Experimental and Computational Study of Self-Consolidating Concrete for Prestressed Bridge Girders

Self-Consolidating Concrete (SCC) consisting of water, cement, large portion of fine and coarse aggregates, and chemical admixtures is a highly flowable, non-segregating concrete. SCC was initially developed in the 1980’s by concrete researchers at the University of Tokyo in Japan. SCC has significantly different characteristics compared to Conventional Concrete (CC). Specifically, SCC is normally characterized by a slump of 26 to 28 inch in diameter that is different from CC as shown in Figure 1. It means that SCC has its high flowability related to workability that enables to spread into highly dense reinforcement areas under its self-weight and to fill any small voids without mechanical vibration. As a result of the high workability, SCC provides additional benefits as follows: (1) Low noise-level in the plants and construction sites; (2) Eliminated problems associated with vibration; (3) Less labor involved; (4) Faster construction; (5) Improved quality and durability, and; (6) Higher strength. With these benefits, the use of SCC can result in better construction quality, productivity, and safety; thus, construction contractors, producers and owners who are faced with tougher environmental and stricter safety guidelines, and increased construction costs have attempted to use SCC in many construction applications. Further, SCC has high potential for precast, prestressed concrete industry and for cast-in-place construction in the United States. For example, a National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) research project has been initiated to establish SCC bridge girder design and construction guidelines to be added to the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials Load and Resistance Design Factor (AASHTO LRFD) Specifications. The South Carolina State Department of Transportation (SCDOT) was to study the use of SCC in drilled shafts and in replacement of four structurally deficient bridges. These studies have helped SCDOT use SCC in the drilled shafts and bridges. Prestressed SCC girders used for the bridges’ replacement can be shown in Figure 2. Also, the Kansas State Department of Transportation (KSDOT) performed a study of the fresh and hardened properties of SCC for use in Kansas prestressed concrete bridge girders. KSDOT built a three-span bridge using SCC in only one span while the remaining two spans were built using CC. The bridge is instrumented and monitored for five years to evaluate its long-term performance. In addition to the field studies, experimental studies for SCC concrete bridge girders have been performed by South Dakota State University (SDSU) in cooperation with the South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT). The flexural behavior of prestressed SCC bridge girders subjected to monotonic and fatigue loading was experimentally examined at the Lohr Structures Laboratory at SDSU. In this testing, three full-scale prestressed bridge girders were made and tested until failure. One girder was constructed using CC as a reference specimen, while the other two girders were constructed using SCC. It was concluded that SCC and CC bridge girders showed similar behavior under monotonic and fatigue loading. Figure 3 shows a sample picture for the representative SCC bridge girder used for the testing at SDSU. From the brief literature review, it can be concluded that relevant studies to understand the structural behaviors of prestressed SCC bridge girders and attempt to use SCC in actual prestressed bridge girders based upon individual state bridge design guidelines and construction methods have been completed. However, there has been no specific test data to investigate the material properties (i.e., modulus, shrinkage, and creep) of prestressed SCC bridge girders related to time-dependent characteristics, flexural stiffness change, and prestress losses. Considering these effects is critical for the use of SCC in prestressed bridge girders because the structural performance of prestressed girders is typically related to the material properties associated with time-dependent factors. In particular, the material properties of SCC used by precast prestressed girder suppliers to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) have not been examined yet. Lacking substantiated data on the material properties, WisDOT has not allowed the use of SCC in prestressed bridge girders in Wisconsin. Even precasters have not been able to consistently mix, deliver and place SCC in prestressed bridge girder construction. Although WisDOT attempted to use SCC in some prestressed girders, the producer had difficulty in maintaining uniformity of the mix, and problems were observed with excessive segregation of wet batches during placement. Hence, widely accepted, uniform recommendations for SCC mix design that achieves desired performance for use in prestressed girders for WisDOT should be developed for ensuring safety in its construction.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Centers Program
    1200 New Jersey Avenue
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Kline, Robin

  • Performing Organizations:

    South Dakota State University, Brookings

    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    P.O. Box 2219
    Brookings, SD  United States  57007
  • Principal Investigators:

    Seo, Junwon

    Wehbe, Nadim

  • Start Date: 20150819
  • Expected Completion Date: 20180731
  • Actual Completion Date: 20171001
  • Source Data: MPC-502

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01579735
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Mountain-Plains Consortium
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC38
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Oct 27 2015 5:36PM