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1   Intro

Temperature Effects
temperatures include increased water demand to

2 Design
Key Points maintain workability, decreased setting time, increased
danger of plastic shrinkage cracking, reduction in the
• Concrete hydration generates heat.
effectiveness of the air-void system, increased risk of
incompatibility (see Potential Materials Incompat-
• The risk of cracking is increased with

3 Materials
ibilities in chapter 4, page 97), and lower ultimate
increasing placement temperature.
strength. During the winter, the primary danger is
that low temperatures may slow hydration, and thus
• Concrete expands with increasing
strength gain, and in extreme cases may permanently
temperature and contracts (shrinks) with
damage the concrete if it freezes early in its life
decreasing temperature. The amount of
(Mindess et al. 2003).

 4 Hydration
this expansion and contraction is governed
primarily by the aggregate type (see Other thermal effects that may be of interest
Aggregates in chapter 3, page 39.) include solar reflectance, specific heat, and thermal
diffusivity. These properties affect the amount of solar
• Concrete hydration rate is accelerated with energy absorbed by concrete, the corresponding tem-
increasing temperature and with increasing perature change of the concrete, and the rapidity with

   5 Properties
cement fineness. This can accelerate setting which the concrete dissipates this temperature to its
time and reduce the sawing window. surroundings.

Effects on Hydration
• Supplementary cementitious materials
The rate of hydration of concrete is significantly
typically have lower heat of hydration.
accelerated with increasing temperatures and slowed

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at lower temperatures, affecting placement and consol-
• In cold-weather concreting, the challenge
idation due to early stiffening, as well as the timing of
is to maintain the concrete temperature to
saw cutting. The early strength of a concrete mixture
prevent freezing while gaining strength.

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will be higher with an elevated temperature, but the
strength may be lower at later ages than the same mix
• Testing specifications: ASTM C 186,
kept at a lower temperature. All chemical reactions are
ASTM C 1064 / AASHTO T 309,
faster at higher temperatures; therefore, setting times
will be reduced as the temperature of the concrete
rises. With increasing temperature, the potential for

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an imbalance in the cementitious paste system will be
Simple Definition exacerbated, possibly leading to problems with unex-
The hydration of cement and water in concrete
pected stiffening of the mixture before the mixture
generates heat (see the time-heat curve in figure 4‑13,
can be consolidated. It has been observed that water
page 74). Monitoring the temperature is a useful
may be added to such a mix to restore workability,
means of estimating the degree of hydration of the
but with the effect of reducing strength and durability.
system. In turn, the temperature of the concrete will
Water should not be added to the mix in excess of the
influence the rate of hydration (strength development)
specified maximum water-cement ratio.
and the risk of cracking.
Effects on Cracking
Significance of Thermal Properties Concrete expands as temperature rises and
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An optimal temperature for freshly placed con- contracts as temperature falls. These movements

crete is in the range of 10 to 15°C (50 to 60°F), and it can contribute significantly to the risk of cracking
should not exceed 30 to 33°C (85 to 90°F) (Mindess in concrete, particularly within the first 24 hours.
et al. 2003). Problems associated with high concrete If the concrete sets when it is hot, then it will

Integrated Materials and Construction Practices for Concrete Pavement 127

1   Intro

Temperature Effects

contract a significant amount when it cools later, thus temperature of the concrete may be higher, as the heat
2 Design

significantly increasing the risk of cracking. When a is evolved more quickly.

cold front passes over concrete that has been placed in Pozzolans also generate heat during hydration
the middle of a hot day, the risk of cracking is greater but, generally, less than portland cement. (The ben-
because the temperature drop is large (see Early-Age efit of a lower heat of hydration is to reduce thermal
3 Materials

Cracking in this chapter, page 148). shrinkage and the possibility of resultant cracking.
When blended with cement, Class F fly ash has a heat
Factors Affecting Thermal Properties of hydration that is typically 50 percent of cement.
Primary factors that affect a concrete pavement’s Class C fly ash generally has a heat of hydration in
thermal properties are the following: the range of 70 to 90 percent of that of cement. The
Heat of Hydration of Cementitious Materials. Type III heat of hydration of both silica fume and metakaolin
 4 Hydration

cements, which are typically used in applications are approximately 125 percent of cement. The heat of
where early strength is a goal, generate more heat and hydration in concrete is affected by the amount and
at a faster rate than Type I cements. Table 5-3 shows grade of ground, granulated blast furnace (GGBF)
the typical ranges of chemical compounds in cement, slag. The heat of hydration of grade 100 GGBF slag is
and the heat evolution associated with these com- typically 80 percent.
   5 Properties

pounds. This table is useful in predicting the relative Initial Temperature. As mentioned previously, mul-
heat generation of similar cements. tiple strategies can be employed during construction
Cement fineness affects the rate of heat genera- to reduce the initial temperature heat. A common
tion. Finer cements (smaller particle sizes) hydrate practice is to conduct paving only at night and/or to
faster and generate heat at a faster rate. The total heat use pre-cooled materials in the batch. Pre-cooling
evolution is not affected by the fineness, but the peak can be achieved by shading and wetting the aggre-
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    7    Preparation

Table 5-3. Chemical Composition and Heat Evolution of Typical Portland Cements

Potential phase composition*, %

Cement type C3S (%) C2S (%) C3A (%) C4AF (%) Blaine fineness, m2/kg

Type I Range 45–65 6–21 6–12 6–11 333–431

Mean 57 15 9 8 384
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Type II Range 48–68 8–25 4–8 8–13 305–461

Mean 56 17 7 10 377

Type III Range 48–66 8–27 2–12 4–13 387–711

Mean 56 16 8 9 556

Type V Range 47–64 12–27 0–5 10–18 312–541

Mean 58 18 4 12 389

Heat evolution**, a b c d
(kilojoules/kg) 3 d 243 50 887 289
7 d 222 42 1556 494
13 yr 510 247 1356 427
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* Source: Tennis and Bhatty (2006)

** Cement paste with water/cement ratio 0.4 at 21˚C (70˚F).

Values represent coefficients in the equation:
Heat evolution (kJ/kg) = a(C3S) + b(C2S) + c(C3A) + d(C4AF) (Taylor 1997)

128 Integrated Materials and Construction Practices for Concrete Pavement

1   Intro
Temperature Effects

gates and using chilled water or ice in the mixture. An average value for the CTE of concrete is about

2 Design
A white‑pigmented curing compound should always 10 × 10-6/°C (5.5 × 10-6/°F), although values ranging
be applied immediately after final finishing while from 6 to 13 × 10-6/°C (3.2 to 7.0 × 10-6/°F) have
the surface is still damp to alleviate evaporation and been observed. In practical terms, this amounts to a
reduce heat buildup from solar radiation (Kosmatka et length change of around 5 mm for 10 m of concrete

3 Materials
al. 2003). (2/3 in, for 100 ft of concrete) subjected to a rise or fall
Environmental Factors. The rate of heat loss to the of 50°C (90°F). Temperature changes may be caused by
environment is influenced by the thickness of the environmental conditions or by the heat of hydration.
concrete, the temperature of the environment, and the
degree of insulation provided by the materials sur- Testing for Thermal Properties
If specific information is needed about the actual

 4 Hydration
rounding the concrete. Thinner concrete sections will
not get as hot as thicker sections. heat of hydration of the cementitious materials, the
In cold-weather concreting, the challenge is to heat of hydration should be measured. Testing should
maintain the concrete temperature to prevent freez- be conducted using the proportions that will be used
ing while the concrete gains strength. Strategies that in the concrete mix, rather than using the individual
may be employed include heating one or more of the components.

   5 Properties
materials, warming the jobsite environment, and/or The heat of hydration can be measured in
covering the slab with insulation to hold in the heat accordance with ASTM C 186 or in a conduction
produced as the cement hydrates. calorimeter. Heat evolution of the concrete can also be
measured directly by a calibrated calorimeter. Several
Thermal Expansion/Contraction. Thermal expansion
such instruments are commercially available. They
and contraction of concrete (that is, expansion and
consist of a calibrated insulated container that mea-

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contraction related to temperature change) vary
sures the heat flow out of a cylinder of fresh concrete.
with factors such as aggregate type, cement content,
The adiabatic (without loss or gain of heat from the
water-cementitious materials ratio, temperature
surroundings) temperature rise of the concrete can be

    7    Preparation
range, concrete age, and relative humidity. Of these,
measured directly by Army Corps Method CRD-C 38
aggregate type has the greatest influence, as aggre-
(figure 5-12). It should be noted that the actual tem-
gates account for about 60 to 75 percent of concrete
perature rise of a concrete pavement is only a fraction
by volume.
of that of the adiabatic temperature rise because the
A material’s coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE)
is a measure of how much it changes in length (or

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volume) for a given change in temperature. Typically,
an increase in temperature will result in lengthening
(expansion) and a decrease will result in shortening
(contraction). Because aggregates make up a majority
of a concrete’s volume, the CTE of the aggregate par-
ticles will dominate the CTE for a concrete. Table 3-12
in chapter 3, page 48, shows some typical values of
the linear CTE of several aggregates, as well as those
for concrete and other concrete ingredients. Typically,
limestone aggregates have lower coefficients than sili-
ceous aggregates, and concretes made with them have
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lower values. CTE values are considered in design

calculations for pavements and are used in durability Figure 5-12. A typical field semi-adiabatic temperature
modeling of concretes. monitoring system for mortar (W.R. Grace & Company)

Integrated Materials and Construction Practices for Concrete Pavement 129

1   Intro

Temperature Effects

large surface-to-volume ratio of a pavement allows Coefficient of thermal expansion can be mea-
2 Design

heat to escape almost as rapidly as it is generated. sured using the method described in AASHTO TP 60
Pavement temperatures and the associated risk (figure 5-13) (see Coefficient of Thermal Expansion in
of cracking can be estimated with finite element chapter 9, page 269). The test involves measuring the
software or by the Schmidt method (a finite dif- length change of a specimen observed due to a change
3 Materials

ference method) described in ACI 207. FHWA’s in temperature of 40°C (72°F) controlled using a
HIPERPAV software ( is a helpful water bath.
analysis tool to determine early-age properties and
the potential for cracking. Pavement temperatures
measured with embedded sensors (ASTM C 1064 / Concrete Durability is Affected by
AASHTO T 309‑99) and environmental conditions Many Concrete Properties
 4 Hydration

monitored with aportable weather station (see Con-

crete Temperature, Subgrade Temperature, and Project The rest of this chapter discusses concrete properties
Environmental Conditions in chaper 9, page 260) are that can affect concrete durability.
HIPERPAV data inputs.
Durability is the ability of concrete to resist chemical
attack while in service. It is a critical characteristic
   5 Properties

of long-life pavements but, in itself, is not generally

considered a property of concrete.

Durability is environment-specific; that is, a concrete

pavement that is durable in a snow environment
is probably not going to be durable in the desert.
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Therefore, concrete properties that contribute to

durable concrete may include any (but not necessarily
all) of the following:
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• Low permeability.
• Frost resistance.
• Sulfate resistance.
• Low alkali-silica sensitivity.
• Abrasion resistance.
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Cracking also affects concrete permeability. Note,

however, that concrete strength is not necessarily a
good measure of potential durability.
Figure 5-13. Measuring the coefficient of thermal expansion
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130 Integrated Materials and Construction Practices for Concrete Pavement