Characterization of Self-Consolidating Concrete for the Design of Precast, Pretensioned Bridge Superstructure Elements
Kim, Young Hoon
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Self-consolidating concrete (SCC) is a new, innovative construction material that can be placed into forms without the need for mechanical vibration. The mixture proportions are critical for producing quality SCC and require an optimized combination of coarse and fine aggregates, cement, water, and chemical and mineral admixtures. The required mixture constituents and proportions may affect the mechanical properties, bond characteristics, and long-term behavior, and SCC may not provide the same inservice performance as conventional concrete (CC). Different SCC mixture constituents and proportions were evaluated for mechanical properties, shear characteristics, bond characteristics, creep, and durability. Variables evaluated included mixture type (CC or SCC), coarse aggregate type (river gravel or limestone), and coarse aggregate volume. To correlate these results with full-scale samples and investigate structural behavior related to strand bond properties, four girder-deck systems, 40 ft (12 m) long, with CC and SCC pretensioned girders were fabricated and tested. Results from the research indicate that the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials Load and Resistance Factor Design (AASHTO LRFD) Specifications can be used to estimate the mechanical properties of SCC for a concrete compressive strength range of 5 to 10 ksi (34 to 70 MPa). In addition, the research team developed prediction equations for concrete compressive strength ranges from 5 to 16 ksi (34 to 110 MPa). With respect to shear characteristics, a more appropriate expression is proposed to estimate the concrete shear strength for CC and SCC girders with a compressive strength greater than 10 ksi (70 MPa). The author found that girder-deck systems with Type A SCC girders exhibit similar flexural performance as deck-systems with CC girders. The AASHTO LRFD (2006) equations for computing the cracking moment, nominal moment, transfer length, development length, and prestress losses may be used for SCC girder-deck systems similar to those tested in this study. For environments exhibiting freeze-thaw cycles, a minimum 16-hour release strength of 7 ksi (48 MPa) is recommended for SCC mixtures.