skip to content

Concrete Infrastructure Research Group (CIRG)

 

Michele Win Tai Mak, Hasini Weerasinghe, Professor Janet Lees

Introduction

Reinforced concrete structures are aging and losing strength over time. Weather conditions, chemical attack and repeated loading are among the main causes of the progressive reduction in load bearing capacity. 

Assessing the true capacity of deteriorated existing structures represents a great challenge for engineers, since many controlling parameters are unknown. Unlike new design, assessors have no control on the design philosophy. The overestimation of the structural capacity can put public safety at risk. However, overly conservative approaches can lead to onerous maintenance measures, sometimes unnecessary.

A better understanding of the behaviour of existing reinforced concrete structures is necessary for more accurate assessments.  Our research aims to quantify the consequences of deterioration outcomes such as concrete cracking and the corrosion of steel reinforcement on the residual strength capacity of existing infrastructure.  In doing so, we necessarily seek to advance our fundamental knowledge of reinforced concrete structures.  Strategies for strength enhancement such as the addition of external fibre reinforced polymer reinforcement are also of interest.

The ultimate long-term goal is to inform guidance for the lifetime extension and more effective management of our reinforced concrete infrastructure network.

Halfjoint schematic 2

Research projects