The National Academies

NCHRP IDEA 20-30/IDEA 048 [Completed (IDEA)]

Field Trials of Superelasticity-Based Bridge Rehabilitation System
[ NCHRP 20-30 (NCHRP-IDEA) ]

  Project Data
Staff Responsibility: Dr. Inam Jawed

This project demonstrated the application of superelastic shape memory alloys for the rehabilitation of bridge structure. Shape memory alloys recover deformations induced at lower temperatures upon heating above a transformation temperature; restraint of this shape recovery generates relatively large stresses. These stresses are used here to transfer corrective forces to structural systems for strengthening and repair effects. For this purpose, shape memory rods are pre-elongated, anchored to the structure, and subjected to electrical resistance heating to transfer corrective forces to the structure. The project used iron-based shape memory alloys of relatively low cost; the alloy composition was selected to yield relatively high and stable levels of restrained shape recovery stresses. Laboratory tests verified the ability of pre-elongated rods anchored onto damaged structural systems to restore structural integrity through application of corrective forces. Subsequent damaging effects could also be overcome by electrical resistance re-heating of rods.  

A reinforced concrete bridge structure with beams lacking sufficient shear strength at longitudinal bar cut-off locations was selected for field demonstration of the technology. A design methodology was developed and verified through laboratory tests simulating conditions of the selected bridge structure. Subsequently, a detailed design was developed and the approach was successfully implemented under field conditions (Figure 1). The final report is available from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS # PB2000-105O60).



The final report for this IDEA project can be found at:

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