High Performance Concrete

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High Performance Concrete


Contents

1 Terminology: some personal choices 

1.1 About the title of this book 1
1.2 Water/cement, water/cementitious materials or water/binder ratio 2
1.3 Normal strength concrete/ordinary concrete/usual concrete 3
1.4 High-strength or high-performance concrete 4

2 Introduction 

3 A historical perspective 22
3.1 Precursors and pioneers 22
3.2 From water reducers to superplasticizers 26
3.3 The arrival of silica fume 28
3.4 Present status 29

4 The high-performance concrete rationale 

4.1 Introduction 35
4.2 For the owner 36
4.3 For the designer 37
4.4 For the contractor 38
4.5 For the concrete producer 38
4.6 For the environment 40
4.7 Case studies 40
4.7.1 Water Tower Place 40
4.7.2 Gullfaks offshore platform 42
4.7.3 Sylans and Glacières viaducts 46
4.7.4 Scotia Plaza 50
4.7.5 Île de Ré bridge 53
4.7.6 Two Union Square 56
4.7.7 Joigny bridge 59viii Contents
4.7.8 Montée St-Rémi bridge 62
4.7.9 ‘Pont de Normandie’ bridge 66
4.7.10 Hibernia offshore platform 70
4.7.11 Confederation bridge 76

5 High-performance concrete principles 

5.1 Introduction 84
5.2 Concrete failure under compressive load 85
5.3 Improving the strength of hydrated cement paste 88
5.3.1 Porosity 89
5.3.2 Decreasing the grain size of hydration products 93
5.3.3 Reducing inhomogeneities 93
5.4 Improving the strength of the transition zone 93
5.5 The search for strong aggregates 95
5.6 Rheology of low water/binder ratio mixtures 96
5.6.1 Optimization of grain size distribution of aggregates 96
5.6.2 Optimization of grain size distribution of cementitious particles 97
5.6.3 The use of supplementary cementitious materials 97
5.7 The water/binder ratio law 97
5.8 Concluding remarks 99

6 Review of the relevant properties of some ingredients of high-performance concrete 

6.1 Introduction 101
6.2 Portland cement 101
6.2.1 Composition 101
6.2.2 Clinker manufacture 103
6.2.3 Clinker microstructure 106
6.2.4 Portland cement manufacture 111
6.2.5 Portland cement acceptance tests 113
6.2.6 Portland cement hydration 115
(a) Step 1 Mixing period 116
(b) Step 2 The dormant period 117
(c) Step 3 Initial setting 118
(d) Step 4 Hardening 119
(e) Step 5 Slowdown 120
6.2.7 Concluding remarks on Portland cement hydration from a high-performance concrete point of view 120
6.3 Portland cement and water 121
6.3.1 From water reducers to superplasticizers 122
6.3.2 Types of superplasticizer 126ix Contents
6.3.3 Manufacture of superplasticizers 126
(a) First step: sulfonation 126
(b) Second step: condensation 127
(c) Third step: neutralization 128
(d) Fourth step: filtration (in the case of calcium salt) 129
6.3.4 Portland cement hydration in the presence of superplasticizers 130
6.3.5 The crucial role of calcium sulfate 136
6.3.6 Superplasticizer acceptance 137
6.3.7 Concluding remarks 138
6.4 Supplementary cementitious materials 139
6.4.1 Introduction 139
6.4.2 Silica fume 140
6.4.3 Slag 147
6.4.4 Fly ash 152
6.4.5 Concluding remarks 155

7 Materials selection 

7.1 Introduction 162
7.2 Different classes of high-performance concrete 162
7.3 Materials selection 163
7.3.1 Selection of the cement 163
7.3.2 Selection of the superplasticizer 170
(a) Melamine superplasticizers 171
(b) Naphthalene superplasticizers 171
(c) Lignosulfonate-based superplasticizers 173
(d) Quality control of superplasticizers 173
7.3.3 Cement/superplasticizer compatibility 175
(a) The minislump method 176
(b) The Marsh cone method 178
(c) Saturation point 180
(d) Checking the consistency of the production
of a particular cement or superplasticizer 182
(e) Different rheological behaviours 183
(f) Practical examples 185
7.3.4 Superplasticizer dosage 189
(a) Solid or liquid form? 190
(b) Use of a set-retarding agent 190
(c) Delayed addition 190
7.3.5 Selection of the final cementitious system 190
7.3.6 Selection of silica fume 192
(a) Introduction 192
(b) Variability 192
(c) What form of silica fume to use 193
(d) Quality control 193
(e) Silica fume dosage 194
7.3.7 Selection of fly ash 195
(a) Quality control 196
7.3.8 Selection of slag 196
(a) Dosage rate 197
(b) Quality control 197
7.3.9 Possible limitations on the use of slag and fly ash in high-performance concrete 198
(a) Need for high early strength 198
(b) Cold weather concreting 198
(c) Freeze-thaw durability 199
(d) Decrease in maximum temperature 199
7.3.10 Selection of aggregates 199
(a) Fine aggregate 199
(b) Crushed stone or gravel 200
(c) Selection of the maximum size of coarse aggregate 202
7.4 Factorial design for optimizing the mix design of high-performance concrete 203
7.4.1 Introduction 203
7.4.2 Selection of the factorial design plan 204
7.4.3 Sample calculation 206
(a) Iso cement dosage curves 207
(b) Iso dosage curves for the superplasticizer 207
(c) Iso cost curves 208
7.5 Concluding remarks 210

8 High-performance mix design methods 

8.1 Background 215
8.2 ACI 211–1 Standard Practice for Selecting Proportions
for Normal, Heavyweight and Mass Concrete 216
8.3 Definitions and useful formulae 221
8.3.1 Saturated surface dry state for aggregates 221
8.3.2 Moisture content and water content 223
8.3.3 Specific gravity 225
8.3.4 Supplementary cementitious material content 225
8.3.5 Superplasticizer dosage 226
(a) Superplasticizer specific gravity 227
(b) Solids content 227
(c) Mass of water contained in a certain volume
of superplasticizer 228
(d) Other useful formulae 229xi Contents
(e) Mass of solid particles and volume needed 230
(f) Volume of solid particles contained in
(g) Sample calculation 230
8.3.6 Water reducer and air-entraining agent dosages 231
8.3.7 Required compressive strength 231
8.4 Proposed method 233
8.4.1 Mix design sheet 237
(a) Mix design calculations 239
(b) Sample calculation 241
(c) Calculations 241
8.4.2 From trial batch proportions to 1 m 3 composition (SSD conditions) 246
(a) Mix calculation 246
(b) Sample calculation 248
(c) Calculations 249
8.4.3 Batch composition 252
(a) Mix calculation 252
(b) Sample calculation 253
(c) Calculations 254
8.4.4 Limitations of the proposed method 255
8.5 Other mix design methods 257
8.5.1 Method suggested in ACI 363 Committee on high-strength concrete 257
8.5.2 de Larrard method (de Larrard, 1990) 259
8.5.3 Mehta and Aïtcin simplified method 261

9 Producing high-performance concrete 

9.1 Introduction 265
9.2 Preparation before mixing 267
9.3 Mixing 269
9.4 Controlling the workability of high-performance concrete 271
9.5 Segregation 272
9.6 Controlling the temperature of fresh concrete 272
9.6.1 Too cold a mix: increasing the temperature of fresh concrete 273
9.6.2 Too hot a mix: cooling down the temperature of fresh concrete 274
9.7 Producing air-entrained high-performance concretes 276
9.8 Case studies 278
9.8.1 Production of the concrete used to build the Jacques-Cartier bridge deck in Sherbrooke
(a) Concrete specifications 278xii Contents
(b) Composition of the high-performance concrete used 278
(c) Mixing sequence 279
(d) Economic considerations 280
9.8.2 Production of a high-performance concrete in a dry-batch plant 281
(a) Portneuf bridge (Lessard et al., 1993) 281
(b) Scotia Plaza building
(Ryell and Bickley, 1987) 282

10 Preparation for concreting: what to do, how to do it and when to do it 

10.1 Introduction 285
10.2 Preconstruction meeting 287
10.3 Prequalification test programme 288
10.3.1 Prequalification test programme for the construction of Bay-Adelaide Centre in Toronto,
Canada 289
10.3.2 Prequalification test programme for the 20 Mile Creek air-entrained high-performance concrete bridge on Highway 20 (Bickley, 1996) 290
10.3.3 Pilot test 291
10.4 Quality control at the plant 292
10.5 Quality control at the jobsite 293
10.6 Testing 294
10.6.1 Sampling 295
10.7 Evaluation of quality 295
10.8 Concluding remarks 297

11 Delivering, placing and controlling high-performance concrete 

11.1 High-performance concrete transportation 299
11.2 Final adjustment of the slump prior to placing 300
11.3 Placing high-performance concrete 301
11.3.1 Pumping 301
11.3.2 Vibrating 303
11.3.3 Finishing concrete slabs 304
11.4 Special construction methods 306
11.4.1 Mushrooming in column construction 306
11.4.2 Jumping forms 306
11.4.3 Slipforming 307
11.4.4 Roller-compacted high-performance concrete 309
11.5 Conclusion 309

12 Curing high-performance concrete to minimize shrinkage 

12.1 Introduction 311
12.2 The importance of appropriate curing 312
12.3 Different types of shrinkage 312
12.4 The hydration reaction and its consequences 313
12.4.1 Strength 315
12.4.2 Heat 316
12.4.3 Volumetric contraction 317
(a) Apparent volume and solid volume 317
(b) Volumetric changes of concrete (apparent volume) 318
(c) Chemical contraction (absolute volume) 319
(d) The crucial role of the menisci in concrete capillaries in apparent volume changes 320
(e) Essential difference between self-desiccation and drying 321
(f) From the volumetric changes of the hydrated cement paste to the shrinkage of concrete 321
12.5 Concrete shrinkage 322
12.5.1 Shrinkage of thermal origin 322
12.5.2 How to reduce autogenous and drying shrinkage and its effects by appropriate curing of high-performance concrete 323
12.6 Why autogenous shrinkage is more important in high-performance concrete than in usual concrete 324
12.7 Is the application of a curing compound sufficient to minimize or attenuate concrete shrinkage? 
12.8 The curing of high-performance concrete 327
12.8.1 Large columns 329
(a) Volumetric changes at A 329
(b) Volumetric changes at B 330
(c) Volumetric changes at C 331
12.8.2 Large beams 331
12.8.3 Small beams 332
12.8.4 Thin slabs 332
12.8.5 Thick slabs 333
12.8.6 Other cases 334
12.9 How to be sure that concrete is properly cured in the field 334
12.10 Conclusion 335

13 Properties of fresh concrete 338

13.1 Introduction 338
13.2 Unit mass 340
13.3 Slump 340xiv Contents
13.3.1 Measurement 340
13.3.2 Factors influencing the slump 341
13.3.3 Improving the rheology of fresh concrete 342
13.3.4 Slump loss 343
13.4 Air content 343
13.4.1 Non-air-entrained high-performance concrete 343
13.4.2 Air-entrained high-performance concrete 344
13.5 Set retardation 345
13.6 Concluding remarks 347

14 Temperature increase in high-performance concrete 349

14.1 Introduction 349
14.2 Comparison of the temperature increases within a 35 MPa concrete and a high-performance concrete 350
14.3 Some consequences of the temperature increase within a concrete 351
14.3.1 Effect of the temperature increase on the compressive strength of high-performance concrete 
14.3.2 Inhomogeneity of the temperature increase within a high-performance concrete structural element 353
14.3.3 Effect of thermal gradients developed during high-performance concrete cooling 353
14.3.4 Effect of the temperature increase on concrete microstructure 354
14.4 Influence of different parameters on the temperature increase 356
14.4.1 Influence of the cement dosage 357
14.4.2 Influence of the ambient temperature 360
14.4.3 Influence of the geometry of the structural element 361
14.4.4 Influence of the nature of the forms 363
14.4.5 Simultaneous influence of fresh concrete and ambient temperature 364
14.4.6 Concluding remarks 365
14.5 How to control the maximum temperature reached within a high-performance concrete structural element 366
14.5.1 Decrease of the temperature of the delivered concrete 366
(a) Liquid nitrogen cooling 367
(b) Use of crushed ice 367
14.5.2 Use of a retarder 367
14.5.3 Use of supplementary cementitious materials 
14.5.4 Use of a cement with a low heat of hydration 369
14.5.5 Use of hot water and insulated forms or heated and insulated blankets under winter conditions 
14.6 How to control thermal gradients 369
14.7 Concluding remarks 370

15 Testing high-performance concrete 

15.1 Introduction 
15.2 Compressive strength measurement 374
15.2.1 Influence of the testing machine 375
(a) Testing limitations due to the capacity of the testing machine 375
(b) Influence of the dimensions of the spherical head 377
(c) Influence of the rigidity of the testing machine 381
15.2.2 Influence of testing procedures 382
(a) How to prepare specimen ends 383
(b) Influence of eccentricity 388
15.2.3 Influence of the specimen 390
(a) Influence of the specimen shape 390
(b) Influence of the specimen mould 391
(c) Influence of the specimen diameter 392
15.2.4 Influence of curing 395
(a) Testing age 395
(b) How can high-performance concrete specimens be cured? 396
15.2.5 Core strength versus specimen strength 397
15.3 Stress-strain curve 398
15.4 Shrinkage measurement 400
15.4.1 Present procedure 401
15.4.2 Shrinkage development in a high water/binder concrete 402
15.4.3 Shrinkage development in a low water/binder concrete 402
15.4.4 Initial mass increase and self-desiccation 404
15.4.5 Initial compressive strength development and self-desiccation 404
15.4.6 New procedure for drying shrinkage measurement 405
15.5 Creep measurement 407
15.5.1 Present sample curing (ASTM C 512) 407
15.5.2 Development of different concrete deformations during a 28 day creep measurement 407xvi 
15.5.3 Deformations occurring in a high water/binder ratio concrete subjected to early loading during a creep test 408
15.5.4 Deformations occurring in a low water/binder ratio concrete subjected to early loading during a creep test 409
15.5.5 Proposed curing procedure before loading a concrete specimen for creep measurement 410
15.6 Concluding remarks on creep and shrinkage measurements 411
15.7 Permeability measurement 412
15.8 Elastic modulus measurement 415

16 Mechanical properties of high-performance concrete

16.1 Introduction 423
16.2 Compressive strength 425
16.2.1 Early-age compressive strength of high-performance concrete 426
16.2.2 Effect of early temperature rise of high-performance concrete on compressive strength 427
16.2.3 Influence of air content on compressive strength 428
16.2.4 Long-term compressive strength 429
16.3 Modulus of rupture and splitting tensile strength 431
16.4 Modulus of elasticity 433
16.4.1 Theoretical approach 433
16.4.2 Empirical approach 437
16.4.3 Concluding remarks on elastic modulus evaluation 440
16.5 Poisson’s ratio 442
16.6 Stress-strain curves 442
16.7 Creep and shrinkage 445
16.8 Fatigue resistance of high-performance concrete 448
16.8.1 Introduction 448
16.8.2 Definitions 450
(a) Wöhler diagrams 450
(b) Goodman diagrams 451
(c) Miner’s rule 451
16.8.3 Fatigue resistance of concrete structures 452
16.9 Concluding remarks 4534

17 The durability of high-performance concrete 

17.1 Introduction 458
17.2 The durability of usual concretes: a subject of major concern 460
17.2.1 Durability: the key criterion to good design 461xvii Contents
17.2.2 The critical importance of placing and curing in concrete durability 462
17.2.3 The importance of the concrete ‘skin’ 463
17.2.4 Why are some old concretes more durable than some modern ones? 466
17.3 Why high-performance concretes are more durable than usual concretes 467
17.4 Durability at a microscopic level 470
17.5 Durability at a macroscopic level 471
17.6 Abrasion resistance 472
17.6.1 Introduction 472
17.6.2 Factors affecting the abrasion resistance of high-performance concrete 473
17.6.3 Pavement applications 476
17.6.4 Abrasion-erosion in hydraulic structures 477
17.6.5 Ice abrasion 477
17.7 Freezing and thawing resistance 477
17.7.1 Freezing and thawing durability of usual concrete 478
17.7.2 Freezing and thawing durability of high-performance concrete 479
17.7.3 How many freeze-thaw cycles must a concrete sustain successfully before being said to be freeze-thaw resistant? 483
17.7.4 Personal views 484
17.8 Scaling resistance 485
17.9 Resistance to chloride ion penetration 486
17.10 Corrosion of reinforcing steel 487
17.10.1 Use of stainless steel rebars 489
17.10.2 Use of galvanized rebars 489
17.10.3 Use of epoxy-coated rebars 490
17.10.4 Use of glass fibre-reinforced rebars 491
17.10.5 Effectiveness of the improvement of ‘covercrete’ quality 492
(a) Time to initiate cracking 492
(b) Relationship between time to initiate
cracking and initial current 494
17.10.6 Concluding remarks 495
17.11 Resistance to various forms of chemical attack 496
17.12 Resistance to carbonation 497
17.13 Resistance to sea water 497
17.14 Alkali-aggregate reaction and high-performance concrete 497
17.14.1 Introduction 497
17.14.2 Essential conditions to see an AAR developing within a concrete 498xviii Contents
(a) Moisture condition and AAR 498
(b) Cement content, water/binder ratio and AAR 498
17.14.3 Superplasticizer and AAR 499
17.14.4 AAR prevention 499
17.14.5 Extrapolation of the results obtained on usual concrete to high-performance concrete 500
17.15 Resistance to fire 500
17.15.1 Is high-performance concrete a fire-resistant material? 500
17.15.2 The fire in the Channel Tunnel 502
(a) The circumstances 502
(b) The damage 503
17.16 Conclusions 503

18 Special high-performance concretes 

18.1 Introduction 510
18.2 Air-entrained high-performance concrete 511
18.2.1 Introduction 511
18.2.2 Design of an air-entrained high-performance concrete mix 512
(a) Sample calculation 512
18.2.3 Improvement of the rheology of high-performance concretes with entrained air 515
18.2.4 Concluding remarks 516
18.3 Lightweight high-performance concrete 516
18.3.1 Introduction 516
18.3.2 Fine aggregate 518
18.3.3 Cementitious systems 518
18.3.4 Mechanical properties 519
(a) Compressive strength 519
(b) Modulus of rupture, splitting strength and direct tensile strength 520
(c) Elastic modulus 520
(d) Bond strength 520
(e) Shrinkage and creep 520
(f) Post-peak behaviour 521
(g) Fatigue resistance 521
(h) Thermal characteristics 521
18.3.5 Uses of high-performance lightweight concrete 522
18.3.6 About the unit mass of lightweight concrete 522
18.3.7 About the absorption of lightweight aggregates 524
18.3.8 About the water content of lightweight aggregates when making concrete 525
18.3.9 Concluding remarks 526xix Contents
18.4 Heavyweight high-performance concrete 526
18.5 Fibre-reinforced high-performance concrete 527
18.6 Confined high-performance concrete 530
18.7 Roller-compacted high-performance concrete 534
18.8 Concluding remarks 540

19 Ultra high-strength cement-based materials 

19.1 Introduction 545
19.2 Brunauer et al. technique 549
19.3 DSP 549
19.4 MDF 550
19.5 RFC 551
20 A look ahead 556
20.1 Concrete: the most widely used construction material 556
20.2 Short-term trends for high-performance concrete 558
20.3 The durability market rather than only the high-strength market 560
20.4 Long-term trends for high-performance concrete 561
20.5 High-performance concrete competition 562

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