ORI GI NAL ARTI CLE

Effect of moist curing and use of lightweight sand
on characteristics of high-performance concrete
Soo-Duck Hwang

Kamal H. Khayat

Dalia Youssef
Received: 22 December 2011 / Accepted: 28 May 2012 / Published online: 19 June 2012
Ó RILEM 2012
Abstract Factorial design approach was undertaken
to determine the effect of initial moist-curing duration
(0 and 6 days) on properties of high-performance
concrete (HPC) made with different water-to-cemen-
titious materials ratios (w/cm) of 0.30 and 0.40 and
sand substitution rates with lightweight sand (LWS) of
0 and 30 %, by volume. Mechanical properties of HPC
are shown to be mainly affected by w/cm and total
shrinkage of concrete by the LWS replacement rate
and initial moist-curing period. It should be noted that
concrete made with 30 % LWS replacement that did
not receive any moist-curing exhibited lower shrink-
age than moist-cured concrete prepared without any
LWS, regardless of the w/cm. Combined use of 30 %
LWS and 7 days of moist curing can lead to greater
increase in compressive strength and larger decrease
in total shrinkage compared to the use of 30 % LWS
without moist curing or 7 days of moist curing without
LWS. The use of LWS, however, is more practical and
efficient to reduce shrinkage of HPC for deep concrete
elements.
Keywords Autogenous shrinkage Á Drying
shrinkage Á Experimental design Á High-performance
concrete Á Internal curing Á Lightweight sand
1 Introduction
The use of high-performance concrete (HPC) is widely
accepted for the construction and repair of concrete
infrastructure in North America. However, compared
with conventional concrete, HPC may develop greater
risk of cracking if not properly cured. Water curing is
essential to promote continuous cement hydration,
refinement of the capillary porosity, and reduce the risk
of cracking due to shrinkage. This can lead to increased
strength and the lowpermeability. This is especially the
case when the concrete is proportioned with low water-
to-cementitious materials ratio (w/cm) using finely
ground cementitious materials, such as silica fume. In
such concrete, the outer surface should be maintained
moist at early age to reduce the risk of cracking due to
autogenous shrinkage. Independently of the w/cm,
autogenous shrinkage can develop in concrete cured
in a closed system. Such shrinkage may be negligible
compared to the drying shrinkage in the case of
conventional concrete, which is typically proportioned
with moderate to high w/cm. On the other hand, in the
S.-D. Hwang Á D. Youssef
Department of Civil Engineering, Universite´ de
Sherbooke, Sherbrooke, QC J1K 2R1, Canada
e-mail: soo-duck.hwang@USherbrooke.ca
D. Youssef
e-mail: dalia.youssef@hotmail.com
K. H. Khayat (&)
Department of Civil, Architectural, Environmental
Engineering, Missouri University of Science and
Technology, 224, Engineering Research Lab, Rolla,
MO 65409, USA
e-mail: Khayatk@mst.edu
Materials and Structures (2013) 46:35–46
DOI 10.1617/s11527-012-9881-7
case of HPC made with low w/cm, the magnitude of
autogenous shrinkage can be as high as that of drying
shrinkage and should be controlled to reduce the risk of
cracking and enhance concrete performance.
Jensen and Hansen [1, 2] reported that autogenous
shrinkage can be as high as 3,000 lm/m in cement
paste made with w/cm of 0.25. Tazawa and Myazawa
[3] measured autogenous shrinkage values on the order
of 4,000 lm/m in paste of low w/cm. In the case of
concrete, autogenous shrinkage values as high as
600 lm/m were reported. The difference in shrinkage
behavior of HPC and conventional concrete can be
explained by the major differences that can be
observed at the microstructural level between the two
materials [4–6]. In the case of conventional concrete
made with relatively high w/cm, capillary water is
drained with relative ease because the water is weakly
retained in the coarse capillary network. Tensile forces
accompanying the creation of menisci in the coarse
capillaries are not high enough to result in significant
autogenous shrinkage. On the other hand, in the case of
HPC of low w/cm, autogenous shrinkage develops
rapidly as water drains from the fine pore structure.
A number of approaches can be used to mitigate
cracking induced by shrinkage at early age in HPC.
This includes the modification of cement composition,
use of supplementary cementitious materials, incor-
poration of fibers, control of moist curing conditions,
and internal curing [7]. Shrinkage mitigation through
internal curing has recently gained attention [8, 9]. To
implement this technique, several methods have been
proposed, including the use of water-saturated light-
weight aggregate (LWA) [10–15], super-absorbent
polymers [8], and shrinkage-reducing admixtures
[16]. Water-saturated materials, including pre-satu-
rated aggregates, provide an internal source of water
necessary to replace that consumed by chemical
shrinkage during hydration. As the cement hydrates,
this extra water will be drawn from the relatively large
pores in the LWA into the much smaller ones in the
cement paste. This will minimize the development of
autogenous shrinkage since the shrinkage stress is
controlled by the size of the smallest empty pore, via
the Kelvin–Laplace equation [9]. Crack width result-
ing from plastic shrinkage can also be reduced as the
LWA replacement volume is increased [17].
Autogenous shrinkage can further increase the risk of
early-age cracking when the concrete subjected to
restrained shrinkage. In repair applications, thermal
contraction and shrinkage of the repair material can be
restrainedbyexistingconcrete andreinforcement as well
as by adjacent structural steel members, such as steel
girders in a composite bridge deck. The risk of cracking
of HPC can be high given the high elastic modulus of
such concrete and its lower degree of stress relaxation at
early age. Therefore, internal curing is gaining accep-
tance as an effective means of reducing autogenous
shrinkage in massive structural elements made with
HPC, thus decreasing total shrinkage (autogenous and
drying shrinkage) of such concrete [12].
The majority of research on lightweight sand (LWS)
aimed to evaluate the influence of LWS content on
concrete shrinkage and did not particularly address
shrinkage reduction as a function of the effect of using
LWS and initial duration of moist-curing. This paper
investigated the effect of LWS substitution rate on the
engineering properties of HPC subjected to various
periods of external moist-curing for HPC proportioned
with different w/cm. Statistical models were estab-
lished for compressive strength, elastic modulus, total
shrinkage, and rapid chloride-ion permeability (RCP)
values. Trade-offs between w/cm, LWS substitution
rate, and initial moist-curing period (MCP) on the
values of the modeled properties were established.
Recommendations for LWS replacement rate and
curing of HPC made with LWS are discussed.
Knowledge gained in this research can be used to
develop mix design guidelines, curing provisions, and
technical specifications for owner agencies and mate-
rial suppliers to promote wider acceptance of LWS as
a key component of durable concrete for infrastructure
construction and repair.
2 Experimental program
2.1 Scope of work and testing program
An experimental design approach was undertaken to
determine the effect of LWS substitution rate on key
engineering properties of HPC. The testing parameters
include varying the replacement of the total sand
volume by 0–30 % of LWS, changing the w/cm
between 0.30 and 0.40, and subjecting the concrete to
an initial MCP of 0–6 days, in addition to 1 day in the
molds. An experimental design approach was used to
determine the effect of these parameters on key
engineering properties of HPC. As shown in Table 1,
36 Materials and Structures (2013) 46:35–46
16 concrete mixtures were prepared in the factorial
design that takes into consideration three main factors
each evaluated at two distinct levels of -1 and ?1
(minimum and maximum levels). The central point of
the factorial design was repeated four times (mixtures
9–12) to validate the relative error of each modeled
response. The central mixture corresponds to 15 %
volume substitution of normal weight sand by LWS, a
w/cm of 0.35, and an initial moist-curing duration of
3 days after demolding at 1 day. Four additional
mixtures (No. 13–16) were prepared to evaluate the
validity of the derived statistical models. The coded
values are calculated as the difference between
the absolute values and values corresponding to the
central points divided by the difference between the
absolute values corresponding to the 0 and 1 coded
values, as follows:
Coded w/cm ¼ absolute w/cm À 0:35 ð Þ=0:05
Coded LWS% ¼ absolute LWS%À 15 ð Þ=15
Coded initial moist À curing period after demolding
MCP ð Þ ¼ absolute MCP À 3 ð Þ=3
Table 2 summarizes the experimental design test-
ing program. Samples prepared to evaluate mechanical
properties and shrinkage were subjected to different
durations of initial moist-curing of 0, 3, and 6 days in
quasi-isothermal conditions following demolding after
1 day of age. Following the initial MCP, the samples
were subjected to air-drying at 23 ± 2 °C and 50 %
R.H. The RCP test was used to assess the electrical
conductivity of the concrete. Again, different dura-
tions of initial moist-curing of 0–6 days were applied.
Several 100 9 200 mm cylinders were cast to
determine compressive strength (ASTM C 39) and
modulus of elasticity (ASTM C 469). Prisms measur-
ing 75 9 75 9 355 mm were prepared to evaluate
frost durability (ASTM C 666, A and C 330). In
general, samples for frost durability are cured for
14 days prior to testing; however, as presented in
Table 2, the ‘‘Standard Specification for Lightweight
Aggregates for Structural Concrete (ASTM C 330)’’
stipulates that unless otherwise specified, LWA con-
crete specimens for frost durability is removed from
moist-curing at the age of 14 days and then exposed to
air-drying at 50 ± 5 % R.H. and 23 ± 2 °C for
another 14 days. Thereafter, frost durability speci-
mens were submerged in water at 4 °C for 24 h prior
to the durability testing. Cylinders used for air-void
system measurement were moist cured for 6 days after
Table 1 Test variables of investigated concrete mixtures
Type Mixture No. Coded values Absolute values
LWS/total
sand
w/cm Initial period
of moist-curing
LWS/total sand
(% by volume)
w/cm Initial period of
moist-curing (day)
a
8 HPC mixtures 1 1 1 1 30 0.40 6
2 1 1 -1 30 0.40 0
3 1 -1 1 30 0.30 6
4 1 -1 -1 30 0.30 0
5 -1 1 1 0 0.40 6
6 -1 1 -1 0 0.40 0
7 -1 -1 1 0 0.30 6
8 -1 -1 -1 0 0.30 0
Central point mixtures
(repeated four times:
No. 9–12)
9 0 0 0 15 0.35 3
10 0 0 0 15 0.35 3
11 0 0 0 15 0.35 3
12 0 0 0 15 0.35 3
Mixtures used to
validate models
13 -1 -1/3 -1/3 0 0.33 2
14 -1/3 -1 1/3 10 0.30 4
15 ?1 -2/3 1/3 30 0.32 4
16 1/3 ?1 -1/3 20 0.40 2
a
Additional moist-curing duration after demolding at 1 day
Materials and Structures (2013) 46:35–46 37
demolding and then exposed to air-drying at
50 ± 5 % R.H. and 23 ± 2 °C prior to testing at
28 days.
A digital-type extensometer was used to monitor
total shrinkage of HPC using prismatic specimens
measuring 75 9 75 9 285 mm. At 24 h after casting,
the mold was removed very carefully. Initial lengths of
shrinkage specimens were recorded and then, shrink-
age specimens were subjected to different MCPs,
including no further moist-curing, 3 days of additional
moist-curing, and 6 days of additional moist-curing
before the exposure to air-drying at 50 ± 5 % R.H.
and 23 ± 2 °C in order to evaluate the influence of
MCP on total shrinkage of HPC. These periods
correspond then to 1, 4, and 7 days of moist curing,
including 1 day in the mold. The shrinkage measure-
ment started from the time of form removal at 24 h,
thus, the shrinkage deformation includes autogenous
shrinkage and drying shrinkage of HPC from the time
of form removal at 24 h. It should be mentioned that
autogenous shrinkage from the time of setting to that
of form removal was not included in the shrinkage
values reported in this study.
2.2 Materials and mixture composition
As presented in Table 3, all of the investigated
mixtures were prepared with CSA Type GUb-SF
cement (similar to CEM II/A-D cement) containing
approximately 92 % Type GU cement and 8 % silica
fume, by mass, and continuously graded crushed
limestone aggregate with 10 mm nominal maximum
size of aggregate (MSA). The sand-to-total aggregate
volume ratio (S/A) was fixed at 0.43. Well-graded
siliceous sand was employed as normal-weight sand
(NWS). The coarse aggregate has bulk specific gravity
of 2.74 and absorption value of 0.35 %. The NWS and
LWS have fineness moduli of 2.6 and 3.4, bulk specific
gravities of 2.63 and 1.82, and absorption values of
1.43 and 21 %, respectively. Based on the material
characteristics of the LWS from the supplier, the bulk
loose unit weight of the LWS ranged from 720 to
880 kg/m
3
depending on gradation. Concretes made
with the LWS have been exposed to more than 300
cycles of freezing thaw without deteriorations.
A polycarboxylate-based high-range water reducer
(HRWR) and a sulfonate-based air-entraining agent
(AEA) were used. The dosage rates of the HRWR
and AEA were adjusted to secure an initial slump
and air content values of 150 ± 20 mm and 5–8 %,
respectively.
Before every batching, the LWS was pre-treated to
secure a saturated surface-dry (SSD) condition. First,
the moisture content of the LWS was determined
according to ASTM C 128 (oven-dry for 48 h). The
moisture content LWS was sometimes less than the
SSD. The bulk LWS used for every batching was
added to a concrete mixer. Enough water was then
Table 2 Testing program and curing for experimental design
Concrete
property
Property Curing regime
Plastic
properties
Slump, unit weight, and air volume –
Mechanical
properties
Compressive strength (ASTM C 39) at 1, 3,7,
28, 56 and 91 days
1 day in the mold, then 0, 3, or 6 days of initial moist-curing and
air-drying at 23 °C and 50 % R.H.
Modulus of elasticity (ASTM C 469) at 28 and
91 days
Visco-
elastic
properties
Total shrinkage on prisms
(ASTM C 157)
1 day in mold, then 0, 3, or 6 days of initial moist-curing, then air-
drying at 23 °C and 50 % R.H. (monitored from demolding at
1 day)
Durability Air-void system (ASTM C 457) 1 day in mold, then 6 days of initial moist-curing and air-drying at
23 °C and 50 % R.H. prior to testing at 28 days
Frost durability ASTM C 330: Procedure for
LWS and lightweight coarse aggregate
mixtures
14 days of moist-curing including 1 day in mold, then 14 days of
air-drying at 23 °C and 50 % R.H. and 1 day in water at 4 °C
Transport
properties
56-day chloride-ion permeability (ASTM C
1202)
1 day in mold, then 0, 3, or 6 days of initial moist-curing, and air-
drying at 23 °C and 50 % R.H.
38 Materials and Structures (2013) 46:35–46
introduced to the bulk LWS (non-oven-dried LWS) in
the mixer to reach SSD condition, and the LWS was
homogenized thoroughly in the concrete mixer then
placed in sealed plastic bags to maintain the SSD
conditions before batching (1 day before batching).
Weight values of LWS and NWS presented in Table 3
include water for saturation.
2.3 Mixing procedure
The concrete was prepared in 80-L batches using an
open-pan mixer of 100-L capacity. The mixing
sequence consisted of homogenizing the sand and
coarse aggregate for 30 s before introducing half of
the mixing water and AEA. The AEA was diluted in
half of the mixing water then added to the concrete.
After 30 s of mixing, all of the cementitious materials
were introduced along with the remaining water that
was used to dilute the HRWR. The concrete was
mixed for 3 min and kept at rest for 3 min, before
remixing for two additional minutes. The mixture was
kept at rest for 30 s before sampling and testing.
3 Test results
3.1 Effect of LWS, w/cm, and moist-curing
duration on mechanical properties
In general, the compressive strength and elastic
modulus varied with the w/cm, LWS replacement
rate, and duration of moist-curing, as presented in
Table 4. For a given w/cm, moist-cured concrete
exhibited higher compressive strength and elastic
modulus than similar concrete exposed to air-drying
right after demolding, regardless of the LWS replace-
ment rate. It is interesting to note that the relative
influence of moist-curing duration and LWS replace-
ment on compressive strength depends on w/cm of the
concrete. In the case of mixture made with relatively
high w/cm of 0.40, strength increase resulting from
6 days of moist-curing was much larger than strength
gain due to the incorporation of 30 % LWS. On the
contrary, mixtures made with 0.3 w/cm exhibited
larger strength increase due to LWS replacement than
the extended duration of moist-curing. This indicates
that the effect of internal curing through the use of
LWS is more significant for concrete with low w/cm
that has less water available for cement hydration.
For a given w/cm and LWS replacement rate,
mixtures moist-cured for 7 days exhibited higher
compressive strengths after 28 days of age compared
to those subjected to air-drying after 1 day in the mold
(1 day of moist-curing). It is interesting to note that,
however, at 1, 3, and 7 days, the 0–0.3–0 M mixture
subjected to air-drying after demolding had slightly
higher compressive strength than the 0–0.3–6 M
moist-cured for 7 days. The higher compressive
strength of the 0–0.3–0 M at 1–7 days can be attrib-
uted to the lower air content (5.3 vs. 7 %) and lower
internal relative humidity of the air-dried concrete
when tested. Such lower internal moisture of the air-
dried mixture (0–0.3–0 M), however hindered further
cement hydration, thus leading to lower compressive
strength values at ages beyond 28 days compared to
the 0–0.3–6 M concrete.
Table 3 Mixture compositions of HPC (kg/m
3
)
30–0.4
a
30–0.3 0–0.4 0–0.3 15–0.35 0–0.33 10–0.3 30–0.32 20–0.4
Mixture No. (Table 1) 1, 2 3, 4 5, 6 7, 8 9, 10, 11, 12 13 14 15 16
Design mixtures Central point mixtures Validation mixtures
Cement GUb-SF 470 470 470 470 470 470 470 470 470
Sand NWS 477 514 681 734 601 716 662 509 546
LWS 141 152 0 0 73 0 51 150 94
Coarse aggregate 10 mm MSA 940 1,014 940 1,014 977 990 1,013 1,000 940
Water – 188 141 188 141 164.5 156.7 141 148.8 188
w/cm – 0.4 0.3 0.4 0.3 0.35 0.33 0.3 0.32 0.4
HRWR (L/m
3
) 0.8 4.1 1.3 4.9 2.7 to 3 4.0 5.0 4.1 1.2
AEA (mL/m
3
) 170 530 170 470 170 300 490 400 170
a
% of LWS-w/cm
Materials and Structures (2013) 46:35–46 39
As presented in Table 4, for a given MCP, mixtures
made with 30 % LWS replacement developed slightly
higher compressive strength than similar concrete
prepared without any LWS. In particular, the
30–0.40–6 M mixture made with 30 % LWS and
subjected to 6 days of initial moist-curing after
demolding at 1 day (or 7 days of moist-curing) exhi-
bited higher compressive strength of 56 MPa at
91 days compared to values of 44–51 MPa for the
other mixtures made with 0.4 w/cm. It is interesting to
note that strength increase of concrete containing
30 % LWS increases with the age of concrete. Similar
results were observed for mixtures made with 0.3
w/cm. Unlike the case of compressive strength, concrete
made with 30 % LWS replacement had lower elastic
modulus than similar concrete prepared without any
LWS, as presented in Table 4. In particular, the 30–
0.40–0 M mixture exhibited significantly lower 28-day
elastic modulus of 26 GPa compared to 29–30 GPa for
the other mixtures prepared without any LWS.
3.2 Effect of LWS, w/cm, and moist-curing
duration on total shrinkage
For a given MCP, HPC mixtures made with 30 %
LWS exhibited significantly lower shrinkage than
similar concrete prepared without any LWS, as
presented in Fig. 1. In particular, the 30–0.4–6 M
mixture made with 30 % LWS and 6 days of initial
moist-curing exhibited lower shrinkage of 640 lm/m
at 91 days compared to 865–1,630 lm/m for the other
mixtures. It is interesting to note that shrinkage
reduction due to the use of 30 % LWS was larger for
concrete that did not benefit from any initial moist-
curing. Concrete made with 30 % LWS replacement
that did not receive any moist-curing exhibited lower
shrinkage than moist-cured concrete prepared without
any LWS, regardless of the w/cm.
As compared in Fig. 2, for a given w/cm and initial
MCP, the use of 30 % LWS led to 30–47 % decrease
in total shrinkage at 91 days compared to the
Table 4 Mechanical properties and durability results
Codification (% LWS-w/cm-MCP) 30–0.4–
6 M
30–0.4–
0 M
30–0.3–
6 M
30–0.3–
0 M
0–0.4–
6 M
0–0.4–
0 M
0–0.3–
6 M
0–0.3–
0 M
15–0.35–
3 M
a
Slump (mm) 150 ± 20
Air content (%) 6.4 7 6.8 6.2 5.5 6.4 7 5.3 6 to7
Unit weight (kg/m
3
) 2,195 2,180 2,235 2,285 2,290 2,240 2,295 2,370 –
Compressive strength (MPa)
1 day 22 23 36 37 19 21 28 34 –
3 days 30 33 44 46 23 32 39 43 –
7 days 38 38 52 53 38 36 47 51 –
28 days 49 44 62 64 45 41 60 56 59
56 days 52 45 68 68 48 43 65 56 60
91 days 56 46 71 68 51 44 65 60 62
Modulus of elasticity (GPa)
28 days 28 26 34 33 30 29 35 34 33
56 days 29 26 35 34 31 30 36 34 34
91 days 30 27 35 34 31 30 36 34 34
RCP at 56 days (C)
56 days 1,000 1,300 410 330 750 960 290 220 500
Air-void spacing factor (lm)
28 days 250 250 300 275 –
Frost durability coefficient (%)
104 101 103 100 98
Total shrinkage (lm/m)
91 days 645 865 445 570 975 1,630 645 1,050 450
a
Mean values of 4 central point mixtures
40 Materials and Structures (2013) 46:35–46
shrinkage value of corresponding concrete made with
0 % LWS. This is because the internal moisture
supplied by the LWS can maintain greater degree of
saturation of the cement paste, which has a significant
impact on the shrinkage. It should be noted that
shrinkage reduction associated with the use of LWS
was much larger in the case of mixtures subjected to
air-drying directly after form removal than those
subjected to 6 days of initial moist-curing (47 and
45 % vs. 34 and 30 %). For example, moist-cured
concrete made with low w/cm of 0.3 had 200 lm/m
shrinkage reduction by 30 % LWS. On the other hand,
air-dried concrete prepared with 0.4 w/cm and 30 %
LWS exhibited 765 lm/m lower shrinkage than
similar concrete made with any LWS.
A decrease in w/cm from 0.4 to 0.3 resulted in
approximately 30 % reduction in total shrinkage at
91 days in the case of mixtures made with LWS and
subjected to 6 days of initial moist-curing. Shrinkage
reduction was 35 % for the non-LWS concrete,
regardless of the MCP. As presented in Fig. 2, an
increase in moist-curing led to significant reduction in
shrinkage. In general, concrete that is moist cured for
7 days including 1 day in the molds had 22–40 %
lower shrinkage compared to similar concrete that
received no moist-curing after demolding. Shrinkage
reduction due to moist-curing was much larger for
mixture made without any LWS.
3.3 Effect of LWS, w/cm, and moist-curing
duration on durability
RCP results of concrete mixtures made either with or
without LWS are compared in Fig. 3. The influence of
moist-curing on RCP values varies with the w/cm. As
presented in Fig. 3, in the case of mixtures made with
0.4 w/cm, an increase in initial MCP from 0 to 6 days
led to a reduction in RCP values. On the other hand,
mixtures proportioned with 0.3 w/cmexhibited similar
RCP values regardless of the MCP. For example,
moist-cured concretes made with 0.4 w/cm had 210
and 300 C reduction compared to those subjected to
air-drying right after demolding. The RCP reduction
was *75 C for concrete with w/cm of 0.3. This
indicates that the duration of moist-curing is more
critical for concrete made with the higher w/cm.
For a given MCP, mixtures made with 30 % LWS
replacement exhibited slightly higher RCP values than
similar concrete prepared without any LWS. The
presence of 30 % LWS led to an increase of 250 and
120 C in mixtures made with 0.4 and 0.3 w/cm,
respectively, in the case of 7 days of moist curing
(1 day in mold and 6 days of moist curing). These
spreads are quite small and may be due to higher
porosity of the mixtures, given the presence of LWS
that has significantly higher absorption (more poros-
ity) compared to NWS. In addition, it should be noted
that RCP values of the investigated mixtures are
(a) w/cm = 0.40
(b) w/cm = 0.30
T
o
t
a
l

s
h
r
i
n
k
a
g
e

(
µ
m
/
m
)
Time after casting (day)
T
o
t
a
l

s
h
r
i
n
k
a
g
e

(
µ
m
/
m
)
Time after casting (day)
Fig. 1 Variations of shrinkage of concrete with and without
LWS
T
o
t
a
l

s
h
r
i
n
k
a
g
e

a
t

9
1

d
a
y
s

(
µ
m
/
m
)
Fig. 2 Shrinkage comparison of concrete made with 30 %
LWS and without LWS
Materials and Structures (2013) 46:35–46 41
classified into low and very low according to ASTM C
1202. In fact, mixtures made with 0.3 w/cm had
significantly low RCP values of 220–410 C, regard-
less of the MCP and LWS replacement.
The RCP values of mixtures made with different
w/cm are also compared in Fig. 3. As expected,
mixtures made with lower w/cm of 0.3 exhibited
significantly lower RCP values than similar concretes
prepared with 0.4 w/cm. A decrease in w/cm from 0.4
to 0.3 led to 460 to 970 Creduction in RCP values. It is
interesting to note that the RCP reduction by w/cm
decrease was more significant for mixtures subjected
to air-drying right after form removal at 1 day. In
particular, a decrease in w/cm from 0.4 to 0.3 led to
970 C reduction in RCP value for mixtures made with
30 % LWS and without any moist-curing. These
values were 460 and 590 C for the moist-cured
concrete.
The results of the frost durability coefficient and
air-void spacing factor for the investigated mixtures
are compared in Table 4. Excellent frost durability
was obtained with frost durability coefficient of
100–104 %, regardless of the LWS replacement and
w/cm. Air-void spacing factors ranged from 250 to
300 lm. In general, mixtures made with 30 % LWS
replacement had slightly lower spacing factor com-
pared to those prepared without any LWS; however,
this did not affect frost durability.
3.4 Statistical models to evaluate the effects
of LWS, w/cm, and moist-curing duration
on concrete performance
The factors that influence fresh and hardened proper-
ties of concrete are too complicated to permit the
development of an exact mathematical model.
Therefore, an empirical statistical approach (2
3
full
factorial design) was used to evaluate the influence of
two different levels of LWS content, w/cm, and
duration of initial moist-curing on compressive
strength development, elastic modulus, shrinkage,
and RCP values using linear multi-regression analysis.
Such a two-level factorial design requires a minimum
number of tests for each variable. The estimate for
each factor refers to the contribution of that factor to
the modeled response. The Design Expert was used to
derive statistical models using measured properties of
concrete mixtures made with different parameters
investigated in this study.
Statistical models were established by multi-
regression analysis using the least square method.
The first step in the statistical modeling is to input all
the variables and responses for linear regression
modeling. Secondly, for each response, all the vari-
ables [w/cm, MCP, LWS%, and second order inter-
action (combined effect among the three parameters)]
were selected for the statistical modeling using the
least square method. Once mathematical equations
modeling the relation between all the variables and
targeting response were generated, ‘‘p value (Proba-
bility [F)’’ value for each variable was checked to
verify whether the variable has significant influence on
the response or not. Then, the variables that have
p value higher than 0.1 (in 90 % confidence level)
were removed from the derived equation because
p values higher than 0.1 indicate model terms are not
significant. This step was repeated until derived
statistical equation consists of only variables with
p values lower than 0.1 which have significant effect
on the modeled response.
The derived statistical models presented in Table 5
demonstrate that the evaluated properties are affected
by the combined effect of the modeled parameters. A
negative estimate signifies that an increase in the
modeled parameter can lead to a reduction in the
measured response. Correlation coefficients (R
2
) of
the derived models ranged from 0.88 to 0.99. For each
modeled response, the single-operator relative error
corresponding to 90 % confidence level was used to
perform significance evaluation. The relative errors
were determined using mixtures corresponding to the
central point of the experimental domain. Mean value
for each response and relative errors corresponding to
90 % confidence levels are summarized in Table 6.
All factors are expressed in terms of coded values.
R
C
P

v
a
l
u
e

a
t

5
6

d
a
y
s

(
C
o
u
l
o
m
b
)
Fig. 3 Comparison of RCP values for concrete made with
30 % LWS and without LWS
42 Materials and Structures (2013) 46:35–46
The models are expressed the factors with the highest
influence on the modeled responses list by descending
order.
As expected, the w/cm is found to have the most
significant effect on mechanical properties. Secondly,
the LWS% had a considerable effect on mechanical
properties, followed by initial MCP. As presented in
Table 5, increases in LWS replacement rate (LWS%)
and MCP lead to increase in the compressive strength
of HPC. On the other hand, the increase in LWS%
reduces modulus of elasticity in particular mixtures
made with w/cm of 0.4. It should be noted that the
effect of LWS% on elastic modulus reduction
decreases with respect to time (-0.88 at 28 and 56
vs. -0.63 at 91 days). This indicates that the use of
LWS can provide additional hydration of cement with
respect to time equilibrating the lower modulus of the
aggregate.
The LWS replacement rate and MCP have similar
or greater effect on total shrinkage compared to w/cm.
The statistical model in Table 5 indicates that shrink-
age of concrete decreases with the increase in LWS
replacement rate and MCP. For a given LWS content
and MCP, it should be mentioned that the increase in
w/cm can lead to increase in total shrinkage. The
shrinkage model in Table 5 indicates that among the
parameters investigated in this study, sand replace-
ment by LWS seems to be the most efficient way to
reduce total shrinkage of HPC.
The four central points (mixtures No. 9–12) and
four additional mixtures (mixture No. 13–16) within
the range of the factorial design were used to validate
the derived statistical models. Based on the relative
error estimates, predicted and measured values are
compared for each of the established models, as
illustrated in Fig. 4 for compressive strength at
different ages. Data points above the solid diagonal
1:1 line indicate that the derived statistical model
overestimates the real values, while those below the
line indicate an underestimation of the actual values.
As presented in Table 6, 90 % confidence level for
28-, 56-, and 91-day compressive strength results are
determined to be 1.4, 2.0, and 1.0 MPa, respectively.
The majorities of the predicted compressive strength
values are within the mean error of ±1.5 MPa (two
dotted diagonal lines) corresponding to the 90 %
confidence level. On average, the predicted-to-mea-
sured compressive strength ratio was 0.998. As in the
case of compressive strength, the other predicted
properties were within the corresponding error limits,
hence demonstrating that the derived models offer
adequate prediction of concrete properties within the
experimental domain of the modeled parameters. It is
important to mention that the absolute values of the
predicted values are expected to change with changes
in raw material characteristics. However, the relative
contributions of the various parameters are expected to
be similar, thus facilitating mix design protocol.
Table 5 Derived models for key engineering properties (coded values)
Property Age (day) Derived equation R
2
p value
(Prob [F)
HRWR demand (L/m
3
) 2.88 - 1.74 w/cm - 0.28 LWS % 0.99 ###BOT_TEXT###.0001
Compressive strength (MPa) 28 52.6 - 7.88 (w/cm) ? 2.12 (LWS) ? 1.37 (MCP) 0.97 ###BOT_TEXT###.0001
56 55.6 - 8.63 (w/cm) ? 2.62 (LWS) ? 2.62 (MCP) 0.94 ###BOT_TEXT###.0001
91 57.6 - 8.38 (w/cm) ? 3.12 (MCP) ? 2.62 (LWS) 0.95 ###BOT_TEXT###.0001
Modulus of elasticity (GPa) 28 31.1 - 2.88 (w/cm) - 0.88 (LWS) ? 0.62 (MCP) 0.94 ###BOT_TEXT###.0001
56 31.9 - 2.88 (w/cm) - 0.88 (LWS) ? 0.87 (MCP) 0.89 0.0009
91 32.1 - 2.63 (w/cm) ? 0.87 (MCP) - 0.63 (LWS) 0.88 0.0012
RCP (Coulomb) 56 658 ? 345 (w/cm) ? 102.5 (LWS) - 45 (MCP)
? 45 (w/cm)(LWS) - 82.5 (w/cm)(MCP)
0.99 ###BOT_TEXT###.0001
Total shrinkage (lm/m),
(? value: contraction)
56 Exp {6.62 - 0.24 (LWS) - 0.23 (MCP)
? 0.2 (w/cm) ? 0.061 (LWS) (MCP)}
0.99 ###BOT_TEXT###.0001
91 Exp {6.67 - 0.25 (LWS) ? 0.21 (w/cm)
- 0.19 (MCP) ? 0.058 (LWS) (MCP)}
0.99 ###BOT_TEXT###.0001
Materials and Structures (2013) 46:35–46 43
4 Discussion
Given the results of the derived statistical models, the
relative influence of each of the investigated param-
eters on the modeled properties of HPC is presented in
Table 7. As expected, mechanical properties and RCP
of HPC are mostly affected by the w/cm. Shrinkage of
HPC mostly varied with the LWS replacement rate
and MCP. In general, the LWS content has greater
influence on key engineering properties than the initial
duration of moist-curing. The LWS content has
significant influence on mechanical properties and
shrinkage.
In comparing the influence of 30 % LWS replace-
ment versus providing an initial moist curing of 6 days
after demolding, Table 8 compares the residual ben-
efits of these two approaches on various properties of
HPC made with w/cm of 0.3 and 0.4. The reported
values represent the approximate benefits that are
deducted from the statistical models resulting from the
use of 30 % LWS versus no LWS and 6 days of initial
moist curing versus no additional moist curing after
demolding (i.e. 1 vs. 7 days of moist curing). The
reference mixture in Table 8 corresponds to concrete
made with normal sand and subjected to no additional
moist curing after demolding (i.e. 1 day of moist
curing).
The use of 30 % LWS can secure slightly greater
reduction in shrinkage than an additional 6 days of
external moist curing. For HPC made with normal
sand (0 % LWS), the use of 7 days of moist curing can
lead to 40 % decrease in total shrinkage, regardless of
the w/cm. If the concrete is subjected only to 1 day of
moist curing, the use of 30 % LWS can reduce total
shrinkage at 91 days by 45 %, regardless of the w/cm.
The use of LWS however, is more practical and
efficient to reduce shrinkage of HPCbecause the depth
that external water curing can overcome may not be
enough to lead to significant influence on shrinkage of
HPC at the core of the concrete elements due to the
low porosity of such concrete. The combined use of
30 % LWS and 7 days of moist curing can lead to
60 % lower shrinkage compared to the reference.
In the case of mechanical properties, it should be
noted that the use of 30 % LWS can lead to *5 %
reduction in compared to mixtures made with normal
sand. Concrete made with 30 % LWS and subjected to
7 days of moist curing can develop similar MOE
compared to the reference concrete (no LWS and
Table 6 Mean values and relative errors of central points (90 % confidence level)
Mean Standard deviation Error Relative error ( %)
HRWR demand (L/m
3
) 2.9 5.1 0.2 6.0
28-day compressive strength (MPa) 52.0 1.2 1.4 2.6
56-day compressive strength (MPa) 55.8 1.7 2 3.6
91-day compressive strength (MPa) 58.0 0.8 1 1.7
28-day modulus of elasticity (GPa) 31.5 0.6 0.7 2.1
56-day modulus of elasticity (GPa) 31.8 0.4 0.5 1.5
91-day modulus of elasticity (GPa) 32.2 0.7 0.8 2.6
56-day RCP (C) 658 22.2 26 4.0
Total shrinkage at 56 days (lm/m) 748 16.6 20 2.6
Total shrinkage at 91 days (lm/m) 791 7.5 9 1.1
P
r
e
d
i
c
t
e
d

c
o
m
p
r
e
s
s
i
v
e

s
t
r
e
n
g
t
h

(
M
P
a
)
Measured compressive strength (MPa)
Fig. 4 Comparison between predicted and measured compres-
sive strength
44 Materials and Structures (2013) 46:35–46
1 days of moist curing). The combined use of 30 %
LWS and 7 days of moist curing can yield 12–19 and
17–26 % increases in compressive strength of HPC
made with 0.3 and 0.4 w/cm, respectively.
5 Conclusions
Based on the results reported in this paper, the
following conclusions appear to be warranted:
Mechanical properties and RCP values of HPC are
shown to be mainly affected by the w/cm. Shrinkage
of HPC varies mainly with the LWS replacement rate
and MCP.
Internal curing due to the use of 30 % LWS can
lead to slightly greater benefit on shrinkage reduction
compared to the 6 additional days of moist curing. The
30 % LWS replacement with no additional moist
curing can lead to up to 45 % lower shrinkage at
91 days compared to similar concrete made without
LWS. In addition, for deep concrete elements, the use
of LWS is more practical and efficient to reduce
shrinkage of HPC.
Combined use of 30 % LWS and 7 days of moist
curing can lead to greater increase in compressive
strength and larger decrease in total shrinkage com-
pared to the use of 30 % LWS without moist curing or
7 days of moist curing without LWS.
Table 7 Relative significance of modeled parameters
w/cm LWS %
Moist-curing
period
L
o
w
M
e
d
i
u
m
H
i
g
h
L
o
w
M
e
d
i
u
m
H
i
g
h
L
o
w
M
e
d
i
u
m
H
i
g
h
HRWR demand
28-day compressive strength
56 and 91-day compressive strength
28, 56, and 91-day MOE
Total shrinkage at 56 and 91 days
Chloride-ion permeability at 56 days
Shaded areas refer to the level of influence for the modeled parameter.
Shaded areas refer to the level of influence for the modeled parameter
Table 8 Incremental benefits of using 30 % LWS and/or 7 days of moist curing compared to reference concrete made with no LWS
and 1 day of moist curing
w/cm = 0.3 w/cm = 0.4
LWS (%) LWS (%)
0 30 0 30 0 30 0 30
MCP (day) 1 7 1 7
Increase in 28-day compressive strength Reference
concrete (100 %)
7 5 12 Reference
concrete (100 %)
10 7 17
Increase in 56-day compressive strength 9 9 18 13 13 25
Increase in 91-day compressive strength 9 10 19 12 14 26
Increase in 28-day MOE -5 4 -2 -6 4 -2
Increase in 56-day MOE -5 5 0 -6 6 0
Increase in 91-day MOE -4 5 1 -4 6 2
Decrease in shrinkage at 91 days 45 40 60 45 40 60
Materials and Structures (2013) 46:35–46 45
Acknowledgments The authors wish to thank Be´ton
Provincial, Euclid Canada, Northeast Solite Corp., the Jacques
Cartier and Champlain Bridge Inc., the Ministry of Transport of
Que´bec, and the City of Montreal for their support.
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