||Reducing Shrinkage Cracks in Concrete Bridge Decks
Michael M. Sprinkel
Associate Director for Structures
Restrained shrinkage cracking of concrete bridge decks creates a significant durability problem. Cracks in bridge decks allow water, de-icing chemicals, sulfates and other corrosive materials to penetrate the concrete and substantially diminish its service life. Shrinkage-induced cracking in a concrete bridge deck can be affected by many factors: material properties, type of restraint, construction methods and environmental conditions.
If cracking from concrete shrinkage could be eliminated, the service life of bridge structures could be extended and costly repairs avoided.
This study will explore various means of reducing concrete shrinkage through the selection of materials and mixture proportions. This project will evaluate shrinkage-compensating concrete, admixtures, concrete mixtures with low paste content and lightweight concrete for effectively reducing cracks in bridge decks.