The project developed and demonstrated the application of superelastic shape-memory alloys for the rehabilitation of bridge structures. These materials undergo phase transformation under stress and, after an apparent plastic deformation, return to their original shape when heated (Figure 1). A nickel-titanium-chromium alloy was selected and optimized based on strength and elongation capacity requirements. Structural design procedures for rehabilitation based on superelastic post-tensioning systems as well as rehabilitation schemes using shape-memory and superelastic alloys were developed. Results of tests on concrete beams demonstrated the effectiveness of rehabilitation by shape-memory reinforcement in eliminating excess deformations and crack widths after failure. The beams satisfied all the serviceability and strength requirements under twice the original live load after they were repaired. Work on using superelastic (in place of shape memory) reinforcement for rehabilitation showed that the superelastic reinforcement was able to recover up to 8% strain, which is estimated to be adequate for self-repair after substantial cracking and deformation. The superelastic reinforcement system was also processed into polymer matrix composite sheets and glued onto concrete structures for rehabilitation and self-repair. Testing verified applicability of the composite system to the self-rehabilitation technology. Large-scale demonstration of the rehabilitation technology in collaboration with the Michigan DOT is being performed in a follow-up IDEA project. The final report is available from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS #PB98-13508).
The final report for this IDEA project can be found at: