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Construction and Building Materials 93 (2015) 371383

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Construction and Building Materials


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Review

Mechanical properties of concrete at high temperatureA review


Qianmin Ma , Rongxin Guo, Zhiman Zhao, Zhiwei Lin, Kecheng He
Faculty of Civil Engineering and Mechanics, Kunming University of Science and Technology, 727, Jingming South Road, 650500 Kunming, China

h i g h l i g h t s
 Mechanical properties of concrete at high temperature were reviewed.
 Physical and chemical changes of concrete at high temperature were reviewed.
 Factors affecting thermally mechanical properties of concrete were reviewed.

a r t i c l e

i n f o

Article history:
Received 9 October 2014
Received in revised form 11 May 2015
Accepted 14 May 2015

Keywords:
Concrete
High temperature
Mechanical properties

a b s t r a c t
High temperature is well known for seriously damaging concrete micro- and meso-structure, which
brings in a generalised mechanical decay of the concrete and even detrimental effects at the structural
level, due to concrete spalling and bar exposure to the ames, in case of re. Because of the relevance
of concrete behaviour at high temperature and in re, many studies have been carried out, even very
recently, on cementitious composites at high temperature, and the most relevant parameters have been
identied and investigated. Within this framework, the authors provide a comprehensive and updated
report on the temperature dependency of such parameters as the compressive strength, modulus of elasticity, strength in indirect tension (bending and splitting tests), stressstrain curves and spalling, but the
roles played by the waterbinder ratio (w/b), aggregate type, supplementary cementitious materials
(SCMs) and bres are investigated as well. Among the objectives of the paper, the approaches currently
adopted to improve concrete mechanical properties at high temperature are treated as well. Meanwhile,
the inuence of test modalities on the mechanical properties of concrete at high temperature is also discussed in the paper.
2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Contents
1.
2.

3.

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Mechanical properties of concrete at high temperature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2.1.
Compressive strength . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2.2.
Flexural strength, splitting tensile strength and modulus of elasticity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2.3.
Stressstrain relationship . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2.4.
Physical and chemical changes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2.4.1.
Water evaporation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2.4.2.
Hydration products. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2.4.3.
Pore structure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2.4.4.
Microstructure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2.4.5.
Aggregates. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2.5.
Spalling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Factors influencing the performance of concrete subjected to high temperature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.1.
w/b and moisture content . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.2.
Type of aggregate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.3.
SCMs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Corresponding author. Tel.: +86 13095358933.


E-mail address: maqianmin666@163.com (Q. Ma).
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2015.05.131
0950-0618/ 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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372
372
372
373
373
373
373
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375
375
375
377

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4.

5.

Q. Ma et al. / Construction and Building Materials 93 (2015) 371383

3.4.
Fibres . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Influence of test modalities on the mechanical properties of concrete at high temperature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4.1.
Hot and residual tests . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4.2.
Stressed and unstressed tests . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4.3.
Uni-axial and multi-axial tests . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4.4.
Specimen size . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1. Introduction

2. Mechanical properties of concrete at high temperature

1.6
1.4
1.2
fcu/fcu,20

Under the pressure of population boom and land limitation, in


order to effectively resolve housing and transportation issues, the
need for high-rise buildings and underground construction is rapid
increasing. Such civil engineering is facing tremendous challenge
of re damage during its constructing and service. Fire on these
engineering is frequently reported worldwide in recent years, seriously threatening personal and property safety. High temperature
is well known for seriously damaging concrete micro- and
meso-structure, which brings in a generalised mechanical decay
of the concrete and even detrimental effects at the structural level,
due to concrete spalling and bar exposure to the ames, in case of
re. Because of the relevance of concrete behaviour at high temperature and in re, many studies have been carried out, even very
recently, on cementitious composites at high temperature, and the
most relevant parameters have been identied and investigated.
Within this framework, the authors provide a comprehensive and
updated report on the temperature dependency of such parameters as the compressive strength, modulus of elasticity, strength
in indirect tension (bending and splitting tests), stressstrain
curves and spalling, but the roles played by the w/b, aggregate
type, SCMs and bres are investigated as well. Among the objectives of the paper, the approaches currently adopted to improve
concrete mechanical properties at high temperature are treated
as well. Meanwhile, the inuence of test modalities on the
mechanical properties of concrete at high temperature is also discussed in the paper. Electrical furnace heating and gas/oil heating
(re), these two different heating models, are used in the studies
to investigate the thermal behaviour of concrete at high temperature. Furnace heating is usually used for the studies on the thermal
changes of concrete characteristics, while re is usually considered
when the studies are at a structurally elemental level. This paper
mainly focuses on the discussion on the thermal changes of concrete characteristics at high temperature, the effect of re on the
behaviour of concrete is exclusive in this paper.

1
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
0

200

400
600
800
Temperature ( C)

1000

1200

Fig. 1. Residual compressive strength of concrete at elevated temperatures (data


adapted from [146]).

(2) 300800 C, compressive strength of concrete decreases


dramatically.
(3) 800 C afterwards, almost all the compressive strength of
concrete has been lost.
2.2. Flexural strength, splitting tensile strength and modulus of
elasticity
Residual exural strength, residual splitting tensile strength
and residual modulus of elasticity of concrete after exposure to elevated temperatures are shown in Figs. 24, respectively. Same data
collection regime with compressive strength is used. Similar to the
compressive strength reviewed in the previous section, exural
strength, splitting tensile strength and modulus of elasticity of concrete decreases with the increase of temperature, but at a nearly
linear rate.
2.3. Stressstrain relationship
Stressstrain relationship of concrete at elevated temperatures
has been investigated by many researchers [2,12,30,37,48,6473].
It has been found that with the increase of temperature, stress

2.1. Compressive strength

1.2
1
0.8
ff,T / ff,20

It is unavoidable that there is a reduction for compressive


strength of concrete when it is exposed to high temperature (see
Fig. 1). In spite of concrete mixture proportions, test modalities, such
as specimen size, stressed/unstressed conditions and hot/residual
states, also inuence the mechanical properties of concrete at high
temperature (details are in Section 4). Therefore, in order to eliminate the possible effect caused by these factors, the data collection
in Fig. 1 is carried out only on the residual results of unstressed cube
specimens. It can be seen that the residual compressive strength of
concrete after heating to high temperature experiences three main
stages:

378
379
379
379
380
380
380
381

0.6
0.4
0.2
0
0

200

400

600

800

1000

1200

Temperature (

(1) Room temperature300 C, compressive strength of concrete keeps constant or even increases slightly.

Fig. 2. Residual exural strength of concrete at elevated temperatures (data


adapted from [26,42,4755]).

Q. Ma et al. / Construction and Building Materials 93 (2015) 371383

are considered to be responsible for the changes of the mechanical


properties:

1.4
1.2

ft,T / ft,20

1
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
0

200

400

600
Temperature (

800

1000

1200

Fig. 3. Residual splitting tensile strength of concrete at elevated temperatures (data


adapted from [9,52,54,5663]).

1.2
1
0.8
ET / E20

373

0.6
0.4
0.2
0
0

200

400
600
Temperature (

800

1000

Fig. 4. Residual modulus of elasticity of concrete at elevated temperatures (data


adapted from [1,6,10,13,17,18,37,38,48,58,59,63]).

Fig. 5. Residual stressstrain relationship of concrete at elevated temperatures


[68].

strain curves become atter, and the peak stress shifts downwards
and rightwards, as shown in Fig. 5. These indicate that the peak
stress and the modulus of elasticity of concrete decrease with the
increase of temperature, but the strain at peak stress increases
with temperature.
2.4. Physical and chemical changes
With the elevation of temperature, concrete would experience
the following physical and chemical changes and these changes

2.4.1. Water evaporation


Hydration products lose their free water and physically
absorbed water completely, and start to lose their chemically
bonded water at 105 C [74]. Capillary water is lost completely at
400 C [75].
Up to 300 C, hydration of unhydrated cement grains is
improved due to an internal autoclaving condition as a result of
the high temperature and the evaporation of water [76]. This is
particularly true for high strength concrete as its low permeability
resists moisture ow. This can be used to explain the constant
compressive strength when the temperature is below 300 C as
discussed in Section 2.1.
2.4.2. Hydration products
AFt/AFm dehydrates at 110150 C [77]. Above 350 C, calcium
hydroxide either decomposes into lime and water or further converts into CSH due to the accelerated pozzolanic reaction at a
high temperature [7880]. The decomposition of Ca(OH)2 has no
critical inuence on the reduction of strength for concrete.
However, if concrete is water cooled after exposure to high temperature, the rehydration of lime will cause a great reduction of
strength for concrete due to a considerable expansion will be
caused due to such a reaction [81]. CSH starts to decompose at
around 560 C [79] and it decomposes into b-C2S at around 600
700 C [77,79]. CSH (I) decomposes at 800 C, which, however,
only results in a slight reduction of strength for concrete [81].
During 580900 C, decarbonation of carbonates occurs
[64,78,8183].
2.4.3. Pore structure
As a result of the water evaporation and the chemical changes
of hydration products, elevation of temperature increases porosity
and pore size of cement and concrete [11,21,23,64,75,76,78,839
1]. The coarsening of the pore structure is mainly responsible for
the reduction of the mechanical properties as discussed in the previous sections.
2.4.4. Microstructure
Up to 200 C, no micro-cracks are observed in either hardened
cement matrix or interfacial transition zone (ITZ) [81,92]. When
the temperature rises to 400 C, micro-cracks in cement matrix
and ITZ start to propagate and their intensity increases with temperature [3,21,23,26,28,9399].
It is considered that the different thermal strains for hardened
cement matrix and aggregates have resulted in the development
of the micro-cracks at high temperature. From Fig. 6 it can be seen
that with the increase of temperature, the hardened cement matrix
expands rst and then shrinks as a result of the loss of water, while
aggregates keep expansion during the whole heating. Similar
results have also been found by Fu et al. [100]. Such different
strains will produce a stress between cement matrix and aggregates, causing micro-cracks in the ITZ. This is also responsible for
the reduction of the mechanical properties of concrete at high
temperatures.
When temperature is very high, such as above 1000 C, porosity
and microstructure of concrete are smaller and better than those at
a lower temperature due to concrete has been sintered at such a
high temperature [83,85]. However, it does not indicate that the
mechanical properties of concrete at the very high temperature
was better than those at a lower temperature as the relationship
between mechanical properties and pore structure is not true
any further due to the syntherization has changed the characteristic of concrete material [85].

374

Q. Ma et al. / Construction and Building Materials 93 (2015) 371383

Temperature
Temperature
Pore pressure
Pore pressure

Distance from heat


Temperature
Fig. 6. Thermal strains of cement matrix and aggregates [102].

Temperature

Pore pressure
Pore pressure

2.4.5. Aggregates
At around 573 C, siliceous aggregates transform from a-phase
to b-phase causing expansion of concrete [81,83]. Disintegration
of calcareous aggregates, such as limestone, occurs at a temperature above 600 C [101].

Distance from heat

Distance from heat

Fig. 7. Spalling of concrete induced by pore vapour pressure [104].

6
Maximum pore pressure (MPa)

2.5. Spalling
Spalling may occur for concrete at high temperature, which will
greatly reduce mechanical properties of concrete structure and
even cause collapse of the structure [103]. The mechanisms of spalling of concrete at high temperature could be mainly explained
from vapour pressure in pores and thermal stresses these two
aspects [103].
Hardened concrete is saturated with water in its pores at different extents. The moisture content in concrete is dependent on w/b,
age of concrete and environment. When concrete surface is subjected to sufciently high temperature, a portion of water will be
vaporised and move out from concrete into atmosphere. There is
also certain amount of water will be vaporised and move opposite
to the inner part of concrete. Due to thermal gradient, the inner
part of concrete is cooler and the vapour there will be condensed.
With the accumulation of the condensed water, a saturated layer is
gradually formed. This layer will resist the further movement of
vapour into the inner of concrete, but move towards the dry region
of the concrete surface with an attempt to escape out of concrete
into atmosphere. If the pore structure of the concrete is sufciently
dense and/or the heating rate is sufciently high, the escape of the
vapour layer would be not fast enough, resulting in a large increase
of pore pressure in the concrete. If the tensile stress of concrete
could not resist the pore pressure, spalling of concrete would occur
[104]. Fig. 7 illustrates the whole process of the thermal spalling of
concrete as a result of the pore vapour pressure.

Distance from heat

Ref. [106]
Ref. [107]

Ref. [108]
4
3
2
1
0
0

10

20
30
40
50
Distance from the heated surface (mm)

60

Fig. 8. Pore pressure in concrete at high temperature (radiant heating to 600 C).

Fig. 8 shows the maximum pore pressures of concrete at high


temperature. From Fig. 8 it can be seen that the maximum pore
pressure is generally observed in the inner part of concrete.
Compared to the inner part, vapour in the outer part is easier to
escape out from concrete. This would reduce the pore pressure in
concrete at the near surface zone. Furthermore, the maximum pore
pressure in high strength concrete is generally larger than that in
the normal strength concrete [105108]. The high strength of concrete is usually achieved by densifying its pore structure to lower
its permeability. Due to the low permeability, when the high

Q. Ma et al. / Construction and Building Materials 93 (2015) 371383

Tensile
stress
Compressive
stress

Temperature

Compressive
stress

Tensile stress

375

w/b concrete (w/b = 0.28, 0.35). Phan et al. [10] found that compared to the concrete with w/b of 0.22, the losses of both compressive strength and modulus of elasticity were higher for the
concrete with w/b of 0.57. Similar results have been found for concrete containing slag [86,110], y ash [86,111] and metakaolin
[111] when w/b ranged from 0.3 to 0.5 [86,111] and from 0.23 to
0.71 [110]. Lightweight concrete also gave similar results when different w/b of 0.43 and 0.46 was studied [27].
However, a lower w/b is prone to cause spalling of concrete at
high temperature. As reported by Phan et al. [10], spalling occurred
for the concrete with w/b of 0.22 when temperature was elevated
to 450 C, while the concrete with w/b of 0.33 was still intact at the
same temperature. As discussed in the previous section, spalling
occurs when pore vapour pressure in concrete accumulates to a
certain extent. It is considered that such an accumulation would
become faster when the pore structure is denser, which could be
caused by using a lower w/b. That is why spalling of concrete is
easy to occur at high temperature when a lower w/b is used.
Despite of w/b at the beginning of concrete mixing, spalling is also
much dependent on the moisture content of concrete at the time of
its exposure to high temperature. Fig. 10 gives an example of spalling of concrete at different moisture contents. It is clear to see that
the possibility and the extent of spalling increase with moisture
content of concrete as a result of the increased pore vapour
pressure.
3.2. Type of aggregate

Fig. 9. Spalling of concrete induced by thermal stresses.

strength concrete is exposed to high temperature, the vapour generated is not easy to escape out from the concrete, therefore resulting in the larger maximum pore pressure. Fig. 7 also simulates the
development of pore pressure in the concrete at high temperature,
and which is corresponded to the steps of the pore vapour pressure
induced spalling of concrete.
Simultaneously, thermal gradient will also be formed between
the heated surface and the inner part of concrete when the concrete is subjected to high temperature. This is particularly true
when temperature increases very fast, which is always named as
thermal shock. With temperature increases faster at the surface
of concrete, compressive stress is generated parallel to the heated
concrete surface, while tensile stress is generated in the inner concrete in a perpendicular direction. When the compressive stress
exceeds the tensile stress, spalling of concrete occurs [109], as
shown in Fig. 9.
Both the above two causes would result in cracking of concrete
at high temperature. Besides, the cracking of concrete at high temperature would also be caused by the decomposition of hydration
product, shrinkage of cement matrix and expansion of aggregates.
The different thermal response between cement matrix and aggregates is also considered to distribute cracks in the ITZ between the
two phases, damaging concrete meso-structure. Finally, all the
causes mentioned above make the spalling of concrete at high temperature to occur in the models of aggregate spalling, surface spalling, corner spalling and explosive spalling [103].

3. Factors inuencing the performance of concrete subjected to


high temperature
3.1. w/b and moisture content
The study carried out by Chan et al. [7] has illustrated that up to
the temperature of 1000 C, the compressive strength loss of the
high w/b concrete (w/b = 0.6) was higher than that of the low

Effects of type of aggregate on compressive strength, exural


strength, splitting tensile strength and modulus of elasticity of concrete at high temperatures are presented in Figs. 1114, respectively. The scatter from data to regression line may be caused by
different mixes and different test modalities. Generally speaking,
the concretes made of siliceous aggregates, such as granite, express
unfavourable mechanical properties at high temperature compared to the concretes manufactured by using dolomite and limestone these calcareous aggregates. Furthermore, Cheng et al. [16]
also found that the increase in strains for the concrete made of calcareous aggregates was larger than that for the siliceous aggregates
concrete. It is also found that spalling occurs at a higher temperature and a later time for limestone concrete [112]. As stated in
Section 2.4, calcareous aggregates decompose at a higher temperature than siliceous aggregates. This could be used to explain the
better performance of the concrete with calcareous aggregates at
high temperature.
Lightweight aggregates, such as expanded clay, pumice and ceramsite, are formed by volcano eruption or incineration. As a result,
they have low heat conductivity and exhibit a high resistance to
heat. Therefore, the concrete manufactured by using such aggregates should deliver improved mechanical properties at high temperature in comparison to normal aggregates concrete. Sun et al.
[113] used high alumina cement to manufacture normal refractory
concrete (normal aggregates), ceramsite refractory concrete I (ceramsite as coarse aggregates), ceramsite refractory concrete II (ceramsite as coarse and ne aggregates) and refractory brick concrete
(broken refractory brick as coarse aggregates). The concrete specimens were heated to 1000 C. After the heating, ceramiste refractory concretes I and II still had 3350% compressive strength
remained, which was much higher than that of normal refractory
concrete of 17%. In the studies carried out by both Sancak et al.
[27] and Tanyildizi and Coskun [29], pumice was used as coarse
aggregates to manufacture lightweight concretes. The lightweight
concrete specimens had 2838% compressive strength remained
after exposure to 800 C, which was higher than the value of 13
16% for normal reference concrete. In addition, the lightweight
concrete specimens still had 18% splitting tensile strength

376

Q. Ma et al. / Construction and Building Materials 93 (2015) 371383

Fig. 10. Relationship between moisture content and possibility and extent of spalling.

1.8

1.2

1.6

1.4

ff,T/ff,20

fcu,T/fcu,20

1.2
1
0.8

0.8
0.6
0.4

0.6
0.4

0.2

0.2

0
0

200

dolomite
gravel
regression for limestone
regression for basalt

400

600

800

Temperature (C)
limestone
basalt
regression for granite

1000

1200

1400

granite
regression for dolomite
regression for gravel

Fig. 11. Inuence of type of aggregate on residual compressive strength of concrete


subjected to elevated temperatures (data for dolomite was adapted from
[41,66,96]; data for limestone was adapted from [2,17,20,23,24,32,42,57,60,98];
data for granite was adapted from [7,11,18,21,25,30,31,35,46,48,54,86]; data for
gravel was adapted from [5,8,9,13,19,22,33,34,44,45,73,98]; data for basalt was
adapted from [15,49,97]).

remained [29]. Cao et al. [114] compared the residual compressive


strength among lightweight concrete I (ceramiste as coarse aggregates), lightweight concrete II (ceramiste as both coarse and ne
aggregates) and normal concrete at high temperature. The results
showed that the normal concrete specimens had lost all the

200

400

600
800
1000
1200
Temperature (C)
dolomite
limestone
granite
gravel
basalt
regression for dolomite
regression for limestone
regression for granite
regression for gravel
regression for basalt

Fig. 12. Inuence of type of aggregate on residual exural strength of concrete


subjected to elevated temperatures (data for dolomite was adapted from [53]; data
for limestone was adapted from [24,42,50]; data for granite was adapted from
[21,54]; data for gravel was adapted from [19]; data for basalt was adapted from
[47,49]).

compressive strength at temperature of 1000 C, whilst 20.5%


and 21% of the compressive strength was left for lightweight concrete I and II, respectively. Turkmen and Findik [115] used
expanded clay to replace natural sand at a replacement of 25% to
produce lightweight mortar. Such mortar still had 38% of compressive strength and 23% of exural strength remained after exposure

Q. Ma et al. / Construction and Building Materials 93 (2015) 371383

1.4
1.2

ft,T/ft,20

1
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
0

200
400
600
800
Temperature (C)
limestone
gravel
regression for limestone
regression for gravel

1000

1200

1400

granite
basalt
regression for granite
regression for basalt

Fig. 13. Inuence of type of aggregate on residual splitting tensile strength of


concrete subjected to elevated temperatures (data for limestone was adapted from
[45,56,57,60,61]; data for granite was adapted from [7,30,54]; data for gravel was
adapted from [8,58]; data for basalt was adapted from [15,49]).

1.2

MT/M20

1
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
0

200

400

600
800
1000
1200
Temperature (C)
dolomite
limestone
granite
gravel
regression for dolomite
regression for limestone
regression for granite
regression ofr gravel

Fig. 14. Inuence of type of aggregate on residual modulus of elasticity of concrete


subjected to elevated temperatures (data for dolomite was adapted from [41]; data
for limestone was adapted from [16,17]; data for granite was adapted from
[16,18,21,48]; data for gravel was adapted from [8,9,73]).

to 800 C. In the study carried out by Jiang et al. [116], compared to


normal concrete which had 10% of the compressive strength
remained at the temperature of 1000 C, the value was 20% for
lightweight concrete manufactured by using ceramiste. Both
Jiang et al. [117] and Wang et al. [118] used industrial sewage
sludge ceramsite to manufacture lightweight concrete. After the
exposure to 800 C, 46.9% of compressive strength and 40% of splitting tensile strength remained for the lightweight concrete [117].
In addition, 20.2% of initial modulus of elasticity and 18.4% of peak
deformation modulus remained for the lightweight concrete,
which was higher than the normal reference concrete [118].
The study carried out by Jiang et al. [116] points out that high
temperature induced spalling did not occur when moisture content
in normal concrete was below 75%. However, for lightweight concrete, when its moisture content was above 25%, spalling occurred
at high temperature. This indicates that spalling of lightweight
concrete at high temperature is much more sensitive than normal
concrete to moisture content. It is known that the porosity of lightweight aggregate is much higher than that of normal aggregate,
and so is the water absorption consequently. Therefore, in practice,
in order to minimise the water absorption of lightweight aggregates and its effect on fresh concrete workability and subsequent
setting and hardening, lightweight aggregate is usually
pre-saturated before being used to mix concrete. However, such
treatment will bring extra water into lightweight concrete to

377

increase its moisture content, and then increasing the possibility


of spalling for lightweight concrete at high temperature. This will
extremely limit the super resistance of lightweight aggregate to
heat. In literatures [27,29,115], the authors did not follow the practical process to pre-saturate the lightweight aggregates. In literatures [113,114,117,118], the authors dried the lightweight
concrete specimens at 100 C before exposing them to high temperature, which minimised the possible spalling at a large extent.
Therefore, from above it can be seen that further studies are
needed to investigate the effect of high temperature on lightweight
concretes in a condition similar to the practice. In such case, a
novel pre-treatment should be applied to lightweight aggregates
to reduce the possibility of spalling of lightweight concrete, and
then to allow the super resistance of lightweight aggregates to heat
to serve well.
3.3. SCMs
Table 1 summarises the literatures on the effect of SCMs on the
residual mechanical properties of concrete at high temperatures,
including compressive strength, splitting tensile strength, exural
strength and modulus of elasticity.
The incorporation of pulverised y ash (PFA) and slag in PC can
generally remain the mechanical properties of concrete at a higher
level after heating to high temperature up to 900 C and 1050 C,
respectively. Compared to PC, the residual compressive strength,
splitting tensile strength, exural strength and modulus of elasticity of PC blended with PFA increase by 1.2270%, 1.180%, 4.5
200% and 338%, respectively. The values for PC blended with slag
are 1.5510%, 1.243%, 1180% and 1.3117%, respectively. The
values vary mainly with different temperatures, replacements
and types of aggregates. In the research carried out by Wang
[110], PC paste had lost its compressive strength and modulus of
elasticity completely at the temperature of 1050 C. However,
18% of the compressive strength and 81% of the modulus of elasticity were still remained for PC blended slag paste with the replacement of 80% at the same temperature. Furthermore, PCs blended
with PFA and slag also exhibit a high resistance to spalling at high
temperatures [86,91,124,122].
Aydin and Baradan [97] and Aydin [123] detected the formation
of gehlenite in the PC samples incorporated PFA and slag at the
temperature of 900 C by using XRD analysis. Such phase may ll
in the pores caused by the high temperature. Therefore, the cement
matrix could be rened and the ITZ between cement matrix and
aggregate could be enhanced so that the values of the mechanical
properties for PCs blended with PFA and slag retain at a higher
level. Furthermore, Karakurt and Topcu [120] found that thermal
cracking did not occur in PFA and slag blending samples and that
the degradation of CSH decreased compared to PC sample by
using SEM analysis. Moreover, the incorporation of slag signicantly reduces the amount of portlandite in PC so that decreasing
the degradation of portlandite at high temperatures [124,125]. As
a result of the above three aspects, the total porosity and the average pore diameter of PCs blended PFA and slag are smaller than
those of PC at high temperatures [86]. This could explain the higher
resistance of PCs blended PFA and slag to high temperature.
On the other hand, the incorporation of silica fume (SF) apparently reduces the resistance of PC to high temperatures. Compared
to PC, the residual compressive strength, splitting tensile strength,
exural strength and modulus of elasticity of PC blended SF at high
temperatures decrease by 1100%, 212%, 225% and 27%,
respectively. The values also vary mainly with different temperatures, replacements and types of aggregates. Furthermore, severe
spalling was detected for PC blended SF in several studies
[10,86]. Behnood and Ziari [128] explained that due to the ller
effect and pozzolanic reactions provided by SF, cement matrix

378

Q. Ma et al. / Construction and Building Materials 93 (2015) 371383

Table 1
Summary of the researches carried out on the effect of SCMs on the residual mechanical properties of concrete.

PFA

Slag

SF

Refs.

Type of specimen

Replacement (%)

Test temperatures (C)

Mechanical properties tested

[11]
[17]
[18]
[80]
[86]
[97]
[119]
[120]
[121]
[122]

Concrete with granite


Concrete with limestone
Concrete
Mortar
Concrete with granite
Pumice mortar
Lightweight concrete
Concrete with limestone
Mortar
Concrete with granite

0,
0,
0,
0,
0,
0,
0,
0,
0,
0,

25, 55
10, 30
30
25, 35, 45
20, 30, 40
20, 40, 60
10, 20, 30
30
5, 10, 15, 20
25, 55

20,
20,
20,
20,
20,
20,
20,
20,
20,
20,

250,
100,
100,
400,
200,
300,
200,
100,
150,
200,

450,
300,
200,
700
400,
600,
400,
300,
300,
400,

650, 800
600, 750
400, 600

fcu
fcu,
fcu,
fcu,
fcu
fcu,
fcu,
fcu
fcu
ft

[38]
[63]
[86]
[110]
[120]
[123]
[124]
[125]
[63]
[126]
[127]

Concrete
Concrete
Concrete with granite
Paste
Concrete with limestone
Pumice mortar
Paste
Mortar
Concrete
Concrete with limestone
Concrete

0,
0,
0,
0,
0,
0,
0,
0,
0,
0,
0,

10, 30, 50
20, 40, 60
30, 40
5, 10, 20, 50, 80
30
20, 40, 60, 80
35, 50, 65
20, 50, 80
20, 40, 60
30, 40, 50
30, 40, 50

20,
20,
20,
20,
20,
20,
20,
20,
20,
20,
20,

150,
100,
200,
105,
100,
300,
100,
150,
100,
400
400

300,
200,
400,
200,
300,
600,
200,
300,
200,

400,
350
600,
440,
450,
900
300,
600,
350

[10]
[27]
[32]
[61]
[80]
[86]
[91]
[121]
[128]

Concrete with limestone


Lightweight concrete
Concrete with limestone
Concrete with limestone
Mortar
Concrete with granite
Paste
Mortar
Concrete with limestone

0,
0,
0,
0,
0,
0,
0,
0,
0,

10
5, 10
10
10
2.5, 5, 7.5
5, 10
5, 10, 15, 20
5, 10, 15, 20
6, 10

20,
20,
20,
20,
20,
20,
20,
20,
20,

100,
100,
100,
100,
400,
200,
250,
150,
100,

200,
400,
200,
200,
700
400,
450,
300,
200,

300,
800,
300,
300,

600,
900
800
450,
450,
600,

800

600
600, 750
800
500, 600, 700
800
580, 800, 1050
600
400, 500, 600, 700, 800
900

450
1000
600
600

600, 800
600
450, 600, 750
300, 600

fcu,
fcu,
fcu
fcu,
fcu
fcu,
fcu
fcu,
fcu
ft
ff

E
E
ff
ff
ft

E
ft, E
E
ff
ft

fcu, E
fcu
fcu
ft
fcu, ff
fcu
fcu
fcu
fcu

Note: fcu, compressive strength; E, modulus of elasticity; ft, splitting tensile strength; ff, exural strength.

and ITZ of PC blended with SF would be much denser than those of


PC. This, however, could restrain the expansion of aggregates when
subjecting to high temperatures and then reduce the mechanical
properties noticeably. Poon et al. [86] also found that the total
porosity and the average pore diameter of PC with 10% SF were
much larger than those of PC at the temperature of 800 C. This
could be the result of the restraint effect mentioned above and consequently inuence the retaining of the mechanical properties of
PC blended with SF at high temperature.
3.4. Fibres
A number of studies have been carried out on the effect of bre
on the mechanical properties of concrete after exposure to high
temperatures, and a summary is presented in Table 2.
Polypropylene and steel bres are usually used in these studies.
Polypropylene bre generally has no signicant inuence on
the improvements of residual compressive strength and residual
modulus of elasticity for concrete after heating to high temperature. However, such improvement is clearer to a certain extent
when residual exural strength and residual splitting tensile
strength are considered. This is particularly at the temperature
below 400 C. Polypropylene bre can increase the resistance of
concrete to cracking, improving its behaviour under tension.
However, the melting and ignition points of polypropylene bre
are around 150 C and 400500 C, respectively. That is why the
improvement of residual exural and residual splitting tensile
strengths of polypropylene bre reinforced concrete reduces when
the temperature is above 400 C due to the bre has been melted
up at such high temperature and the pores left are disadvantage
for the performance of concrete under tension [49,51,58,129].
However, also due to the melting and ignition of polypropylene
which is randomly distributed in concrete, at a relatively low

temperature, the left pores radiate out to form microcracks, connecting the existing capillary pores to provide channels for the
escaping of water vapour. Consequently, it is found that the
polypropylene bre reinforced concrete has much better resistance
to thermal spalling compared to the concrete without bre
[47,52,60,130133]. This is particularly true for high performance
concrete as water vapour is more difcult to escape in a denser
matrix. An optimum dosage of polypropylene bre around 0.1
0.5% by volume of mix is recommended for concrete to obtain a
proper high temperature resistance [134136], and it is found that
the resistance of polypropylene bre reinforced concrete to high
temperature increases with the increase of the length of the bre
[131].
The addition of steel bre can generally improve the residual
mechanical properties of concrete at high temperature when compressive strength, exural strength and splitting tensile strength
are considered. The improvement in the residual modulus of elasticity is not clearly observed. The reason for such improvements
could be attributed to the fact that the testing temperatures are
not high enough to allow steel bre to be melted so that its ductility could effectively contribute to concrete resisting the failure
under tension during the whole test period. Furthermore, steel
bre has higher thermal conductivity than cement matrix and
aggregates. Consequently, heat can transmit more uniformly in
the concrete reinforced with steel bre to reduce the cracks caused
by thermal gradient in concrete, improving the performance of
concrete under both compression and tension [55,57,136]. Also
due to the reduced thermal gradient, the steel bre reinforced concrete shows resistance to thermal spalling [49,137]. However, the
resistance to spalling provided by steel bre is weaker than that
provided by polypropylene bre, which may indicate that water
vapour is the primary reason to cause spalling of concrete at high
temperature [57].

379

Q. Ma et al. / Construction and Building Materials 93 (2015) 371383


Table 2
Summary of the researches carried out on the effect of bres on the residual mechanical properties of concrete.

PP bre

Steel bre

Refs.

Dimension of bre

Replacement (% by volume)

Test temperatures (C)

Mechanical properties tested

[43]
[45]
[47]
[48]
[51]
[53]
[55]
[57]
[63]
[67]
[126]
[127]
[128]
[129]
[130]
[131]
[132]
[133]
[134]

L: 19 mm; D: 45 lm
L: 12 mm; D: 18 lm
N/A
L: 19 mm
L: 19 mm; D: 35 lm
L: 15 mm; D: 100 lm
L: 6 mm, 30 mm; D: 60 lm
L: 12 mm
L: 19 mm; D: 53 lm
L: 30 mm
L: 12 mm; D: 18 lm
L: 13 mm; D: 20 lm
L: 3, 6, 12, 19, 30 mm; D: 40 lm
L: 15 mm; D: 100 lm
L: 20 mm; D: 20 lm
L: 12 mm; D: 50 lm
L: 6 mm; D: 18 lm
L: 15 mm; D: 45 lm
L: 19 mm; D: 45 lm

0,
0,
0,
0,
0,
0,
0,
0,
0,
0,
0,
0,
0,
0,
0,
0,
0,
0,
0,

0.05, 0.1, 0.15


0.3
0.15, 0.2
0.1
0.1
0.6
0.25, 0.5
0.1, 0.2, 0.3
0.22
0.6
0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0
0.05, 0.1, 0.15, 0.2
0.05, 0.1, 0.15
0.5, 1
0.1, 0.3
0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4
0.1
0.2
0.1, 0.2, 0.3

20, 200,
20, 200,
20, 200,
20, 200,
20, 200,
20, 200,
20, 200,
20, 100,
20, 600,
20, 100,
20, 100,
ISO 834
ISO 834
20, 200,
20, 200,
20, 600,
20, 200,
20, 100,
20, 200,

400,
400,
300,
300,
400,
400,
400
200,
800
300,
450,

600,
600,
400,
400,
600,
600,

ff
ft, ff
ft
ft, ff
ff
ft
ft, E
ft
E

400,
400,
900
400,
200,
300,

600
600, 800

fcu,
fcu,
fcu,
fcu,
fcu,
fcu,
fcu,
fcu,
fcu,
fcu
fcu,
fcu,
fcu
fcu
fcu,
fcu,
fcu
fcu,
fcu,

[44]
[45]
[51]
[53]
[55]
[56]
[58]
[63]
[67]
[132]
[135]
[136]

L: 35, 60 mm; D: 440, 750 lm


L: 30 mm; D: 600 lm
L: 30 mm; D: 550 lm
L: 25 mm; D: 500 lm
L: 30 mm; D: 600 lm
L: 2 mm; D: 2000 lm
L: 25 mm; D: 400 lm
L: 25 mm; D: 42 lm
N/A
L: 12 mm; D: 50 lm
L: 32.6 mm; D: 950 lm
L: 30 mm; D: 500 lm

0,
0,
0,
0,
0,
0,
0,
0,
0,
0,
0,
0,

0.5, 1
0.6
0.4
0.6
0.25, 0.5
1
0.5, 1, 1.5, 2
1
0.5
1
1
2

20,
20,
20,
20,
20,
20,
20,
20,
20,
20,
20,
20,

500
400,
400,
400,
400
600,
500,
800
300,
900
400,
500,

fcu,
fcu,
fcu,
fcu,
fcu,
fcu,
fcu,
fcu
fcu
fcu,
ft
fcu,

E
ft, ff
ff
ft
ft, E
ft
ft

150,
200,
200,
200,
200,
400,
300,
600,
100,
600,
200,
350,

800
800
800
600, 800
800
800

300, 600
500, 700
650

600
300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900
400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900
600, 800
600, 800
600, 800
800
800
500, 700
600, 800
600, 700

ff
E

ft
ff, E
ff
ft, ff

ff, E
ft

Note: fcu, compressive strength; E, modulus of elasticity; ft, splitting tensile strength; ff, exural strength.

4. Inuence of test modalities on the mechanical properties of


concrete at high temperature
4.1. Hot and residual tests
Bamonte and Gambarova manufactured a self-compacting concrete [37] and a very high strength durable concrete [138], and
tested the compressive strengths of both the concrete specimens
at hot state and after heating. According to the results, when temperature was below 300 C, the compressive strength of both the
concretes at hot condition was lower than the residual ones.
However, when temperature increased up to 600 C, a contrary
trend was observed. Qin and Zhao [139] and Hager [75] also found
similar results where hybrid bre reinforced slag concretes and
high performance concrete were heated to 800 C and 600, respectively. Normal and self-compacting concretes were investigated in
the study carried out by Seshu and Pratusha [46]. The authors did
not test the compressive strength of the concretes below the temperature of 400 C, but afterwards till 800 C, the compressive
strength results also showed a similar trend with the previous
studies. Similar trend was also observed for the modulus of elasticity of high strength concrete when temperature was up to 450 C
[14]. It is believed that when the temperature is below 400 C,
the primary mechanism for the declines of compressive strength
and modulus of elasticity is the vapour pressure caused by the
evaporation of the free water in capillary pores. The pores are
pressed during the compressive test at hot state, increasing the
vapour pressure and then intensifying the damage of the concrete.
Consequently, the compressive strength and modulus of elasticity
of concrete at hot state decrease at a larger rate than the residual
ones [138,139]. 400 C afterwards, cracks in the ITZ caused by
the different thermal responses between aggregates (expansion)
and cement matrix (shrinkage) dominate the declines of compressive strength and modulus of elasticity. During cooling, expanded

aggregates appear to shrink, further spreading the cracks in the


ITZ. As a result, the residual compressive strength and modulus
of elasticity are much lower than the ones tested in hot state
[138,139].
Bamonte and Gambarova [37] also studied the compressive
stressstrain relationship of self-compacting concretes at the two
testing conditions. It was found that when the temperature was
below 400 C, the peak stress of the specimens after cooling was
higher than the hot tested ones. However, when the temperature
was above 400 C up to 600 C, the trend was contrary. During
the whole period of heating, the peak stress of the hot tested specimens was always observed at a later stage.
In the study carried out by Watanabe et al. [132], it was found
that the bending strength of concrete specimens at hot state was
lower than that after cooling during the whole heating period up
to temperature of 600 C. The authors attributed the reason for this
to the fact that tensile stresses increased during the heating, but
did not exist any further in the residual state.
4.2. Stressed and unstressed tests
In the study carried out by Castillo and Durrani [1], during the
whole heating process up to temperature of 800 C, a stress of
40% of the ultimate compressive strength at room temperature
was loaded onto the high strength concrete cylinder specimens.
The results showed that the compressive strength of the stressed
specimens was comparable to the unstressed ones during the
whole heating process. However, according to the results reported
by Phan and Carino [14] and Fu et al. [18], during the whole heating process up to temperatures of 450 C and 600 C, respectively,
the compressive strength of the specimens at stressed state was
higher than the unstressed ones when a stress of 40% of the ultimate compressive strength at room temperature was applied onto
the stressed specimens. In the study carried out by Tao et al. [140],

380

Q. Ma et al. / Construction and Building Materials 93 (2015) 371383

20% of the ultimate compressive strength at room temperature was


loaded onto the self-compacting concrete cylinder specimens during the whole heating process up to temperature of 800 C. The
stressed results were compared to the unstressed ones, and it
was also found that the compressive strength of the specimens
was higher for the stressed test. In the study carried out by Fu
et al. [18], modulus of elasticity of high strength concrete at
stressed (40% of the ultimate compressive strength at room temperature) and unstressed states was tested during heating process
up to temperature of 600 C. It was found that the stressed modulus of elasticity was higher than the unstressed ones during the
whole heating process. The reason for the higher compressive
strength and modulus of elasticity at the stressed state could be
attributed to the fact that the pre-loading induced friction between
the ends of specimens and the heads of testing machine limits the
thermal stress in expansion and then restrains the thermal cracking [18]. In addition, the coarsened pores caused by high temperature could be compressed under the pre-loading, densifying the
pore structure of concrete. This could also be benecial for the
improvement of the compressive strength and modulus of elasticity of the concrete under stressed state [18].
The stressstrain relationship of concrete at stressed (40% of the
ultimate compressive strength at room temperature) and
unstressed states during heating process was also studied in the
research carried out by Fu et al. [18]. It was found that during the
heating process up to temperature of 600 C, the peak stress of the
stressed specimens was higher than the unstressed ones and was
observed at an earlier stage. In the study carried out by Kim et al.
[130], two levels of pre-loading of 20% and 40% of the ultimate compressive strength at room temperature were applied onto bre reinforced concrete cylinder specimens during the whole heating
process (the heating regime was in accordance with ISO834).
Stressstrain relationship of the specimens was studied and the
results were compared to the unstressed ones. The ndings were
similar to the ones reported previously [18] when 20% pre-loading
is considered. However, the data for 40% pre-loading was invalid
as spalling occurred for most specimens under such pre-loading
level, which could be used to indicate that spalling of concrete at
high temperature is more prone to occur under stressed condition.
4.3. Uni-axial and multi-axial tests
In the study carried out Ehm and Schneider [141], strength of
concrete under bi-axial condition was tested during a heating process, and the results were compared to the ones tested under
uni-axial condition. The stresses applied were in a tensile direction
for both axes. It was found that the concrete specimens were damaged more seriously under bi-axial condition during the whole
heating process up to temperature of 600 C. In addition, it was
found that no matter the fraction between the horizontal stress
applied and the perpendicular one, compared to the uni-axial
strength at room temperature, the strength loss in the perpendicular direction was smaller than that in the horizontal direction.
At temperature of 600 C, when the ratio between the horizontal
stress and the perpendicular stress was 1:5, only 5% of the ultimate
uni-axial strength at room temperature was remained in the horizontal direction, while the value was 25% for the perpendicular
one. Similar results were also reported by Theinel and Rostasy
[142].
In the study carried out by He and Song [143], bi- and tri-axial
tensile-compressive tests were performed on high performance
concrete specimens at different stress ratios after heating to high
temperature up to 600 C. The results showed that the strength
loss of concrete specimens under tri-axial state was greater than
that under bi-axial state during the whole heating process. In addition, it was found that the tensile strength increased with the

decrease of stress ratio for any given temperature, while the


change of compressive strength was contrary.
4.4. Specimen size
In the study carried out by Barnagan et al. [144], residual modulus of elasticity of concrete cylinder specimens of 150  300 mm
and prism specimens of 75  105  430 mm after heating to temperature of 500 C was tested. The results showed that the loss of
modulus of elasticity caused by the heating was comparable
between the two types of concrete specimens. Arioz [145] also
found that the difference of the residual compressive strength
between the concrete cubes of 100  100  100 mm and the cubes
of 150  150  150 mm was not signicant after the exposures to
temperatures from 20 C to 1200 C. Similar results were also
reported in the study carried out by Erdem [146] when cylinder
specimens with sizes of 50  100 mm, 100  200 mm and
150  300 mm were studied during heating process up to temperature of 800 C.
Bamonte and Gambarova [138] tested the residual compressive
strengths of concrete cubes (40  40  40 mm) and concrete cylinders (36  110 mm) after their exposures to elevated temperature up to 750 C. It was found that the cube specimens always
exhibited higher residual compressive strength compared to the
cylinder specimens. The authors attributed this to the friction
effect between the press platens and the specimen.
Arioz [145] also tested the residual splitting tensile strength of
concrete
cubes
with
sizes
of
100  100  100 mm,
150  150  150 mm and 200  200  200 mm after their exposures to temperatures from 20 C to 1200 C. It was found that
below 400 C, the residual splitting strength of the larger specimens was higher than that of the smaller specimens. Afterwards,
the difference was not pronounced. The author attributed the reason for this to the fact that the temperature in the centre of the
specimens was lower than the temperature at the surface during
heating process due to concrete is poorly heat conducted, and such
effect was more signicant for the larger specimens, especially
during the earlier stage of the heating.

5. Conclusion
 Deterioration of mechanical properties of concrete occurs at
high temperature.
 During the high temperature exposure, concrete experiences a
series of physical and chemical changes, such as water evaporation, disintegrations of hydration products and aggregates,
coarsening of microstructure and increase of porosity. These
changes are considered to be responsible for the deterioration
of mechanical properties of concrete at high temperature.
 Spalling may occur for concrete at high temperature. Water
vapour pressure and thermal stress at high temperature may
induce the spalling.
 The residual compressive strength and modulus of elasticity of
the concrete with lower w/b are higher than the concrete with
higher w/b. A lower w/b at the beginning of mixing and/or a
higher moisture content at the time when concrete is exposed
to high temperature is prone to induce spalling of concrete at
high temperature as a result of high vapour pressure.
 Calcareous aggregates provide greater high temperature resistance to concrete compared to siliceous aggregates.
Lightweight concretes have a high resistance to heat due to
the natural characteristics of lightweight aggregates. However,
the pre-saturation regime of lightweight aggregates which is
usually used in practice would induce spalling of lightweight
concretes at high temperature.

Q. Ma et al. / Construction and Building Materials 93 (2015) 371383

 The addition of PFA and slag in concrete could increase its resistance to high temperature, while the addition of SF would
reduce such resistance.
 Polypropylene bre generally has no signicant inuence on the
improvements of residual compressive strength and modulus of
elasticity for concrete after heating to high temperature. Its
improvement on residual splitting tensile strength and exural
strength would be greatly lost after around 400 C. However,
polypropylene reinforced concrete has great resistance to spalling due to the release of vapour pressure.
 Steel bre could generally improve the residual mechanical
properties of concrete after heating to high temperature. It
could also increase the resistance of concrete to spalling, but
the extent of such increase is less than that provided by
polypropylene bre.
 When temperature is below 400 C, the compressive strength of
concretes tested at hot state is lower than the one tested after
the heating. 400 C afterwards, the residual compressive
strength is lower than the one tested at hot condition. The
residual bending strength of concretes is higher than the one
tested at hot state.
 The compressive strength of concretes at high temperature
tested under stressed state is higher than the one tested under
unstressed state.
 Compared to uni-axial test, bi-axial and tri-axial tests bring
more serious damage for concretes at high temperature.
 When the difference of specimen size is signicant enough, the
specimens with smaller size exhibits higher residual compressive strength than the larger specimens at high temperature.

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