Project 2.16: Enhancing the Durability of Bridge Decks by Incorporating Microencapsulated Phase Change Materials (PCMs) in Concrete

Enhancing the Durability of Bridge Decks by Incorporating Microencapsulated Phase Change Materials (PCMs) in Concrete

Project 2.16

Project Summary

In Rhode Island and other New England states, combined effects of freeze-thaw-induced damage and chloride ingress (from deicing salts) make it very challenging to maintain the quality of concrete on bridges and road surfaces. This project will develop, evaluate, and assess the feasibility of incorporating microencapsulated phase change materials (PCMs) into the concrete to reduce freeze-thaw/chloride ingress-induced degradation. Under freezing ambient conditions, when PCMs freeze, they release a large amount of heat that helps keep the deck/pavement warmer. As a result, PCMs can reduce the number of freeze-thaw cycles in bridge decks which can lead to a significant reduction in damage/ingress of salt and an increase in life expectancy. In this project, a series of comprehensive experiments will be performed to evaluate the influence of PCM-incorporated concrete overlays on the freeze-thaw damage response and durability of concrete against chloride ingress. Moreover, the experimental results will be synergistically integrated with a robust performance prediction tool to enable efficient design of PCM concrete overlays specifically targeted for winter weather conditions in Rhode Island and other northeastern states.

Principal Investigator

Dr. Sumanta Das


Dr. Mayrai Gindy


University of Rhode Island

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Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology, University Transportation Centers Program, Department of Transportation, University of Rhode Island.

Implementation of Research Outcomes:

This project is in its initial research phase. Implementation of research outcomes will be reported upon completion of the research outputs.

Impacts and Benefits of Implementation:

This project is in its research phase. Impacts and benefits of the research will be reported after the implementation phase.

Printable Project Information Sheet

March 2022 Quarterly Progress Report

June 2022 Quarterly Progress Report

September 2022 Quarterly Progress Report