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Rudi Seracino


Fitts-Woolard Hall 3171


Dr Rudi Seracino is a Professor of Structural Engineering and the Associate Head for undergraduate programs in the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering at NC State University, USA. He serves as the NC State Site Director of the NSF Industry-University Cooperative Research Center (IUCRC) for the Integration of Composites into Infrastructure (CICI). Dr Seracino is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering at the University of Adelaide, Australia.

Dr Seracino is a Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and is an elected Fellow of the International Institute for FRP in Construction (IIFC). He is a voting member the American Concrete Institute (ACI) committee 440 on FRP Reinforcement, and serves on the editorial board member of the ASCE Journal of Composites for Construction. Dr Seracino is a member of the American Composites Manufacturing Association (ACMA), the Prestressed/Precast Concrete Institute (PCI), and the Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute (CRSI).


Ph.D. Civil Engineering University of Adelaide 2000

M.A.Sc. Civil Engineering University of Toronto 1995

B.A.Sc. Civil Engineering University of Toronto 1993

Area(s) of Expertise

Dr. Seracino's research interests are broadly categorized as the application of advanced materials and systems to enhance the resilience of critical civil infrastructure. He is interested in the application of advanced fiber reinforced polymers (FRP), particularly in the development of FRP systems for the repair or strengthening of existing concrete infrastructure. His research includes large-scale destructive testing at the Constructed Facilities Laboratory and analytical modeling.


View all publications 


Date: 12/15/19 - 11/30/25
Amount: $200,000.00
Funding Agencies: National Science Foundation (NSF)

Abstract: The NSF IUCRC for Integration of Composites into Infrastructure (CICI) is specialized at innovating advanced fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composites and techniques for the rapid repair, strengthening or replacement of highway, railway, waterway, bridge, building, pipeline and other critical civil infrastructure. The Center consists of West Virginia University (WVU) as the lead institution in the current Phase II, with North Carolina State University (NCSU), the University of Miami (UM), and the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) as partner university sites. CICI is currently establishing an international site at the Center for Engineering and Industrial Development (CIDESI) in Queretaro, Mexico, through a collaboration between NSF and the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT) in Mexico. The primary objective of the Center is to accelerate the adoption of polymer composites and innovative construction materials into infrastructure through joint research programs between the university sites in collaboration with the composites and construction industries. In Phase III, CICI aims to broaden its scope of research in composites to include: 1) nondestructive testing methods; 2) manufacturing techniques, such as 3D printing; 3) inspection techniques, such as the use of drones with high resolution cameras; 4) in-situ modifications of infrastructure systems, resulting in enhanced durability and thermo-mechanical properties; and 5) cost-effective recycling of high value composites, enabled by the addition of CIDESI.

Date: 08/01/23 - 7/31/24
Amount: $123,457.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Transportation

Sampson County Bridge No. 810003 is a three-span prestressed channel structure built in 1966 on Service Route No. 1933 across Branch Six Run Creek. Six channel beams (12 stems) were retrofit in November of 2020 using a prestressed mechanically fastened fiber reinforced polymer (MF-FRP) system. The retrofit was designed to restore prestressing forces lost due to corrosion of internal steel strands. The retrofit was intended as a temporary measure to keep the bridge open without lowered load postings while a bridge replacement could be designed, bid, and scheduled. Bridge 810003 is scheduled for demolition and replacement in late 2022 or early 2023. The proposed research aims to salvage the six retrofitted channel beams from Bridge 810003 that have been in-service for more than 21 months. In addition, the work proposes to salvage two additional control beams from the bridge that have not been retrofitted. Beams will be identified prior to bridge demolition, carefully removed from the bridge during demolition with the MF-FRP repair systems intact, trucked to Constructed Facilities Laboratory (CFL) in Raleigh, and tested to failure in the laboratory. Samples of the FRP material will be recovered from the tested beams and for material-scale tension testing. Concrete cores will be taken from the beams to determine the concrete compressive strength. The proposed experiments will capture the full response to failure of the retrofit beams, allowing for comparison to analytical predictions and evaluation of the effectiveness and durability of the retrofit. Predications of beam behavior will use the procedures developed as part of previous research project RP2018-16. As justified by the research results, edits to the existing design methods, installation procedures, inspection procedures, ratings spreadsheet, and standard details and specifications will be developed and proposed. This proposed research project presents a unique opportunity to evaluated the performance of in-service girders that cannot be replicated on new concrete girders.

Date: 08/01/21 - 7/31/24
Amount: $365,074.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Transportation

The NCDOT has previously funded FRP related research projects through NC State University. RP2014-09 consisted of material characterization of Glass FRP reinforcing bars and Carbon FRP prestressing strand (of the same type to be used in the Harkers Island Bridge replacement), and the design, construction and destructive testing of full-scale 45 ft. long hollow core slabs commonly used throughout North Carolina. The design was consistent with the then current ACI440 and AASHTO design guide documents. The test results demonstrated that the flexural and shear performance of the all FRP-reinforced cored slabs was ????????????????equivalent??????????????? to that of traditional steel-reinforced cored slabs designed to current NCDOT standards. More recently, RP2018-16 developed an innovative rapid repair solution suitable for common prestressed concrete bridge elements, including cored-slabs and C-channel beams. The system is comprised of a prestressed mechanically-fastened FRP plate that restores lost prestress force in deteriorated bridge beams such that inventory and operating load rating restrictions may be removed enabling the bridge to remain in service until replacement is scheduled. In April 2019 this repair system was implemented on Bridge No. 380080 in Franklin County, and a second application was installed on Bridge No. 810003 in Sampson County in November 2020. While there are applications of FRP materials and systems in the repair or strengthening of existing concrete bridges in North Carolina, the Harkers Island Bridge replacement will be the first to fully replace all internal reinforcing and prestressing steel with FRP alternatives in a new construction. The Harkers Island Bridge will be among the largest applications of FRP in a fully FRP-reinforced new concrete bridge in the United States. The experience and long-term performance data collected from this bridge will contribute to the validation and future editions of ASTM standards, material and construction specifications, and design codes including those from AASHTO and ACI. Ultimately, the outcomes of this research project will lead to improved NCDOT design and construction of durable bridge infrastructure resulting in reduced maintenance and repair, longer service life, and cost-savings.

Date: 01/01/21 - 12/31/23
Amount: $40,000.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Transportation

Hydraulic spread calculations dictate the number and spacing of deck drains and closed drainage system locations. Closed drainage systems require routine maintenance to function properly, but typically maintenance is not performed until the drainage system has failed, and problems become apparent. Current procedures for calculating hydraulic spread results in closely spaced bridge deck drains which present a construction challenge and requires regular maintenance during the life span of the bridge. Current drainage systems adopted by North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) routinely fail and are difficult to maintain. The main objective of this research is to update NCDOT??????????????????s guidelines for bridge deck drains design and investigate potential alternative drainage systems to be used by NCDOT in future bridge construction projects. Upon the completion of this research project, the research findings will provide NCDOT personnel with improved hydraulic spread calculations to reduce the number of bridge deck drains, which will reduce the initial construction cost, minimize maintenance expenditure, and improve the life cycle cost of the bridge drainage system.

Date: 01/01/21 - 12/31/23
Amount: $255,764.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Transportation

The NCDOT is in the process of deconstructing the 56 year old Bonner Bridge. This deconstruction provides an opportunity to evaluate the aged girders of the bridge and to compare their performance to load rating calculations. Such a comparison will provide a better understanding of the accuracy and assumptions associated with prestressing losses and will allow for refinements to the load rating procedures. This project focuses on a complete performance evaluation of the Bonner Bridge girders including full-scale load testing of 9 of the 61 ft. by 45 in. deep AASHTO Type III girders. The load testing will be conducted in the Constructed Facilities Lab (CFL) located at North Carolina State University. The research will provide recommendations for updates to the NCDOT Structures Management??????????????????s Manual guidelines. These assessments will also include directly evaluating the current amount of stress (after losses) in the girder prestressing steel; the condition, strength and stiffness of the concrete materials; and the location and extent of damage and repair of the girders.

Date: 01/01/21 - 8/14/23
Amount: $224,005.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Transportation

The purpose of this research is to assist the NCDOT Traffic Management Unit (TMU) and the Value Management Office (VMO) in assessing issues regarding the construction of Diverse, Modern, and Unconventional Intersections and Interchanges (DMUII). Assessing the constructability of these emerging DMUII is a new area of study that has not yet been previously explored. Therefore, this research will identify factors affecting construction projects prior to construction and develop a schedule and cost payout model (based on prior NCDOT projects) that identifies problems related to expenditure, schedule, and obstruction of traffic during construction.

Date: 08/01/19 - 7/31/23
Amount: $294,401.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Transportation

Integral abutment (IA) bridges may provide many advantages over conventional bridges during construction and subsequent maintenance. NCDOT has been designing various types of IA bridges. Unlike conventional bridges, IA bridges do not have expansion joints within the bridge deck or between the bridge deck and supporting abutments. Expansion joints and bearings in a conventional bridge are costly, and leaking joints cause deterioration of girders and bearings ?????????????????? leading to potential?????????ly unsafe conditions and high maintenance and repair costs. Besides cost savings related to construction and maintenance, IA bridges also provide superior performance during extreme loading events, such as earthquake and blast loading, and are being built at an increasing rate in the United States. NCDOT began utilizing integral abutments in 2006. Since that time, NCDOT has provided varying guidance and details for integral abutments, but the overall performance of each detail has not been documented. Because IA bridges are built without expansion joints, thermal expansion and contraction must be accommodated by movement of the abutments. Thus, significant forces can develop in the bridge structure, abutments, piles, and soil surrounding the bridge substructure. The magnitude of these forces and response of the IA bridge to them is strongly dependent on the stiffness of the bridge structure, pile foundations, and soil. If the piles and soil are too stiff, large unwanted forces/stresses may develop in the bridge. On the other hand, if the backfill is relatively flexible and the embankment and foundation soil is stiff, unwanted yielding of the piles may occur at the bottom of the abutment. The fact that the soil response is strongly dependent on moisture content, which can vary significantly both seasonally and over the life of the bridge, results in unexpected problems. NCDOT reported that components of their integral abutments have been removed, added, or revised to address construction and maintenance problems without monitoring the influence of the revisions. Evaluation of these revisions is needed and recommendations for updates provided, as required.

Date: 01/01/21 - 12/31/22
Amount: $65,106.00
Funding Agencies: Center for Integration of Composites into Infrastructure (CICI) - NCSU Research Site

Precast double tees with thin stems are a widely used and highly successful floor member in parking structures and other buildings. Frequently, the end supports are dapped such that the bottom of the double tee is level with the bottom of the inverted tee or ledger beam on which it is supported. The dapped connection detail is especially important at crossovers between spans in parking structures because the overall structural depth and floor-to-floor height need not be increased where the double tee is supported by an inverted tee beam. Double tees with dapped ends are typically 24??????????????? to 30??????????????? deep and often carry parking loads, however, much deeper tees (48???????????????) are becoming more common due to the heavier loads and longer spans needed in data centers and other specialty structures.

Date: 01/17/19 - 12/31/22
Amount: $232,000.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Transportation (DOT)

Bridge column repair has been studied for some time with several established techniques for repair for shear and confinement critical columns. Recent research at NC State has demonstrated the feasibility of repair of heavily damaged bridge columns, including those suffering buckling and fracture of reinforcement, through the use of ???????????????Plastic Hinge Relocation??????????????????. That research led to the development of a set of repair techniques using both conventional and advanced materials. The research described in this proposal aims to further advance the techniques that have been developed, while identifying others that may lead to a more efficient repair design. The specific objectives of the research described in this proposal are to: (1) Experimentally verify the behavioral mechanisms developed in the prior study; (2) Investigate options for simplifying the repair process through alternative connections between adjoining members; (3) Evaluate alternative forming options for the repair region; (4) Study the use of rebar couplers for fractured bars; and (5) Evaluate residual drift limits within the context of complete bridge structures. The above will be accomplished through large scale tests that will take advantage of columns already constructed and tests as part of a different research program. In addition, the residual drift computational study developed in Phase 1 will be further developed to evaluate its performance for more complex bridge systems. Recommendations will consist of additional repair technique alternatives that can be implemented into the design guide developed during Phase 1. It is worth noting also that although the focus of this project is on earthquake induced damage, the repair techniques developed will also be applicable to the repair of other forms of damage, including environmental deterioration such as steel reinforcement corrosion and ice flows.

Date: 01/01/21 - 6/30/22
Amount: $44,999.00
Funding Agencies: Center for Integration of Composites into Infrastructure (CICI) - NCSU Research Site

A precast concrete sandwich panel is typically comprised of a rigid foam core with a layer of concrete on each face. A wythe connector bridges the insulating core and joins the concrete wythes structurally. Traditionally, solid zones of concrete or steel ties have been used as wythe connections, however, these methods are thermally inefficient. The thermal bridging created is significant, and more thermally efficient wythe ties are needed. Enter a wide variety of proprietary FRP wythe connectors on the market. Carbon fiber grid is one option for wythe connection in precast concrete sandwich wall panels that is both thermally and structurally efficient. The system has been tested extensively under static and cyclic loads. It has not been tested as extensively for creep deformation over time. The experimental plan includes loading several small wall panels with full-scale cross-sections for long durations. Standard ????????????????push specimens??????????????? will be used and will be tested prior to loading (control specimens) and after sustained loading for 1 year. Various levels of sustained loading will be selected at percentages of the ultimate loads sustained by the control samples.

Date: 07/01/20 - 6/30/22
Amount: $100,000.00
Funding Agencies: Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI)

Full Membership to CICI

Date: 07/01/20 - 6/30/22
Amount: $45,000.00
Funding Agencies: AltusGroup, Inc.

Membership in CICI.

Date: 08/01/17 - 8/15/21
Amount: $145,000.00
Funding Agencies: Center for Integration of Composites into Infrastructure (CICI) - NCSU Research Site

Prestressed concrete beams of various shapes and forms are among the common bridge superstructure systems used by NCDOT. Many such bridges are in varying states of distress and require retrofit to extend their useful service life prior to complete superstructure replacement. The need for repair with prestressed concrete beams is typically visually apparent and associated with corrosion of the internal steel reinforcement. The challenge at hand is to develop retrofit techniques that are durable, easy to install, field inspect and maintain, and that may be applied to the range of prestressed concrete and steel beam types. Critically, NCDOT must also be able to rate the proposed retrofit using approved AASHTO methods before it may be applied in the field. In many cases the retrofit may be considered temporary since the bridge superstructure may be scheduled for replacement in the near future. Temporary retrofit is intended to provide the ability to maintain sufficiently high operating rating to keep the bridge functional while replacement is scheduled. In lieu of an acceptable retrofit, the bridge may need to be load posted or closed, often resulting in significant detours and disruption. In addition to the technical design details, proposed retrofits must also be competitive in the context of a cost-benefit analysis. The overall objective of this project is to develop a retrofit solution using Mechanically Fastened (MF) Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) plates to specifically address the most common load rating issues of hollow cored prestressed concrete slabs. As the CFRP is attached to the concrete substrate using metallic fasteners the retrofit solution does not rely on the use of an epoxy adhesive bond, nor does it require significant surface preparation. This retrofit solution is sufficiently durable to extend the service life until such time that major rehabilitation or replacement may be scheduled without the need to load post the bridge. Removing the need for an adhesive bond typical of other FRP retrofit solutions simplifies the installation procedure and facilitates field inspection.

Date: 07/01/19 - 6/30/21
Amount: $100,000.00
Funding Agencies: Center for Integration of Composites into Infrastructure (CICI) - NCSU Research Site

A project focused on the strengthening of reinforced concrete columns under reverse cyclic loading is proposed. Concrete columns will be produced with integrated foundations and will be strengthened with various types of Fiber Reinforced Polymer strengthening systems. The strengthening will be focused on flexural strengthening through confinement and on shear strengthening through external FRP stirrups. All columns will be loaded under reverse cyclic load histories in the presence of axial load. The goal of the program will be to investigate whether various systems can meet building code requirements for FRP strengthening systems.

Date: 07/01/10 - 6/30/21
Amount: $25,000.00
Funding Agencies: Center for Integration of Composites into Infrastructure (CICI) - NCSU Research Site

CICI Administrative Account

Date: 08/01/17 - 5/28/21
Amount: $168,615.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Transportation

Prestressed concrete C-channels and cored slabs, and steel beams of various shapes and forms make up a significant percentage of the common bridge superstructure systems used by NCDOT. Many such bridges are in varying states of distress and require retrofit to extend their useful service life prior to major rehabilitation or superstructure replacement. The challenge is to develop retrofit techniques that are durable, easy to install, monitor and maintain, and that may be applied to the range of prestressed concrete and steel beam types. Critically, NCDOT must also be able to rate the proposed retrofit using approved AASHTO methods before it may be applied in the field. In many cases the retrofit may be considered temporary since the bridge may be scheduled for replacement in the near future. Temporary strengthening is intended to provide the ability to maintain a sufficiently high operating rating to keep the bridge functional while replacement is scheduled. In lieu of an acceptable retrofit, the bridge may need to be load posted or closed, often resulting in significant detours and disruption.

Date: 11/01/14 - 12/31/20
Amount: $225,000.00
Funding Agencies: National Science Foundation (NSF)

The proposed project has an information technology (IT) component that will be coordinated with CICI university partners (UM and NCSU). The following sections highlight the nature of the project??????????????????s data generation, storage, retention, and sharing components as per NCSU. Expected data This research is expected generate datasets similar to those produced by a typical materials/structures laboratory. The types of data include: ??????????????????? Experimental measurements from voltage or current measurement devices. These measurements will be converted to useful units through calibration scales. Data will be collected by instruments and sensors such as: strain gauges, load cells, linear variable differential transformers (LVDTs), and displacement transducers. ??????????????????? Quantitative information in the form of human or machine readouts from measurement devices such as rulers, meter tapes, volume measurement containers, scales, and environmental gauges. ??????????????????? Qualitative information such as experimental behavior, test conditions, or other significant observations. ??????????????????? Multimedia data such as photographs, videos, screen captures, audio/video logs captured by cameras, camcorders, or audio recorders, or other multimedia devices. ??????????????????? Written documents such as progress logs, journal articles, periodic reports, presentations, or any other document detailing progress, results, or outcomes. Data will be collected for the entire duration of this project. In particular, data is expected to be collected during testing preparation, equipment calibration, testing, personnel training, and demonstrations. Data related to the dissemination of information such as written documents or multimedia data, as it relates to publication or sharing of results, creation of manuscripts for archival publication, presentations, and reports, is expected to be generated following significant milestones in the project, and can be expected on a monthly or longer frequency. The project will result in the creation of a software framework for data management, sharing, analysis, and visualization. The code will be managed by graduate students and will be supervised by the PI. The majority of the code will be uploaded to a code repository such as GITHUB, where the code will be made open source under a GNU license.

Date: 07/01/19 - 6/30/20
Amount: $50,000.00
Funding Agencies: Center for Integration of Composites into Infrastructure (CICI) - NCSU Research Site

This project investigates the performance of prefabricated GFRP shells with CFRP strips to restore the lost strength of deteriorated load-bearing timber piles. Specimens of the shell system will be tested in pure hope tension using the environmental chamber to optimize the elements making up the shell. Subsequently, a series of small-scale axial compression tests will be designed and tested applied to short timber piles with representative levels of damage induced. Finally, a series of large-scale flexural tests will be designed and tested applied to long timber piles. The timber elements and the GFRP shell systems will be provided by IAB member Warstone according to the specifications requested. Design recommendations will be provided allowing the GFRP shell system to be applied to deteriorated timber piles efficiently and effectively.

Date: 07/01/18 - 6/30/20
Amount: $100,000.00
Funding Agencies: Warstone Innovations, LLC

Full Membership

Date: 08/01/17 - 6/30/20
Amount: $145,833.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Transportation

Full Membership

Date: 07/01/17 - 5/15/20
Amount: $70,000.00
Funding Agencies: Center for Integration of Composites into Infrastructure (CICI) - NCSU Research Site

In seismic regions it is often necessary to strengthen the cold joint of a concrete wall-to-slab interface and to provide load-path continuity for the longitudinal interfacial shear developed from in-plane loading. Engineers are designing and implementing such details without any direction from existing design guides. The purpose of this project is to experimentally test a common design detail used in practice to observe its full behavior to failure and quantify the contribution of the FRP strengthening system to the total shear resistance. It is common for these details to specify FRP spike anchors to prevent, or delay, debonding of the FRP strengthening system. Hence, there is also a need to quantify the behavior of FRP spike anchors in small-scale single-shear test specimens since design guides and anchor manufacturers provide very limited useful information on their design and capacity.

Date: 07/01/18 - 6/30/19
Amount: $50,000.00
Funding Agencies: QuakeWrap, Inc.

Full Membership

Date: 07/01/18 - 6/30/19
Amount: $50,000.00
Funding Agencies: Simpson Strong-Tie Company, Inc.

Full Membership

Date: 03/01/16 - 5/15/19
Amount: $221,258.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Transportation (DOT)

This research proposal studies the behavior of a common bridge system employed in Alaska that utilizes decked bulb-tee girders connected by a diamond shaped longitudinal grouted keyway joint with intermittent steel shear connectors. While the behavior of the joint under gravity loads is well established, the performance under transverse seismic excitation is largely unknown. Through the use of full scale subassembly tests and non-linear modelling, recommendations on (1) Connection limit states; (2) Improvements to the connection (if needed); and (3) Lateral Modeling approaches will be proposed

Date: 12/20/16 - 3/29/19
Amount: $285,043.00
Funding Agencies: US Army

Traditional concrete protective structures encountered by ground forces typically have unconfined compressive strengths of between 3,000 to 6,000 psi. Recent advances in concrete technology have resulted in new concrete materials with compressive strengths of 30,000 psi or greater. No field instrument currently exists that can simultaneously determine the compressive strength, thickness, and rebar configuration of concrete structures across today??????????????????s wide range of possible compressive strengths. In STTR Phase I/II efforts, NLA Diagnostics LLC (NLAD) developed a prototype instrument that measures both compressive strength and concrete thickness up to 33,000 psi and 6 ft, respectively. NLAD has also mapped out a technical course to locate rebar within the concrete. This proposed project will take input from military operators to improve packaging of the existing technology and to implement a rebar mapping capability in order to enhance military capabilities to defeat concrete protective structures, accelerate the ability to deploy concrete characterization instruments with operating forces, and reduce the technical risks associated with engaging concrete protective structures in tactical situations.

Date: 05/15/15 - 9/30/18
Amount: $228,000.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Transportation (DOT)

Modern seismic design practices for bridge structures involve the use of capacity design principles that locate plastic hinges in columns, while protecting against other modes of failure or locations of damage. For large earthquakes, the formation of plastic hinges in columns can lead to buckling and rupture of longitudinal steel. Traditionally, once buckling occurs, bridge columns are demolished and rebuilt because the cost to replace portions of columns can be prohibitive. Replacement is deemed necessary since the inelastic strain capacity of reinforcing bars is severely diminished once buckling occurs, rendering the structure vulnerable to collapse in future earthquakes. Bridge column repair has been studied for some time with several established techniques for repair for shear and confinement critical columns. To the knowledge of the PIs, there is little data available on repair of columns that are otherwise designed to modern standards. Similarly, there is little data available on developing an understanding of when repair is truly needed, and when repair is truly no longer feasible. A recent pilot study conducted at NCSU demonstrated the feasibility of a repair technique which employed the relocation of the plastic hinge to a previously undamaged location within the column. This was successfully employed for columns that sustained buckled reinforcing bars, and showed promise for columns with fractured bars. In this proposal, the pilot study is expanded by developing a suite of repair techniques aimed at achieving plastic hinge relocation in damaged columns. Techniques may include the use of fiber reinforced polymers, high strength steel, reinforced concrete and structural steel. The focus will be on the concept of ???????????????hinge relocation for repair?????????????????? and will consider variables such as the need for rapid deployment following an event, environmental conditions at the time of repair, and expertise of potential repair workers in Alaska. The research will utilize columns that will be built and damaged as part of another AKDOT research project, thus maximizing resources. Recommendations will consist of analysis and design guidelines, as a function of damage level (i.e. strain limits), for repair design of reinforced concrete (RC) bridge column to footing connections. The recommendations will also be applicable to some RC column to cap connections, although specific tests on that configuration are not part of this phase of work.. In addition, analytical studies will be conducted on other bridge column connection types (e.g., reinforced concrete filled steel pipes to pile cap beams) such that the direction for future experimental work on those connections may proceed.

Date: 07/01/16 - 6/30/18
Amount: $100,000.00
Funding Agencies: Structural Technologies, Inc.

Full Membership

Date: 01/01/13 - 6/30/16
Amount: $125,000.00
Funding Agencies: Center for Integration of Composites into Infrastructure (CICI) - NCSU Research Site


Date: 11/18/13 - 5/18/16
Amount: $233,119.00
Funding Agencies: US Army

During covert operations, the U.S. Army may be required to breach a concrete structure using a controlled explosion. When choosing the most effective charge size and placement, it is vital to perform a rapid field assessment of the material and structural properties of the target structure. However, recent advances in manufacturing high strength concrete materials may increase the uncertainty of these assessment methods. Therefore, the Army is seeking a non-destructive evaluation (NDE) system which can connect with currently fielded Army systems and identify the following required information: compressive strength of in-situ concrete from 3 ksi to 30 ksi within +/- 3 ksi; wall thickness up to 6 ft with an accuracy of 1 ft; presence and location of metal substructure (such as steel reinforcement) within 1ft from the wall surface; and presence of fiber reinforcement. This project will utilize the commercially available NLA RECON? (manufactured by NLA Diagnostics, LLC), which is rugged, portable, and a field-ready NDE system. The NLA RECON? will utilize ultrasonic pulse velocity, impact-echo, pulse-echo, and ultrasonic attenuation to meet or exceed the Army?s requirements. Tests will be performed on a selected set of large concrete specimens constructed at the Constructed Facilities Laboratory of North Carolina State University, and on in-service structures in the Raleigh, NC, area. The outcome of the project is a handheld system which will utilize an array of transducers to test an appropriately sized area with maximum speed and accuracy. In addition to displaying the material properties and appropriate breaching charge size, the final version will rapidly obtain a two dimensional image of the internal features of the structure. The system could be held against the wall or structure and the proposed tests would be performed automatically. The operator will need very little, if any, NDE expertise to use this equipment. There is vast potential for dual use in numerous applications within the Department of Defense and the commercial sector. For example, state Departments of Transportation could use this all-in-one solution to assess the compressive strength and quality of deteriorating concrete infrastructure. In a similar manner to the Army, the Department of Homeland Security, as well as state and local authorities, could use the technology for breaching concrete structures.

Date: 06/16/14 - 8/31/15
Amount: $99,720.00
Funding Agencies: California Department of Transportation

Caltrans has expressed a desire to utilize ASTM A706 Grade 80 reinforcing steel for design of capacity protected members, as well as for members expected to form plastic hinges in bridges. As a consequence, the complete stress-strain curve of the material must be characterized such that it may be used in moment-curvature analysis and section design. There is little information available in the literature on material tests of A706 Grade 80 steel, thus necessitating a comprehensive evaluation across many bar diameters, mills, and heats to get a statistically defendable stress-strain curve of the material. The goal of this research project is to determine the stress-strain curve for A706 Grade 80 steel. In order to achieve this goal, the work is divided into three tasks: (1) Review of existing data; (2) Physical testing of materials; and (3) Recommendations on stress-strain curve.

Date: 08/16/13 - 5/08/15
Amount: $127,050.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Transportation

Prestressed concrete cored slabs are common bridge elements used by the NCDOT for spans up to approximately 60 ft. While cored slabs are structurally efficient, serving as both superstructure and deck, their internal steel reinforcement can be vulnerable to corrosion. Corrosion is of particular concern when structures are located in aggressive environments such as coastal regions or in areas where deicing chemicals are used. The internal steel in cored slabs can corrode when salts and moisture penetrate the concrete from the road surface or are splashed onto the bridge from the bottom or sides. Recent inspections of prestressed concrete cored slab bridges in Carteret County, NC, have brought to light a significant degree of corrosion in the stirrups and prestressing strands of these members. In certain cases, corrosion has compromised layers of longitudinal reinforcement, leading to extensive delamination and spalling of the concrete cover from the soffit of the bridge superstructure. Specifically, the deterioration of the superstructure of Bridge No. 150035 and Bridge No. 150039 are such that they are scheduled for replacement within the next few months. As with most corroded reinforced and prestressed concrete structures, the extent of the deterioration that cannot be visually observed beyond the concrete cover depth is of greatest concern. For example, it is not known to what extent the layers of prestressing strands within the section have deteriorated. The bottom layer of prestressing is clearly deteriorated in several members, however, the condition of the strands above this lowermost layer is unknown. Similarly, the condition of the stirrups and strands behind large areas of delaminated concrete is not known from visual inspection alone. To address this issue a research program has been developed that will (i) critically evaluate existing non-destructive techniques used to quantify the extent of corrosion in existing in-service members, and that can be readily adopted by NCDOT maintenance engineers and contracted bridge inspectors, (ii) undertake detailed field investigations of the two bridges scheduled for superstructure replacement creating a comprehensive photographic record of the degrees and extent of deterioration, (iii) implement the non-destructive techniques on eight deteriorated prestressed concrete cored slab units identified and taken directly from the in-service bridges in order to evaluate their effectiveness and develop protocols for future use, and (iv) test the eight units to destruction in three-point bending to experimentally quantify and observe their failure mode and residual capacity. A unique feature of this research program is the direct correlation that will be established between field measurements (including both visual inspection and non-destructive testing), laboratory testing, and destructive inspection of in-service prestressed concrete cored slab units commonly used by NCDOT that were fabricated with materials common to NC and aged in an environment typical of coastal NC. The outcomes of which will enable NCDOT personnel to assess the residual strength and performance of other similar in-service bridges so that informed decisions may be made regarding maintenance, repair and replacement priorities.

Date: 08/16/13 - 5/08/15
Amount: $106,031.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Transportation

Prestressed concrete cored deck slabs are a common bridge component used by the NCDOT for spans as long as 60 ft. Cored deck slabs efficiently serve as both the bridge superstructure and the deck when placed side-by-side, spanning between bents. Bridges utilizing cored slabs are often subjected to deicing salts, or may be located in the vicinity of saltwater or brackish water. When exposed to moisture and salts, the prestressing and mild steel reinforcement inside any reinforced concrete structure will deteriorate, reducing structural capacity. The problem of corrosion can be exacerbated in cored deck slabs due to the potential for corrosive products to penetrate the cores via the top of the slab, causing corrosion to develop from the interior of the structure. This internal corrosion would not likely be spotted by a visual inspection. Fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) materials have the potential to improve the durability of cored deck slabs when used as a replacement for traditional mild steel and prestressing strands. FRP strands and bars are a proven non-metallic alternative to steel that have the advantage of being highly corrosion resistant. In addition to their corrosion resistance, FRP materials can offer strengths up to 3-5 times stronger than mild steel at approximately 1/5th the density. The proposed research project will assess the suitability of replacing steel prestressing strands in cored deck slabs with carbon fiber composite cable (CFCC) strands. In addition, the proposed research will investigate using glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) bars as a replacement for conventional mild steel reinforcement in cored deck units (stirrups and supplemental mild steel reinforcement). Producing a cored deck slab with CFCC strands and conventional mild steel transverse reinforcement would negate many of the benefits offered by the CFCC strands. Thus, an all-FRP solution will be developed, validated with full-scale laboratory testing, and documented with design recommendations and examples. Specifically, the research team will: ?h Conduct a detailed literature review to determine available test data, design recommendations, and guidelines that may be relevant for the use of CFCC strands and GFRP reinforcement in cored deck slabs. ?h Develop an approach for designing cored deck slabs using FRP strands and transverse reinforcement. ?h Design several sample cored deck slabs using the developed approach, assuring that all designs remain compatible with conventional production techniques and NCDOT standard details. ?h Develop designs for a series of cored deck slab specimens to be tested experimentally to validate the concept of using FRP for both prestressed and conventional reinforcement. ?h Develop a system for producing FRP-reinforced cored deck slabs using conventional fabrication techniques. In particular, details related to stressing CFCC strands will be implemented. ?h Document the production of full-scale cored deck specimens. ?h Conduct full-scale laboratory testing and analyze the test results. ?h Document the research program in a technical report, including design recommendations and an implementation plan. The outcomes of this research project will provide the NCDOT with the tools required to design and evaluate the performance of FRP-reinforced prestressed cored slabs. The enhanced durability of such systems can be evaluated in life-cycle cost analyses to quantitatively compare alternatives.

Date: 07/01/08 - 6/30/14
Amount: $2,766,873.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS)

The dynamic evolution of landforms under stress can lead to catastrophic loss of either functionality or of mass itself. This project will examine the dynamics of landforms undergoing a transition from one state to another (e.g., barrier island collapse, wetland loss, dune erosion) in order to determine critical defining features of the resilient natural and developed landforms. This descriptive dynamic will be translated into design parameters for restoration of protective or beneficial landforms (e.g., beaches, dunes, barrier islands, wetlands). In addition, this analysis will be used to provide improved metrics for communicating hazard and risk as well as incorporating hazard and risk into land use plans. This project lies at the interface between Coastal Hazards Science and Planning for Resilience focus areas and has the potential to provide insights to the Hazards, Human Behavior and Economic Resilience focus area.

Date: 09/30/09 - 9/30/13
Amount: $390,000.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS)

The purpose of this proposal is to establish a graduate research fellowship program to train students to be future leaders in the area of engineering of resilient civil infrastructure systems for coastal regions considering natural hazards. This program will be conducted in coordination with the ongoing DHS Center of Excellence on Natural Disasters, Coastal Infrastructure and Emergency Management.

Date: 07/01/12 - 6/30/13
Amount: $32,297.00
Funding Agencies: NCSU Research and Innovation Seed Funding Program

The goal of this program is to improve the performance, economy of means, and energy efficiency of commercial buildings, by advancing the state of the art in building systems concepts, by developing and defining methodologies for systems optimization, and by conducting material and technology research and development driven by careful identification of the building industry's needs.

Date: 11/14/12 - 5/14/13
Amount: $49,990.00
Funding Agencies: US Army - Army Research Office

During covert operations, the Army may be required to breach a concrete wall or structure using a controlled explosion. To choose the most effective charge size, it is vital to perform an in-the-field estimation of the strength, thickness, and reinforcement locations of the concrete wall. The current methods utilized are based on conventional concrete materials; however, the recent advances (such as Reactive powder concrete materials) in manufacturing of high strength concrete materials may increase the uncertainty of the methods. Therefore, the Army is seeking a non-destructive evaluation (NDE) system which can connect with currently fused Army systems and estimate compressive strength, the wall thickness, existence of metal substructure, and an estimation of the density of reinforcements. Phase I of this project will demonstrate how the portable, rugged, and field-ready NLA Recon??A? can meet the aforementioned Army requirements using the NDE methods of ultrasonic pulse velocity (UPV), impact echo, pulse echo and ultrasonic attenuation. Using these methods, NLA Diagnostics will demonstrate the ability of the NLA Recon??A? to detect wall thickness, compressive and tensile strength, presence and density of fiber reinforcement, and location and density of steel bar reinforcement. Experimental program of this project will be performed at North Carolina State University.

Date: 08/16/11 - 10/31/12
Amount: $79,038.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Transportation

The proposed research project will assess the problem of cracking in mass concrete in coastal structures and make recommendations about new or revised measures to prevent cracking. In particular, the research team will: - Assess the success or failure of current mitigation practices using examples from recent coastal bridge projects in North Carolina. - Develop a computer model to predict the evolution of temperature in hydrating concrete structures as a function of size, concrete mix design, and boundary conditions. The potential for cracking will be calculated by relating temperature gradients to thermal stresses, and comparing thermal stresses to the evolving strength of curing concrete. - Assess what conditions combine to result in mass concrete (susceptible to cracking) given current NCDOT standards and practices. - Evaluate modified mitigation practices (mix design, construction techniques, stay-in-place form designs). The model will be validated against field data from recent NCDOT projects or a lab test. - Develop new or modified guidelines for concrete mix designs, construction techniques, or design principles using the stay-in-place form concept that will mitigate early age cracking in mass concrete elements of NCDOT structures. With improved quality control specifications, NCDOT will have more crack-free mass concrete elements during the initial construction process. These elements will be significantly more durable than cracked concrete elements, leading to reduced maintenance costs and longer service life of new bridges in coastal environments.

Date: 08/27/11 - 8/26/12
Amount: $30,000.00
Funding Agencies: National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA)

The study of structural health monitoring (SHM) has become a major interest throughout the engineering community. From large civil structures to aircraft, practical applications for which to determine the residual strength or endurance of materials and components are of great interest. Non-destructive evaluation (NDE) techniques are ideal in damage modeling but existing technology has been very limited in its in-service detection capabilities. This research project will investigate optical sensors, a promising new NDE technique, which is mature enough for use in fiber reinforced polymer smart materials.

Date: 07/01/10 - 12/31/11
Amount: $25,000.00
Funding Agencies: Center for Integration of Composites into Infrastructure (CICI) - NCSU Research Site

Develop a rapid repair technique for damaged reinforced concrete columns with buckled and/or ruptured longitudinal steel reinforcement.

Date: 07/01/08 - 6/30/10
Amount: $45,000.00
Funding Agencies: Center for Repair of Buildings and Bridges With Composites (RB2C) - NCSU Research Site

This project focuses on developing fiber-reinforced concrete (FRC) mix designs using a renewable natural fiber known as Kenaf, which is grown locally in North Carolina as a replacement for tobacco farming. The largest natural bast fiber processing plant in North America is dedicated to processing Kenaf fibers, and is located in Snow Hill, NC. Natural fibers have a complex structural composition comprised of hydrophilic cellulose fibers bound by hydrophobic/oleophilic lignin and gums. Hence, it is necessary to chemically treat the fibers using nanotechnologies to create a structured interphase and interface on the raw natural fibers that not only improves bond between the fibers and the cement paste, but also chemically modifies the fiber surface and sub-surface to improve long term durability. The chemical treatments of the fibers will be undertaken by industry partners Biotech Mills and 3F. Optimized mix designs will be explored at the Constructed Facilities Laboratory at NC State University to maximize strength and ductility of the concrete post-cracking, while maintaining characteristics of the wet and hardened concrete suitable for structural applications. The lower specific gravity of the natural fibers will also have the additional benefit of producing lighter-weight concrete. The typical material property characteristics will be characterized for the optimized mix designs.

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