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Performance-Based Classification Methods for Reclaimed Fly Ash

Project Information

Project Status: 
Start Date: 
Wednesday, September 4, 2019
End Date: 
Sunday, September 3, 2023
FHWA Program: 
Exploratory Advanced Research
FHWA Discipline: 
Pavement and Materials

Contact Information

First Name: 
Last Name: 
(202) 493-3191
Infrastructure Materials Team
Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Office Code: 

Project Details

Project Description: 

Over the past 80 years, concrete mixtures have become reliant on the use of fly ash to improve performance. Changes in emission standards for coal-fired power plants and the economics of natural gas have created shortages of fly ash. The loss of fly ash would cause significant challenges to the concrete industry and jeopardize the durability of our transportation infrastructure. Fortunately, there are tens of millions of tons of fly ash stored in solid waste disposal sites that can be easily accessed. Current classification procedures are not suited to handle the variety of available fly ash. New specifications are needed on the usage of reclaimed fly ash to produce concrete mixtures with long-lasting performance. This project aims to combine advanced material characterization methods, performance-based testing, mechanistic modeling, and machine learning to create engineering tools to classify reclaimed fly ash. These tools will then be used to develop specifications and new American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials documents to classify and design concrete mixtures to use reclaimed fly ash from a variety of sources to ensure concrete mixtures that are constructible, durable, and with satisfactory engineering properties. Ultimately, a pilot project will be created to showcase the usage of reclaimed fly ash.