require repeated application and maintenance. To mitigate these detrimental environmental impacts, this study will evaluate the feasibility of increasing the durability, resiliency and sustainability of RC structures by using microbes to provide self-healing properties to prevent water and chloride ingress through structural and/or environmental cracking. State-of-the-art research has begun to explore microbial carbonate precipitation (MCP) for limestone, marble and, to a lesser extent, RC restoration. However many challenges remain including: 1) finding  non-pathogenic microbes capable of MCP 2) developing methods to ensure microbial viability and even distribution throughout the material to be restored and 3) creating and evaluating new RC formulations aimed at improving and or sustaining MCP. This research will focus on addressing these challenges, providing insight into the potential application of bio-restoration of RC, which will have far reaching applications for green building design and resilient and sustainable construction.
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Presentation: Using Microbes for Sustainable Construction Materials:  A Feasibility Study