Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network

Md Shah Nur Alam Sourav

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Md Shah Nur Alam Sourav 2018-11-27T09:27:00+00:00
Early Stage Researcher
Ove-Arup & Partners (Ireland)

Project 2: Reduction of uncertainty in assessing concrete strength of existing structures

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Research Interests:

Structural Concrete; Concrete behaviour


After achieving the Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology in 2014, he has been working in the field of structural assessment and retrofitting work of existing building in Bangladesh. Here, concrete property assessment is the most difficult part of the work. In his undergraduate program, he has completed a thesis work on the concrete strength assessment using the recycled coarse aggregate materials. Use of a percentage of recycled coarse aggregate in concrete preparation was found to be okay in the context of Bangladesh. He joined TRUSS ITN in November 2015.

His interest in concrete and its properties led him to work on the reduction of uncertainty of concrete strength assessment of existing building. A summary of his research highlights and training, dissemination and outreach activities in TRUSS  other than network-wide events, is provided in the pdf below, followed by more detailed info on his research outputs.


Research Outputs:

Publications in TRUSS

Conference contributions
 Inspections and maintenance of infrastructure are expensive. In some cases, overdue or insufficient maintenance/monitoring can lead to an unacceptable risk of collapse and to a tragic failure as the Morandi bridge in Genoa, Italy, on 14th August 2018. An accurate assessment of the safety of a structure is a difficult task due to uncertainties associated with the aging and response of the structure, with the operational and environmental loads, and with their interaction. During the period from 2015 to 2019, the project TRUSS (Training in Reducing Uncertainty in Structural Safety) ITN (Innovative Training Network), funded by the EU H2020 Marie Curie-Skłodowska Action (MSCA) programme, has worked towards improving the structural assessment of buildings, energy, marine, and transport infrastructure. Fourteen Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) have been recruited to carry out related research on new materials, testing methods, improved and more efficient modelling methods and management strategies, and sensor and algorithm development for Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) purposes. This research has been enhanced by an advanced program of scientific and professional training delivered via a collaboration between 6 Universities, 1 research institute and 11 companies from 5 European countries. The high proportion of companies participating in TRUSS ITN has ensured significant industrial expertise and has introduced a diverse range of perspectives to the consortium on the activities necessary to do business in the structural safety sector. -> Link to full text in repository
In the structural evaluation of existing concrete structures, concrete strength is an important parameter that influences the quality of the overall assessment. Non-destructive tests (NDTs) allows the inspection of larger areas of concrete at lesser cost and time than coring and provides more reliable information than visual inspection. The low reliability of common NDTs in the assessment of compressive strength of concrete limits the use of NDTs in the practical field. A new technique, post-installed screw pullout (PSP) test, based on the modified pullout of post-installed screw, is presented in this paper. The screw transfers the load to the concrete through bearing on the threads. During the complete pullout failure mode, the failure pattern involves local crushing of concrete under the threads. The PSP test was investigated in mortar and concrete to study different factors; compressive strength, presence of aggregates, and the types of aggregate. Mortar was considered to be a homogenous material and thus taken as a baseline for comparing the effect of aggregate type. Experimental studies showed that aggregates play a significant role in the assessment of compressive strength by PSP test, and a better correlation with compressive strength was observed when concretes with different aggregates were analysed separately. In the strength assessment, the degree of variability of the PSP test in terms of R-squared value, standard deviation, coefficient of variation, and RMSE for mortar and concrete with brick chips and lightweight aggregates was found to be low; however concrete with limestone aggregate showed higher variability in the test results. The study confirms that the PSP test is a viable test method with the potential to be reliable and reasonably accurate, yet cost effective; it can also contribute to the reduction of the uncertainty in the assessment of compressive strength of in-situ concrete.
The assessment of concrete compressive strength is an essential element in assessing the load carrying capacity of structural members in an existing structure. The reliability of non-destructive tests (NDTs) results for assessing concrete strength is always a questionable issue. This is mainly due to the uncertainty associated with the strength predictions based on the NDT measurements. This paper studies the Post-installed Screw Pullout (PSP) test as a potential method for assessing in-situ concrete strength. The objective of this paper is to study the reliability of the assessment using PSP test by analysing the effects of several influencing factors: presence of coarse aggregates, types and size of coarse aggregates, and the amount of coarse and fine aggregates. Analyses of results are presented to evaluate the repeatability and reliability of the PSP test with respect to test standard deviation, coefficient of variation and RMSE. The repeatability of the screw pullout test has been compared with the other NDTs available in literature.

There is multitude of models available to assess structural safety based on a set of input parameters. As the degree of complexity of the models increases, the uncertainty of their output tends to decrease. However, more complex models typically require more input parameters, which may contain a higher degree of uncertainty. Therefore, it becomes necessary to find the balance that, for a particular scenario, will reduce the overall uncertainty (model + parameters) in structural safety. The latter is the objective of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network titled TRUSS (Training in Reducing Uncertainty in Structural Safety) funded by the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (http://trussitn.eu). This paper describes how TRUSS addresses uncertainty in: (a) structural reliability of materials such as basalt fiber reinforced polymer, (b) testing techniques in the assessment of concrete strength in buildings, (c) numerical methods in computing the non-linear response of submerged nuclear components subjected to an earthquake, (d) estimation of life of wind turbines, (e) the optimal inspection times and management strategies for ships, (f) characterization of the dynamic response of ship unloaders and (g) the relationship between vehicles fuel consumption and pavement condition.-> Link to full text in repository

For capacity evaluation, the structural assessment of existing structures is necessary. Concrete strength is an important parameter for such assessment. Non-destructive tests (NDTs) are used along with the traditional approach of core testing for strength assessment of concrete in existing structures. The low reliability of NDT results leads to uncertainty in assessing concrete strength. A new method of non-destructive testing is presented in this paper with the aim of achieving better reliability and reducing uncertainty in the assessment of mortar strength. This approach is based on a modified pullout of post-installed screw anchors. The technique involves a pushin mechanism for a steel screw inside the mortar where a void underneath the screw is left to allow for the uninterrupted movement of the screw inside the concrete. The failure pattern involves local crush-ing of concrete between the threads of the screw. This paper investigates the load bearing behaviour of threaded screws installed in cement mortar under compressive loading. The results supports the application of the tech-nique in the assessment of compressive strength of mortar. The main parameters affecting the pushin behaviour are presented and their effects are discussed. It is planned to extend the test program to concrete in the future. -> Link to full text in repository

With more emphasis on reusing and extending the life of structures, it often becomes necessary to assess the capacity of existing concrete structures. One major component of this assessment relates to the concrete strength. Ideally such assessment is carried out without damaging the concrete of the structure. The currently available methods for assessing in-situ concrete strength as a part of capacity evaluation of the existing structures can be broadly divided into two groups. One group of tests is completely non-destructive. The other group is partially destructive where limited damage to the surface is caused by the tests. For the strength evaluation of existing concrete, methods such as surface hardness test, ultrasonic pulse velocity test, penetration resistance test and maturity test fall under the non-destructive category. Partially destructive tests include pull out test, CAPO test, pull off test and break off test. This paper critically evaluates and analyses the applicability and limitations of the methods used for evaluating concrete strength in existing structures. Most methods for strength evaluation are found to measure a certain property such as elasticity, density, tensile strength or hardness of concrete and then relate the measured value to compressive strength. Studies on these methods show a wide variation in the correlations between estimated and predicted compressive strength. Partially destructive methods are noted to provide correlations with good consistency between estimated and predicted compressive strength. -> Link to full text in repository