Durability of High-Strength Concrete


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Title: Durability of High-Strength Concrete

Author(s): P. K. Mehta

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 122


Appears on pages(s): 19-28

Keywords: aggregates; concrete durability; high-strength concretes; hysteresis; microcracking; modulus of elasticity; permeability; Materials Research

Date: 6/1/1990

The commercial utilization of high-strength concrete with 60 to 120 Mpa compressive strength is a recent phenomenon; therefore, long-term field experience with regard to durability in corrosive environments is not available. In this paper, a critical review of the factors necessary to obtain high strength and high durability is presented. Typically, the concrete mixtures contain high cement content, low water content, and several admixtures, such as a superplasticizer, a pozzolan, and at times an air-entraining agent. When properly placed, consolidated, and cured, such mixtures should have low permeability and high durability to corrosive environments. However, there is some concern that microcracking in the aggregate-cement paste transition zone, possibly due to a variety of causes, may impair the impermeability and durability. The results of a recent investigation are discussed, which show that the aggregate type can play an important role in controlling the strength of the transition zone and, therefore, the degree of potential microcracking of concrete in service.