This was the first place winning presentation from the Young Researchers Conference 2020.
Half-joint bridges are a critical class of structures. They are characterised by a sudden reduction in depth at the end of suspended structural elements. Half-joints are particularly vulnerable to corrosion as water and contaminants typically leak through the joint, promoting corrosion of the internal steel reinforcement. Moreover, the support reaction is under the nib.
The underside of the full-depth section therefore does not benefit from the external transverse confinement of the support pressure, as is typically the case in conventional simple supports. This makes the anchorage zone of bottom tension bars in half-joints more vulnerable to deterioration (Mak and Lees 2019). Accurate assessment methodologies for corrosion-induced bond deterioration of the reinforcement with critical confinement conditions are therefore necessary.
The objective of the project is to investigate a new approach for the assessment of bond deterioration in reinforced concrete. This approach is based on the characteristics of the surface splitting cracks. The project is part of a wider research effort to develop enhanced assessment strategies for concrete infrastructure. Through accurate predictions and lifetime extension, the goal is to improve the safety, resilience and environmental footprint of the infrastructure network.
Deterioration of concrete bridges