Shrinkage of Latex-Modified and Microsilica Concrete Overlay Mixtures

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Virginia Tech

Highway bridge decks are often overlaid to extend service life by reducing the rate of chloride ion ingress and the rate of corrosion of reinforcing steel in the sound chloride-contaminated concrete that is left in-place. Bridge deck overlays in Virginia are usually either latex-modified concrete or microsilica concrete, and both types of overlay are considered equivalent in terms of performance. However, the latex-modified concrete overlays are more expensive to construct than the microsilica concrete overlays. Thus, it is important to determine if these overlays do perform equivalently to ensure that short-term savings do not lead to higher long-term costs.

Shrinkage is one of the overlay performance parameters. Shrinkage is a three-dimensional deformation of concrete that results in an overall reduction in volume. Total shrinkage may be measured under either restrained or unrestrained conditions.

This research examines the shrinkage performances of Virginia Department of Transportation-approved latex-modified and microsilica concrete overlay mixtures and was conducted on both field-sampled and laboratory-fabricated restrained and unrestrained specimens. Based on crack and delamination surveys of sampled bridge decks and laboratory test results, a shrinkage performance-based specification for the Virginia Department of Transportation was developed.

There was no significant difference between the unrestrained shrinkage values of latex-modified and microsilica concrete overlay mixtures for the specified time periods. Restrained microsilica concrete specimens generally cracked earlier and more frequently than restrained latex-modified concrete specimens. However, the bridge deck crack and delamination surveys show that construction conditions and quality and traffic type and frequency may have a greater effect on cracking than the overlay material.

bridge deck overlays, shrinkage, microsilica concrete, latex-modified concrete