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Engineering and Technology March 2013, Volume 2, Issue 1, PP.712

Service Life Prediction of Recycled Aggregate Concrete Based on Freezing-thawing Damage Model

Zhenshuang Wang

Investment Engineering College, Dongbei University of Finance and Economics, Dalian, 116025 #Email:

Recycled aggregate concrete is gradually formed into important building materials on environment protection and sustainable development. Basic experimental research has been done to researched frost resistance of recycled aggregate concrete, and research work into law of concrete freezing-thawing cycle damage processes has been summarized by the principles of damage mechanic with relative dynamic modulus loss as damage variable. Service life of recycled aggregate concrete was predicted based on damage parabola model. It was concluded that strength, mass, and relative dynamic modulus all decreased in different levels, and argument fall of mass and relative dynamic modulus in recycled aggregate was less than common concrete, where argument fall of strength was higher than common concrete. Keywords: Recycled Aggregate; Damage Parabola Mode; Frost Resistance; Strength; Service Life Prediction

Strength and durability are two basic properties of concrete materials [1]. Nowadays, design methods of concrete materials and structure are in the transition periods from strength design to durability design [2]. Using service life design is an important development direction of current structure engineering design [3-4], and many important projects were gradually realized by durability design made service life as main target on international [5]. It is one of important topics faced by current academic circles at home and abroad that predicts service life of concrete structure under freezing-thawing cycles and corrosion conditions [3]. With the development of urbanization process, replacement of industrial and civil buildings and constantly widens of municipal removal scale, on the one hand waste concrete content is increasing due to buildings damage, if it was not handled carefully, it not only would take lots of farmland, but also would pollute environment, on the other hand, concrete content rapidly increases, and natural aggregate consumption also increases. As the utility of recycled waste concrete had to be considered to resolve all the problems, the recycled aggregate with waste concrete not only reserves the natural aggregate resource, but also eases the environment pollution, which meets the national policy of sustainable development [6]. Research and development on recycled concrete technology has gained a great development, but there were many shortcomings on durability of recycled concrete research which was needed to be further researched.

The work of the model foundation on the frost resistance predication progressed in slow all the time due to complexity of concrete freezing-thawing damage, which was still at an initial stage. Research reports about concrete frost resistance prediction model have been presented since 1980 Math theory model was presented to predict concrete frost resistance by Bazant [8] in 1988, which simulated absorption process of concrete and migration process of pore water in capillary cavity and air bubble, and computed temperature distribution and stress distribution in solid phase when the frozen calories in pore solution were resealed. Many prediction models have been found, of which some belonged to experience models like Xu L.P model [9] and Li J. Y Model [10], and other belonged to


theory models like Cai H Model [11]. Damage variable was brought into durability research of concrete by Guan Y.G in 2001.Based on the fundamental theory of damage mechanic; damage degree D of concrete after freezingthawing cycles was defined as Eq.1 in which the damage degree of concrete was expressed by relative dynamic modulus. The value of relative dynamic modulus was lower after freezing-thawing cycles, and the damage degree was higher.

D 1 Ei / E0


Where, D is damage degree of concrete, E0 is initial dynamic elastic modulus, and Ei is residual dynamic elastic modulus. The problem of throwing object horizontally regarded as height was damaged by gravitational acceleration without which the object would be thrown with infinity. Damage expressed in math was gravitational acceleration g, so gravitational acceleration can call as object height damage acceleration in essence. Professor Wang L. J, presented Damage Parabola Model which can comprehensive relative dynamic modulus of concrete was damaged by relative dynamic modulus damage acceleration eg, leaded E/E0 decreased nonlinearly, when E/E0=0, concrete reached limit freezing-thawing cycles N0.

N Ud t
D 1 Ei / E0 1 / 2eg t 2


Where, Ud is freezing-thawing cycle system, taking quick freezing method for example, and 3 h is a cycle, 8 cycles a day, and Ud = 8times/d, eg is relative dynamic modulus damage acceleration, and t is freezing duration, like 300 cycles is 37.5 d.
N2 2U d 2 (1 E / E0 ) eg (4)

Boundary conditions, when Ei/E0 =1, N=0; when Ei/E0 =0, eg =2Ud 2 /N0 2; so
N N 0 (1 Ei / E0 )1/ 2


3.1 Experimental methods
Procedures in Hydraulic Concrete Experiment RegulationsDL/TS150-2001 are followed in the freezing-thawing cycle experiment test of concrete specimens. Standard prismatic specimens (100mm100mmm400mm) were prepared for flexural strength, relative dynamic modulus, and mass loss after freezing-thawing cycles, and cubic specimens (100mm100mml00mm) were prepared for tensile and compressive strength after freezing-thawing cycles. All the samples were cast into steel moulds. The specimens were cured for 24 h in a humidity chamber (90% relative humidity and 20) and then demoulded and cured in Cement Concrete Standard Curing Room till 28 days prior to freezing-thawing cycles. Each cycle of freezing-thawing lasted for 3 h, and each specimen was soaked in water during the experiment. The cooling and heating equipment was used in this research work producing freezingthawing cycles with temperatures in center specimen ranging from -172 to 82, and temperatures in freezing solution ranging from -25 to 15 . Temperature probes in centre specimen and freezing solution controlled temperature variation through control cabinet. Frost resistance of concrete was measured by its mass loss, relative dynamic modulus variation and strength variation.

3.2 Experimental materials

1) Aggregate Recycled aggregate was crushed and graded by strength class grade of C40 concrete in laboratory after 1 year standing. Fine aggregate was river sand that belongs to medium sand. Limestone gravel was employed as coarse aggregate of control concrete. Table 1 shows the basic properties of aggregate. 2) Cement Cementitious materials used in the experiments were Portland cement (P42.5), and physical properties of

concrete are shown in Table 3.

Testing items Apparent density / 3 Water absorption /% Mass per unit volume / kg.L Fineness modulus Recycled aggregate 2.42 6.6 1.42 Natural gravel 2.65 0.8 1.63 sand 2.58 3.2 1.34 2.7


Mesh diameter /mm Cumulative sieve residue of recycled aggregate /% Cumulative sieve residue of natural aggregate /% 25 0.49 2.92 20 2.22 20 16 19.78 40 10 58.41 80 5 80.59 90.39 2.5 100 100


fineness Residual Sieve on 80m 0.5% stability qualification Flexural strength /MPa 3d 28d 5.93 9.17 Compressive strength/MPa 3d 28d 41.2 65.32

3) Water Tap water. 4) Water reduce agent High performance AE water reducing agent is Multi-hydroxy acid compounds.

3.3 Mix proportions

Strength grade C40 C40 No. N R Mix proportion Cement/ kg Sand/ kg 363 724 363 724 Coarse aggregate/ kg 1185 1185 Water/ kg 182 182 Admixture/% 0.5 0.5

With the increasing of freezing-thawing cycles, the compressive strength, splitting strength and flexural strength of natural concrete and recycled concrete expressed decreasing tendency, and decrease amplitude of splitting strength and flexural strength were more apparent than compressive strength (Fig.1 and Fig.2). Comparing with natural concrete, splitting strength and flexural strength of recycled concrete decreased more apparently, especially for flexural strength with 60% after 50 freezing-thawing cycles and loss of bearing capacity after 125 freezing-thawing cycles. Frost resistance of recycled aggregate decreased compared with natural concrete due to higher water absorption, and when concrete was in cold situations, frost resistance was influenced by aggregate itself frost heave. With the temperature decreasing, water of larger pores in concrete began to freeze firstly, and then was the water of smaller pores. Water expansion in process of water frozen in smaller pores was restricted with ice crystal in larger pores. Compared with natural concrete, recycled aggregate was lack of free pores which can alleviate expansion pressure, and tensile stress was produced on pore wall under hydrostatic pressure effect, so it was more possible that tensile strength of concrete was researched. Furthermore, initial crack damage existed in recycled aggregate during the process of crushing. There were many cracks after repeated fatigue effect of frost heaving force, and specimens were severely damaged. The specimen masses of recycled aggregate concrete and natural concrete increased within small freezing-thawing cycles, shown in Fig.3 and Fig.4. When the freezing-thawing cycles were more than 75 cycles, specimen mass of

natural concrete began to decrease, while specimen mass of recycled concrete did not decrease after 100 cycles until 175 cycles. This was because recycled aggregate had higher water absorption, and there were no differences between recycled concrete and natural concrete in general situation. But there was existing interior damage which produced inner channel after cycles, when water entered into interior concrete by channel, and concrete mass was increased. Specimen mass suddenly reduced and surface spell when concrete absorbed water to saturation after a certain time. The variation of relative dynamic modulus for recycled concrete did not apparently change with 6% decreases after 200 cycles, while natural concrete decreased 21% in the same conditions, which was higher than recycled concrete.
60 55 50 45

Compressive strength Splitting strength Flexural strength

60 55 50 45 40

Compressive strength Spliting strength Flexural strength

Strength veriation

40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 0 50 100 freezing-thawing cycles 150 200

Strength veriation

35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 0 50 100 150 200

Freezing-thawing cycles



1.4 1.2 1.0 0.8 Mass loss( %) 0.6 0.4 0.2 0.0 -0.2 -0.4 0 50 100 Freezing-thawing cycles 150 200 Recycled aggregate concrete Natural aggregate concrete

110 105 Relative dynamic modulus loss( %) 100 95 90 85 80 0 50 100 Freezing-thawing cycles 150 200 Recycled aggregate concrete Natural aggregate concrete




Freezing-thawing 1 cycles in laboratory was equivalent to freezing-thawing 12 cycles in nature (average), based on experiment of Li J. Y [14]. Table 5 showed the annual average freezing-thawing cycles y in typical area of China. Service life t was predicted due to 12 N/y=t. Taking Beijing as example, when y=84, t= N/7, the designed concrete must be satisfied with N determined by above equation. If 50 years was wanted to reach in Beijing, N must reach to 350 cycles. So durability evaluation of concrete should be with year rather than with time. Frost resistance concrete should make 50 years as criterion, while ultra-frost resistance concrete should make 100 years as criterion, exclusive from 300 cycles or 600 cycles. Because there were differences of annual freezing-thawing cycles in different places, concrete cannot reach 50 years or 100 years using one limit freezing-thawing cycles. N0 was computed with Freezing-Thawing Damage Parabola Model, and then computing N based on the judgment method of
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concrete freezing-thawing experiment E/E0 =0.6. Service life t can be predicted based on table 5.
areas Beijing Changchun Xining Yicang extreme minimum temperature/ -27.4 -36.5 -26.6 -9.8 Difference of mean annual temperature/ 53.2 66.5 52.1 41.8 Days of mean annual minimum temperature/d 120 172 169 18 Cycles of mean annual /y 84 120 118 18

Under the conditions of this research, the followings can be concluded: (1) Damage variable D=1-Ei/E was brought to express the process of concrete damage under the freezing-thawing effect, and Damage Parabola Model was found. Simple math model which made clear physical meaning of the parameters on theory described the concrete damage process, as well as damage acceleration was proposed, and concrete service life was predicted. (2) Mass loss and decrease amplitude of relative dynamic modulus for recycled aggregate concrete were lower than that for natural concrete, but strength decreased more quickly, especially for splitting strength and flexural strength. It was not suitable to measure frost resistance property of recycled aggregate concrete only with mass loss and relative dynamic damage, as strength index was found more reasonable, while compressive strength loss ratio was suggested and flexural strength loss value ratio was considered if concrete flexural strength was required.

The research reported in this paper is supported by the National Mega-Project of Scientific &Technology Supporting Programs, Ministry of Scientific &Technology of China (No.2006BAJ04A04), and the Education Department of Liaoning Province, China (No. 2008282). This support is gratefully acknowledged.

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Zhenshuang Wang (1982- ), male, manchu, doctor, Assistant Professor. Areas of Research Interests: Analysis, Design for Durable Concrete, Development of Energy-efficient Materials for Sustainability. Education background 2001.08~2005.07: Liaoning Technical University, B.Eng., Civil Engineering, 2005.08~2008.01: Liaoning Technical University, M.Eng., Structure Engineering 2008.03~2012.06: Dalian University Technology, Ph.D., Municipal Engineering

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