About the research
Concrete encased steel pile bent is commonly used in Iowa transportation systems especially in the local system. The performance of the foundation system is generally fine. However, several cases have been found that the deterioration of the concrete encasement and pile corrosion happen as early as in the twenty plus years of service life, which has caused significant maintenance and structural safety concerns. To address this issue, galvanized and painted steel piling system is proposed as an alternative to the concrete encased steel piles.
Galvanized piling is good in corrosion resistance and can reach a 75 year service life without any maintenance activities. The painting system protects the galvanizing during and after construction. Some of the painting systems can also increase the surface friction and lead to a higher load carrying capacity of the piles. In addition to these, using galvanized piling system avoids the cast-in-place concrete encasement, which can shorten the overall construction by three weeks. This will reduce the construction cost dramatically.
Although the benefits of the galvanized and painted piling system are obvious, it is still a new technology in bridge construction. Research and field monitoring are necessary to evaluate the performance the system. The life-cycle cost evaluation is important to justify its financial benefits. Buchanan County is currently considering build a bridge use this innovative system. This provides a great research opportunity to evaluate the system.