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ACI Foundation Funds Research Projects
Funding Totals $200,000


The ACI Foundation was established in 1989 to promote progress, innovation, and collaboration and is a wholly owned and operated nonprofit subsidiary of the American Concrete Institute. Three councils make up the ACI Foundation: the Strategic Development Council, committed to resolving the issues of new technology acceptance within the concrete industry; the Concrete Research Council, which funds and assists in the research of new concrete technologies; and the Scholarship Council, which facilitates student fellowships and scholarships.

The ACI Foundation will provide $200,000 of research funding through four $50,000 research grants this year.. Information about this year's awarded projects follow.

Dimitri Feys, The Curators of the University of Missouri on behalf of Missouri University of Science and Technology, is studying how to minimize the effect of pumping on self-consolidating concrete workability and freeze-thaw durability.

Pumping is a widely-used technique to place concrete in formworks, however, the pumping operation affects the workability and the air-void distribution of concrete. Self-consolidating concrete (SCC) can either lose its self-consolidation capacity or its stability when being pumped, and it has been shown that an increase in air void spacing factor due to pumping is significantly larger than that of conventional vibrated concrete.

As some agencies impose requirements on the concrete after placement, improved guidelines are necessary for both the pumping operation and the concrete mix design to minimize any negative effect of pumping on concrete workability and freeze-thaw resistance.

The main goal of the research is to understand which parameters of pumping and concrete mix design have the largest effect on the workability and air-void systems and apply the results to improved guidelines for concrete producers and contractors to assure the quality of the concrete placed in the formworks by pumping. Two main groups of parameters will be investigated: pumping parameters and concrete properties. This knowledge will enable the researchers to predict changes in concrete workability and air-void distribution.

The research is co-funded by RECAST Tier 1 UTC (Monetary), The Curators of the University of Missouri (Rolla).

Farshad Rajabipour, Pennsylvania State University, is evaluating the performance and feasibility of using recovered fly ash and fluidized bed combustion fly ash as concrete pozzolan.

This research project will help determine if and how recovered stockpiled fly ash and fluidized bed combustion (FBC) fly ash can be used as viable and high performance pozzolans for concrete. Supplementary cementitious materials (SCM) are key ingredients in today's concrete and can vastly improve the durability and sustainability of concrete mixtures. While the demand for fly ash (the most commonly used SCM) and other suitable pozzolans continues to escalate, the supply of high-quality and economically available fly ash has been shrinking. While alternative sources of fly ash do exist (e.g., landfilled or ponded fly ash), these have not been used due to lack of guidelines and protocols to evaluate the performance of these ashes and identify necessary improvement procedures before they can be incorporated into concrete mixtures.

This study, co-funded by the Pennsylvania Coal Ash Research Group, seeks to evaluate the feasibility, performance, and improvement procedures of two promising alternative sources of fly ash: recovered dry disposed (stockpiled) fly ash, and FBC fly ash. The project findings will be used to potentially develop new ACI guidelines for the evaluation and use of recovered fly ash and FBC fly ash in concrete.

The other two researchers and their projects are: Reza Kianoush from Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, conducting an experimental study on the effect of wall-slab connection details in liquid containing structures, co-funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada; and Jack Moehle, University of California, Berkeley, researching benchmark tests on anchoring columns to foundations. The research is co-funded by Hilti Aktiengesellschaft & Ron Klemencic of Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Inc.

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