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Content archived on 2024-06-18

Ultra high performance fibre reinforced concrete:An innovative material for the next generation of the European bridges


One of the challenges facing civil engineers as we enter into the new century is the progress of our infrastructures. The highway capacity increases annually, and many infrastructures are approaching or have exceeded their useful service lives.

The new materials of highway bridges are required to address these issues in the following ways:
-longer life spans with higher durability and less maintenance;
-improved reliability to new traffic;
-environmental friendliness;
-easier and faster construction.

Among the innovative structural materials that has been researched and developed in the last two decades, Ultra High Performance Fibre Reinforced Concrete (UHPFRC), with its enhanced mechanical strength, ductility and durability offer an ideal high-tech solution for the new bridge structures.

This research intends to investigate the use of UHPFRC in bridge structures through a comprehensive solution of theory/modelling, experimental tests and computer simulation. The two-phase model developed by Chuang and Ulm appears of particular interest to the scope of this research because it pursues a new direction that is extremely suitable for UHPFRC.

This novel approach is able to identify dissipative mechanisms at the micro-scale level, and trace these micro -chemo-mechanical effects through up-scaling techniques to the macro-scale level, where micromechanical physical parameters express themselves in multiple ways: loss or increase of stiffness, loss or increase of strength, ductility, multiple cracking, etc.

The present research will explore UHPFRC ductility at the micromechanical level, the material level, and the structural level in order to manage the main research objectives:
- Develop the micro-to-macro model for UHPFRC-type material under dynamic loading
- Numerical Analysis of the experimental response of Ultra High performance Concrete pre-stressed bridges under dynamic loading
- Develop a model-based design solution for improving the resistance of UHP

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