Montana Department of Transportation

Malcolm “Mack” Long, Director

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Main Content

Research

Feasibility of Non-Proprietary Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC) for Use in Highway Bridges in Montana

Image of rebar pullout test setup

Ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) has mechanical and durability properties that far exceed those of conventional concrete. However, using UHPC in conventional concrete applications has been cost prohibitive, with commercially available/proprietary mixes costing approximately 30 times more than conventional concrete. Previous research conducted at Montana State University resulted in non-proprietary UHPC mixes made with materials readily available in Montana. These mixes are significantly less expensive than commercially available UHPC mixes, thus opening the door for their use in construction projects in the state. The MDT Bridge Bureau is interested in using UHPC in field-cast joints between precast concrete deck panels. The use of UHPC in this application will reduce development lengths, and subsequently reduce the requisite spacing between the decks and improve the overall performance of the bridge. The research will build on the non-proprietary UHPC research completed in Phase 1 of this project and focus on ensuring the successful application of this material in these field-cast joints. Specifically, this research will investigate several items related to the field batching of these mixes, and the potential variability in performance related to differences in constituent materials. Further, rebar bond strength and the subsequent effect this has on development length will be investigated.

Phase I

Phase II

Phase III

Ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) has mechanical and durability properties that far exceed those of conventional concrete. However, using UHPC in conventional concrete applications has been cost prohibitive, with commercially available/proprietary mixes costing approximately 30 times more than conventional concrete. Previous research conducted at Montana State University (MSU) has focused on the development and evaluation of non-proprietary UHPC mixes made with materials readily available in Montana. These mixes are significantly less expensive than commercially available UHPC mixes, thus opening the door for their use in construction projects in the state. The focus of the proposed project is on taking this material beyond the laboratory, and successfully use it on a bridge project in Montana, specifically for field cast joints. This project is a required step to fully understand and capitalize on the benefits of using UHPC for this application and increase the performance, durability, and efficiency of Montana bridges.

For more information, contact , 802-546-0217.