Crack Mitigation Effects of Shrinkage Reducing Admixtures

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Title: Crack Mitigation Effects of Shrinkage Reducing Admixtures

Author(s): A. Bentur, N. S. Berke, M. P. Dallaire, and T. A. Durning

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 204

Issue:

Appears on pages(s): 155-170

Keywords: cracking; creep; drying shrinkage; fibers; restrained shrinkage; shrinkage reducing admixture

Date: 8/1/2001

Abstract:
Shrinkage reducing admixtures (SRA’s) are a new type of admixtures which is effective in reducing the drying shrinkage of concrete. SRA performance has typically been evaluated on the basis of unrestrained drying shrinkage tests. However, it is usually the cracking performance of concrete when shrinkage is restrained that is of primary interest to the marketplace. The current paper presents an evaluation of SRA’s based on several parameters: free shrinkage, tensile stresses which develop in a uniaxially restrained rig, and the sensitivity to cracking in such conditions. The positive influence of SRA’s on all of these three parameters is demonstrated. A comparison is made between the effect of SRA and of low-volume, polypropylene fiber reinforcement. The latter is known to be effective in controlling early age plastic shrinkage cracking. The present data show that in the case of hardened concrete, after one day of curing, low volumes of fibers do not give any advantage, and it is in this range where the SRA is effective. Thus, the two types of additives can complement each other: the fibers are efficient in controlling plastic shrinkage cracking while the SRA can take over the role of crack control in the hardened concrete, where low volume-low modulus fibers are not effective.