Modelling of Early Age Cracking Risks and Serviceability of Concrete Structures

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Acoustics and Vibrations".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2018) | Viewed by 70772

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Building, Architecture and Town Planning (BATir), Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), CP194/4, 87 Avenue A. Buyl, B-1050 Bruxelles, Belgium
Interests: early age; shrinkage; creep; cement-based materials; setting; hydration; ultrasonic testing (ut); supplementary cementitious materials; concrete with low environmental impact

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The present Special Issue intends to explore new directions in the field of modelling of behavior of cement-based materials (CBM). The issue focuses on, but is not limited to, the numerical simulation of material/structural behavior, both at early age and during the service life. The modelling will range from the microscopic level, where the microstructure of CBM is considered, through meso-level simulations, allowing the consideration of the presence of aggregates and/or reinforcement in concrete, up to a structural level, where the material will be seen as influencing the performance of concrete/reinforced concrete structures. The basis of this Special Issue comes from selected papers of the 2nd International RILEM/COST Conference on Early Age Cracking and Serviceability in Cement-based Materials and Structures EAC-02, 12–14 September, 2017, in Brussels, Belgium.

Topics of interest (among others):

  • Microstructural modelling
  • Multiscale modelling
  • Macroscopic modelling
  • Probabilisitic modelling
  • Durability and Transport modelling
  • Benchmarking calculations
  • Experience gained so far in the benchmarking activities
  • Chemo-mechanical modelling
  • Crack propagation under stress
  • Thermo-mechanical modelling
  • Development of alkali-silica reaction and carbonation
  • Modelling for non-destructive testing

Mixed numerical-experimental studies are also welcome.

Prof. Dr. Stéphanie Staquet
Prof. Dr. Dimitrios G. Aggelis
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • numerical simulation
  • early age concrete
  • thermal gradient
  • restraint shrinkage
  • porosity
  • hydration process
  • mechanical properties
  • microstructure
  • time-dependent behaviour
  • thermodynamics of porous media
  • virtual testing

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

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20 pages, 9808 KiB  
Article
Quantitative Deterioration Assessment of Road Bridge Decks Based on Site Inspected Cracks
by Eissa Fathalla, Yasushi Tanaka, Koichi Maekawa and Akito Sakurai
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(7), 1197; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8071197 - 21 Jul 2018
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3550
Abstract
By integrating a multi-scale simulation with the pseudo-cracking method, the remaining fatigue life of in-service reinforced concrete (RC) bridge decks can be estimated based upon their site-inspected crack patterns. But, it still takes time for computation. In order to achieve a quick deterioration-magnitude [...] Read more.
By integrating a multi-scale simulation with the pseudo-cracking method, the remaining fatigue life of in-service reinforced concrete (RC) bridge decks can be estimated based upon their site-inspected crack patterns. But, it still takes time for computation. In order to achieve a quick deterioration-magnitude assessment of RC decks based upon their crack patterns, two evaluation methods are proposed. A predictive correlation between the remaining fatigue life and the cracks density (both cracks length and width) is presented as a fast judgment. For fair-detailed judgment, an artificial neural network (ANN) model is also introduced which is the basis of the machine learning. Both assessment methods are built commonly by thousands of artificial random crack patterns to cover all possible ranges since the variety of the real crack patterns on site is more or less limited. The built ANN performances are examined by k-fold cross-validation besides checking the prediction accuracy of real crack patterns of bridge RC decks. Finally, the hazard map of the deck’s bottom surface is introduced to indicate the location of higher risk cracking, which derives from the estimated weight of individual neuron in the built artificial neural network. Full article
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25 pages, 5321 KiB  
Article
Micromechanical Multiscale Modeling of ITZ-Driven Failure of Recycled Concrete: Effects of Composition and Maturity on the Material Strength
by Markus Königsberger and Stéphanie Staquet
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(6), 976; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8060976 - 14 Jun 2018
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3442
Abstract
Recycled concrete, i.e., concrete which contains aggregates that are obtained from crushing waste concrete, typically exhibits a smaller strength than conventional concretes. We herein decipher the origin and quantify the extent of the strength reduction by means of multiscale micromechanics-based modeling. Therefore, the [...] Read more.
Recycled concrete, i.e., concrete which contains aggregates that are obtained from crushing waste concrete, typically exhibits a smaller strength than conventional concretes. We herein decipher the origin and quantify the extent of the strength reduction by means of multiscale micromechanics-based modeling. Therefore, the microstructure of recycled concrete is represented across four observation scales, spanning from the micrometer-sized scale of cement hydration products to the centimeter-sized scale of concrete. Recycled aggregates are divided into three classes with distinct morphological features: plain aggregates which are clean of old cement paste, mortar aggregates, and aggregates covered by old cement paste. Macroscopic loading is concentrated via interfacial transition zones (ITZs)—which occur mutually between aggregates, old, and new cement paste—to the micrometer-sized hydrates resolved at the smallest observation scale. Hydrate failure within the most unfavorably loaded ITZ is considered to trigger concrete failure. Modeling results show that failure in either of the ITZs might be critical, and that the failure mode is governed by the mutual stiffness contrast between aggregates, old, and new paste, which depend, in turn, on the concrete composition and on the material’s maturity. The model predicts that the strength difference between recycled concrete and conventional concrete is less pronounced (i) at an early age compared to mature ages, (ii) when the old cement paste content is small, and (iii) when recycling a high-quality parent concrete. Full article
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21 pages, 33760 KiB  
Article
Effects of Crack and Climate Change on Service Life of Concrete Subjected to Carbonation
by Xiao-Yong Wang
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 572; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8040572 - 06 Apr 2018
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 4509
Abstract
Carbonation is among the primary reasons for the initiation of the corrosion of steel rebar in reinforced concrete (RC) structures. Due to structural loading effects and environmental actions, inevitable cracks have frequently occurred in concrete structures since the early ages. Additionally, climate change, [...] Read more.
Carbonation is among the primary reasons for the initiation of the corrosion of steel rebar in reinforced concrete (RC) structures. Due to structural loading effects and environmental actions, inevitable cracks have frequently occurred in concrete structures since the early ages. Additionally, climate change, which entails increases in CO2 concentration and environmental temperature, will also accelerate the carbonation of concrete. This article presents an analytical way of predicting the service life of cracked concrete structures considering influences of carbonation and climate change. First, using a hydration model, the quantity of carbonatable materials and concrete porosity were calculated. Carbonation depth was evaluated considering properties of concrete materials and environmental conditions. Second, the influence of cracks on CO2 diffusivity was examined. Carbonation depth for cracked concrete was evaluated using equivalent CO2 diffusivity. The effects of climate change, for example, growing CO2 concentration and environmental temperature, were considered using different schemes of carbonation models. Third, different climate change scenarios (such as Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) 2.6, RCP 4.5, RCP 8.5 and upper 90% confidence interval of RCP 8.5) and time slices (such as 2000 and 2050) were used for case studies. By utilizing the Monte Carlo method, the influences of various climate change scenarios on the service life loss of concrete structures were highlighted. Full article
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16 pages, 2023 KiB  
Article
Modeling Restrained Shrinkage Induced Cracking in Concrete Rings Using the Thick Level Set Approach
by Rebecca Nakhoul and Olivier Pierard
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 488; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8040488 - 23 Mar 2018
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3067
Abstract
Modeling restrained shrinkage-induced damage and cracking in concrete is addressed herein. The novel Thick Level Set (TLS) damage growth and crack propagation model is used and adapted by introducing shrinkage contribution into the formulation. The TLS capacity to predict damage evolution, crack initiation [...] Read more.
Modeling restrained shrinkage-induced damage and cracking in concrete is addressed herein. The novel Thick Level Set (TLS) damage growth and crack propagation model is used and adapted by introducing shrinkage contribution into the formulation. The TLS capacity to predict damage evolution, crack initiation and growth triggered by restrained shrinkage in absence of external loads is evaluated. A study dealing with shrinkage-induced cracking in elliptical concrete rings is presented herein. Key results such as the effect of rings oblateness on stress distribution and critical shrinkage strain needed to initiate damage are highlighted. In addition, crack positions are compared to those observed in experiments and are found satisfactory. Full article
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19 pages, 1470 KiB  
Article
Viscoelastic Behavior of Polymer-Modified Cement Pastes: Insight from Downscaling Short-Term Macroscopic Creep Tests by Means of Multiscale Modeling
by Luise Göbel, Markus Königsberger, Andrea Osburg and Bernhard Pichler
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 487; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8040487 - 23 Mar 2018
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 4800
Abstract
Adding polymers to cementitious materials improves their workability and impermeability, but also increases their creep activity. In the present paper, the creep behavior of polymer-modified cement pastes is analyzed based on macroscopic creep tests and a multiscale model. The continuum micromechanics model allows [...] Read more.
Adding polymers to cementitious materials improves their workability and impermeability, but also increases their creep activity. In the present paper, the creep behavior of polymer-modified cement pastes is analyzed based on macroscopic creep tests and a multiscale model. The continuum micromechanics model allows for “downscaling” the results of macroscopic hourly-repeated ultra-short creep experiments to the viscoelastic behavior of micron-sized hydration products and polymer particles. This way, the increased creep activity of polymer-modified cement pastes is traced back to an isochoric power-law-type creep behavior of the polymers. The shear creep modulus of the polymers is found (i) to be two orders of magnitude smaller than that of the hydrates and (ii) to increase considerably with increasing material age. The latter result suggests that the creep activity of the polymers decreases with the self-desiccation-related decrease of the relative humidity inside the air-filled pores of cement paste. Furthermore, its decrease is most likely related to the penetration of cementitious hydrates into compliant polymer agglomerates. Full article
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15 pages, 3835 KiB  
Article
Simplified Modeling Strategy for the Thermomechanical Analysis of Massive Reinforced Concrete Structures at an Early Age
by Jacky Mazars, Stéphane Grange and Matthieu Briffaut
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(3), 448; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8030448 - 15 Mar 2018
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3978
Abstract
The objective of this work is to propose a comprehensive and efficient modeling approach to simulate the entire loading program of the RG8 test (both the restrained shrinkage and mechanical parts) performed within the framework of the French national program CEOS.fr. This effort [...] Read more.
The objective of this work is to propose a comprehensive and efficient modeling approach to simulate the entire loading program of the RG8 test (both the restrained shrinkage and mechanical parts) performed within the framework of the French national program CEOS.fr. This effort was made possible by introducing a multi-fiber beam discretization that included a thermomechanical model coupled with a unilateral concrete damage model. Due to the massiveness of the test structure, the scale effect needed to be taken into account. This step could be accomplished through use of a Weibull law. Extensive results were obtained during the experiment, some of which focused on deformations and forces developed in the structure by restrained shrinkage, the times of crack appearance and opening, and the consequences of damage sustained on the residual mechanical performance of the beam. A comparison with calculation output has demonstrated the ability of our modeling approach to simulate phenomena at both global and local levels, thus confirming the relevance of model choices made. Full article
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20 pages, 7573 KiB  
Article
Microstructure-Based Prediction of the Elastic Behaviour of Hydrating Cement Pastes
by Hadi Mazaheripour, Rui Faria, Guang Ye, Erik Schlangen, José Granja and Miguel Azenha
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(3), 442; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8030442 - 15 Mar 2018
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 4146
Abstract
The development of the elastic properties of a hardening cement paste results from the microstructural evolution due to cement hydration. The elastic behaviour of cement paste can be predicted by a combination of the hydration model and micromechanical analysis, which originates from a [...] Read more.
The development of the elastic properties of a hardening cement paste results from the microstructural evolution due to cement hydration. The elastic behaviour of cement paste can be predicted by a combination of the hydration model and micromechanical analysis, which originates from a microstructural representative volume where the elastic behaviour of different hydrating cement products can be recognised. In this paper, the formation of the microstructural volume is simulated with the computational code HYMOSTRUC3D for cement hydration. The obtained microstructure is an input for a micromechanical modelling. A 3D regular lattice model is proposed to predict the elastic modulus of the microstructure, considering a water-to-cement (w/c) ratio within the range [0.30–0.50]. In addition, the Finite Element Method (FEM) is used to compare and validate the results from the lattice model. Predictions from these two modelling approaches are then compared to the experimental results provided by the EMM-ARM (Elasticity Modulus Measurement through Ambient Response Method) testing technique, the latter allowing measurement of the elastic modulus of hydrating cement pastes. Finally, the above-referred numerical models are used to evaluate the influence of the following features: the particle size distribution of the cement grains, the microstructure discretisation refinement and the elastic modulus of the C-S-H cement hydration product. Full article
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18 pages, 1085 KiB  
Article
Optimization of Mass Concrete Construction Using a Twofold Parallel Genetic Algorithm
by Mariane Rita, Eduardo Fairbairn, Fernando Ribeiro, Henrique Andrade and Helio Barbosa
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(3), 399; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8030399 - 09 Mar 2018
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 5270
Abstract
This paper presents a solution strategy, based on a parallel Genetic Algorithm (GA), to optimize the construction of massive concrete structures. The optimization process aims at minimizing the construction cost, considering the following design variables: the concrete mixes, the placing temperature, the height [...] Read more.
This paper presents a solution strategy, based on a parallel Genetic Algorithm (GA), to optimize the construction of massive concrete structures. The optimization process aims at minimizing the construction cost, considering the following design variables: the concrete mixes, the placing temperature, the height of the lifts, and the time intervals between placing the lifts. The cracking tendency is taken into account by a penalty scheme imposed to the fitness function of the GA. A thermo-chemo-mechanical model is used to calculate the transient fields of hydration, temperature, stress, strain, and cracking tendency. This model is implemented in a finite element code that is, in turn, parallelized. To demonstrate the efficiency of the proposed methodology, the simulation of the construction of a structure similar to the real thick foundation of an industrial building is presented. It shows that the optimization procedure here presented is feasible and is ready to be used in real engineering applications. Full article
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18 pages, 13638 KiB  
Article
Numerical Simulation of Early Age Cracking of Reinforced Concrete Bridge Decks with a Full-3D Multiscale and Multi-Chemo-Physical Integrated Analysis
by Tetsuya Ishida, Kolneath Pen, Yasushi Tanaka, Kosuke Kashimura and Ichiro Iwaki
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(3), 394; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8030394 - 07 Mar 2018
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 5743
Abstract
In November 2011, the Japanese government resolved to build “Revival Roads” in the Tohoku region to accelerate the recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011. Because the Tohoku region experiences such cold and snowy weather in winter, complex degradation from [...] Read more.
In November 2011, the Japanese government resolved to build “Revival Roads” in the Tohoku region to accelerate the recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011. Because the Tohoku region experiences such cold and snowy weather in winter, complex degradation from a combination of frost damage, chloride attack from de-icing agents, alkali–silica reaction, cracking and fatigue is anticipated. Thus, to enhance the durability performance of road structures, particularly reinforced concrete (RC) bridge decks, multiple countermeasures are proposed: a low water-to-cement ratio in the mix, mineral admixtures such as ground granulated blast furnace slag and/or fly ash to mitigate the risks of chloride attack and alkali–silica reaction, anticorrosion rebar and 6% entrained air for frost damage. It should be noted here that such high durability specifications may conversely increase the risk of early age cracking caused by temperature and shrinkage due to the large amounts of cement and the use of mineral admixtures. Against this background, this paper presents a numerical simulation of early age deformation and cracking of RC bridge decks with full 3D multiscale and multi-chemo-physical integrated analysis. First, a multiscale constitutive model of solidifying cementitious materials is briefly introduced based on systematic knowledge coupling microscopic thermodynamic phenomena and microscopic structural mechanics. With the aim to assess the early age thermal and shrinkage-induced cracks on real bridge deck, the study began with extensive model validations by applying the multiscale and multi-physical integrated analysis system to small specimens and mock-up RC bridge deck specimens. Then, through the application of the current computational system, factors that affect the generation and propagation of early age thermal and shrinkage-induced cracks are identified via experimental validation and full-scale numerical simulation on real RC slab decks. Full article
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15 pages, 7530 KiB  
Article
FE-Study on the Effect of Gradient Concrete on Early Constraint and Crack Risk
by Emanuel Strieder, Raimund Hilber, Elisabeth Stierschneider and Konrad Bergmeister
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 246; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8020246 - 06 Feb 2018
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 4375
Abstract
In long-lasting mass concrete structures the desired material properties of the concrete mix to realize a durable concrete and a concrete surface without cracks conflict with each other. The requirement of concrete with high durability leads to high thermal energy release and therefore, [...] Read more.
In long-lasting mass concrete structures the desired material properties of the concrete mix to realize a durable concrete and a concrete surface without cracks conflict with each other. The requirement of concrete with high durability leads to high thermal energy release and therefore, as another consequence, to high crack risk. Crack reduction is achieved by use of concrete with low hydration energy, which on the other hand leads to a decrease in concrete durability. Besides from optimized base materials and concrete technology, a gradient material distribution in the cross-section could reduce the problem since durable concrete is needed near the surface and the requirement of low-hydration energy is located in the center of the member. A simplified model is used to investigate the possible effect of a gradient concrete material distribution in mass concrete structures on crack reduction. The results of the analysis show that gradient concrete might contribute to lowering the constraint stresses and therefore the crack risk during concrete hardening. Full article
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21 pages, 5486 KiB  
Article
Early Age Carbonation of Fiber-Cement Composites under Real Processing Conditions: A Parametric Investigation
by Bundit Kottititum, Quoc Tri Phung, Norbert Maes, Wichit Prakaypan and Thongchai Srinophakun
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 190; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8020190 - 26 Jan 2018
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 5434
Abstract
This paper presents the outcome of a comprehensive experimental program undertaken to study the performance of cellulose pulp and synthetic PVA (polyvinyl alcohol) based fiber-cement composite under both carbonated and non-carbonated curing conditions at early age. The composites were produced at different rolling [...] Read more.
This paper presents the outcome of a comprehensive experimental program undertaken to study the performance of cellulose pulp and synthetic PVA (polyvinyl alcohol) based fiber-cement composite under both carbonated and non-carbonated curing conditions at early age. The composites were produced at different rolling pressures (2.5 to 9.0 bar) and subjected to various curing conditions in which the effects of CO2 pressure (1 to 3 bar) and curing time (3 to 9 h) were studied. The mechanical properties (modulus of elasticity (MOE), modulus of rupture (MOR), and toughness), as well as the physical properties (porosity, bulk density, and water absorption), were measured for all samples. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to investigate the effect of carbonation on porosity change and adhesion of fiber-matrix. A parametric investigation of the effects of the carbonation curing period, CO2 pressure, and rolling pressure on the improvement of the physical and mechanical properties during carbonation curing was performed. Results showed that fiber-cement composites cured with an elevated CO2 pressure of 3 bar, rolling pressure of 3 bar, and 5 h of curing time provided optimal curing conditions resulting in the most desirable mechanical and physical properties. However, toughness was greatly reduced with the increase of the CO2 pressure, curing time, and rolling pressure. Additionally, the carbonation curing improved the bonding between the fiber and the cement matrix because of the precipitation of calcite particularly in the pores of the interfacial transition zone (ITZ) between the cement matrix and the fibers. Full article
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Review

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25 pages, 3422 KiB  
Review
Early-Age Cracking in Concrete: Causes, Consequences, Remedial Measures, and Recommendations
by Md. Safiuddin, A. B. M. Amrul Kaish, Chin-Ong Woon and Sudharshan N. Raman
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(10), 1730; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8101730 - 25 Sep 2018
Cited by 102 | Viewed by 21012
Abstract
Cracking is a common problem in concrete structures in real-life service conditions. In fact, crack-free concrete structures are very rare to find in real world. Concrete can undergo early-age cracking depending on the mix composition, exposure environment, hydration rate, and curing conditions. Understanding [...] Read more.
Cracking is a common problem in concrete structures in real-life service conditions. In fact, crack-free concrete structures are very rare to find in real world. Concrete can undergo early-age cracking depending on the mix composition, exposure environment, hydration rate, and curing conditions. Understanding the causes and consequences of cracking thoroughly is essential for selecting proper measures to resolve the early-age cracking problem in concrete. This paper will help to identify the major causes and consequences of the early-age cracking in concrete. Also, this paper will be useful to adopt effective remedial measures for reducing or eliminating the early-age cracking problem in concrete. Different types of early-age crack, the factors affecting the initiation and growth of early-age cracks, the causes of early-age cracking, and the modeling of early-age cracking are discussed in this paper. A number of examples for various early-age cracking problems of concrete found in different structural elements are also shown. Above all, some recommendations are given for minimizing the early-age cracking in concrete. It is hoped that the information conveyed in this paper will be beneficial to improve the service life of concrete structures. Concrete researchers and practitioners may benefit from the contents of this paper. Full article
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