Cracking Due to Frost Action in Portland Cement Concrete Pavements--A Literature Survey


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Title: Cracking Due to Frost Action in Portland Cement Concrete Pavements--A Literature Survey

Author(s): Jihad S. SawanI

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 100


Appears on pages(s): 781-804

Keywords: aggregate size; coarse aggregates; concrete durability; concrete pavements; cracking (fracturing); freeze-thaw durability; reviews; General

Date: 4/1/1987

A comprehensive review of the literature about durability (D-) cracking due to frost action in portland cement concrete pavements is developed. D-cracking is defined and described and the mechanisms causing the phenomenon are discussed. The idea that D-cracking is moisture oriented is established. It is affected by freezing temperatures that cause enough volumetric change in the moisture that exists in the cement-aggregate matrix and initiates a durability line crack in the concrete. Factors such as physical characteristics of aggregates and mortar, geographic location, maximum size of coarse aggregates, source of aggregates, and use of deicing agents are found to be among the main factors that affect the development of durability cracking. Tests to indicate frost resistance in aggregate are also reviewed. These tests are of two general types: weathering tests such as unconfined and confined freeze-thaw tests, and measurements of a physical property correlated with performance such as porosity, pore size, and absorption tests. The use of petrographic analysis is an absolute necessity to identify frost-susceptible aggregates. Other tests such as ASTM "Test for Resistance of Concrete to Rapid Freezing and Thawing" (C 666), ASTM "Test for Critical Dilation of Concrete Specimens Subjected to Freezing" (C 671), the PCA method, the Iowa Pore Index Test, and particularly ASTM "Evaluation of Frost Resistance of Coarse Aggregates in Air-entrained Concrete by Critical Dilation Procedures" (C 682) are also considered satisfactory methods to predict field durability performance of concrete aggregates. Researchers such as Axon and others, Iyer and others, and Thompson and Dempsey developed some pertinent tests that could be used in this area as well.