A significant proportion of the Structures section research is focused on investigating structural materials and how these behave in both the short and long-term. The traditional materials used in Civil Engineering construction, i.e. concrete and steel (with their variants), are studied in detail. Moreover, the response of modern composite materials also form a significant part of the research activity.
- Concrete Durability
The focus of concrete durability research is on the understanding of deterioration processes and on developing methods for design and whole life assessment.
List of sub-topics within this research area
Mechanics of concrete materials
- Long term behaviour of fibre reinforced cementitious materials
- Creep of concrete at elevated temperature
- Spalling of concrete in fire
- Moisture and heat flow in non-uniformly heated concrete
- Impact and shock resistance of concrete
- Concrete under multiaxial stresses
- High performance concrete, self-compacting and lightweight aggregate concretes
Special steels and polymeric composite materials
- Strength and ductility of high performance steel
- Structural aspects of stainless steel applications
- Properties of wire and high strength synthetic fibre ropes and strands
- Applications of polymeric composite structures under static and dynamic loads
- Deterioration processes (e.g. reinforcement corrosion, sulphate attack, alkali-silica reaction & freeze-thaw attack)
- Effective methods of design, assessment and repair of concrete structures.
A sample of some recent projects:
- Modelling diffusion and capillary absorption of concrete from three-dimensional mesostructure
- Determining the original water/cement ratio, cement content and degree of hydration of hardened concrete using backscattered electron microscopy
- Predicting permeability of cement-based materials from pore structure
- Influence of air voids on the microstructure and mass transport properties of concrete
- Self-sealing of cracks in cement-based materials using superabsorbent polymers
- Microstructure of corroded steel-concrete interface
- Influence of the interfacial transition zone and microcracking on the mass transport properties of concrete
Find out more on the concrete durability group website.