Sponsor: Texas Department of Transportation

PI: Trevor Hrynyk
Co-PI's: Oguzhan Bayrak, Salvatore Salamone

Current procedures used for classifying the damage associated with visually observed cracking in reinforced and prestressed concrete structures generally consist of various rating criteria that are comprised of pre-established crack width limits. Examples of rating criteria are available in the International Atomic Energy Agency guidebook, the National Bridge Inspection Standards, and the US Federal Highway Administration code. While such procedures can be useful for cataloguing damage progression, the procedures typically provide very little information pertaining to the structural capacity implications of concrete cracking observed in the field. The development of reinforced concrete strength assessment procedures that employ visual crack measurement data as the primary basis for capacity assessment will better assist engineers in prioritizing rehabilitation and maintenance efforts and will serve as valuable tools for use in identifying strength-related deficiencies.

This research project will employ analytical studies to develop practical crack-based shear strength assessment procedures rooted in mechanical models and novel damage evaluation techniques. By way of their crack-based formulations, these procedures will inherently incorporate influences associated with member scale, reinforcement details, and loading conditions. The research will evaluate the procedures and refine them using test data pertaining to well-documented and relevant concrete infrastructure elements. Subsequently, these procedures will be employed to develop crack inspection field aids that can be used on-site.