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Concrete material properties

Hygro-thermo-mechanical modeling of partially saturated air-entrained concrete containing dissolved salt and exposed to freeze-thaw cycles

In cold regions, understanding the freeze-thaw behavior of air-entrained concrete is important for designing durable structures and assessing the remaining service life of existing structures. This study presents a hygro-thermo-mechanical multiphase model that describes the cyclic freeze-thaw behavior of partially saturated air-entrained concrete containing dissolved salt. An equilibrium and a non-equilibrium approach are adopted to model the ice formation, including the freeze-thaw hysteresis, inside the porous network. The model also considers the diffusive and convective transport of the dissolved salt coupled to the freeze-thaw processes. Two examples are presented to verify and highlight the capabilities of the model. The first example shows that the model is capable of reproducing the experimentally observed mechanical response of specimens containing NaC1-solutions of different concentrations. In the second example, a larger absorption of liquid from an external reservoir is obtained with an increasing salt concentration in the reservoir, which is consistent with experimental observations.

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Contact: Daniel Eriksson , Richard Malm  (profile pages)

A Hygro-Thermo-Mechanical Multiphase Model for long-term water absorption into air-entrained concrete

Many concrete structures located in cold climates and in contact with free water are cast with air-entrained concrete. The presence of air pores significantly affects the absorption of water into the concrete, and it may take decades before these are fully saturated. This generally improves the long-term performance of such structures and in particular their frost resistance. To study the long-term moisture conditions in air-entrained concrete, a hygro-thermo-mechanical multiphase model is presented, where the rate of filling of air pores with water is described as a separate diffusion process. The driving potential is the concentration of dissolved air, obtained using an averaging procedure with the air pore size distribution as the weighting function. The model is derived using the thermodynamically constrained averaging theory as a starting point. Two examples are presented to demonstrate the capabilities and performance of the proposed model. These show that the model is capable of describing the complete absorption process of water in air-entrained concrete and yields results that comply with laboratory and in situ measurements.

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Contact: Daniel Eriksson , Tobias Gasch , Anders Ansell  (profile pages)

Effect on radon exhalation rate due to cracks in concrete

The second largest cause of lung cancer in the world is related to radon (Rn-222) and its progenies in our environment. Building materials, such as concrete, contribute to the production of radon gas through the natural decay of U-238 from its constituents. The effects of cracks in concrete on two different concrete recipes where an Ordinary Portland Cement, OPC-CEM-I concrete (REF) and an OPC concrete including a hydrophobic additive (ADD) were addressed. Two concrete prisms from each concrete recipe were examined. The radon exhalation rate was measured in the pristine state and after concrete cracks had been induced into the concrete prisms. Measurements were performed with an ATMOS 33 ionizing pulsation chamber. The results indicate a strong influence of cracks on the radon exhalation rate. An increase in radon exhalation rate was calculated for every test prism. The increase in radon exhalation rate varied between 80 and 260 %. The crack apertures may play a significant role on the exhalation rate. The concrete prisms with the largest apertures (ADD) also generated the highest radon exhalation rates. The results imply that there could be a substantial variation in the exhalation rate, due to numerous factors, but nonetheless, the results should, raise the awareness of the impact cracks in concrete structures, may have on the final exhalation rate of radon. The exhalation rate of the recipe with an additive (ADD) also showed a lower exhalation rate than for the reference recipe (REF), when compared in a pristine state. The effect of induced cracks and its aperture, seemingly trumps the effect that an additive may play on the radon exhalation rate, when cracks are induced. The hypothesis is in part verified in view of the results of the prism for the ordinary Portland recipe (REF-prisms), were an increase of approximately 100 % would be expected due to the total surface increase. The major increase in the radon exhalation rate of the ordinary Portland recipe including an additive, implies however other factors, such as minor internal cracks, that may substantially contribute to the final exhalation rate.

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Contact: Magnus Döse , Johan Silfwerbrand  (profile pages)

Belongs to: Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering
Last changed: May 07, 2021