PI: Spencer Quiel
Co-PI(s): Clay Naito
University: Lehigh University

A research program is proposed that will examine the impact of surface coatings on reinforced concrete panels that are exposed to fire. The goal of this study is to investigate how tile and paints influence the potential for heat-induced spall damage and permanent concrete degradation to tunnel liners due to significant fire events. The research team will utilize an existing experimental setup at the ATLSS Laboratory to perform high-temperature tests on specimens that are representative of tunnel liner panels both with and without various coatings. The findings of this project will provide guidance to tunnel owners and operators about the fire resistance implications of commonly available and potentially innovative liner coating solutions in tunnels. Both the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and Gannett Fleming in Harrisburg, PA have contributed letters of support for this project, the results of which will positively impact their management, maintenance, design, and rehabilitation of tunnel systems in Pennsylvania and across the US. This project leverages the resources of a tier one university transportation center for underground construction (of which Lehigh is a consortium member) to amplify the national presence of Pennsylvania transportation companies and agencies in the research and development of resilient and sustainable tunnel infrastructure.