One important part of my PhD research within INFRASTAR is an experimental campaign on R-UHPFRC beams (Reinforced Ultra High Performance Fibre Reinforced Cementitious composite).
This complex name stands for combination of UHPFRC and reinforcement bars, as known from reinforced concrete. I will not spoil the fun and reveal all the details for now - wait for it ;)
Currently I am getting step by step closer to the experiments themselves. But, there is a long way behind me already.
The origin of campaign takes back to the end of last year, when I was getting ready for my candidacy exam (read here) and I had to come up with ideas. I have decided to look at the problem of steel reinforcement and UHPFRC long term behaviour. This topic is relevant, as more and more structures are built every year, and it largely still hasn't been explored.
Since the beginning of 2018, fight for materials started. Finally, UHPFRC and reinforcement arrived to EPFL around May.
Then, there was time for material testing,
strain gauges gluing,
It even fitted the support that our technician fabricated for me!
For now, I have casted just the trial beam. But once I know the system works, I will start an extensive casting campaign this month! And, the first tests in July.
I will let you know!