Durability of fire exposed concrete: Experimental Studies Focusing on Stiffness & Transport Properties
2015 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Road and rail tunnels are important parts of the modern infrastructure. High strength concrete (HSC) is commonly used for tunnels and other civil engineering structures, since it allows high load carrying capacity and long service life. In general, Swedish road and rail tunnels should be designed for a service life of 120 years. However, HSC has shown to be sensitive to severe fires in the moist tunnel environment, i.e., fire spalling may occur. Extensive research shows that addition of polypropylene (PP) fibres in the fresh concrete mix significantly reduces the risk of fire spalling. The durability of a concrete structure is mainly governed by the transport properties. Further, experimental studies aimed at understanding the protective mechanism of PP fibres indicate that fluid transport increases in connection with the melting temperature of such fibres. This might reduce the durability of fire exposed concrete with addition of PP fibres. This study aims to investigate whether the use of PP fibres has any significant effect on the durability of moderate fire exposed concrete structures.
The experimental study focused on transport properties related to durability and stiffness reduction of fire exposed civil engineering concrete with and without addition of PP fibres. The study consists of three parts; (i) unilateral fire exposure in accordance with the standard time-temperature curve (Std) and a slow heating curve (SH), (ii) uniformly heating of non-restrained samples to 250oC, and (iii) moderate unilateral fire exposure, 350oC, of restrained samples. Changes in material properties caused by the fire exposure were studied by means of ultrasonic pulse velocity, full field-strain measurements during uniaxial compression core tests, polarization and fluorescence microscopy (PFM), water absorption and non-steady state chloride migration.
The study shows that fire exposure influences different properties of importance for load carrying capacity and durability. To get a clear image of the fire damage one has to combine different test methods during damage assessments. Transport properties of concrete both with and without addition of PP fibres were considerably affected even at moderate fire exposure. Hence, the service life might be reduced. All series with addition of PP fibres exhibited higher water absorption compared to the series without PP fibres. The practical importance of this might, however, be small since also the water absorption of concrete without PP fibres was considerably affected for the fire scenarios considered in this study. Behind the fire exposed surface, i.e., between 30 and 60 mm, no change in water absorption was observed for concrete without PP fibres. However, higher water absorption of the series with addition of PP fibres was observed.
Indicative fire tests aimed to evaluate the resistance to fire spalling during a subsequent severe fire was also conducted. The concretes with addition of PP fibres showed no signs of fire spalling, while progressive spalling was observed for the concrete without PP fibres.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2015. , viii, 50 p.
TRITA-BKN. Bulletin, ISSN 1103-4270 ; 133
Concrete, Fire, Polypropylene fibres, Durability, Tunnel, Damage assessment, Ultrasonic pulse velocity, Water absorption, Chloride migration, DIC
Research subject Civil and Architectural Engineering
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-168386OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-168386DiVA: diva2:816099
2015-06-08, L1, Drottning Kristinas väg 30, Stockholm, 13:30 (Swedish)
Hassanzadeh, Manouchehr, Adj. professor
Silfwerbrand, Johan, ProfessorBoström, Lars, Dr.
QC 201506032015-06-032015-06-022015-06-03Bibliographically approved
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