Advanced Environment-Friendly Concrete Materials for Rapid Infrastructure Repair and Rehabilitation

Project Details









Denise Dunn, Cameron Murray, Hassan Noorvand


Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology


Cement, Ductility, Engineered materials, Mechanical properties, Mix design, Repairing

Project description

The United States has many infrastructure challenges in terms of maintaining and repairing an extensive network of aging roads and bridges. Additionally, an increased focus on environmentally friendly processes and materials means that there is an urgent need to develop and evaluate alternative cementitious materials and novel portland cement-based solutions to infrastructure maintenance issues. One promising technology is the utilization of calcium sulfoaluminate (CSA) cements in the production of concrete materials. CSA cements offer several advantages, including lower carbon intensity (compared to portland cement), rapid setting, and low shrinkage. These properties make them an ideal candidate for rapidly replacing or repairing critical transportation infrastructure. In addition, Engineered Cementitious Composites (ECCs) with superior ductility and mechanical strength have been proposed as a promising material alternative to extend the durability and service life of infrastructure. However, ECC typically requires a high cement content, leading to challenges such as increased hydration heat, autogenous shrinkage, and higher carbon dioxide emissions. To address these challenges, this project aims to investigate the feasibility of using CSA as a partial or complete replacement for cement in ECC without sacrificing its mechanical properties, specifically tensile ductility. The addition of CSA in concrete and ECC materials will be tested separately at the participating institutions. The Principal Investigators have planned activities to enhance collaborations between the University of Arkansas and Louisiana State University by sharing research findings, which include pursuing future collaborations and strengthening the connections between the researchers. The objectives of this study will be met through two primary tasks, one at UARK and one at LSU. The UARK researchers will examine the durability properties of belitic calcium sulfoaluminate (BCSA) cement through the following sub-tasks: (1) reviewing existing literature and preparing a test matrix including mixture designs, cement types, and curing conditions; (2) conducting experimental testing to determine carbonation and chloride penetration depths; and (3) analyzing results and preparing the final report. The LSU researchers will investigate the mechanical properties of CSA-based ECC through the following sub-tasks: (1) characterizing CSA cement to determine chemical composition, surface condition, and particle size distribution and then using that information to develop ECC mix designs; (2) investigating compression and tension behavior of developed mix designs; (3) examining adaptation of developed ECC mixes for 3D concrete printing; and (4) working with the UARK team, develop the final project report. Deliverables include the following: (1) Comprehensive reports documenting the corrosion performance of CSA cement concrete; (2) Prototypes demonstrating the effectiveness of CSA-based ECC in infrastructure repair. The outcome of this research project will be several successful CSA-based ECC mix designs that will be readily available to the state DOTs for implementation in the transportation infrastructure as well as for further evaluation in future research projects.