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Multi-physics Modeling for Durable, Resilient, and Sustainable Reinforced Concrete Infrastructure

Graduate Researcher(s): 
Jie Wu
Faculty Advisor/PI: 
Mike Lepech
Mette R. Geikera, Alexander Michel

This research establishes a framework that integrates fundamental and reliable physics-based durability performance evaluation tools to build suitable data-driven decision support systems with a user-friendly BIM interface by using an Application Programming Interface (API) within BIM. This framework enables more accurate performance assessment and optimization of life cycle sustainability metrics. It helps the decision makers such as building managers and owners to minimize life cycle cost and environment impact (energy use, CO2 emission, etc.) of a building in its service life while maintaining its serviceability. Potential applications are being explored for the sustainable design and management of reinforced concrete structures.

The physics-based durability performance evaluation is based on a stochastic 3D Multi-physics modeling framework that combines physical, chemical, electrochemical, and fracture mechanical processes. The modeling framework applies computational models to describe (i) transport of heat and matter and chemical processes resulting in changes in phase assemblage in hydrated Portland cement, (ii) electrochemical corrosion processes at the reinforcement surface, (iii) corrosion-induced damages in concrete domain such as radial cracks and cover spalling. The framework is fully coupled in the sense that information, including phase assemblage, distribution of moisture, chloride and temperature, corrosion rate and damage state of concrete cover, are continuously exchanged between the modules.