Graduate Studies


Date of this Version

Spring 4-22-2016


Kowalewski, M. (2016). MECHANICAL STRENGTH AND DURABILITY OF VARIOUS CONDUCTIVE CONCRETE MIXES (Master's Thesis). University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Civil Engineering, Under the Supervision of Professor Christopher Tuan. Lincoln, Nebraska: May 2016

Copyright © 2016 Mitchell J. Kowalewski


There are many different ways to remove snow and ice from roadways. A common means of removing snow and ice is through the use of mechanical devices and chemical agents like salt, urea, sodium acetate, and potassium acetate. Another means of removing snow and ice is by heating the pavement itself so there is no build up. The pavement can either be heated by imbedding electric heating mats or running heated fluid or gas through embedded pipes. A new experimental way of heating pavement is to use the pavement itself as the electric heating element. The concrete is made electrically conductive by mixing metal fiber and carbon particles into regular concrete, turning it into conductive concrete.

For this application to be practical, the concrete must meet a certain strength and durability requirements, while being economical to some extent. The mechanical strength and durability of the various conductive concrete mixes were tested according to the testing procedures specified by the American Standard and Testing Materials (ASTM). For strength testing, compression and flexural testing was done. For durability test, samples of the individual concrete mixes were subjected to drying shrinkage, rapid freeze-thaw, and abrasion testing to simulate field conditions. The economy of the different mixes was presented in terms of cost per cubic yard of the mix. The test data were summarized and the most cost effective and superior conductive concrete mix was selected.

Advisor: Christopher Tuan