LSU research inches bendable concrete closer to large-scale manufacturing


The quest by LSU construction management researchers to develop an engineered cementitious composite, or bendable concrete, continues and the results are promising.

Most recently, says LSU in an announcement, the team constructed three 60-foot-long overlay sections on top of a section of deteriorated asphalt at the Louisiana Transportation Research Center.

“During construction, we gained insight on the large-scale manufacture of our ECC material, as well as the constructability of overlays with ECC,” says Gabriel Arce, research assistant professor in the Bert S. Turner Department of Construction Management and principal investigator on the project. “We realized that it was much easier and faster to build overlays with ECC than regular concrete. This was mainly due to the excellent workability of ECC and the lack of joints.”

The ECC project is funded by Tran-SET, a collaborative partnership between nine major institutions and two community colleges, led by LSU, and established to address the accelerated deterioration of transportation infrastructure through “cutting-edge technologies, novel materials, and innovative construction management processes.” The Lemoine Company, Quality Concrete, and the Concrete & Aggregatees Association of Louisiana donated materials, equipment, and labor to the project.

Another Tran-SET project undertaken by Arce and his fellow researchers involves using sugarcane bagasse ash as an ingredient in their ECC materials to increase ductility. Preliminary testing has shown that using the ash instead of the usual fine sand makes a big difference in the strength of the concrete. Read the full report from LSU.