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Project Details

Title:Impacts of Vehicle Fires on Polymer Concrete Bridge Deck Overlays
Principal Investigators:Shuna Ni and Andrew Sorensen
University:Utah State University
Grant #:69A3551747108 (FAST Act)
Project #:MPC-663
RiP #:01781477
Keywords:bridge decks, concrete bridges, concrete overlays, fire resistance, materials at high or low temperatures, polymer concrete, reinforced concrete, thermal expansion, vehicle fires


Polymer concrete (PC) has become a popular choice for deck overlays on new and existing bridges. However, PC's high sensitivity to elevated temperatures, and the significant difference between its thermal expansion coefficient and that of the concrete substrate, have prompted concerns that vehicle fires may degrade or even completely destroy PC bridge deck overlays. With the wider aim of enhancing such overlays' vehicle-fire resistance, the proposed research will investigate such fires' specific impacts on them, both through a real vehicle-fire test on a large reinforced concrete (RC) panel protected by a PC overlay, and through overlay-performance tests before and after the vehicle-fire test. Then, based on the test data, effective preventive design/construction methods and post-fire repair strategies for PC bridge deck overlays will be proposed, and tested on medium-sized RC panels under controlled heating-cooling conditions. It is expected that applying the resulting recommendations in real projects will enhance the vehicle-fire resistance of PC bridge deck overlays, and thus reduce transportation interruptions due to vehicle fires.

Project Word Files

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050