With the development of materials and technology, many new materials find their applications in civil engineering to deal with the deteriorating infrastructure. Smart material is a promising example that deserves a wide focus, from research to application. With two crystal structures called Austenite and Martensite under different temperatures, smart material exhibits two special properties different from ordinary steels. One is shape memory, and the other is super-elasticity. Both of these two properties can suit varied applications in civil engineering, such as prestress bars, self-rehabilitation, and two-way actuators, etc.
One of the main objectives of the research is to investigate the application of smart materials in civil engineering by focusing on the literature review, basic information collection, and basic mechanic properties of smart materials. In axial tension tests, the force- extension curve and stress-strain curve of shape memory and superelasticity materials were measured separately. These curves verify the research of forerunners.
Four beam experiments were conducted to evaluate the performance of flexure beams with superelasticity material as reinforcement bars. Load-displacement relationship at the midspan, strains on the surface of the concrete beam, and cracking width for different loads were measured.
This research is just the first step in the investigation of the application of smart materials in structural engineering. Some bigger beams are prepared for experiments in the near future.