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Increasing the Service Life of Bridge Decks by Incorporating Phase Change Materials (PCMs) to Reduce Freeze/Thaw Cycles

Published

Author(s)

Aaron R. Sakulich, Dale P. Bentz

Abstract

During a freezing event, pore solution in cementitious bodies expands and creates stresses that can cause damage; therefore, reducing the number of freeze/thaw cycles experienced by a structure will extend the structure’s service life. The incorporation of phase change materials (PCMs) as a way to reduce the number of freeze/thaw cycles experienced by bridge decks has been investigated by modeling and mechanical testing, calorimetry, and x-ray microtomography. Models identified regions where freeze/thaw damage is not a significant concern, as well as two regions where this technology may be practical, increasing the service life of a bridge deck by at least one year. The incorporation of PCM reduces strength by varying amounts, and for varying reasons, depending on which PCM is used and how it is introduced into the concrete. As a variety of methods exist to address this loss in strength, PCM incorporation is a promising technique for addressing one aspect of the impending infrastructure crisis in the United States.
Citation
Cement and Concrete Composites
Volume
24
Issue
8

Keywords

Bridge Deck, Phase Change Material

Citation

Sakulich, A. and Bentz, D. (2012), Increasing the Service Life of Bridge Decks by Incorporating Phase Change Materials (PCMs) to Reduce Freeze/Thaw Cycles, Cement and Concrete Composites, [online], https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=908535 (Accessed July 18, 2024)

Issues

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Created August 1, 2012, Updated February 19, 2017