Temperature effect on concrete creep modeled by microprestress- solidification theory

Zdeněk P. Bažant*, Gianluca Cusatis, Luigi Cedolin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

198 Scopus citations


The previously developed microprestress-solidification theory for concrete creep and shrinkage is generalized for the effect of temperature (not exceeding 100°C). The solidification model separates the viscoelasticity of the solid constituent, the cement gel, from the chemical aging of material caused by solidification of cement and characterized by the growth of volume fraction of hydration products. This permits considering the viscoelastic constituent as non-aging. The temperature dependence of the rates of creep and of volume growth is characterized by two transformed time variables based on the activation energies of hydration and creep. The concept of microprestress achieves a grand unification of theory in which the long-term aging and all transient hygrothermal effects simply become different consequences of one and the same physical phenomenon. The microprestress, which is independent of the applied load, is initially produced by incompatible volume changes in the microstructure during hydration, and later builds up when changes of moisture content and temperature create a thermodynamic imbalance between the chemical potentials of vapor and adsorbed water in the nanopores of cement gel. As recently shown, this simultaneously captures two basic effects: First, the creep decreases with increasing age at loading after the growth of the volume fraction of hydrated cement has ceased; and, second, the drying creep, i.e., the transient creep increases due to drying (Pickett effect) which overpowers the effect of steady-state moisture content (i.e., less moisture-less creep). Now it is demonstrated that the microprestress buildup and relaxation also captures a third effect: The transitional thermal creep, i.e., the transient creep increase due to temperature change. For computations, an efficient (exponential-type) integration algorithm is developed. Finite element simulations, in which the apparent creep due to microcracking is taken into account separately, are used to identify the constitutive parameters and a satisfactory agreement with typical test data is achieved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)691-699
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Engineering Mechanics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2004


  • Adsorption
  • Aging
  • Concrete
  • Creep
  • Microstructure
  • Shrinkage
  • Solidification
  • Temperature effects
  • Thermodynamics
  • Viscoelasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Temperature effect on concrete creep modeled by microprestress- solidification theory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this