Engineering : Construction


Environmentally Green Glue

UW–Madison researchers have developed a process to transform soy flour into a strong, environmentally safe wood adhesive.

In the process, a suitable reagent is used to phosphorylate the flour’s lysine amino acid residues. The phosphorylated flour then is mixed with an oxidizing agent that drives the formation of cross-linking bonds. This improves the flour’s adhesive properties. Unwanted salts created in the process can be removed.

Flours of other legumes and/or oil seed crops (e.g., flax, canola) are suitable as well.

Portable and Lightweight Interlocking Crowd Control Barrier

UW-Madison researchers have developed a barricade connector that allows adjacent supports to be interlocked to prevent crowds from pushing the barricades apart. The newly-devised interlocking connector utilizes one of the two openings in any A-frame barrier structure to facilitate simple but effective connection of two barrier units. By connecting the units via one of the openings and using a typical barrier board in the other opening, pedestrians are unable to separate the individual barrier units or access the blocked area. The image below clearly illustrates the structure and function of the connector and barrier board. The barrier system is lightweight and portable, easy to manufacture and weather resistant.

Splice System to Connect Reinforcement Bars in Concrete Assemblies

UW-Madison researchers have developed a method for connecting multiple rebars, including steel, metallic and/or fiber-reinforced rebars, with a polymeric tube.  The tube is specially reinforced to provide the strength and stiffness needed to transfer tension force from the first bar to the tube, and then from the tube to the second bar.  Force is transferred between the reinforced tube and the bars by filling the space in the tube between the bars with a strong cementitious grout.  In addition, a special method of treating the inner surface with locking structures provides a strong bond between the tube and the grout.

This system and method provides a rebar splicing system made at least partially from non-metallic, corrosion-resistant materials, which can be used for reinforcing concrete with a relatively long use life in highly corrosive environments. The splicing system may be especially attractive for joining precast components by using the durable polymer tube in combination with non-corroding FRP reinforcement bars in connection regions that are particularly susceptible to corrosion.

Structural Reinforcement Using Composite Strips

UW-Madison researchers have developed a method of using a powder-actuated fastener gun to send fasteners through a reinforcing strip to affix it to a structure. Several advantages of this technology over currently available methods are listed below.