Collaborative Research: Understanding Mechanism of Internal Frost-Induced Damage of Concrete from Microstructure Aspects

Sponsoring Agency: National Science Foundation

PI: Qingli Dai

This project integrates research and education to advance the state of knowledge of the mechanism of frost-induced damage in Portland cement concrete under freeze-thaw cycles. The primary objective of this research project is to combine expertise in microstructure-based computational modeling and innovative sensor technologies to study the fundamental mechanisms of frost damage in concrete. Research will include the experimental characterization of concrete microstructure across different length scales, the development of an innovative Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR) sensor to accurately determine the freeze-thaw status, and the formulation and validation of a frost-induced damage model. This research is expected to result in a model that can clearly and concisely describe the damage that frost can inflict in concrete. This model will provide a valuable tool to assess the potential success of various frost damage prevention strategies and products.

This research will help develop durable concrete and benefit the industries involved with concrete design and construction in cold regions. The durability of concrete plays a central role in the sustainability of the whole infrastructure system on which such regions depend for their development. In this project, research and educational activities will be integrated to promote teaching, training, and learning for the K-12 students and teachers, undergraduate and graduate students in engineering and science, and professional engineers. Additionally, the methodology developed in this project for understanding the frost damage mechanisms of concrete will be applicable for solving other durability issues such as salt scaling and chemical reaction.


Qingli Dai
Qingli Dai