Factors influencing durability and early-age cracking in high-strength concrete structures

W. Jason Weiss, Wei Yang, Surendra P. Shah

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

20 Scopus citations


High strength concrete (HSC) typically exhibits improved surface abrasion resistance, reduced chloride penetrability, and improved resistance to freezing and thawing damage. For these reasons, HSC use in transportation structures is increasing due to the potential for increased service life. Although several potential benefits are associated with the use of HSC, these mixtures may exhibit increased sensitivity to early-age shrinkage cracking. In addition to weakening the structure, cracks increase the rate at which corrosive agents can penetrate the concrete, thereby accelerating the potential deterioration of the reinforcing steel and concrete. For this reason, it is essential that the concrete which is used to build transportation structures exhibits sufficient resistance to early-age cracking, in addition to the aforementioned benefits, to produce durable structures. The objective of this paper is to demonstrate that a holistic design approach is required to specify material composition for durable concrete structures. Experimental results and theoretical modeling predictions are used to illustrate the characteristics of higher strength concrete that result in increased cracking potential. Theoretical simulations demonstrate the role of both material properties and the surrounding structure on the tensile residual stress development and cracking potential. In addition, results demonstrate that a shrinkage-reducing admixture (SRA) may be used to decrease the potential for early-age shrinkage cracking in HSC while sustaining the advantageous mechanical and durability properties associated with HSC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHigh-Performance Concrete
EditorsH.G. Russell
PublisherAmerican Concrete Institute
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9780870316883
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000
EventHigh-Performance Concrete Research to Practice 1999 - Chicago, United States
Duration: Mar 14 1999Mar 19 1999

Publication series

NameAmerican Concrete Institute, ACI Special Publication
ISSN (Print)0193-2527


ConferenceHigh-Performance Concrete Research to Practice 1999
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Autogenous shrinkage
  • Bridge decks
  • Cracking
  • Drying shrinkage
  • Durability
  • Fracture mechanics
  • High-strength concrete
  • Pavements
  • Slabs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)


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