Concrete and Earthquake Engineering
Research in this field is driven by environmental / sustainability issues and the development of new materials and reinforcements for concrete structures, such as FRP and FRC. In the field of FRP, the Department led two EU research networks (€3M), co-ordinated International Round Robin Tests on FRP reinforcement, undertaken full-scale seismic strengthening tests and organised several international seminars. In this field the Department also leads or participates in all major national and International Scientific Committees and Learned Societies (fib, ACI, RILEM, IIFC, CoSacNet, NGCC, IStructE).
New research on FRC has led to two new patents relating to the use of steel fibres from post-consumer tyres. In view of stricter regulations arising from the EU Landfill directive, this project has attracted significant industrial interest and the Department co-ordinated the EUR2.1M, 11 partner, EU STREP project ECOLANES developing roller compacted concrete with not only tyre wire reinforcement but also recycled aggregates and low energy cement to reduce the energy required for the construction of new roads by up to 40%. Work is also undertaken on the development of new applications for FRC.
In the field of earthquake engineering, the main areas of research include earthquake risk assessment, seismic vulnerability, ductility, strengthening, assessment of buildings in developing countries, bond and anchorage, shear and punching shear, joints.
Experimental Continuum Mechanics (former Concrete under Multiaxial Compression) is focussed on concrete at elevated temperature (load induced thermal strains and effects of load-heat regimes on mechanical properties of concrete at elevated temperature), ageing processes in prestressed concrete Nuclear Power Plant structures (stress-strain variations under long term thermo-hygro-mechanical cycling), transition from continuum to discontinuum behaviour in concrete under multiaxial compression (decoupling of elastic, plastic and rate dependent strains; and emergence and development of localisation planes).