Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


Devin K Harris


The rehabilitation of concrete structures, especially concrete bridge decks, is a major challenge for transportation agencies in the United States. Often, the most appropriate strategy to preserve or rehabilitate these structures is to provide some form of a protective coating or barrier. These surface treatments have typically been some form of polymer, asphalt, or low-permeability concrete, but the application of UHPC has shown promise for this application mainly due to its negligible permeability, but also as a result of its excellent mechanical properties, self-consolidating nature, rapid gain strength, and minimal creep and shrinkage characteristics. However, for widespread acceptance, durability and performance of the composite system must be fully understood, specifically the bond between UHPC and NSC often used in bridge decks. It is essential that the bond offers enough strength to resist the stress due to mechanical loading or thermal effects, while also maintaining an extended service-life performance.

This report attempts to assess the bond strength between UHPC and NSC under different loading configurations. Different variables, such as roughness degree of the concrete substrates, age of bond, exposure to freeze-thaw cycles and wetting conditions of the concrete substrate, were included in this study. The combination of splitting tensile test with 0, 300, 600 and 900 freeze-thaw cycles was carried out to assess the bond performance under severe ambient conditions. The slant-shear test was utilized with different interface angles to provide a wide understanding of the bond performance under different combinations of compression and shear stresses. The pull-off test is the most accepted method to evaluate the bond strength in the field. This test which studies the direct tensile strength of the bond, the most severe loading condition, was used to provide data that can be correlated with the other tests that only can be used in the laboratory.

The experimental program showed that the bond performance between UHPC and NSC is successful, as the strength regardless the different degree of roughness of the concrete substrate, the age of the composite specimens, the exposure to freeze-thaw cycles and the different loading configurations, is greater than that of concrete substrate and largely satisfies with ACI 546.3R-06.