Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction


Date of this Version



Markosian, N.; Tawadrous, R.; Mastali, M.; Thomas, R.J.; Maguire, M. Performance Evaluation of a Prestressed Belitic Calcium Sulfoaluminate Cement (BCSA) Concrete Bridge Girder. Sustainability 2021, 13, 7875. https:// doi.org/10.3390/su13147875


© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license


Belitic calcium sulfoaluminate (BCSA) cement is a sustainable alternative to Portland cement that offers rapid setting characteristics that could accelerate throughput in precast concrete operations. BCSA cements have lower carbon footprint, embodied energy, and natural resource consumption than Portland cement. However, these benefits are not often utilized in structural members due to lack of specifications and perceived logistical challenges. This paper evaluates the performance of a full-scale precast, prestressed voided deck slab bridge girder made with BCSA cement concrete. The rapid-set properties of BCSA cement allowed the initial concrete compressive strength to reach the required 4300 psi release strength at 6.5 h after casting. Prestress losses were monitored long-term using vibrating wire strain gages cast into the concrete at the level of the prestressing strands and the data were compared to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Load and Resistance Factor Design (AASHTO LRFD) predicted prestress losses. AASHTO methods for prestress loss calculation were overestimated compared to the vibrating wire strain gage data. Material testing was performed to quantify material properties including compressive strength, tensile strength, static and dynamic elastic modulus, creep, and drying and autogenous shrinkage. The material testing results were compared to AASHTO predictions for creep and shrinkage losses. The bridge girder was tested at mid-span and at a distance of 1.25 times the depth of the beam (1.25d) from the face of the support until failure. Mid-span testing consisted of a crack reopening test to solve for the effective prestress in the girder and a flexural test until failure. The crack reopen effective prestress was compared to the AASHTO prediction and AASHTO appeared to be effective in predicting losses based on the crack reopen data. The mid-span failure was a shear failure, well predicted by AASHTO LRFD. The 1.25d test resulted in a bond failure, but nearly developed based on a moment curvature estimate indicating the AASHTO bond model was conservative.