Development of Concrete Shrinkage Performance Specifications

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Virginia Tech

During its service life, concrete experiences volume changes. One of the types of deformation experienced by concrete is shrinkage. The four main types of shrinkage associated with concrete are plastic, autogeneous, carbonation and drying shrinkage. The volume changes in concrete due to shrinkage can lead to the cracking of the concrete. In the case of reinforced concrete, the cracking may produce a direct path for chloride ions to reach the reinforcing steel. Once chloride ions reach the steel surface, the steel will corrode, which itself can cause cracking, spalling, and delamination of the concrete.

The development of concrete shrinkage performance specifications that limit the amount of drying shrinkage for concrete mixtures typically used by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) were assessed. Five existing shrinkage prediction models were also assessed to determine the accuracy and precision of each model as it pertains to the VDOT mixtures used in this study. The five models assessed were the ACI 209 Code Model, Bazant B3 Model, CEB90 Code Model, Gardner/Lockman Model, and the Sakata Model.

The percentage length change limits for the portland cement concrete mixtures were 0.0300 at 28 days, and 0.0400 at 90 days. For the supplemental cementitious material mixtures, the percentage length change limits were 0.0400 at 28 days, and 0.0500 at 90 days. The CEB90 Code model performed best for the portland cement concrete mixtures, while the Gardner/Lockman Model performed best for the supplemental cementitious material mixtures.

drying shrinkage, unrestrained shrinkage, restrained shrinkage