Minimizing Temperature Differentials in Mass Concrete


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Title: Minimizing Temperature Differentials in Mass Concrete

Author(s): Steve Whittier, Jim Olyniec, and Rober McGlohn

Publication: Concrete International

Volume: 26

Issue: 12

Appears on pages(s): 42-45

Keywords: heat of hydration; differential expansion; tensile stress; foundations; instrumentation; monitoring

Date: 12/1/2004

Engineers are using high-strength concrete more commonly in the design of heavily loaded structures. Because of this concrete’s higher strength, member dimensions are smaller compared to those built with conventional concrete. The heat of hydration of mass concrete (whether or not it is high strength), and the resulting temperature rise in the concrete, however, can cause thermal expansion and contraction problems. If left unchecked, differential expansion in the concrete can cause internal tensile stresses that exceed its tensile strength and it cracks. This article presents the approach taken by one project team to monitor and control the temperature differential on a high-strength, mass concrete foundation.