Superhydrophobic Engineered Cementitious Composites for Highway Bridge Applications: Phase II

Quarterly Reports Other Documents Final Report
December 2011
March 2012
June 2012
September 2012
Advanced Concrete Could Last More Than a Century Without Maintenance
Concrete Mix Adds Flexibility, Durability
Advanced Concrete Means Little Maintenance For A Century
High-Tech Concrete Will Ensure Stronger and Longer Lasting Roads and Bridges
Final Report

Primary Investigators

Konstantin Sobolev
Associate Professor Department of Civil Engineering & Mechanics
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
3200 N. Cramer St. Milwaukee, WI 53211
Phone: (414) 229-3198;


The strength and durability of highway bridges are two key components in maintaining a high level of freight transportation capacity on the nation’s highways. SECC is a new advanced concrete material with polyvinyl alcohol fibers and hydrophobic compounds, which is under development for the current CFIRE project 04-09. The SECC is an effective substitute to conventional concrete that can provide the strength and durability demanded in key regions of highway bridges. The Phase2 research project will investigate the durability of SECC.


Further in-depth evaluation of the durability of developed superhydrophobic engineered cement composite (SECC) materials and their adaptability for use in highway bridge approach slabs. Freeze-thaw and scaling resistance will be evaluated through accelerated cyclic testing and related to the air void structure in the material. The permeability and transport properties of the material will be measured. Further structural testing will be conducted, at a full scale, to substantiate the deformability of highway slabs composed of SECC. These steps will allow development of models for predicting transport properties and freeze-thaw performance of the SECC.


  1. Investigate the freeze-thaw and salt-scaling resistance of developed SECC.
  2. Investigate the pore structure and permeability of developed SECC.
  3. Investigate the microstructure changes induced by environmental exposure (freeze-thaw cycling and deicing) and self-healing.
  4. Model and optimize the microstructure, transport properties and durability performance of SEEC.
  5. Perform the tests on full-scale SECC slabs to prove the deformation capacity under vehicle service loads and evaluate the effect of loading/cracking on the freeze-thaw performance of slabs.

Project Information

  • Duration: 12 months
  • Dates: October 1, 2011 – 9/30/2012
  • Budget: $79,913
  • Student Involvement: One graduate student
  • Modal Orientation: Highway
  • Project ID: CFIRE 05-10
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