1 Department of Structural Engineering and Materials, Technical University of Denmark
This report is part of a research project on "Control of Early Age Cracking" - which, in turn, is part of the major research programme, "High Performance Concrete - The Contractor's Technology (HETEK)", coordinated by the Danish Road Directorate, Copenhagen, Denmark, 1997.A composite-rheological model of concrete is presented by which consistent predictions of creep, relaxation, and internal stresses can be made from known concrete composition, age at loading, and climatic conditions. No other existing "creep prediction method" offers these possibilities in one approach.The model is successfully justified comparing predicted results with experimental data obtained in the HETEK-project on creep, relaxation, and shrinkage of very young concretes cured at a temperature of T = 20^o C and a relative humidity of RH = 100%. The model is also justified comparing predicted creep, shrinkage, and internal stresses caused by drying shrinkage with experimental results reported in the literature on the mechanical behavior of mature concretes. It is then concluded that the model presented applied in general with respect to age at loading.From a stress analysis point of view the most important finding in this report is that cement paste and concrete behave practically as linear-viscoelastic materials from an age of approximately 10 hours. This is a significant age extension relative to earlier studies in the literature where linear-viscoelastic behavior is only demonstrated from ages of a few days. Thus, linear-viscoelastic analysis methods are justified from the age of approximately 10 hours.The rheological properties of plain cement paste are determined. These properties are the principal material properties needed in any stress analysis of concrete. Shrinkage (autogeneous or drying) of mortar and concrete and associated internal stress states are examples of analysis made in this report. In this context is discussed that concrete strength is not an invariable material property. It is a property the potentials of which is highly and negatively influenced by any damage caused by stress concentrations such as introduced by eigenstrain/stress actions like shrinkage, temperature, and alkali-aggregate reactions.Based on the overall positive results reported it is suggested that creep functions needed in Finite Element Analysis (FEM-analysis) of structures can be established from computer-simulated experiments based on the model presented - calibrated by only a few real experiments.