Virginia Tech has been a world leader in electronic theses and dissertation initiatives for more than 20 years. On January 1, 1997, Virginia Tech was the first university to require electronic submission of theses and dissertations (ETDs). Ever since then, Virginia Tech graduate students have been able to prepare, submit, review, and publish their theses and dissertations online and to append digital media such as images, data, audio, and video.
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Corrosion of reinforcing steel in concrete is a significant problem around the world. In the United States, there are approximately 600,000 bridges. From those bridges 24% are considered structurally deficient or functionally obsolete based on the latest, December 2010, statistic from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Mainly, this is due to chloride attack present in deicing salts which causes the reinforcing steel to corrode. Different solutions have been developed and used in practice to delay and prevent corrosion initiation.
The purpose of this research is to investigate the influence of corrosion on the failure mechanism that occurred on an Interstate 81 bridge deck. After 17 years in service, a 3ft x3ft closure pour section punched through. It was part of the left wheel path of the south bound right lane of the bridge deck. The bridge deck was replaced in 1992 as part of a bridge rehabilitation project, epoxy coated reinforcement were used as the reinforcing steel. Four slabs from the bridge deck, containing the closure, were removed and transported to the Virginia Tech Structures and Materials Research Laboratory for further evaluation. Also, three lab cast slabs were fabricated as part of the assessment program.
Corrosion evaluation and concrete shrinkage characterization were conducted in this research. The corrosion evaluation study included visual observation, clear concrete cover depth, concrete resistivity using single point resistivity, half-cell potential, and linear polarization using the 3LP device. Shrinkage characteristics were conducted on the lab cast slabs only, which consisted of monitoring shrinkage behavior of the specimens for 180 days and comparison of the data with five different shrinkage models. Based on the research results, guidance for assessment of other bridge decks with similar conditions will be constructed to avoid similar types of failures in the future.
Structural steel components erected in real buildings include a wide range of artifacts. In this case, the word artifact is used to describe both defects and fasteners that create discontinuities in the steel such as notches, nicks, welds, powder actuated fasteners, self-drilling screws, repaired defects, and others. Although artifacts occur in real structures and their presence may affect the ductility of elements subjected to large inelastic strains, there is a dearth of experimental data on the seismic behavior of structural systems with artifacts. For instance, full-scale testing of moment resisting connections is expensive which makes it economically infeasible to experimentally examine the wide range of possible artifact types, artifact locations, and structural configurations. A framework has been developed for evaluating the effect of artifacts on special moment resisting frame (SMRF) plastic hinge regions using relatively economical coupon tests. Cyclic bend tests and monotonic tension tests on flat plate coupons that include artifacts are used to calibrate fracture parameters for different low cycle fatigue models such as the Cyclic Void Growth Model (CVGM), Stress-Weighted Damage Model (SWDM) and Cyclic Damage Plasticity Model (CDPM) which are then used in conjunction with finite element (FE) models to predict fracture initiation in full-scale SMRF connections. The framework is general and can be applied to many types of artifacts and seismic structural systems. Fracture propagation has been studied also using CDPM for full-scale tests using FE finite element software LS-DYNA. Alternatively, recommendations for future work is proposed for developing a new test setup, studying artifacts sensitivity to material thickness, and a method of demonstrating equivalence for the artifacts.