Shrinkage is one of the main causes of cracking in hardened concrete. In drying shrinkage, the volume of the concrete gradually decreases and, if the component is restrained against free movement, tensile stresses develop that cause cracking. There are several causes of cracks in concrete. Cracks caused before hardening are due to construction movement, settlement shrinkage, and set shrinkage.
Cracks caused after hardening are due to chemical reactions, physical movement, thermal changes, stress concentrations, structural design and accidents. Concrete itself contains many elements that affect cracks. It has been found that the more water used, the greater the tendency to crack because water increases shrinkage and reduces strength. The amount of cement is also important; in general, richer concretes crack more.
The mineral composition, shape, surface texture and classification of the aggregate affect in various ways the required ratios, thermal coefficient, drying shrinkage, stiffness, creep and strength of concrete. Some additives can also affect cracking due to their effects on contributing factors such as hardening speed, shrinkage, and creep. There are ten ways to help maintain cracking. Design the structure taking into account the degree of moderation during drying or cooling of the concrete.
Providing and Supporting Competent Inspection. Use materials known to have a good service history with respect to cracking, regardless of shrinkage or other evidence on single-contributing causes. Use minimum cement content according to design requirements. Use minimum water content necessary for workability; do not allow over-wet consistencies.
Place concrete evenly and allow for early settling in shapes, around reinforcements, on slopes, and elsewhere. Cure wet or sealed concrete, starting very soon. Avoid extreme temperatures. And finally, protect the concrete in service from changes in humidity and temperature whenever possible, such as by filling, shading or coating.
CSC), as we know it today, was formed in 1958 through the merger of three premixed companies. Despite the fact that concrete is a very strong building material, it does have its limits. Placing excessive amounts of weight on top of a concrete slab can cause cracking. When you hear that a concrete mix has a strength of 2000, 3000, 4000, or more than 5000 PSI, it refers to the pounds per square inch that would be needed to crush that concrete slab.
Chemical reactions in concrete are due both to the materials used in the mixture and to those with which it may have come into contact. The cause of cracking is expansive reactions between the aggregate and alkalis in the cement paste. The chemical reaction occurs between active silica and alkalis, producing a silica-alkali gel as a by-product. Alkali-silica gel forms around the surface of the aggregate, increasing its volume and exerting pressure on the surrounding concrete.
This increase in pressure can cause tensile stresses to increase beyond the tensile strength of concrete. When this occurs, the concrete cracks to relieve pressure. Understand what your contractor is doing with respect to each of the items listed above and you will get a good concrete job. The bottom line is that low water to cement ratio is the number one problem affecting concrete quality, and excess water reduces this ratio.
The deformation of concrete depends on the type of building materials used in construction, such as bricks, cement, concrete blocks, etc. Proper site preparation, quality mixing and good concrete finishing practices can go a long way in minimizing the occurrence of cracks and producing a more aesthetically pleasing concrete project. As durable as concrete once cured, it's hard to find a basement that doesn't have at least one crack. Incorrect water/cement ratio, improper concrete mixing, improper placement of concrete and insufficient consolidation are all factors that can jeopardize concrete quality.
The chemical reaction, which causes concrete to move from a liquid or plastic state (or a solid state), requires water. Cracks that form in plastic concrete can be classified as plastic shrinkage cracking or plastic sedimentation cracking. Factors that can reduce crack widths are greater amounts of steel reinforcement and larger concrete sections to more evenly disperse loads. However, a large majority of concrete used in residential work has too much water added to the concrete on the job site.
Concrete doesn't require a lot of water to achieve maximum strength, however, much of the concrete used in residential pours tends to have too much water added to the concrete on the job site. It dictates the ability of concrete to withstand the action of weather, chemical attack, or any deterioration process. Leaks should be addressed as soon as possible before corrosion of the steel inside the concrete begins and concrete chipping occurs. Crack sizes range from microcracks that expose concrete to efflorescence, to larger cracks caused by external loading conditions.
Volume differences are likely to develop in concrete when different temperatures occur in a concrete section. . .