This study leveraged past successes in the analysis and design of shape memory alloy (SMA) components to address the issue of thermal expansion in concrete structures. Since the SMA used in the current work is relatively cheaper than other common SMAs (less than $50/lb compared to NiTi which is $200/lb due to difficulties in processing), it is anticipated that the findings of the study could be implemented in real infrastructures made of concrete, asphalt concrete, and other complex large infrastructure. Low-cost Fe-SMAs and other multifunctional materials can be considered as a replacement for components made of steel (e.g., in reinforced or plain jointed concrete pavements) to control distresses resulting from thermal expansion during seasonal/daily temperature change. This study conducted a series of finite element (FE) case studies of various configurations of concrete (blocks, slabs, and beams) with embedded, pre-strained SMA rods. This included developing new models to investigate temperature induced deflection in concrete slabs to analyze their curling behavior. It also included investigating the optimal position of the SMA rod and required rod radius. It is hoped that the results of this work could help to design smarter civil infrastructure incorporating multifunctional materials into established civil engineering materials.
Hartl, D., & Mirsayar, M. (2019). Reduction of Structural Damage from the Thermal Expansion of Concrete Using Multifunctional Materials. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.lsu.edu/transet_pubs/61