Polymer Concrete Overlay Evaluation

Research Project

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Polymer Concrete Overlay Evaluation

Researcher(s)

Principal investigators: Brent Phares, 515-294-5879, bphares@iastate.edu (project list), Iowa State University

Project status

Completed

Start date: 05/01/13
End date: 06/30/16

Publications

Report: June 2016, Polymer Concrete Overlay Evaluation 17.22 mb (*pdf)

Related publications: Polymer Concrete Overlay Evaluation 2.31 mb *pdf June 2016

*To read pdf files, you may need to download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Sponsor(s)/partner(s)

Sponsor(s): Federal Highway Administration State Planning and Research Funding
Iowa Department of Transportation

About the research

Abstract:

For the past 13 years or so, the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) has been using polymer-based overlays on primary highway bridge decks. Since the first trial application, more than 200 decks have been overlaid with primarily epoxy-based materials. Recently, however, KDOT has begun trials with overlays based on methracrylates and polyesters.
 
In general, anecdotal evidence suggests that the KDOT experience has been good. However, implementation has not been without problems and a commonly encountered learning curve.
 
Despite these problems, KDOT has started using polymer overlays on new structures in place of their more conventional silica-fume overlays. While most problems that have been encountered were not attributed to material problems, there has been no concerted effort to track or document polymer overlay performance with time or to relate performance to material usage and/or workmanship.
 
The objectives of this work were to document the state-of-the-practice with respect to polymer concrete overlays, document the placement of two overlays in Iowa, monitor the field performance of the overlays over a two-year period, and relate their performance to material usage and/or workmanship.

The two bridges—a Johnson County, Iowa bridge over I-80 on 12th Avenue in Coralville, and the Keg Creek Bridge on Hwy 6 in western Iowa, 10 miles east of Council Bluffs—were overlaid during the summer/fall of 2013. The process by which each bridge was overlaid was similar in many ways, although a few slight differences existed.

Over time, each overlay has generally performed quite well with only a few areas of exception. It is believed that these localized areas likely underperformed due to poor deck preparation, improper polymer mixing, snowplow impact, or a combination thereof.

2711 S. Loop Drive, Suite 4700, Ames, Iowa 50010-8664
Phone: 515-294-9501 ~ Fax: 515-294-0467
The Bridge Engineering Center is administered by Iowa State University's Institute for Transportation.

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