Research Activities: 2011

Development and Testing of Synthetic Riprap Constructed from Coal Combustion Products

 Status Complete                              View Final Report: PDF
Sequential Number R301
Identification Number 00039444
Matching Research Agency Missouri University of Science & Technology, Civil Engineering
Principal Investigator Jeffery Volz
Assistant Professor
Missouri University of Science and Technology
331 Butler-Carlton Hall
Rolla, MO 65401
(573) 341-6280
Student Involvement

1 Graduate Research Assistant


Project Objective

The objective of the proposed research is to evaluate the feasibility of constructing riprap containing 90% coal combustion products (CCPs) such as fly ash and bottom ash.


Project Abstract

Even with an increase in the amount of CCPs used in concrete construction, soil stabilization, and other applications, the coal power industry must dispose of a significant amount of fly ash and bottom ash. One potential avenue for the material is to develop a riprap to armor bridge abutments, bridge pilings, streambeds, and shorelines against scour and ice damage. The proposed research plan is divided into three (3) phases, which consist of the following:

  • Phase I – Product & Criteria Development
  • Phase II – Prototype Development & Testing
  • Phase III – Production Plant Design

Phase I involves determining the most appropriate applications for the synthetic riprap. There are several ranges of potential products available depending on the specific applications, including bridge pier scour prevention, channel stabilization, lake boundary erosion control, and shoreline protection. Once the potential product areas have been determined, the next part of Phase I will be to determine the necessary design requirements and specifications for the riprap. Phase II involves prototype development and testing based on the results from Phase I. Phase III involves development of a production plan and facility layout.


Relationship to other Research/Projects

This is a standalone project under the advanced materials theme of the Center for Transportation Infrastructure and Safety (CTIS), National University Transportation Center (NUTC) at Missouri S&T. However, this project is an outgrowth of earlier NUTC-supported projects related to CCPs by both Dr. Volz and Dr. Wang.

Transportation-Related Keywords

Bottom Ash, Bridge Substructures, Bridge Waterways, Erosion, Fly Ash, Hydraulic Structures, Riprap, Scour

Anticipated Benefits

Removal of CCPs from the solid waste stream and development of a construction product to mitigate the number one cause of bridge failure – scour.



Project Start Date: 08/20/2012
Project End Date: