University of Utah engineers develop process to repair earthquake-damaged bridge columns in days, not weeks
In just 30 seconds, a devastating earthquake like the ones that struck Japan and Ecuador can render a city helpless. With roadways split and bridges severely damaged, residents and emergency personnel could be prevented from moving around to rebuild.
Normally, it takes weeks to repair the cracking or spalling of columns on just one bridge damaged in an earthquake. But a team of researchers led by University of Utah civil and environmental engineering professor Chris Pantelides has developed a new process of fixing columns that takes as little as a few days. This process is outlined in a new paper published Thursday, April 28, 2016 in the most recent issue of theAmerican Concrete Institute Structural Journal.
“With this design and process, it is much easier and faster for engineers and crews to rebuild a city ravaged by an earthquake so that critical roadways remain open for emergency vehicles,” Pantelides says.
In an earthquake, a bridge is designed to take the brunt of the damage at the top and bottom of the vertical columns where they meet the foundation and the horizontal beams. If a bridge survives from collapsing but the columns are damaged, it is likely too unstable to be driven over. And if several of the steel rebar in the columns have snapped, the bridge likely cannot be repaired at all and must be torn down.
But if the columns can be repaired, engineers typically chip away at the concrete, replace any bent rebar and steel hoops inside and then pour new concrete into a steel cast that’s built around the column. That’s a lengthy process that leaves the bridge unusable for weeks until the repair is finished.
Pantelides’ quicker and more cost-effective process involves creating concrete donuts known as “repairs” that are lined with a composite fiber material built around the bottom and top of each column. The material is a carbon fiber-reinforced polymer made of fibers and resin that is stronger than concrete and steel.
First, a number of steel rebars with heads are drilled into the foundation around the column and secured with an epoxy. Then two halves of a circular shell made of the composite fiber (that are just millimeters thick) are placed around the column and rebar and spliced together. Concrete is poured around the column and over the rebar with the composite fiber acting as a mold. The result is a repaired column with approximately the same structural integrity as the original column, Pantelides says.
“The circular shape gives you the best strength for the amount of material you are using. The stresses are distributed equally all around the periphery,” he says. “With this method, if there are future earthquakes or aftershocks the bridge will survive and damage will happen adjacent to the donut. This gives the bridge a second life.”
The process also could be used to retrofit bridges to make them more earthquake-safe, though it was specifically designed for repair. And it’s not limited to repairing just bridges. The procedure also can be used on damaged columns around a building. Pantelides and his team have filed patents on the process, and he says it can be utilized by construction companies on earthquake-ravaged areas immediately.
Learn more: Speedy bridge repair
The Latest on: New bridge repair method
via Google News
The Latest on: New bridge repair method
- Monterey County roads, bridges slated for repairson May 25, 2022 at 1:44 pm
No fewer than four road projects totaling nearly $18 million are planned for the unincorporated area of Monterey County in upcoming months, many addressing road surfaces and bridges that have long ...
- Ochsner offers new method of ACL surgeryon May 24, 2022 at 2:31 pm
Ochsner is the first to perform a procedure using a new method for repairing ACL injuries. Dr. Jeremy Burnham, Ochsner Baton Rouge Medical Director of Sports ...
- Port Authority of Allegheny County restores full service to Red Line light-rail route following bridge repairson May 24, 2022 at 9:38 am
Previously, the route had been disrupted since Feb. 4 when the bridge, which this line ... After conducting testing with the new tracks and repairs over the past few days, the Port Authority ...
- Crossing Wheatstone Bridgeson May 23, 2022 at 5:00 pm
The Murray loop test is a method of using a Wheatstone bridge to find the location of ... Knowing the length Lx, we know where to dig to repair the fault. We said you can find Wheatstone bridges ...
- Ga. 53 and Dawsonville Highway bridge open, traffic to shift Fridayon May 19, 2022 at 3:24 pm
The Georgia Department of Transportation announced on Thursday that the Ga. 53 and Dawsonville Highway westbound bridge is open.
- Bridges in Troubleon May 19, 2022 at 9:25 am
WSB, now scheduled to reopen in mid-2022, is one in a long line of bridges that require serious state and local attention. According to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA ...
- Road projects underway, more to comeon May 19, 2022 at 7:00 am
Road construction is underway with more to come as the city, county and state each tackle summer projects. The project affecting the most people is MnDOT’s Snake River Bridge reconstruction in Mora.
- Second half of bridge removal in Morristown begins as part of REDI programon May 17, 2022 at 4:20 pm
MORRISTOWN — The removal of Morristown’s Northumberland Street bridge continues as part of a $2.1 million Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative project implemented by the state ...
- Four years after fatal collapse, Florida unveils design for a new FIU pedestrian bridgeon May 5, 2022 at 1:14 pm
Contractors used an “accelerated” construction method as a way to shorten building times and minimize traffic disruption. The new bridge ... emergency repairs on the bridge just before the ...
- What Rockford employees discovered under Keith Creek causing water project cost to soaron April 28, 2022 at 8:24 am
Officials are now also seeking funds from City Council to repair water ... To avoid damaging the bridge with a traditional open cut replacement method, Saunders said the new water main will ...
via Bing News