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Title: Prefabricated High-Strength Rebar Systems with High-Performance Concrete for Accelerated Construction of Nuclear Concrete Structures

Abstract

This project aimed to reduce the field construction times and fabrication costs of reinforced concrete (RC) nuclear structures through the use of: 1) high-strength steel deformed reinforcing bar (rebar); 2) prefabricated high-strength rebar (HSR) assemblies with headed anchorages; and 3) high-strength concrete (HSC). The focus of the project was not to develop new innovations on materials, but rather to fill a major knowledge gap on the effectiveness, code conformity, and viability (i.e., practicality, commercial availability) of existing high-strength materials in nuclear structures, especially in shear walls, their connections/joints, and around penetrations. These advances promote the Nuclear Energy Enabling Technologies Advanced Methods for Manufacturing (NEET-1) goals of accelerating deployment schedules by at least 6 months and reducing component fabrication costs by 20% or more. Toward this vision, the following objectives were identified and completed: Develop limit-benefit and cost-benefit analysis frameworks: The structural and economic limits and benefits of HSR and HSC in nuclear walls were evaluated. Importantly, it was found that modest increases in concrete strength up to 10.0 ksi and rebar yield strength up to 100 ksi result in the most economic designs and improved structural performance (Barbachyn et al., 2017a and Barbachyn et al., 2017b). Also, an industry surveymore » was distributed to determine the cost benefits associated with prefabrication. Importantly, on-site worker-hours are significantly reduced, allowing for significantly accelerated construction schedules (Devine et al. 2018b). Develop an optimization methodology for structural design: An optimization study was deemed not necessary since the trivial solution with maximized use of high-strength materials and prefabrication always resulted in the largest cost and time savings. Instead, the benefits (and limits) of high-strength materials and prefabrication on construction costs and on-site construction time were investigated through a parametric study. Cost-reductions through the use of HSR and HSC were found to be greater than 40%. Also, on-site construction time of nuclear shear walls can be reduced by up to 83% through the use of prefabricated rebar assemblies. Conduct experimental evaluations of nuclear shear walls and wall-foundation joints: A large scale experimental program was completed on shear-critical RC cantilever deep beams. From these experiments, it was demonstrated that increasing rebar yield strength had a greater effect on increasing lateral strength than increasing the concrete compressive strength. Further, using HSR together with HSC resulted in the highest lateral strength and displacement ductility (Devine et al. 2018a). Additionally, large-scale reversed-cyclic lateral load tests were conducted on RC shear walls. It was demonstrated that through the utilization of HSR and HSC, a wall with 55% reduced vertical and horizontal rebar area was able to achieve 91% of the peak lateral strength of a conventional wall using state-of-practice materials with the same geometry. Further, trim reinforcement with headed anchorages around the penetrations proved to be effective. Develop validated numerical simulation models: Numerical modeling was completed in two phases during this project using 3 different finite element software packages. The first phase used existing measured data from previous experimental studies on stocky RC walls to validate simplified predictive models. Models using two different programs were validated based on a database of 38 stocky walls (Barbachyn et al., 2017a). The second phase occurred after experimental testing using a third and more detailed finite element package. Prediction improvements for the initial stiffness, lateral deformations, damage propagation, and failure mechanisms were targeted. The resulting detailed models more accurately predicted the peak lateral strength, initial and secant stiffnesses, lateral deformations, and cracking patterns of the wall test specimens subjected to reversed-cyclic lateral loading as compared to the simplified pretest models. Develop validated design procedures, tools, and criteria: This project evaluated the accuracy of existing closed-form design equations from U.S. building design standards and previous research (Barbachyn et al. 2017a and Devine et al. 2018a). It was shown that the current predictive equations for shear strength capacity need to be revisited as they provide significant scatter and gross overestimates, indicating the potential for unconservative designs. Further, for both the deep beam and shear wall specimens, the numerical models and flexural capacity predictions provided the most accurate strength predictions. Develop cost-effective field construction procedures: To promote the use of prefabricated rebar assemblies, the following construction conditions where prefabrication would be used instead of in-place rebar tying were identified from an industry survey: 1) to save on construction schedule; 2) to improve safety and/or quality control; 3) for areas with heavy rebar congestion; and 4) for structures with significant repetition in rebar layout. All of these conditions directly apply and benefit nuclear construction where construction costs and schedules are extensive, safety and quality are of utmost importance, the reinforcement is extremely dense, and the reinforcement layout is repetitive in many regions of the shear walls. Additionally, an experimental study was conducted to investigate the changes in bar spacing (with respect to code-required rebar spacing and placement tolerances) when a horizontally assembled prefabricated two-dimensional (2D) rebar mat or three-dimensional (3D) rebar cage is lifted (or tripped) to a vertical position. It was found that the bars involved in both the lateral translation of the rebar assemblies (i.e., movement of the assembly in its horizontal position) and the tripping process were most susceptible to large spacing changes, and thus, their positions within the assembly would need to be checked after the placement of the assembly in place within the formwork. Importantly, the spacings of all of the other bars in the assembly were not affected significantly by the lateral translation and tripping process, thereby eliminating the need to recheck their positions within the assembly (Devine et al. 2018b).« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1]
  1. Univ. of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
OSTI Identifier:
1493583
Report Number(s):
15-8344
15-8344
DOE Contract Number:  
NE0008432
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Kurama, Yahya C., and Thrall, Ashley P. Prefabricated High-Strength Rebar Systems with High-Performance Concrete for Accelerated Construction of Nuclear Concrete Structures. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.2172/1493583.
Kurama, Yahya C., & Thrall, Ashley P. Prefabricated High-Strength Rebar Systems with High-Performance Concrete for Accelerated Construction of Nuclear Concrete Structures. United States. doi:10.2172/1493583.
Kurama, Yahya C., and Thrall, Ashley P. Sat . "Prefabricated High-Strength Rebar Systems with High-Performance Concrete for Accelerated Construction of Nuclear Concrete Structures". United States. doi:10.2172/1493583. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1493583.
@article{osti_1493583,
title = {Prefabricated High-Strength Rebar Systems with High-Performance Concrete for Accelerated Construction of Nuclear Concrete Structures},
author = {Kurama, Yahya C. and Thrall, Ashley P.},
abstractNote = {This project aimed to reduce the field construction times and fabrication costs of reinforced concrete (RC) nuclear structures through the use of: 1) high-strength steel deformed reinforcing bar (rebar); 2) prefabricated high-strength rebar (HSR) assemblies with headed anchorages; and 3) high-strength concrete (HSC). The focus of the project was not to develop new innovations on materials, but rather to fill a major knowledge gap on the effectiveness, code conformity, and viability (i.e., practicality, commercial availability) of existing high-strength materials in nuclear structures, especially in shear walls, their connections/joints, and around penetrations. These advances promote the Nuclear Energy Enabling Technologies Advanced Methods for Manufacturing (NEET-1) goals of accelerating deployment schedules by at least 6 months and reducing component fabrication costs by 20% or more. Toward this vision, the following objectives were identified and completed: Develop limit-benefit and cost-benefit analysis frameworks: The structural and economic limits and benefits of HSR and HSC in nuclear walls were evaluated. Importantly, it was found that modest increases in concrete strength up to 10.0 ksi and rebar yield strength up to 100 ksi result in the most economic designs and improved structural performance (Barbachyn et al., 2017a and Barbachyn et al., 2017b). Also, an industry survey was distributed to determine the cost benefits associated with prefabrication. Importantly, on-site worker-hours are significantly reduced, allowing for significantly accelerated construction schedules (Devine et al. 2018b). Develop an optimization methodology for structural design: An optimization study was deemed not necessary since the trivial solution with maximized use of high-strength materials and prefabrication always resulted in the largest cost and time savings. Instead, the benefits (and limits) of high-strength materials and prefabrication on construction costs and on-site construction time were investigated through a parametric study. Cost-reductions through the use of HSR and HSC were found to be greater than 40%. Also, on-site construction time of nuclear shear walls can be reduced by up to 83% through the use of prefabricated rebar assemblies. Conduct experimental evaluations of nuclear shear walls and wall-foundation joints: A large scale experimental program was completed on shear-critical RC cantilever deep beams. From these experiments, it was demonstrated that increasing rebar yield strength had a greater effect on increasing lateral strength than increasing the concrete compressive strength. Further, using HSR together with HSC resulted in the highest lateral strength and displacement ductility (Devine et al. 2018a). Additionally, large-scale reversed-cyclic lateral load tests were conducted on RC shear walls. It was demonstrated that through the utilization of HSR and HSC, a wall with 55% reduced vertical and horizontal rebar area was able to achieve 91% of the peak lateral strength of a conventional wall using state-of-practice materials with the same geometry. Further, trim reinforcement with headed anchorages around the penetrations proved to be effective. Develop validated numerical simulation models: Numerical modeling was completed in two phases during this project using 3 different finite element software packages. The first phase used existing measured data from previous experimental studies on stocky RC walls to validate simplified predictive models. Models using two different programs were validated based on a database of 38 stocky walls (Barbachyn et al., 2017a). The second phase occurred after experimental testing using a third and more detailed finite element package. Prediction improvements for the initial stiffness, lateral deformations, damage propagation, and failure mechanisms were targeted. The resulting detailed models more accurately predicted the peak lateral strength, initial and secant stiffnesses, lateral deformations, and cracking patterns of the wall test specimens subjected to reversed-cyclic lateral loading as compared to the simplified pretest models. Develop validated design procedures, tools, and criteria: This project evaluated the accuracy of existing closed-form design equations from U.S. building design standards and previous research (Barbachyn et al. 2017a and Devine et al. 2018a). It was shown that the current predictive equations for shear strength capacity need to be revisited as they provide significant scatter and gross overestimates, indicating the potential for unconservative designs. Further, for both the deep beam and shear wall specimens, the numerical models and flexural capacity predictions provided the most accurate strength predictions. Develop cost-effective field construction procedures: To promote the use of prefabricated rebar assemblies, the following construction conditions where prefabrication would be used instead of in-place rebar tying were identified from an industry survey: 1) to save on construction schedule; 2) to improve safety and/or quality control; 3) for areas with heavy rebar congestion; and 4) for structures with significant repetition in rebar layout. All of these conditions directly apply and benefit nuclear construction where construction costs and schedules are extensive, safety and quality are of utmost importance, the reinforcement is extremely dense, and the reinforcement layout is repetitive in many regions of the shear walls. Additionally, an experimental study was conducted to investigate the changes in bar spacing (with respect to code-required rebar spacing and placement tolerances) when a horizontally assembled prefabricated two-dimensional (2D) rebar mat or three-dimensional (3D) rebar cage is lifted (or tripped) to a vertical position. It was found that the bars involved in both the lateral translation of the rebar assemblies (i.e., movement of the assembly in its horizontal position) and the tripping process were most susceptible to large spacing changes, and thus, their positions within the assembly would need to be checked after the placement of the assembly in place within the formwork. Importantly, the spacings of all of the other bars in the assembly were not affected significantly by the lateral translation and tripping process, thereby eliminating the need to recheck their positions within the assembly (Devine et al. 2018b).},
doi = {10.2172/1493583},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {12}
}