The objectives of this research were to 1) monitor in-situ moisture and diffusivity for both conventional concrete and concrete containing pre-wetted lightweight fine aggregate (LWFA), 2) compare deck performance in terms of early-age cracking, compressive strength, and chloride ingress, and 3) compare concrete properties in terms of compressive strength, chloride permeability, elastic modulus, and water content in the laboratory using cylinders cast in the field at the time of deck construction. The research involved field and laboratory evaluations of four newly constructed bridge decks located in northern Utah, two constructed using conventional concrete and two constructed using pre-wetted LWFA to promote internal curing. Data from sensors embedded in the concrete decks indicate that the moisture content of the internally cured concrete was consistently 1.5 to 4 percentage points higher than the moisture content of the conventional concrete for the first 6 months following deck construction. By 1 year, however, the internally cured concrete showed little difference in moisture content compared to the conventional concrete. While the internally cured concrete decks had a higher average moisture content, the electrical conductivity values were not consistently higher than those measured on the conventional concrete decks during the first approximately 8 to 10 months. However, after 8 to 10 months, both internally cured concrete decks exhibited higher electrical conductivity values than those measured on the conventional concrete decks. Laboratory compressive strength data indicate that, for the first 6 months following deck construction, the two concrete mixtures exhibited very similar strength gain characteristics. However, at 1 year, the conventional concrete was stronger by an average of 12.9 percent, or nearly 900 psi, than the internally cured concrete. In rapid chloride permeability testing, the internally cured concrete consistently passed between 13.1 and 17.5 percent less current than that passed by the conventional concrete. Laboratory free-free resonant testing at 1 year showed that the modulus of the internally cured concrete was 3.9 percent lower, on average, than that of the conventional concrete. For the tested specimens, the moisture content of the internally cured concrete was 0.5 percentage points higher, on average, than that of the conventional concrete. In the field, Schmidt rebound hammer testing showed that the internally cured concrete was neither consistently stronger nor weaker than the conventional concrete. On average, the internally cured concrete exhibited higher chloride concentrations than the conventional concrete. On average, the conventional concrete bridge decks had 4.6, 21.5, and 2.8 times more cracking than the internally cured concrete decks at 5 months, 8 months, and 1 year, respectively. At 1 year, very distinctive reflection cracks from the joints between the underlying pre-cast half-deck panels were observed on all of the decks.
College and Department
Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Civil and Environmental Engineering
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Yaede, Joseph Michael, "Internal Curing of Concrete Bridge Decks in Utah: Mountain View Corridor Project" (2013). All Theses and Dissertations. 3995.
chloride concentration, compressive strength, concrete bridge deck, electrical conductivity, internal curing, lightweight aggregate, moisture content, permeability