Patent application title: ULTRA-HIGH PERFORMANCE CONCRETE REINFORCEMENT BARS
King Fahd University Of Petroleum And Minerals
Abul Kalam Azad (Dhahran, SA)
Ibrahim Yahya Ahmed Hakeem (Dhahran, SA)
KING FAHD UNIVERSITY OF PETROLEUM AND MINERALS
IPC8 Class: AE04C507FI
Class name: Three-dimensional space-defining reinforcement for settable material for beam, column, etc.
Publication date: 2014-07-10
Patent application number: 20140190113
The ultra-high performance concrete reinforcement bars replace
conventional steel tension bars and the like in the reinforcement of
construction elements, such as concrete beams. The ultra-high performance
concrete reinforcement bars are formed from ultra-high performance
concrete reinforced with steel fiber. The reinforcement bars are
preferably deformed to improve bonding at the interface between
conventional concrete in the beam and the reinforcement bars. The bars
are disposed in the area of the beam known as the tension area when the
beam is subjected to a bending stress to provide tensile reinforcement.
1. An ultra-high performance concrete reinforcement bar, comprising an
elongate bar made from ultra-high performance concrete having
discontinuous steel reinforcing fibers, the elongate bar being
dimensioned and configured for providing tension reinforcement for a
conventional concrete construction element, wherein the transverse cross
sectional dimensions are in the range of approximately 1 inch to 2
2. The ultra-high performance concrete reinforcement bar according to claim 1, wherein the elongate bar is deformed along the length of the elongate bar.
7. The ultra-high performance concrete reinforcement bar according to claim 2, wherein the top face of the elongate bar is rough for further improving bonding between the elongate bar and the conventional concrete of the conventional concrete construction element.
8. The ultra-high performance concrete reinforcement bar according to claim 1, wherein the elongate bar is square in transverse cross section.
14. The ultra-high performance concrete reinforcement bar according to claim 1, wherein said steel reinforcing fibers have a diameter of about 0.15 mm, a length of about 12.7 mm, and an ultimate tensile strength of about 2500 MPa.
15. The ultra-high performance concrete reinforcement bar according to claim 1, wherein said steel reinforcing fibers comprise about 6.2% by weight of the ultra-high performance concrete.
16. The ultra-high performance concrete reinforcement bar according to claim 1, wherein said ultra-high performance concrete has a water-to-cementitious material ratio of about 0.145.
17. The ultra-high performance concrete reinforcement bar according to claim 1, wherein said elongate bar has flexural tensile strength of about 32 MPa and direct tensile strength of about 11-12 MPa.
18. In combination, a hybrid concrete construction element having a conventional concrete component and an ultra-high performance concrete reinforcement bar component, comprising: an elongate concrete construction element made from conventional concrete, the construction element having a compression area and a tension area when subjected to a bending stress, wherein each of the compression and tension areas includes an elongated compression face and tension face, respectively; and at least one elongate reinforcement bar made from ultra-high performance concrete having steel reinforcing fibers, the at least one elongate reinforcement bar being incorporated into and extending along the tension face, thereby providing the tension reinforcement for the construction element.
20. The combination according to claim 18, wherein the at least one elongate reinforcement bar is deformed along its length.
21. The combination according to claim 18, wherein the at least one elongate reinforcement bar comprises a pair of ultra-high performance concrete reinforcement bars extending in parallel along the length of the tension face of the construction element.
22. In combination, a hybrid concrete construction element having a conventional concrete component and an ultra-high performance concrete reinforcement bar component, comprising: an elongate concrete construction element made from conventional concrete, the construction element having a compression area and a tension area when subjected to a bending stress; and at least one elongated, deformed reinforcement bar made from ultra-high performance concrete having steel reinforcing fibers, the at least one elongate, deformed reinforcement bar being incorporated into and extending along the tension area thereby providing the tension reinforcement for the construction element.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 1. Field of the Invention
 The present invention relates to reinforcement bars for concrete construction, and particularly to ultra-high performance concrete bars that are reinforced with steel fiber and used for tension reinforcement.
 2. Description of the Related Art
 Recently, ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC) was developed by agencies as a new generation of cementitious material. UHPC is characterized by being a fiber-reinforced cement composite material with compressive strengths in excess of 150 MPa and flexural tensile strength exceeding 30 MPa. UHPC is also characterized by its constituent material make-up, typically including fine-grained sand, silica fume, reinforcing materials and special blends of high-strength Portland cement. It should be noted that UHPC contains no large aggregate. The current types of UHPC in production differ from normal concrete in compression by their strain hardening, followed by sudden brittle failure. Ongoing research into UHPC failure due to tensile and shear failure is being conducted by multiple government agencies and universities around the world.
 In spite of its advantages, UHPC is not widely used. The only commercial source of a proprietary mix for UHPC widely available in the United States is Ductal, produced by LaFarge Company of France, although other commercial UHPC mixes are commercially available outside the United States. Thus, most concrete construction continues to use convention cement mixes. Nevertheless, it would be desirable to provide a convenient way for concrete construction to take advantage of the superior properties of UHPC concrete material.
 Thus, ultra-high performance concrete reinforcement bars solving the aforementioned problems is desired.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 The Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC) reinforcement bars are precast concrete bars made from UHPC that can be used as tension reinforcement in concrete construction elements, replacing steel reinforcement bars. The UHPC bars may be made from any known UHPC mix having steel fibers dispersed through the mix. The UHPC mix will typically contain a mixture of cement, micro-silica, fine sand, steel fiber, and a superplasticizer. The UPHC is mixed with water, cast in a mold, and cured into precast bars having suitable cross-sectional dimensions and length for providing reinforcement to beams and other concrete construction elements made from conventional concrete, thereby forming hybrid or composite concrete elements. Although the UHPC reinforcement bars may have smooth faces, preferably the UHPC reinforcement bars are deformed bars, having deformations cast in opposite lateral faces of the bar to provide good bonding between the reinforcement bars and the conventional concrete.
 These and other features of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 is a partial side view in section of an exemplary ultra-high performance concrete reinforcement bar according to the present invention.
 FIG. 2 is an end view of a hybrid concrete beam having the tension portion of the beam reinforced with a pair of UHPC reinforcement bars according to the present invention.
 FIG. 3 is a load-deflection plot for a first sample of three identical concrete beams (150×150×760 mm) reinforced with a pair (25×50 mm each) of the ultra-high performance concrete reinforcement bars according to the present invention.
 FIG. 4 is a load-deflection plot for a second sample of three identical concrete beams (50×200×900 mm) reinforced with a pair (25×25 mm each) of the ultra-high performance concrete reinforcement bars according to the present invention.
 FIG. 5 is a plan view of an embodiment of a UHPC reinforcement bar according to the present invention having deformations formed on opposing lateral faces of the bar.
 Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the attached drawings.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
 The ultra-high performance concrete reinforcement bars are precast concrete member made from ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) that are dimensioned and configured for use as reinforcing material for construction elements made from conventional concrete, such as concrete beams, replacing conventional steel tension reinforcements and the like to form hybrid or composite construction elements. Although the UHPC reinforcement bars may have smooth faces, preferably the reinforcement bars are deformed to provide good bonding between the reinforcement bars and the conventional concrete used to form the beam or other concrete construction element.
 Conventional concrete is generally formed from cement, water, and aggregate material (such as sand, stones, and gravel), which includes both coarse and fine aggregate material. Concrete is generally strong in compression, but its tensile strength is low enough that the concrete may require reinforcement with steel bars, which are often deformed by projections or lugs to improve bonding between the concrete and the steel reinforcement bars to prevent sliding at the interface between the two materials.
 In recent years, ultra-high performance concrete has been developed that has improved compressive strength, and when reinforced with steel fibers, possesses sufficient tensile or flexural strength that it may be used, often without the need for reinforcement with steel bars. In addition, the material has greater durability than conventional concrete and may be used in environments where conventional reinforced concrete would be subject to weakening by corrosion of the steel reinforcement bars.
 The term "ultra-high performance concrete" does not have a standard definition. A technical note published by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration in March 2011 (FWHA Publication No. FHWA-HRT-11-038) defines UHPC as "a cementitious material composed of granular constituents, a water-to-cementitious material ratio less than 0.25, and a high percentage of discontinuous internal fiber reinforcement. The mechanical properties of UHPC include compressive strength greater than 21.7 ksi (150 MPa) and sustained postcracking tensile strength greater than 0.72 ksi (5 MPa). UHPC has a discontinuous pore structure that reduces liquid ingress, significantly enhancing durability as compared to conventional and high-performance concretes." The aggregate material in UHPC generally has a particles size less than 1 mm, i.e., there is an absence of coarse aggregate, generally permitting the material to be more tightly packed, requiring less water and producing smaller pores, improving compressive strength compared to conventional concrete. As used herein, the term "ultra-high performance concrete" refers to concrete thus defined, in which the fiber reinforcement comprises steel fibers, while the term "conventional concrete" refers to concrete having coarse aggregate and a water-to-cementitious material greater than 0.25.
 In order to test the viability of using UHPC reinforcement bars to provide tension reinforcement for hybrid concrete construction elements, the inventors tested the concept experimentally as follows. The mix design used for UHPC bars was developed in-house using local materials. It comprised (per cubic meter of concrete): ASTM Type I Portland cement 900 kg, micro-silica 220 kg, fine sand 1005 kg, steel fiber 157 kg (about 6.2% by weight of the UHPC mix), superplasticizer (Glenium 51) (an admixture that improves workability of the UHPC), and water 162.4 kg (representing water-binder ratio of 0.145). The steel fibers were 0.15 mm in diameter and 12.7 mm in length, and had ultimate tensile strength of 2500 MPa. The UHPC bars, rectangular or square in section, are cast in a wooden mold with built-in vertical grooves to provide the deformation to the UHPC bars. After mixing the materials in a horizontal revolving planetary mixer, the mixture was placed in the mold, leaving the top surface of the bars unfinished. After a few hours, the bars are de-molded and then thermal-cured for two days at 90° C., as it was found that heat-curing enables the bars to rapidly gain strength, which allows avoiding longer periods of moist-curing.
 FIG. 1 shows a side view in section of a deformed UHPC reinforcement bar 10, including the steel fibers 14 dispersed in the matrix of UHPC concrete 12. FIG. 5 shows a top view of the reinforcement bar 10, showing the deformations (or deformities) comprising shallow vertical (orthogonal to the length of the bar 10) projections 20 spaced apart along opposing sides of the bar 10. For a reinforcement bar having a width of 25-50 mm, the projections 20 may extend outward from the bar 10 about 3-4 mm and may be spaced apart about 100 mm along the length of the bar 10, and extend in length from the top face of the bar 10 to the bottom face of the bar 10, i.e., for the height of the bar 10 as viewed from the side of the bar 10. It will be understood that the deformations may have other cross-sectional shapes or other orientations, so long as the deformations provide sufficient surface area to improve bonding at the interface between the UHPC reinforcement bars 10 and the conventional concrete of the hybrid concrete beam or construction element. For example, the projections 20 may have a rounded end face or be triangular in cross section, and the projections may be oriented diagonally or obliquely on the lateral faces of the bar 10. A typical UHPC bar 10 has flexural tensile strength of about 32 MPa and direct tensile strength of about 11-12 MPa.
 The experimental program involved testing a series of beam specimens of 150×150×760 mm and 150×200×900 mm in size. Each normal or conventional concrete beam was reinforced with two UHPC bars 10 of rectangular or square cross section having transverse dimensions of 25×25 mm, 25×50 mm and 50×50 mm, and an axial length equal to the length of the beam. The beams were moist cured for 28 days prior to testing in a four-point bend test. The failure load, mid-span deflection and the mode of failure was recorded for each test.
 FIG. 2 shows an end view of a hybrid concrete beam 16 having a pair of the UHPC reinforcement bars 10 embedded in the beam made of conventional concrete 18 in parallel along the bottom face of the beam 16. Generally, the top face of the beam 16 is the load bearing face and defines a compression area that extends downward from the top face to a neutral axis where the beam experiences substantially zero bending stress. The region extending from the bottom face to the neutral axis defines a tension area. When a beam is subjected to a bending stress, the beam deflects because its compressive side (adjacent the top face) shortens, and its tension side (adjacent the bottom face) lengthens, which may produce cracks and ultimate failure of the beam. Consequently, in the hybrid beam 16, the UHPC reinforcement bars 10 are embedded in the tension area of the beam 16, along the bottom face of the beam 16, as shown in FIG. 2.
 Results show that the failure occurs with the development of cracks in the UHPC bars 10 within the maximum moment region. It should be noted that the behavior and mode of failure of UHPC reinforced beams is different from that of concrete beams reinforced with steel bars. A UHPC reinforced beam 16 attains its peak load at the development of first flexure cracking, following which a declining load path follows with increased deflection, exhibiting a gradual softening mode of failure. The peak load corresponds to the attainment of maximum flexural stress within the range of 28-32 MPa, calculated using transformed section properties. No bond-slip problem was noted, and all beams 16 failed in flexure with the development and propagation of a single vertical crack. The deformed shape of the precast bars 10, along with the rough top surface (from leaving the top of the mold open), enables the bars 10 to develop full strength without any bond-slip.
 The experimental findings have clearly established the possibility of utilizing the precast UHPC bars 10 in one-way slab-type construction, for which shear is not a critical design consideration. For flexural design, a normal concrete member can be reinforced with deformed UHPC bars, replacing mild steel bars. The approximate amount of UHPC bars 10 that can be used to replace mild steel bars is about 15-20 times the area of steel bars. As the cross section of a UHPC bar 10 is much larger, the increased area of UHPC bars 10 can be accommodated within the beam section.
 For precast one-way slabs, the use of precast UHPC bars 10 appears to be feasible and attractive.
 FIG. 3 shows a typical load-deflection plots of three identical beam specimens (beams of 150×150×760 mm reinforced with 2 UHPC bars of 25×50 mm in cross section). The peak load varied between 35 to 40 kN. The post-cracking behavior shows increased deflection with decline in load. At about 50% of the peak load, the mid-span deflection increased to almost twice the value at the peak load. In FIG. 4, the load-deflection plot is shown for three identical UHPC-reinforced beam specimens of 150×200×900 mm, reinforced with 2 UHPC bars of 25×25 mm in cross section. The computed flexural tensile strength corresponding to the peak load varied from 26 to 31 MPa. It should be noted that a UHPC bar 10 does not have much post-cracking elongation in direct tension, unlike steel bars. In flexure, the progressive crack-growth allows UHPC to show a softening mode of failure (FIGS. 3 and 4).
 Thus, the ultra-high performance concrete reinforcement bars may provide tension reinforcement for conventional concrete in hybrid or composite concrete beams or construction elements.
 It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the embodiments described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.
Patent applications by King Fahd University Of Petroleum And Minerals US
Patent applications by KING FAHD UNIVERSITY OF PETROLEUM AND MINERALS
Patent applications in class For beam, column, etc.
Patent applications in all subclasses For beam, column, etc.