Cracking Resistance of High-Strength Concretes


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Title: Cracking Resistance of High-Strength Concretes

Author(s): Ivan Ramalho De Almeida

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 121


Appears on pages(s): 489-504

Keywords: cracking (fracturing); high-strength concretes; hygrometers; permeability; plasticizers; silica fume; General

Date: 11/1/1990

Evaluates cracking resistance for concretes with compressive strengths between 60 and 110 MPa, including superplasticizers and/or condensed silica fume. Two types of concrete ring with 81 cm external diameter are tested and their shrinkage is measured over time. The first ring is cast around an aluminum ring, shrinkage-induced strain is measured, and the strains are subsequently transformed into stresses based on the theory of elasticity and knowledge of the elastic constants of aluminum. After some days, the ring breaks and the rupture stress by restrained deformation of the concrete is determined. A second concrete ring is cast, but without the internal metal ring. For this ring, measurement is made of the free shrinkage of the concrete. The value of the stresses and strains, in conjunction with the compressive and flexural strength, creep, and coefficient of hygrometric permeability (measured in other test specimens) are measured. Based upon available test data, the superplasticizer raised the mechanical strength but reduced the cracking strength of the concrete. The joint introduction of the superplasticizer, together with condensed silica fume, raised the mechanical strength of the concrete even further, but also increased its cracking resistance. To explain the test results, it is necessary to resort to the coefficients of hygrometric permeability and stress gradients, responsible for a reduction in the rupture stress of the concrete, which is higher in the first case than in the second.