Ultra-High-Performance Concrete-A Game Changer in Structural Engineering
Received Date: January 30 , 2020; Published Date: February 19, 2020
Ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC) was first introduced as reactive powder concrete in the early 1990s by employees of the French contractor Bouygues. Since then, France, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, and several other countries have made significant progress in using this material for bridge construction and other applications. The first roadway bridge with UHPC beams was built in France in 2001, and was comprised of five double-tees, with a beam section referred to as a “π-shape.” In the United States, several state departments of transportation are exploring applications of UHPC for their bridge projects, with support from research conducted by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and their local universities. Most notably, Virginia has produced I-beams with UHPC, and Iowa has built two bridges with UHPC beams and one with a UHPC deck in the past ten years. Several companies market prepackaged UHPC mixes in the United States. However, due to the high cost of these prebagged mixes, UHPC has been mostly limited to the demonstration projects in Virginia and Iowa, which were subsidized by the FHWA, or limited quantities in the joints between precast concrete members.