CEE Seminar: Mitigation of Cracking & Increased Durability in Bridge Decks

McDonnell Douglas Engineering Auditorium (MDEA)
Robbie Damiani, Ph.D. Candidate

Civil & Environmental Engineering
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Abstract: Crack mitigation in concrete bridge decks remains a challenging problem across the United States. The development of transverse cracking allows deicing chemicals to reach the reinforcing steel, causing corrosion, which is the primary reason for bridge deck replacement. Cracking often occurs in bridge decks due to restrained shrinkage of the concrete. Early-age cracking of bridge decks in Illinois led to this study on enhancing the durability of concrete bridge decks. The research work focused on the use of three mitigation techniques in preventing shrinkage cracking: shrinkage-compensating cements using both Type K and G cement, shrinkage-reducing admixtures (SRAs), and pre-soaked lightweight aggregates (LWAs). Small-scale lab testing was implemented to test the effect of each mitigation technique. Noted results include: 1) the restrained expansion test (ASTM C 878) demonstrated that Type K and Type G concretes had minimal shrinkage at the end of 100 days; 2) a ring test (ASTM C 1581) demonstrated that addition of an SRA delayed onset cracking; and 3) the addition of Type K cement or SRA to mixtures containing LWA significantly reduced drying shrinkage (ASTM C 596) and made the mixture more volumetrically stable.

Bio: Robbie Damiani is currently a doctoral candidate in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), working under the supervision of Professor Paramita Mondal. He received his bachelor of science degree in civil engineering in 2012 and a master of science degree in civil engineering in 2014 both from UCI. He is the recipient of a Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering fellowship from UIUC, and the previous president of the American Concrete Institute (ACI) at UIUC. His research work focuses on characterization of the cement-rubber interface of rubberized concrete and determining means of improving the mechanical performance through targeted modifications in the rubberized concrete composition.