Infrastructure Durability


Civil infrastructures, including bridges, buildings, pavements, earth structures, tunnels, pipelines, water storage reservoirs, water treatment plants, waste treatment plants, waste disposal, and containment facilities, are fundamental to the health and economic viability of modern society. A recent survey (2009) conducted by the American Society of Civil Engineers produced a report card of an average grade of “D” for the nation’s infrastructure. Roads, for example, obtained a grade of “D-“, while bridges obtained a grade of “C”. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), 27% of the nation’s bridges are rated structurally deficient or functionally obsolete in 1998. The poor condition of the nation’s infrastructure present urgent needs for effective repair and retrofit, as well as new infrastructures with significantly extended service life. The report said $1.6 trillion should be spent over the next five years to alleviate potential problems with the nation’s infrastructure and transportation alone requires $94 billion in annual spending.

Many problems in infrastructure are associated with the lack of durability in the materials used. Current technology in repair and retrofit also suffers from rapid deterioration. In many instances, the source of lack of durability can be traced to the susceptibility to cracking and brittle fracture in concrete materials. Research in ECC materials with high ductility can lead to improvements in structural durability, as well as novel technologies for drastically more effective means of infrastructure repair and retrofit.




ECC Overlay
Interface Trapping
Interface Fracture