U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

Skip to content U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration

Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations



Research and Development (R&D) Project Sites

Project Information
Project ID:   FHWA-PROJ-13-0013
Project Name:   Ultra-High Performance Concretes and High-Performance Steels as Countermeasures for Blast and Impact Protection
Project Status:   Active
Start Date:  January 31, 2013
End Date:  July 12, 2015
Contact Information
Last Name:  Munley
First Name:  Eric P
Telephone:  202-493-3046
E-mail:  eric.munley@dot.gov
Office:   Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Team:   Hazard Mitigation Team [HRDI-50]
Program:   Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center
Project detail
Roadmap/Focus area(s):   Infrastructure Research and Technology Strategic Plan and Roadmap
Project Description:   Countermeasure material requirements (objective 1) is common to all materials. The first objective is identical to that of the ultra-high performance concrete/high-performance steel study. Assessment of material use (objective 2) is a sorting of materials to determine the best role (direct resistance/load damping/alternate load paths) for each. This includes countermeasures that may be a composite of two or more material types. For both studies, results for these two objectives will be presented in common. Detailed assessment and research plans (objective 3) for fiber-reinforced composite, ultra-high performance concrete, and high-performance steel will be presented as separate chapters.
The key project objectives are:
(1) List of countermeasure material requirements to protect those bridge components identified as vulnerable to attack, seismic, and vehicle impact loads.
(2) Assessment of potential for material use in three countermeasure functions: direct resistance, load damping, and alternate load paths. For counterterror needs, the protection requirements will be significantly higher than that provided by currently available retrofit materials. For seismic and impact, the performance requirements must meet current specifications.
(3) Development plans for candidate ultrahigh performance concrete and high-performance steel (materials/patterns) countermeasures to meet, where feasible, the material requirements identified in objective 1.
Test Methodology:   This is an analytical study to determine the most efficient material use in performing the three functions: direct resistance, load damping, and alternate load paths, and the potential for development, when possible, of multihazard countermeasures for (separate occurrence) load events: explosive/cutting, seismic, and collision. The project will recommend the necessary followup physical research and development for the feasible countermeasures (the most practical methods to reduce State departments of transportation installation and maintenance costs while providing full protection). The project tasks are: (1) Review bridge field evaluations. (2) Material properties for mitigation. (3) Analytical Study: Performance of current materials in multihazard mitigation. (4) Analytical Study: Material performance full multihazard mitigation (member requirements on specific components/potential upper limit of material performance). (5) Development of ultra-high performance concrete and high-performance steel countermeasures (research plan to develop countermeasures using ultra-high performance concrete and high-performance steel/recommended test methods).
Expected Benefits:   American bridges will be able to survive a terrorist attack.
FHWA Topics:   Research/Technologies--Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC)
TRT Terms:   Hazard Mitigation
FHWA Disciplines:   Structures
Subject Areas:   Bridges and other structures
Security and Emergencies


Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000
Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center | 6300 Georgetown Pike | McLean, VA | 22101