Cost-Effective Uhpc For Accelerated Bridge Construction: Material Properties, Structural Elements, And Structural Applications


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Accelerated bridge construction (ABC) is becoming progressively popular in China due to its advantages in sustainable development. However, some challenges still prevent it from being further widespread, especially in some harsh environments. As one of the greatest advances in material science, ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC) is regarded as a competitive option for addressing the challenges of ABC due to its excellent material properties. A new cost-effective UHPC was developed with some modifications to weaken some adverse factors influencing the applications of UHPC in ABC, that is, high initial cost of material and steam/extreme heating curing requirements. Cost-effective UHPC is deemed to have the potential to build the critical zones of precast bridges, such as stress concentration zone, fatigue stress zone, inelastic deformation zone, harsh environment exposure zone, and late-cast joint zone, considering its material properties. In recent years, a series of tests have been done to investigate the cost-effective UHPC's material properties and its structural elements' mechanical behaviors. This paper systematically reports the cost-effective UHPC alternative for ABC from the laboratory tests on material properties and structural elements to real bridge implementations. Some challenges and future opportunities are presented for reference. The experimental results show that the cost-effective UHPC can have superior material properties and its structural elements can have satisfactory mechanical behaviors. Real engineering examples demonstrated that the cost-effective UHPC enables precast bridges to be lighter in weight, have higher strength, and support longer spans. The biggest challenge may be that more research and engineering examples are required to validate the feasibility of UHPC codes for cost-effective UHPC when it is applied in ABC.
Accelerated bridge construction, Ultra-high-performance concrete, Cost-effective, Material properties, Structural elements, Structural applications
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