For estimating remaining fatigue life of RC bridge decks subjected to traveling wheel-type loads, presented is the data assimilation procedure, i.e., coupled life-span simulation with inspection data at site. Multi-scale analysis with hygro-mechanistic models is used for the platform of data assimilation on which the visual inspection of cracking on the members’ surfaces and the acoustic emission (AE) tomography are numerically integrated. For verification, the wheel running load experiments of slabs were conducted with continuous data acquisition of both crack patterns and the acoustic emission data over the life till failure. Visually inspected cracks are converted to space-averaged strains, based on which the internal strains and damage fields are re-produced by numerical predictor-corrector cycles. The 3D field of elastic wave identified by AE tomography is also converted to the fracture parameter of concrete. Although no information on cracking is available, the proposed assimilation method successfully reproduces most probable internal cracks over the volume of analysis domains, and the remaining life of the deck slabs inspected was successfully estimated.
In 2008, Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) (currently integrated to the Nuclear Regulatory Authority) launched a project to develop a soundness assessment method for concrete members subject to a radiation environment. Presently, the soundness of concrete members subject to radiation is evaluated based on whether the predicted fast neutron fluence and gamma-ray dose values are lower than specific reference values in Japan, which are 1×1020 n/cm2 and 2×105 kGy, respectively. These reference values were determined based on report by Hilsdorf et al. This project begins by reviewing Hilsdorf et al.’s report, and we find that the scientific evidence for the current reference values is weak. We thus conclude that new experimental research is required to assess the current reference values and to propose a new alternative soundness assessment procedure if needed. We quantitatively evaluated the influence of neutrons, gamma-rays, and the resultant heating and drying processes on the strength of concrete as well as their underlying mechanisms. The irradiation experiments confirmed the degradation mechanism of concrete due to neutron irradiation. The main reason for this degradation is the metamictization of rock-forming minerals, which, in turn, leads to aggregate expansion. Due to aggregate expansion, cracks around aggregates form, which reduce the compressive strength and Young’s modulus of concrete. Among the rock-forming minerals, α-quartz is the most sensitive to neutron radiation. 60Co gamma-ray irradiation experiments demonstrated that concrete strength increased as the gamma-ray dose and gamma-ray flux does not have a dose-rate impact on the first radiolysis of evaporable water in cement paste within the present study. The effect of gamma-ray irradiation on the properties of concrete is equivalent to that of heating and drying. Concrete strength alteration due to heating and drying is attributed to the colloidal and porous nature of hardened cement paste and crack formation around the aggregate due to a mismatch in the volume changes of the mortar and aggregate. In addition, a numerical analysis code called DEVICE (Damage EValuation for Irradiated ConcretE) is developed to harness knowledge obtained from concrete samples to predict the distribution of the physical properties in concrete members and their changes over time. From these fundamental studies, we propose a new soundness assessment procedure for concrete members subject to radiation. We also recommend a new radiation-induced strength-degradation reference value of 1×1019 n/cm2 for fast neutron.
For performance evaluation of existing reinforced concrete members under irradiation conditions, a numerical code called “DEVICE” (Damage EValuation for Irradiated ConcretE), which takes into account the heat, moisture, and radiation transport coupled with cement hydration, is proposed. This code is composed of the established computational cement-based material (CCBM) model and the one-dimensional deterministic transport Sn code “ANISN”. In the proposed model, temperature-dependent irradiation-induced expansion of aggregate minerals and resultant strength deterioration of concrete are introduced. Currently, the knowledge and modeling of irradiation-induced expansion of aggregate mineral is limited only for α-quartz. DEVICE was used for evaluating the strength distribution of the decommissioned plant Japan Power Demonstration Reactor (JPDR). Compressive strength distribution in a concrete biological shielding (CBS) wall of the JPDR was obtained by core sampling, and the compressive loading test results were compared with the calculation results. This comparison proved the practicality potential of DEVICE to predict the concrete strength distribution in a CBS. In addition, concrete strength change and its distribution in a CBS of an anonymous two-loop pressurized water reactor was simulated by DEVICE. The contributing factors for the change in the distribution of concrete strength at the inner surface of the CBS are discussed. Furthermore, the ways of integrity evaluation other than the existing allowable fast neutron fluence method are proposed and discussed as follows: 1) mineral composition-based allowable fast neutron fluence; 2) strength prediction at the inner surface based on the expansion of mineral composition of aggregates and the lower limit curve of the ratio of compressive strength of the specimen after irradiation (Fc) to that of the reference specimen (Fco) as a function of concrete expansion; and 3) direct numerical calculation for seismic performance by considering irradiation-induced volume expansion and degradation of concrete.
The aim of this study is to clarify the mechanism of the progressive excessive deformation observed in real underground RC box culverts of about 30 years of age. It was found by the site-inspection, monitoring and the destructive testing that the excessive deflection of top slabs for the culverts, which is almost 10 times the design estimated value, accompanies the out-of-plane shear failure. It is also computationally investigated that the coupling of subsidence of the backfill soil and the combined creep and shrinkage of concrete after cracking is closely associated with the delayed shear failure found in the culvert in service. In order to prove the delayed shear failure under higher sustained loads, the time-dependent shear crack propagation was reproduced in the laboratory test and the computational approach used in this study was examined.
Here we investigate the mechanism by which shrinkage reducing admixture (SRA) affects hardened cement paste (hcp). The first desorption process for hcp is always accompanied by irreversible shrinkage. Initially we demonstrate the well-known mechanism of SRA acting on capillary force using Vycor glass. Additionally, sorption isotherms and length-change isotherms are measured for both saturated hcp as well as hcp aged at 11% RH for two years. SRA was concluded to be present on the surface of the concave meniscus of the pore solution in Vycor glass, and that the inclusion of SRA reduces the surface tension of the pore solution, the equilibrium Kelvin radius, and the shrinkage due to capillary force. However, a comparison of long-term and short-term length-change isotherms and water vapor sorption isotherms of hcp suggests the possibility of partial evaporation of SRA molecules during the 2-year drying process, as well as the presence of immobile SRA in cement paste. Moreover, the immobile SRA is still active, and is found to reduce the amount of water sorption and shrinkage strain. It is thought that the secondary role of the SRA, which is related to immobile SRA in the cement paste, becomes active at room temperature, at below 80％ RH, and only occurs in the irreversible shrinkage component of hcp produced by the initial desorption process.
Di Qiao, Hikaru Nakamura, Yoshihito Yamamoto, Taito Miura
This paper presents an electro-mechanical model for evaluating the corrosion-induced damage in reinforced concrete under accelerated conditions. The model consists of structural analysis of concrete and the rebar using the Rigid Body Spring Method and corrosion current analysis with the truss networks model. The electric corrosion process is coupled with concrete cracking conditions by relating current efficiency to local crack width; the predicted radius losses of rebars are used to evaluate concrete crack propagation and residual tensile performance of corroded rebars. The model is validated with the results of accelerated corrosion tests using impressed current and a sodium chloride pond on the concrete cover. Good agreement with the test data is obtained with the proposed model, in terms of corrosion degree and profile, concrete crack pattern, and tensile behavior of corroded rebars. The model offers a corroborative tool with the accelerated corrosion technique to study the mechanical behavior of corroded concrete structures.
Sludge ejection from the foundation of a wind turbine tower fixed by the anchor-ring method and the resulting sludge buildup have been confirmed to cause the undesirable phenomenon of lifting of the tower. Using specimen that is a model part of the wind turbine foundation, this study investigates the influence of liquid water, differences in W/C, and differences in loading speed, to analyze developing factors on the concrete damage . The results shows that penetration of liquid water from rainfall and snowfall produces a wedge effect, breakdown of the concrete pore skeleton structure, grinding by sludge particle, cavitation and other effects, and leads to rapid deterioration of the anchorage performance of concrete foundation. Based on the knowledge on the deterioration process, rational countermeasures on design and maintenance are proposed.
For the purpose of performance evaluation of an existing reinforced concrete member, a computational simulation model to predict the spatial and temporal changes of physical properties of concrete in the member, named the “Computational Cement-Based Material Model (CCBM)”, was proposed. This proposed simulation model includes models of rate of hydration of cement minerals, phase composition, and resultant hygro-thermo-mechanical properties of cement paste (i.e., compressive strength, Young’s modulus, Poisson’s ratio, thermal expansion coefficient, autogenous shrinkage, drying shrinkage, heat capacity, heat transfer coefficient, water vapor sorption isotherms, and water transfer coefficient). Furthermore, the model for compressive strength of concrete considered the variation in cement paste strength due to its colloidal features as well as micro-defects produced around aggregate due to differences in volume between aggregates and mortar upon heating and drying. The concrete properties of spatial distribution and temporal changes were evaluated by coupling these models with heat and water transport. Validation of these models was achieved by using existing experimental data. Using this CCBM, a thick concrete wall made with moderate Portland cement with a water-to-cement ratio of 0.55 under one-sided heating was simulated and potential problems that can arise during an integrity evaluation were discussed. If the required compressive strength, which was assessed within 91 days of placement, remains unchanged, an additional hydration process can build an adequate strength margin to overcome the risk of strength reduction due to heat and drying. However, in the case that the required strength is increased due to a re-evaluated risk, such as the magnitude of an earthquake, performance evaluation is not trivial as the core sample taken from the side where the execution of sampling is possible could exhibit a greater strength than the average strength of the target concrete member. Therefore, numerical evaluation might aid in this kind of situation.
A model to evaluate quantitatively the alkalinity of pore solution based on phase composition of cement hydrates with SCMs was proposed and was compared with suppressing effect of ASR expansion. The model is devised from the per-spective of alkali sorption by C-S-H gel, and the parameters for calculation can be evaluated thanks to phase composition analysis such as XRD/Rietveld analysis and selective dissolution. The experimental results have shown that ASR ex-pansion is strongly correlated to the alkalinity of the pore solution, which can be calculated with the proposed model. Based on the results, the ASR suppressing effects of SCMs are converted to the reduction in total alkali content as available alkali content. Finally, the required replacement level of SCM with the proposed model was compared to the CSA A23.2-27A standard based on numerous experiments and field experiences in Canada. The calculated result was well consistent with the minimum replacement level of SCMs specified in CSA A23.2-27A. A subsequent interpretation of this study supports that the dominant mechanism of SCMs for ASR suppression is a reduction of alkalinity of pore solution.