Internal cracking and transport properties in damaged concretes

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Title: Internal cracking and transport properties in damaged concretes

Author(s): Maria Torrijos, Celeste Torrijos, Graciela Giaccio, Taul Zerbino

Publication: RILEM

Volume: 43

Issue: S1

Appears on pages(s): 109-121

Keywords: Concrete durability, Cracks, Transport propertis, Mesostructure

Date: 11/16/2010

Abstract:
The durability of concrete constructions is strongly related with the transport of fluids through the material. The presence of pores and cracks increases the permeability of the material, enhancing the ingress of aggressive agents that contribute to the material degradation. In this sense the internal structure is decisive, mainly the characteristics of the mortar matrix and the aggregates of greater size and its interfaces. In this work the incidence of different types of cracks on the transport properties is analyzed, considering several cases of degradation: concretes damaged by exposure to low humidity conditions or to high temperatures (150 and 500°C), and a concrete affected by alkali-silica reaction (ASR). The characterization of the internal structure was made at the mesostructural level through the assessment of the density and width of cracks; as transport properties the water absorption, capillary absorption, water penetration and coefficient of water permeability were considered. As expected the width, the density and the type of fissures had a strong impact on the transport properties, however each variable will have a higher or lower incidence depending on the transport mechanism involved. In concretes damaged by drying shrinkage the permeability increased steadily with the crack density, however, the capillary absorption after reaching a maximum decreased for cracks of greater width. At the same time in concrete damaged by ASR, differences were found in the water penetration test in accordance with the crack orientations which were not verified in the values of the coefficient of permeability.


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