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BRE CICM Research Wins International Awards

2010年6月18日

Researchers in the BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials in the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering have been awarded two seperate prizes for best papers published in the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Journals during 2009.

The paper 'Deep embedment of FRP for concrete shear strengthening', authored by Dr Pier Valerio, Professor Tim Ibell and Dr Antony Darby, won the 2010 Bill Curtin Award for the best innovation-in-design paper. The research described in the paper describes how existing bridges which are structurally deficient may be strengthened using a novel technique without needing to close the bridge to traffic. Some concrete bridges are prone to a very sudden form of failure near to the bridge supports, known as shear. This is a notoriously brittle and dangerous deficiency. The innovation described in the paper lies in fixing carbon fibre-reinforced polymer bars into vertically-drilled holes in the danger zone. The researchers have been able to demonstrate the efficacy of this approach experimentally (figure 1), verify the structural robustness analytically, and demonstrate practicality of the approach. The research was funded by the EPSRC and Network Rail.

A second paper 'Limit-equilibrium assessment of drystone retaining structures' by Dr Chris Mundell, Dr Paul McCombie, Claire Bailey, Dr Andrew Heath and Prof. Pete Walker has won the ICE's 2010 John Mitchell Medal, awarded for the best paper in geotechnical practice, site-based innovation, or geotechnical safety. The paper describes development of a limit equilibrium model developed as part of an investigation into the stability of drystone retaining structures. Drystone walls are unmortared structures, used for boundary walls, retaining walls and some simple buildings. Most drystone retaining walls in the UK were constructed in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and support the ground on over 9000km of the national road and rail networks. Historic walls often exhibit signs of post construction deformation, such as bulging and leaning, and may have an increased risk of collapse. However, reliable assessment using exisitng methods is difficult. The model was verified initially against field trials conducted in 1834 by Lieutenant-General Burgoyne, which have been the main reference to date for checking numerical modelling of drystone retaining walls. Then the model was compared with initial results from new small-scale and full-scale drystone retaining wall tests undertaken at the University of Bath (figure 2). The research was funded by EPSRC with contributions from a number of local authorities and other industry partners.

Professor Tim Ibell said 'This is terrific recognition of the excellent research which Pier Valerio and Chris Mundell conducted during their PhD work at Bath. Pier managed to provide a robust and cost-effective structural solution to one of Network Rail's more serious bridge problems by relying on a combination of fundamental structural mechanics, new materials and a practical outlook. As part of his PhD work Chris has developed an effective approach for reliable structural assessment of drystone retaining walls which will be of great benefit to local authorities and other property owners responsible for their upkeep. This is innovation.'

The award ceremony will be held at the Institution of Civil Engineers in Westminster on 8 October 2010.

Scaled-model testing of concrete bridges

Figure 1

Collapsing test wall

Figure 2

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