Research Areas

Center Credit DeptID: R5012021

Advanced Materials for Sustainable Infrastructure

One of four Missouri S&T “signature areas” of research

Missouri S&T has identified Advanced Materials for Sustainable Infrastructure as one of its top investment priorities. In this signature area of research, CIES students and researchers, in collaboration with private industry and public sector, develop innovative and sustainable cement-based materials that will be used to reconstruct and rehabilitate our country’s aging infrastructure, as well as design the next generation of resilient construction materials. This initiative addresses a Grand Challenge involving the restoration of urban infrastructure that necessitates the development of novel construction materials, new construction and monitoring methods, and automation in construction, repair and maintenance.

Preserving the existing transportation system

By applying new innovative materials to rehabilitation, such as ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC), self-consolidating concrete (SCC), fiber-reinforced composite materials (FRCM), and hybrid material systems (HMS) engineers are able to minimize maintenance costs and extend the service life of structures well beyond those using traditional construction materials. These advanced construction materials provide an attractive, flexible and economical solution to rehabilitate structures for increased load carrying capacity and ductility to satisfy today’s design standards for bridges and buildings that were designed and constructed to older standards or have experienced deterioration over time.

Creating advanced design methods to resist extreme events

Finding an economical alternative to accelerate bridge construction is a crucial issue for the economy of the US. This alternative construction needs to sustain extreme loading such as earthquake, blast, and vehicle impact. Moreover, this alternative construction needs to sustain natural harsh environment without significant degradation in its performance. CIES investigators are using an innovative technique for rapid construction of bridge columns. Large-scale testing under cyclic and dynamic loads were able to prove the viability and higher performance of the new construction system. Detailed finite element analyses and environmental testing showed that the new system outperforms conventional construction under vehicle impact and extreme weather.

Employing novel non-destructive structural health monitoring techniques

Assessment of aging civil infrastructure attacked by increasing natural hazards is critically important to maintain the welfare of citizens and increase the resiliency of affected communities. CIES investigators are conducting research to detect and quantify damage and deterioration for cost effective preservation of infrastructure and for prompt post-disaster recovery. Due to multiple failure modes and inconsistent design and operation conditions, transportation infrastructure must be evaluated with multiple nondestructive testing and sensing techniques, such as ground penetrating radar, microwave, smart rock sensors, distributed coax cable and optical fiber sensors. These studies will have a profound impact on the safety of the nation’s infrastructure.