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April 2001
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80 N/mm2 Concrete in Bridge Beams (No.11 Apr-01)

Joint research between Banagher Concrete Ltd. and the Civil Engineering Dept. at University College Dublin has been underway to develop a number of high performance concrete mixes for use in precast prestressed bridge beams. High Performance Concrete offers not only increased compressive strengths and mechanical properties but also much improved durability characteristics that lead to an extended service life with minimum maintenance.

Testing of the 80 N/mm2 Bridge Beams

Testing of the 80 N/mm2 Bridge Beams

The high performance concrete was recently used in three full scale test beams, with a target compressive strength of 80 N/mm2 and a span to depth ratio for the composite section of 25. Each beam had a different strength reinforced concrete slab cast in-situ to simulate normal bridge construction and tested to their ultimate capacities. All beams performed very well in flexure and shear, with the test beam with the weakest slab failing at 175% of its calculated ultimate moment capacity. The use of high performance concrete may lead to reduced construction costs through more efficient designs, faster construction, and decreased consumption of resources as a result of longer spans and fewer beams.

David Doyle
Dept. of Civil Engineering,
University College Dublin.

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