Bowen Lab Projects

Teaching Machines to Classify and Organize Reconnaissance Image Data

The methods developed and validated in this research will enable rapid information extraction from these images to make timely decisions regarding where to collect the highest value perishable visual data.

Resilient ExtraTerrestrial Habitat Engineering (RETH)

The goal of this project is to develop the expertise needed to address the grand challenge of permanent human settlements outside Earth.

Establishing a Research Network in Hybrid Simulation for Multi-Hazard Engineering

This NSF-funded research coordination network seeks to broaden the community and forge new partnerships able to tackle the scientific challenges that lie ahead, and thus facilitate the advances needed to both establish the fundamental theory of and expand the capacity for hybrid simulation methods for natural hazards applications.

Probability of Detection Study for Bridge Inspection Related to Steel Bridges

To evaluate the current performance of inspectors with the industry's present standards of training, a comprehensive Probability of Detection (POD) study is underway to determine the likelihood of inspectors finding cracks of various sizes and surface corrosion on a bridge structure. This study will test an inspector's ability to identify different defects under various environmental conditions on a bridge structure.

Seismic Response of Structural Walls with Reinforcement and Geometric Discontinuities

The objective of this project was to study the seismic response of structural walls with a vertical stack of openings that terminate in a solid wall in the lower stories in building structures.

Seismic Response of Reinforced Concrete Walls with Lap Splices

Lap-splice failures in reinforced concrete walls and smoke stacks after recent earthquakes (e.g. Izmit, Turkey in 1999, Northridge, United States in 1994, Maule, Chile in 2010) and the scarcity of experimental data revealed the need for this investigation.

Member-level Redundancy in Built-up Steel Members

The objective of this research is to quantify the redundancy possessed by built-up steel members (bolted or riveted). Typically, built-up members will not 'fail' if one of the components fails (whether through fatigue or fracture). However, there is very little experimental data quantifying the remaining fatigue life and strength of a member in which one of the components has failed.

Modal Analysis and Load Identification Techniques for a Rapidly Emplaced Bridge System

This project's goals are first to determine through experimental procedures the vibration behavior of a military-type deployable bridge under various types of loading conditions, e. g.: moving mass, moving load and moving oscillator travelling along the bridge at different speeds; and second, to develop a valid approach to identify the type of load the bridge is subjected to from experimental data only.

US-China: Verification of Real-Time Hybrid Simulation Through Shake Table Comparison

Real-time hybrid simulation (RTHS) provides researchers the opportunity to isolate and physically investigate only the more complex or critical components, while numerically including the remainder of the structure. This approach allows for a wide range of configurations to be tested using a single test specimen. This work present the results of a three phase project focusing on comparison of analytical simulation, physical full-scale tests and real-time hybrid simulation tests of a medium-scale prototype structure under various earthquake inputs.

Solar Cooling and Heating System

The solar absorption cooling and heating system (SACH) located at Bowen Lab of Purdue is the first high temperature SACH system composed of stationary solar concentrators and a double effect absorption chiller. This system primarily uses 100 m2 stationary eXternal Compound Parabolic Concentrating collectors (XCPC) and a 23 kW double-effect absorption chiller to provide the cooling and heating demands.

NEES Data Flow Testbed

To support user requested developments, NEEScomm has developed a simplified testbed revolving around the typical "Data Flow" used by NEES researchers. The testbed facilitates building a partnership between IT and the earthquake engineers.

Laboratory Testing of Railroad Flatcars For Use as Highway Bridges on Low-Volume Roads to Determine Ultimate Strength and Redundancy

Several counties in Indiana use retired railroad flatcars for a bridge superstructure to replace existing deteriorating county bridges. There are over 130 railroad flatcar bridges in the state of Indiana. The main objective of this laboratory project is to provide greater confidence to county engineers when load rating these bridges by studying the ultimate strength and load redundancy of the bridge system. Testing in the laboratory creates the opportunities to test at larger loads, use a greater number of instrumentation, and simulate a controlled fracture test.

Increasing Bridge Deck Service Life

The Indiana Department of Transportation is funding this project with an objective of developing a bridge deck that has a service life of 75-100 years. To potentially improve the durability and performance of bridge decks, new types of alternative materials are evaluated. The alternative materials considered in this research are four different types of solid stainless steel (316LN, Duplex 2205, Duplex 2304, XM-28), MMFX II microcomposite steel, dual coated steel with zinc and epoxy, zinc-clad steel, and hot-dip galvanized steel.

Efficient Load Rating and Quantification of Life-Cycle Damage of Indiana Bridges Due to Overweight Loads

The project aims at studying the relationships between, (i) overweight trucks, (ii) load rating and damage of bridges due to the overweight trucks, (iii) associated maintenance costs, and, (iv) the reduction is service-life due to damage.

Detecting and Quantifying Damage in Buildings using Earthquake Response Data

The focus of this research is to develop the means to detect and quantify damage in buildings following earthquakes. The hypothesis is that building acceleration records contain sufficient characteristic information to develop the lateral-load resistance curve, also known as the capacity curve, from which the extent and locations of nonlinear behavior could be estimated.

Reliability Based Bridge Inspection

The objective of this project is to develop reliability based inspection practices to improve the safety and reliability of bridges and optimize resources for bridge inspection. The proposed methodology asks: What can go wrong? How likely is it? What are the consequences if it happens? Answers to these questions are then used to determine a bridge inspection interval based upon a reliability matrix. Historical data is being used to verify the methodology, and an implementation plan is being developed.

Dynamic Tri-axial Compression Experiments

The experimental setup modifies a Kolsky bar by adding pressure chambers to axially and radially confine specimens before and during impact. As a result, the effect of strain rate and confinement pressure upon the material response may be determined.

Structural Integrity of Steel Gravity Framing Systems - Purdue Slab Component Tests

Component tests on the concrete slab on metal deck include uniaxial tests to evaluate behavior in both orthogonal directions with respect to the deck corrugations, and shear and tension tests of the sidelap splices. Parameters include metal deck thickness and type of sidelap (e.g., button punch, screw, weld). This study is part of a collaborative research project with U. Washington (connection tests) and U.Illinois (system tests). Test results will be used to validate and update computational models for evaluation of robustness of steel buildings.

Response of Fire Loading on Multi-story Continuous Steel Columns

This project investigates the inelastic buckling analysis of continuous steel wide flange gravity columns under partial fire loading. During a fire event, portions of the building may remain at ambient conditions despite other areas of the structure heated by fire. The goal of this research is to study the behavior of inelastic column buckling during an isolated fire event and determine the magnitude of the stabilizing moments gained through surrounding ambient structural elements.

Performance Evaluation of Crack and Deck Sealants for Concrete Bridge Decks

Corrosion of steel reinforcement from salt intrusion can greatly reduce the service life of a concrete bridge deck. Sealants applied to the deck surface and within cracks can reduce this corrosion. Sealant product performance is tested with electrically wired macrocells that are exposed to saline solution for long-term intervals. Specimens are opened, visually inspected, and compared to evaluate performance.

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