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Feasibility of Non-Proprietary Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC) for use in Highway Bridges in Montana: Phase II Field Application

Project #: 4W7141
Start Date: 03/20/2018
End Date: 06/30/2020
Status: Completed

Ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) has mechanical and durability properties that far exceed those of conventional concrete. However, using UHPC in conventional concrete applications has been cost prohibitive, with commercially available/proprietary mixes costing approximately 30 times more than conventional concrete. Previous WTI research conducted at Montana State University (MSU) resulted in nonproprietary UHPC mixes made with materials readily available in Montana. These mixes are significantly less expensive than commercially available UHPC mixes, thus opening the door for their use in construction projects in the state. The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) Bridge Bureau is interested in using UHPC in field-cast joints between precast concrete deck panels. The use of UHPC in this application will reduce development lengths, and subsequently reduce the requisite spacing between the decks and improve the overall performance of the bridge. This research will build on the Phase I non-proprietary UHPC research, and focus on ensuring the successful application of this material in these field-cast joints. Specifically, this research will investigate several items related to the field
batching of these mixes, and the potential variability in performance related to differences in constituent materials. Further, rebar bond strength and the subsequent effect this has on development length will be investigated.


The objective of this project is to further characterize the non-proprietary UHPC mixes developed in the Phase I research, and ensure its successful application in field-cast joints. This objective will be achieved by (1) investigating the potential variability in concrete performance related to differences in constituent materials, (2) investigating issues related to the field batching/mixing of the these UHPC mixes, and (3) testing rebar bond strength and studying how this will affect requisite development lengths.


  • Michael Berry
    Michael Berry