Microprestress-solidification theory for concrete creep. I: Aging and drying effects

Zdeněk P. Bažant*, Anders Boe Hauggaard, Sandeep Baweja, Franz Josef Ulm

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

318 Scopus citations


A new physical theory and constitutive model for the effects of long-term aging and drying on concrete creep are proposed. The previously proposed solidification theory, in which the aging is explained and modeled by the volume growth (into the pores of hardened portland cement paste) of a nonaging viscoelastic constituent (cement gel), cannot explain long-term aging because the volume growth of the hydration products is too short-lived. The paper presents an improvement of the solidification theory in which the viscosity of the flow term of the compliance function is a function of a tensile microprestress carried by the bonds and bridges crossing the micropores (gel pores) in the hardened cement gel. The microprestress is generated by the disjoining pressure of the hindered adsorbed water in the micropores and by very large and highly localized volume changes caused by hydration or drying. The long-term creep, deviatoric as well as volumetric, is assumed to originate from viscous shear slips between the opposite walls of the micropores in which the bonds or bridges that cross the micropores (and transmit the microprestress) break and reform. The long-term aging exhibited by the flow term in the creep model is caused by relaxation of the tensile microprestress transverse to the slip plane. The Pickett effect (drying creep) is caused by changes of the microprestress balancing the changes in the disjoining pressure, which in turn are engendered by changes of the relative humidity in the capillary pores. Numerical implementation, application, and comparison with test data is relegated to a companion paper that follows in this issue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1188-1194
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Engineering Mechanics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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