CIGMAT Report: Center Studies Concrete Coatings And Repair Methods For Corroded Steel Piles

By C. Vipulanadan, PhD, P.E., professor and director of Center for Innovative Grouting Materials and Technology (CIGMAT) and Texas Hurricane Center for Innovative Technology (THC-IT), Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Houston | October 2012, Vol. 67 No. 10

The Center for Innovative Grouting Materials and Technology (CIGMAT) is currently working on projects related to composite coatings to protect reinforced concrete and repair methods for corroded steel piles. Over the years, CIGMAT researchers have developed unique testing facilities and developed test protocols approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to test grouts and coatings for infrastructure rehabilitation. A Life Cycle Cost model (CIGMAT-LCC) for wastewater systems has been developed and may be viewed on the CIGMAT website.

In the past two decades, over 55 commercial products including coatings, grouts, liners, concrete and polymer composite have been researched and tested for various applications. The observed trends are analytically and numerically modeled to better understand the influence of various testing and environmental parameters. Every effort is being made by CIGMAT researchers to transfer technology from control studies to actual applications. The industrial members and federal, state and local agencies fund the ongoing research studies at CIGMAT. The director of CIGMAT is Dr. C. Vipulanandan (Vipu), P.E., professor of civil engineering at the University of Houston, Houston, TX.

Recently, CIGMAT received a three-year $2.6 million research grant from the non-profit Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, to conduct research on developing smart cement and drilling mud for real-time monitoring of oil well installation and performance during the entire service life. Oil field services firm Baker Hughes is providing $500,000 in additional funds.

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