The mechanism of frost action in concrete - theory and practical implications

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ConferenceProc. Workshop on Low Temperature Effects on Concrete: 1988-09-5, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
Pages115134; # of pages: 20
Subjectfreeze thaw cycles; durability; weatherability; concrete; concrete deterioration; freeze-thaw; effects of pores; pore desiccation; ice lensing; surface accumulation; cracking; Concrete; gel dégel; durabilité; résistance aux intemperies; beton
AbstractExperiments indicate that the chain of events leading to deterioration of concrete in freezing and thawing cycles originate by the inability of water absorbed on the surface, or held in the smaller pores of concrete, to freeze due to the interaction between the substrate and water. Because the vapor pressure of the supercooled unfrozen water in the pores is greater than that of bulk ice in the surroundings, water migrates from the interior of the concrete to locations, such as large pores or outer surface, where it can freeze. This process results in partial desiccation of the pore in addition to ice lensing and accumulation of water on the surface. Cracking is the result of melting and freezing of the ice lenses or a condition in which redistribution of the water cannot take place. This theory has been utilized for the development of test methods for the assessment of frost resistance of porous materials. Based on these findings, it became possible to develop a novel admixture for the protection of concrete from damages of freezing and thawing. In place of current air entraining admixture, particulate matters with well defined pore structure are added to the plastic mix. The proposed method relies on the action of pre-formed air-voids instead of the formation of air-bubbles in the mixing process. By doing so, the principal cause for the limited reliability of air entrainment by conventional admixture is eliminated.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Institute for Research in Construction; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NRC number30420
NPARC number20378321
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Record identifiere610feae-89af-4896-bceb-305d3ef112e6
Record created2012-07-24
Record modified2016-05-09
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