Development of Non-Proprietary Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC) for Iowa Bridges TR-773

Project Details









Behrouz Shafei


Iowa DOT


Bridges, Cost effectiveness, Durability, Fibers, Laboratory tests, Literature reviews, Mix design, Optimization, Ultra high performance concrete (UHPC)

Project description

The main objectives of this project are to develop and characterize economic, non-proprietary UHPC mixes made with materials readily available in Iowa. These mixes are expected to be significantly less expensive than commercially available UHPC mixes, permitting to utilize the superior strength and durability of UHPC in more bridges in Iowa. To achieve this goal, a comprehensive review of published and unpublished literature will be conducted, followed by setting the performance criteria needed for various bridge components and exposure conditions. A special effort will be made to identify the materials that are available in Iowa and have the potential to replace the proprietary UHPC ingredients. Based on the information obtained from the literature review and the past experience of the proposing team, a number of non-proprietary mixes will be designed. A holistic set of laboratory tests will then be carried out to assess the performance of the developed UHPC mixes in both short and long term. The testing program will include the necessary experiments to ensure that the expected fresh, mechanical, transport, durability, and dimensional stability properties are achieved. Upon the completion of the laboratory tests, a cost analysis will be conducted to determine the most cost-effective, non-proprietary UHPC mixes for bridge applications. Noting that almost half of the total cost of a UHPC mix comes from steel fibers, the proposing team will explore the possibility of replacing them with other less expensive choices of fiber through an ABC UTC-sponsored project that will supplement the current project. This combined effort will be an important step forward to optimize and recommend the mixture proportion of non-proprietary UHPC mixes appropriate for a wide range of bridge applications in Iowa. To achieve the objectives of this project, five tasks are proposed. The tasks will be performed in very close communication with a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) throughout the duration of the project. To this end, the research team plans to hold quarterly meetings with the TAC to update them on progress and to ensure that the research direction is as desired.