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Content archived on 2024-05-29

Bridging Europe: The driving force of new engineering materials


One of the challenges facing civil engineers as we enter into the new century is the progress of our infrastructures. Highways are a key element of our infrastructure and the demand of highway capacity increases annually with economic growth and increase o f population. Moreover, since many infrastructures are approaching or have exceeded their useful service lives, the existing highways and highway bridges are facing severe deterioration problem. The design of the next European infrastructure system should take fully advantage of the potential benefits offered by the new materials developed in the last two decades. In this context, Ultra High Performance Fibre Reinforced Concrete (UHPFRC), which is a new cement-based material developed through tailoring micro-engineering in order to minimize material structure defects (such as micro-cracks and inside voids), possesses such dramatic mechanical improvements that it represents a breakthrough for civil engineering cement-base materials. Interest in UHPFRC materials is not merely because of their increased strength, since they possess other important high-performance properties as well, such as low permeability, provide increased corrosion resistance. The project aims to develop a micro-to-macro model for UHP FRC-specific materials by studying the dissipative mechanisms of UHPFC materials at the micro-scale level, and tracing these micro-chemo-mechanical effects through up-scaling techniques to the macro-scale level, where micromechanical physical parameters ex press themselves in multiple ways: loss or increase of stiffness and strength, ductility, multiple cracking, etc. The ¿below macro¿ model will allow exploiting the potentials of UHPFRC engineering materials for innovative bridge engineering applications through a comprehensive solution of theory, experimental tests and computer simulation. Developing a model-based design solution will maximise the potentials of UHPFRC materials in bridge engineering.

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