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.
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.