Developing Advanced Construction Materials to Improve, Repair, and Maintain Reclamation's Concrete Structures
* Are there better materials and construction methods that will help Reclamation improve, maintain, and repair our aging structures?
Need and Benefit
There are many modern concrete construction materials that are introduced onto the market every year. Many of these products will have beneficial application to Reclamation facilities. However, many Reclamation facilities are unique and were built with a variety of materials and technologies that are not well represented in other sectors of the large civil works community. Because we must protect, maintain, and improve these critical facilities, the suitability of new technologies for use on Reclamation structures should be evaluated before we specify their use.
This Science and Technology (S&T) Program research project will:
* Evaluate concrete repair technologies, including thin repair and crack repairs materials, and list those that perform according to established standards
* Evaluate advanced materials for concrete technology
* Coordinate demonstration programs to demonstrate new technologies on Reclamation structures
* Form partnerships and consortia in appropriate areas
* Evaluate modern protective coatings for concrete that meet new environmental regulations
* Evaluate new petrographic techniques appropriate for this program
Because thin repairs to concrete have poor track record, a main component of this program is to evaluate those materials. From previous S&T work, a good start has been made on developing new test procedures to measure important material properties. We have also identified desired values for those properties. This program will extend that work by evaluating new test procedures, testing commercially prepared repair materials, and developing a list of materials that meet new standards.
We will also apply selected materials to damaged concrete to correlate laboratory performance to field performance. Much of this work has been and will be done with other Federal, academic, and private sector entities. Many repairs and modifications to Reclamation facilities involve some sort of replacement concrete. Because of this, it is important to investigate, develop, and implement advances in concrete technology. Many recent advances are allowing for manufacture of concrete that can be more easily placed and consolidated, uses more recycled products, and improves the durability of concrete.
Before we can adapt these technologies, they need to be evaluated to see if they will meet Reclamation's unique needs. Another area of study for this program is the evaluation and selection of modern protective paint and coatings for use on concrete. For many structures, protective paint and coatings comprise the first line of defense in a corrosive environment. Unfortunately, many pre-1990 products cannot be used now because of new environmental regulations. We need to evaluate new products. We plan to do this in partnership with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD). We also plan to continue work on developing user guidelines (for example, our recently published _Guide to Protective Coatings: Inspection and Maintenance_).
Bureau of Reclamation Review
The following documents were reviewed by experts in fields relating to this project's study and findings. The results were determined to be achieved using valid means.
Development of a Test Method to Evaluate Cracking Tendency of Repair Materials, Phase I Report (interim, PDF,
By Benoit Bissonnette, Tim Dolen, Alex Vaysburd and Kurt Von Fay
Report completed on March 30, 2005
• Develop a laboratory/field reliable test method to evaluate the long-term performance of repair materials and, particularly, their sensitivity to cracking
• Assess the reliability of some of the existing test methods for evaluating the cracking tendency of repair materials
• Contribute to the dev
Development of Test Methods to Evaluate Cracking Tendency of Repair Materials—Field Study Phase II (interim, PDF,
By Benoit Bissonnette, Alex Vaysburd and Kurt Von Fay
Report completed on May 28, 2009
• Ring test (ASTM C1581) material evaluations and its in-situ performance
• Baenziger block test and experimental repairs
• Free shrinkage (ASTM C157) and experimental repairs
This information was last updated on August 22, 2014
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