Evaluating Electrical Resistivity as a Performance based Test for Utah Bridge Deck Concrete

Project Details







Malakooti, Amir; Maguire, Marc; Thomas, Robert J


Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Utah State University; U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program


Bridge decks; Electrical resistivity; Performance tests; Bridges and other structures; Highways; Materials; Pavements

Project description

The purpose of this research project was to identify the extent that concrete resistivity measurements (bulk and/or surface) can be used as a performance based lab test to improve the quality of concrete in Utah bridge decks. By allowing UDOT to specify a required resistivity, concrete bridge deck quality will increase and future maintenance costs will decrease. This research consisted of two phases: the field phase and the lab phase. In the field phase, concrete samples were gathered from local concrete producers in Utah. These concrete samples were made with common concrete mixes used in bridge decks across the state of Utah. Testing multiple different mix designs allowed the research team to investigate several variations of concrete constituents, for instance, water to cement ratio, common Utah supplementary cementitious materials, curing type, and aggregate type. Mechanical and durability testing was performed on concrete of different ages. These tests included strength, surface resistivity, bulk resistivity, rapid chloride permeability, and freeze and thaw tests. In the lab phase, one of the field mixes was chosen as the control mix. This mix was then duplicated in the lab in order to see the performance differences of each mix in the controlled and field experiments. In addition, changes were made to the lab control mix, to see the effect of different materials on the resistivity and durability of concrete.