Engineering Resources - Pavements and Materials

US Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory
Published Aug. 1, 2019
Updated: Aug. 5, 2019
U.S. Northern Command shown cold regions solutions

HANOVER, N.H. (April 3, 2019) – Major General Helen Pratt, Director of Logistics and Engineering, Headquarters, North American Aerospace Defense Command and United States Northern Command, speaks with Danielle Kennedy and Christopher DeCarlo, research civil engineers at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center. Kennedy and DeCarlo describe the ERDC Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory’s cold regions pavement infrastructure technologies. “This is my first visit to ERDC’s Cold Regions Laboratory,” Maj. Gen. Pratt said. “You always hear that CRREL delivers excellent solutions for all things cold — it’s good to finally see it up close and reassuring to know that NORAD and NORTHCOM have such great R&D partners as we continue to maintain homeland defense as our number one priority.”


Pavements and Materials

The Pavements and Materials section of the Engineering Resources Branch (ERB) at the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) in Hanover, New Hampshire, combat the damaging effects of concrete frost heaving and thaw settlement, and develop novel pavements and materials for military engineering, combat construction, and civil works infrastructure applications for the Army, Air Force, and regional Department of Transportation (DOT) organizations.

The team validates long-term durability of cold weather admixture systems (CWAS) and proves comparable or improved performance vs. control concrete in both summer and winter months. When placing concrete in cold weather, it is possible to employ off-the-shelf additives as the sole method of freeze protection, in lieu of more traditional techniques such as heated temporary enclosures or heated curing blankets.

Research and development of CWAS has been a focus since the late 1980s.

In the last several decades, CWAS was demonstrated to be less costly and labor intensive than traditional cold weather concrete techniques, and several field demonstrations placed in the late 1990s and early 2000s remain in service today. Adoption of these methods in civil industry has been minimal, however, likely due to a lack of performance based guidance, as well as a perceived risk of early setting associated with the very high recommended quantity of admixture.


Laboratory testing is underway In support of long term durability validation, the team has traveled to multiple field sites to collect samples and assess the condition of in-service concrete. These sites exist in locations throughout New England, as well as Alaska and Michigan. The team has also placed specimens at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) natural exposure site in Treat Island, Maine. The team also investigates the long-term durability of cold weather concrete, and has recently completed the analyses to quantify and predict long-term durability vs. conventional concrete methods (winter, summer emplacements).

VIDEO | 02:01 | Extreme cold weather accelerated aging site

Wade Lein, Ph.D.
CRREL - Engineering Resources Branch (ERB)
Danielle Kennedy
CRREL - Engineering Resources Branch (ERB)

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