Probabilistic Design and Management of Sustainable Concrete Infrastructure Using Multi-Physics Service Life Models

Michael Lepech, Mette Geiker, Alexander Michel, Henrik Stang

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    This paper looks to address the grand challenge of integrating construction materials engineering research within a multi-scale, inter-disciplinary research and management framework for sustainable concrete infrastructure. The ultimate goal is to drive sustainability-focused innovation and adoption cycles in the broader architecture, engineering, construction (AEC) industry. Specifically, a probabilistic design framework for sustainable concrete infrastructure and a multi-physics service life model for reinforced concrete are presented as important points of integration for innovation between construction materials engineers and the broader AEC industry.
    First, the paper details a probabilistic framework for design of reinforced concrete infrastructure to achieve targeted improvements in sustainability indicators. The framework, compliant with the 2010 fib Model Code requirements for environmental design, consists of concrete service life models and life cycle assessment (LCA) models. Both types of models (service life and LCA) are formulated stochastically so that the service life and time(s) to repair, as well as total sustainability impact, are described by a probability distribution. A central component of this framework is a newly developed multi-physics service life model of reinforced concrete members subjected to chloride-induced corrosion. The corrosion model is based on stringent physical laws describing thermodynamics and kinetics of electrochemical processes including various reinforcement corrosion phenomena, such as activation, resistance, and concentration polarization as well as the impact of temperature, relative humidity, and oxygen. To describe corrosion-induced damage, a thermal analogy is used to model the expansive nature of solid corrosion products. A mechanical model further accounts for the penetration of solid corrosion products into the available pore space of the surrounding cementitious materials as well as nonuniform distribution of corrosion products along the circumference of the reinforcement. A FEM based mechanical model is used to simulate corrosion-induced cracking damage.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2016
    Number of pages12
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    Event1st International Conference on Grand Challenges in Construction Materials - University of California, Los Angeles, CA, United States
    Duration: 17 Mar 201718 Mar 2017
    Conference number: 1


    Conference1st International Conference on Grand Challenges in Construction Materials
    LocationUniversity of California
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CityLos Angeles, CA


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