Technical Questions

ACI Committees, Membership, and Staff have answered common questions on a variety of concrete related topics.

The effect of joints on the durability of concrete structures

Q. How do joints affect the durability of concrete structures?


A. Any interruption in the continuity of a structure provides an opening for fluids and thus a starting point for deterioration by repeated freezing-and-thawing cycles and for infiltration of dust, dirt, and harmful solutions. The spacing of joints and the methods of their construction are issues of equal importance, similar to the provisions for other features of design. Likewise, the preparations of surfaces to receive subsequent lifts of concrete are features that should be covered in the detailed specifications for the structure. Joints in flatwork are discussed in ACI 224.3R, ACI 302.1R, and ACI 360R. It has been said, with some degree of seriousness, that if there were a joint at every location of an objectionable crack, there would not be objectionable cracks.


References: SP-1(02); ACI 201.1R-08; ACI 224.3R; ACI 302.1R; ACI 360R

Topics in Concrete: Cracking; Durability; Joints, Structural; Slab; Shrinkage

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