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Fire Safety Journal, 13 (1988) 55 - 68 55

Concrete at High Temperatures - - A General Review*

Department of Civil Engineering, University of Kassel, M6nchebergstr. 7, D-3500 Kassel (F.R.G.)

SUMMARY --the shapes of the test specimens and the

test e q u i p m e n t used are different.
The use made o f material properties in In this r e p o r t the main features of concrete
theoretical studies may vary. It depends on behaviour at high temperatures are sum-
the individual approach, the objective and the marized and discussed. It is essentially a
quality o f result required. This report gives a survey of existing data with respect t o real
condensed survey o f the present state o f fire situations, i.e., a t e m p e r a t u r e range of
knowledge in the field o f high temperature 20-1000C is considered in which the
properties o f concrete, which may assist in material behaviour under short-time exposure
giving an answer to the problem of estimating periods of 0.5 - 5 hours is discussed.
the fire behaviour o f concrete members. A In t he paper the following particular
new materials model based on recent research properties are identified:
results is developed and discussed. - - thermal properties
The report is divided into three different -- compressive strength
parts. Section 2 contains a brief introduction -- modulus of elasticity
to various concrete test methods. Section 3 - - stress and strain characteristics
comprises the properties o f concrete accord- - - thermal strain and shrinkage
ing to the existing literature and, in Section 4, - - transient state creep and restraint
a description of analytical models for the -- modelling of concrete behaviour.
calculation of fire behaviour o f concrete As the fire exposure normally leads to a
elements is given. comparatively rapid loss of moisture in
concrete elements, the properties m e n t i o n e d
above are usually det erm i ned with unsealed
1. INTRODUCTION concrete specimens. Testing of unsealed
concrete means t hat all properties are more
Many investigations on the effect o f fire or less influenced by the rapid drying of the
o n c o n cr ete and concrete elements have been cem ent gel. Thus, one should strictly speak
r e p o rted during the last f our decades [1 - 4]. rather of drying creep and dry compressive
Nevertheless the thermal and mechanical strength than purely of creep and strength
properties of concrete at high t em pe r at ur e s as stated above. For the sake of simplicity the
are still being considered. This is due to the term drying will be o m i t t e d in the following.
fact th at man y of the r e p o r t e d test results But one has still to keep in mind t hat the
are hard to interpret as drying process is possibly one of t h e main
- - t h e tested ty p es of concretes are di f f er e nt effects determining t he concrete behaviour
and th e descriptions of t he tests are incom- under thermal exposure.
- - t h e e m p l o y e d test procedures are di f f er e nt
and the test conditions are n o t comparable; 2. DETERMINATION OF CONCRETE PROPER-
*This paper is based in part on a p a p e r e n t i t l e d ,
Modelling of c o n c r e t e b e h a v i o u r a t h i g h t e m p e r a t u r e , The concrete properties are closely related
in R. D: Anchor, H. L. Malhotra and J. A. P u r k i s s to the specific test m e t h o d e m p l o y e d [3].
(eds.), Proc. Int. Conf. on Design of Structures
Against Fire, Aston University, Birmingham, U.K., T herefore, the possibility o f conversion o f
April 15-16, 1987, Elsevier Applied Science Pub- such properties into material equations
lishers Ltd., Barking, U.K., 1987, Ch. 5. depends on m any factors. If mechanical prop-

0379-7112/88/$3.50 Elsevier S e q u o i a / P r i n t e d in The Netherlands


7% le%tc~rcrati;
J. transienttests ttrtaJ"
of elasticity, the compressive strength and the
ultimate strain can be determined.
Ifofa!forces II. Stress-strain relationship, strain-rate
This test method is closely related to the
stress-controlled a - e tests previously dis-
cussed. The specimen is heated to the re-
Istea/state tests I quired temperature T* at a constant heating
rate T. After the initial heating period when
the specimen has reached constant tempera-
Isteady state tests I ture it is loaded at a constant strain rate ~.
stress-strain relation- Istms's-strainr~qion-
ship strain-~,~led [ship stress-contro/led This procedure yields complete o - e curves
~~ =stress, T=temperature
=strain, (')=first d i ~ i a l
withrespectto time
and from this it is possible to determine the
maximum mechanical energy the specimen
dissipates during fracture (ultimate mechani-
Fig. 1. Different testing regimes for determining cal dissipation energy).
mechanical properties of concrete at high tempera-
III. Creep
In steady-state creep tests the specimen is
erties are considered, adequate rheological (slowly) heated to the desired temperature
models must be developed. In many cases this T*. When thermal equilibrium is reached
is not possible, therefore test methods which (t = t*) the load is applied. The temperature
are closely related to practical conditions are T* and the load a 0 applied are kept constant
to be preferred. Under fire conditions the during the whole test period. At time t*,
concrete is subjected to transient processes when the load is applied, an instantaneous
and therefore there is an urgent need for the elastic deformation occurs and thereafter,
measurement of those properties which are under sustained constant load, creep deforma-
determined under transient conditions. These tion takes place. The test has little relevance
properties should be distinguished from with respect to the fire situation as the test
other properties derived under steady-state periods are normally far beyond the duration
conditions. of building fires.
The three main test parameters are heating,
the application of the load, and the control IV. Relaxation
of strain. These can have fixed, i.e., constant Initially a heating procedure analogous to
values, or be varied during testing giving the steady-state creep test is applied. At time
transient conditions. Six practical regimes t* when thermal equilibrium is reached, the
which can be used for determining mechanical load is applied and the instantaneous elastic
properties are illustrated in Fig. 1 and de- strain recorded. The initial strain is kept
scribed below. constant during the whole test period and the
stress level is recorded. The test has little
2.1. Steady-state tests relevance with respect to the fire situation
I. Stress-strain relationships, stress-rate as the test periods are normally far beyond
controlled the duration of building fires.
During the test the specimen is heated to
the desired test temperature (T1, T2 or T,) As this report is devoted to the modelling of
starting at time t = 0 with a constant heating concrete under fire, the results of steady-
rate T. For practical reasons (size of the state creep and relaxation tests will not be
specimen) and taking into account exposure discussed further.
in fire conditions, the heating rate should be
in the range of 0.1 - 10 K/min. After an initial 2.2. Transient tests
preheating period at time t* say, the specimen V. Total deformation and transient creep
is subjected to a constant rate of loading At time t = 0 the specimen is subjected to
6 = constant. From the test data the modulus a certain constant applied load a0. Thereafter

it is subjected to a constant heating rate. For The thermal conductivity of concrete

practical reasons (size of the specimen) and depends on the conductivities of its con-
taking into account exposure to fire condi- stituents. The major factors are the moisture
tions, the heating rate should be in the range content, the t y p e of aggregate and the mix
0 . 1 - 10 K/min. Heating is continued until proportions. The conductivity of any given
failure occurs. During the whole test period concrete varies approximately linearly with
the strains eto t of the specimen are recorded. the moisture content. Up to 100 C, the
If a0 = 0, pure thermal expansion occurs. conductivity seems to increase with tempera-
ture. Thereafter a loss of conductivity is
VI. Total forces and restraint observed. With lightweight concretes the
The concrete specimen is loaded at time conductivity may be nearly constant or
t = 0 up to a given constant load level a. The slightly increasing up to temperatures of
initial compressive strain is recorded. There- 1000C. In this case the density of the
after it is subjected to a constant heating aggregate is the decisive parameter. Figure 3
rate. The initial elastic strain is kept constant shows some typical data for normal and
during the whole heating period by varying lightweight concretes.
continuously the applied external load. In the context of thermal properties the
Heating is usually continued until the mea- specific heat seems to be that property which
sured total force drops below the original'load is least understood. The specific heat at
level at time t = 0. constant pressure is defined as



3.1. Thermal properties where H = enthalpy, T = temperature and

Concrete properties which are necessary p = pressure. Normally in technical reports,
to calculate the heat transfer and temperature average values of ~p are used. They are de-
distributions in concrete members are the fined b y the equation:
specific density p, the thermal conductivity,
k, the heat capacity, %, and derived from
~p(T) X ( T - - To) = f cp(T) dT (2)
those, the thermal diffusivity, a. The density
of concrete shows only a slight temperature
dependence as indicated in Fig. 2, which is If the heating of the material is accom-
mostly due to moisture losses during heating. panied by chemical reactions, the enthalpy is
However limestone concretes show a signifi- a function of the degree of conversion from
cant decrease of density at a b o u t 800 (3 due the reactants into the products ~', 0 <~ ~ ~< 1,
to the decomposition of the calcareous as well as of temperature. Thus the first
aggregate. equation becomes:

26 3.2
2/, . ~ ~
ba~t mna'ete
E 2B I I
I me#one concrete
-~ Z~. / m~sl)

~, 2.0 "----" 2.o

practical design curve
quartate concrete ]~
1.6 Lmoist)

o 1.8
limestoneo ~ = t e k
'~ 1.6 ~ 1.2
1.2 l 0.4
1.0 0 I-I
-- femperafuceT in o[ - tempe-~ure T in (i
Fig. 2. Density of structural concretes at high tem- Fig. 3. Thermal conductivity of different structural
peratures. concretes.


,~ ,T dT -< o o l L -
z 0012 __i
practical design curve
where the second term can clearly be re- nu
. [moisf}
cognized as the latent heat and the first term - - ~artzife concrefe
as the sensitive heat contribution to the ~ 0.00~
__ ~ ~sto~ co~crete
specific heat. According to Dulong-Petit's
rule, no considerable spread of % of different
concretes is to be expected. Differences may
be caused by the latent heat of the different 0,002 l i g l ~ h t c0ncrefe
0 ~= 1600kq/m3 (dried)
reactions during heating (water release, de- 2~ 400 600 800 1000
hydration, decarbonization, c~-~/3 quartz ~emperafum T in C
inversion). From the reported test results it Fig. 5. T h e r m a l diffusivity of different concretes.
can be stated (see Fig. 4):
- - T h e type of aggregate has little influence
on the heat capacity if temperatures below under fire, there is an urgent need for more
800 C are considered. Where temperatures reliable and accurate thermal data. Figure 5
of 800C are exceeded with calcareous contains some results of measurements and a
concrete, cp rises immediately due to de- proposed empirical correlation for a structural
carbonization. concrete with quartzite aggregate.
- - T h e mix proportions influence the heat With respect to the cooling period of
capacity in so far as richer mixes indicate fires, it must be mentioned that the thermal
a higher latent heat due to dehydration properties of concrete are highly irreversible,
effects. i.e., they do not attain their original values
- - T h e water content is important at tem- after a fire attack. Normally it is sufficient
peratures below 200 C. Wet concretes show to assume constant properties during the
an apparent specific heat nearly twice as high cooling period, whereby in each case the
as oven<lried concretes. maximum temperature attained is important
The thermal diffusivity of concrete is for the respective thermal property to be
determined by the thermal properties of its employed during cooling. This approximation
constituents or it may be evaluated from does not hold for temperature levels around
non-steady-state measurements. The varia- 100 C, as the moisture of concrete is of more
tions of the reported data are comparatively importance in this temperature region. In that
high and may be attributed to the type of case, the estimation of material properties
test method, the type of concrete under requires additional sophisticated considera-
consideration or to the specific treatment of tions.
the specimens prior to the tests. As the
diffusivity values are important for the 3.2. Compressive strength
temperature calculations in concrete elements The compressive strength of different
concretes has been the subject of many
investigations. Some of the main findings are
summarized in Fig. 6. It should be noted that
_~ I.L~ the tests under discussion were generally
1.2 performed with unsealed concrete specimens.
1.0 In most cases the loading rates have not been
stated. However, it seems that within a
normal range the loading rates have negligible
influence on the high temperature strengths.
o.~ From the reported data the following general
l 0.2 conclusions can be drawn:
0 --Original strength and w a t e r - c e m e n t ratio
2if) 400 600 800 100:) within the practical range of usage for struc-
= ~afure T in % tural concretes hardly influence the high
Fig. 4. Heat capacity of different concretes. temperature-strength characteristics.

100~,~~ ~ ~ --Pradicaldeign r~( TI

fc (20C)
t6 1./~ t2 10 Q8 06 Q#+ Q2 0
quartzite c n c r e t e - - i L/~. 0
f l~C):~ON~--~l . o2

20 i aB

o ~ ,-'- ~ - ~
0 200 400 500 800 1000
1]+ 5lIT)
temperature T in o ,,4 ,/ / /
Fig. 6. High temperature compressive strength of ~'=10 =066 =04 =02
ordinary structural c o n c r e t e . Fig. 7. Biaxial compressive strength of normal con-
crete at high temperatures (after Ehm [5 ]).
--Aggregate-cement ratio has a significant Gz (T}
effect on the strength on concrete exposed to fc ( 200
high temperatures. The reduction being 1.6 1.4 1.2 10 0.8 0.6 0.h 0.2 0
proportionally smaller for lean mixes than for lightweightconcrete
fcI20)=31,5Nlmm2 A ~[2
rich mixes.
- - D i f f e r e n t types of aggregates influence the
strength-temperature characteristics. The de-
crease in strength of calcareous and light-
weight aggregate concretes occurs at higher
temperatures compared to siliceous concretes.
, , 2
-- T y p e of cement has little effect on strength-
temperature characteristics. 1.4 (~1 IT)
--Maximum size of aggregate seems to be
/ ,/ ' / 1.6 f<lml
~=I0 =Q(~ =O4 =02 =O0
a s e c o n d ~ r d e r factor as investigations of Fig. 8. Biaxial compressive strength of lightweight
mortars and various concretes demonstrate. concrete at high temperatures (after Ehm [ 5 ]).
- - Sustained stresses during the heating period
influence the shape of the strength-tempera- biaxial compression. It is clearly indicated
ture relationship significantly. It is evident, that the biaxial compressive strength is
that the "stressed strength" is higher than higher than the uniaxial strength irrespective
"unstressed strength". The stress level itself of the individual stress r a t i o and temperature
has little effect on the ultimate strength as level. Similar results have been obtained with
long as e > 0.20 b u t becomes important if a structural lightweight concrete (Fig. 8).
< 0.20. Further, it was noted that the relative increase
- - R a t e of heating has little effect as long as of strength at high temperatures under a
temperature gradients in the test specimens biaxial state of stresses is significant. Espe-
are limited (<10 C/cm). cially at temperatures above 450 C, the
- - R e s i d u a l compressive strength values are effect of biaxial stresses indicates its increas-
lower than the equivalent high temperature ing importance with respect to the material
strength values. failure.
Often the evaluation of concrete structures
requires data which enable the determination 3.3. Modulus of elasticity
of multiaxial states of stress. Especially if A limited number of publications consider
plates or slabs are to be considered, the the elastic properties of concrete at high
application of uniaxial material properties temperatures. Essential results are sum-
may lead to unexpected errors or incorrect arized in Fig. 9. From the presented data it
results. The biaxial high temperature strength can be stated that:
of concrete has been studied during the last - - O r i g i n a l strength of concrete and w a t e r -
two years [5]. Figure 7 shows the failure cement ratio seem to have little influence on
envelope of a structural concrete under the elasticity-temperature relationship.

100 ~ _ --Pradica~ design E2o~='29,6
: KNimm 2 I
cur~es I I i , I|

\ ~concrete ?C


w 3C
20 (~)ca'beq~

200 z~0 600 800 1000 I0 2O 30 40 5O 6O 7O
temperafure T in
10ad le~et ~: : fb/f~ {20% ) ~ %
Fig. 9. M o d u l e s of elasticity of structural concrete
with different types of aggregate. Fig. 10. Modulus of elasticity of normal concrete
being stressed during heating up.

T y p e of aggregate has in most cases a strong 10 ~-20o[

- -

influence. Lightweight aggregate concretes

indicate the lowest decrease of the modulus ~ 08
of elasticity and siliceous aggregate concretes i
the highest one. The range of data f r om ~- 06
different workers varies significantly (see
Fig. 9). 0.4 f A . . . .

- T y p e of cemen t has little effect on modulus


of e l a s t i c i t y - t e m p e r a t u r e characteristics. ~'- 750%

i 0.~
- Sustained stresses during heating of the test

specimen significantly affect the elasticity- 02 O.Z, 06 0.8 1.0
t e m per atu r e behaviour. "Stressed elasticities" Ft~sscn ratio ~2/EI
are always higher than "unstressed elasticities". Fig. 11. Poisson ratio of uniaxially loaded concrete
The stress level itself has little effect within a t h i g h t e m p e r a t u r e s ( a f t e r E h m [ 5 ]).
a range of a = 0.1 to 0.3 (see Fig. 10).
Data on the Poisson's ratio p at high tion of p from its original values occurs. In
temperatures are rare. Figure 11 shows the some cases p > 0.5 was observed. These values
results of Ehm [5] derived in 1985. At 20 C indicate material effects which occur far
the Poisson's ratio is constant until the load b e y o n d the elastic range.
level exceeds 70% of the ultimate load. With The p h e n o m e n a m ent i oned above have
increasing temperatures, a significant devia- been summarized in Table 1. It contains a

Parameters determining the temperature strength of concrete

Type Effect Practical importance

Strong Medium Weak

Class of strength - - + great

w/c r a t i o + great
Aggregate +++ - - medium
Type of cement - ++ -- medium
Aggr./cem. ratio - ++ - medium
Max. aggr. - - + small
Load level +++ -- f < 0.3ful t
Heating rate - + < 4 C/min
Evaporation rate +++ a t T ~ 1 2 0 C
Age of concrete - - + t>28d
Type of curing - ++ medium
Sealing +++ - t i l l T < 2 0 0 C

list of factors influencing concrete behaviour generally have a steeper decrease of the initial
at high temperatures. The screening has slope with increasing test temperatures than
been done on the basis of existing knowledge those with softer aggregates (e.g., lightweight
and personal experience. Table 1 is intended aggregates).
to give a rough survey of the possible concrete --Lightweight concretes indicate practically
behaviour under fire rather than final con- only little changes in the shape of the o - e
clusions. The compilation holds even with curves for temperatures up to a b o u t 250 C.
respect to influences on the modulus of --The ultimate strain (strain at the failure
elasticity of concrete at high temperatures. point or maximum strength of a o - e curve)
Generally it was observed that the decrease turned o u t to be nearly independent of the
of elasticity of concrete with increasing type of aggregate.
temperatures exceeds the decrease of its - - T h e temperature-dependent dissipation en-
strength. ergy (i.e., work of fracture in a strain-rate
controlled compressive test) indicates a
3.4. Stress and strain characteristics maximum in the temperature region 3 0 0 -
Most tests of this t y p e have been per- 600 C. The value of the ultimate dissipation
formed by stress-rate controlled tests. With energy for the low and high temperature
recent developments in the field of modern regions lies between 20 and 70 J/kg. Maxi-
hydraulic test equipment it is now possible to m u m values from 60 to 100 J/kg have been
perform strain-rate controlled tests. Typical found in the medium temperature region of
o - e curves are indicated in Fig. 12. From 300 - 600 C.
Fig. 12 and the literature reviewed, the - - T y p e of cement seems to be of minor
following conclusions can be drawn: influence as far as concretes are considered.
--Original strength and the w a t e r - c e m e n t Mortars (mix proportion 1:3:0.5) made
ratio within the practical range of concrete with different types of cement showed
application hardly influence the shape of a - e significant differences.
curves. --Curing conditions influence the stress-
- - A g g r e g a t e - c e m e n t ratio has a significant strain behaviour at relatively low tempera-
effect on the modulus of elasticity and tures ( < 3 0 0 C). Usually the initial slopes of
consequently also on the initial slope of the the o - e curves and stress maxima are lower
o - e curves. Mortars (high cement content!) for specimens cured under water than for
indicate a lower initial slope than normal dried or air-cured specimens. However, in
concretes, o - e curves of concrete indicate most cases the a - e relationships are nor-
a somewhat greater curvature than those of malized to the ultimate strength at 20 C
mortars. ( f c ( 2 0 C ) = l ) ) . Sometimes, however, this
-- T y p e of aggregate is the main factor affect- apparent rise of the high temperature values
ing the shape of the o - e curves. Concretes of the compressive strength occurs if water-
made with hard aggregates (siliceous, basaltic) cured specimen data are taken as reference
1.2 - - A sustained load (e.g., prestress) during
=0.3 %o/m~n heating varies the shape of the o - e curve
1.0 significantly. This is independent of the
type of concrete being tested. Specimens
under a sustained load (load level ~) during
the heating period indicate a significant
relative increase of compressive strength and
0.4 modulus of elasticity compared to specimens
which were not loaded during heating, b u t
0.2 tested under the same conditions. The ulti-
mate strain is also significantly reduced with
2 4 6 8 i0 12 loaded specimens (see Fig. 13). Up to test
- ~ in [ % o ] temperatures of a b o u t 450 C, concrete
Fig. 12. S t r e s s - s t r a i n r e l a t i o n s h i p for n o r m a l c o n c r e t e specimens indicated similar behaviour to
derived in strain-rate c o n t r o l l e d tests. unheated specimens. The a - e curves are

8 t8
7 / 0
6 14 quartziteconcrefe~
o~ 12
4 I0 . . . . . .
.g basatt concre~
3 O1
6 c0ncmCe
4 / t -
1 cc=03

0 100 200 300 z~ 500 600 700 800
temperature in C o ~ ' ~ n e n t stone
Fig. 13. U l t i m a t e strain eult as a f u n c t i o n o f t e m p e r a - 0 200 400 600 BOO 1000
ture for s p e c i m e n s stressed at d i f f e r e n t load levels temperature T in %
during heating up: ( o - e tests). Fig. 15. T h e r m a l strain of d i f f e r e n t c o n c r e t e s .

f~(2O%) of the composites influence the mechanical
properties of concrete at high temperatures.
~ ~ ~' !
fc120~]:41N/mm'14 Some test results of thermal strain measure-
12 L ments are reviewed in Fig. 15. F r o m the
0S~I" 12
Figure it can be stated that:
10 ~J_ ,300~ 10
50% strain is a non-linear funct i on of
018~ ~ ~ I~ 08
- - T h e r m a l

temperature, even at relatively low tempera-

06 ~ E5c 06
-- The main factor affecting the thermal strain
is the t y p e of aggregate; the coarse aggregate
fraction plays a d o m i n a n t role.
~:? 6 4 2 0 -2 -4 -6 -8 E~:e7 -- Pure hydrated cement paste indicates
tensionstrain compressive
contraction shrinkage at temperatures above
Fig. 14. Biaxial s t r e s s - s t r a i n relationship o f n o r m a l
150 - 400 C.
c o n c r e t e u n d e r a stress ratio K = 1:1 (after E h m [ 5 ]).
-- At very high temperatures (600 - 800 C)
most concretes indicate no, or a reduced,
nearly independent of the test temperatures. expansion. In some cases the concrete shrinks
The load level during heating itself seems to due to chemical or physical reactions in the
have a minor influence. aggregates.
-- Stress-strain relationships under biaxial - - T h e r m a l strain measurements norm al l y
conditions have been derived by Ehm [5]. include shrinkage. This is unavoidable as the
Figure 14 shows a typical test result for tests are perform ed with unsealed specimens.
normal concrete tested with a stress ratio The thermal strain of concrete may be
- - 1 : 1 , i.e., during the tests simultaneous partly irreversible, i.e., after cooling one
stress increase of the same order in each axis obtains residual strains which might be
was performed. The observed ultimate strains positive (residual dilatation) or negative
are somewhat higher than in the uniaxial case. {residual shrinkage). The first case occurs
Especially in the t em pe r at ur e range above during cooling of most concretes after heating
450 C a significant increase in plasticity up to less than 400 C. The second case may
occurs. be observed by cooling of concretes being
heated above 400 C. Table 2 shows residual
3.5. Thermal strain and shrinkage strain values of quartz and limestone con-
The objectives of thermal expansion crete after heating to a defined m axi m um
measurements concern the question of how temperature and cooling dow n to ambient
the thermal strain is effected by single com- temperatures.
ponents of the composite material and how Compared to the thermal expansion,
the incompatibilities of the thermal strains shrinkage strains are small. Shrinkage has

R e s i d u a l strains in %o o f q u a r t z a n d l i m e s t o n e c o n c r e t e a f t e r cooling

T y p e of c o n c r e t e M a x i m u m t e m p e r a t u r e (C)
200 300 400 500 600 700 800

Quartz --0.3 --0.5 --0.2 +1.0 +2.0 +6.0 +4.0

Limestone --0.6 +0 +0.5 +1.6 +3.0 +5.5 +6.0

been observed by different workers under 16 heatingrate 2K/rain I f

steady-state conditions even at temperatures
well beyond 100 (7. It is due to delayed fc(2ff~Z) / /=0.0
diffusion, slow crystal growth and phase
.~ 12"__~-~e /,"~
2 . ~ncrete---/--I \
changes. Under transient temperature condi- .... L,g g
tions it is difficult to separate thermal strains
and deformations due to shrinkage. According
i 8t
to Bazant [6], shrinkage can be estimated by
es = k, X Aw (4)
whereby k s = 10 -s m3/kg is independent of 0 -
temperatures and Aw comprises the weight
loss of drying cement paste. From Mar~chal
tests [7], we have derived shrinkage data - 4 i- - ,1 - " --~:0:~_~1-t-~_~:015
around 0.8%0 at 400 C. This value is ob- -60 200 400 600 ~O0 1000
-tempecatu~ T in C
tained if Aw = 80 kg/m 3 according to Bazant's
formula which seems to be a reasonable Fig. 16. T o t a l d e f o r m a t i o n o f d i f f e r e n t concretes
being l o a d e d d u r i n g h e a t i n g up.
number if we assume average conditions for
the concrete tested.
- - T h e aggregate-cement ratio has a great
influence on the shape of the strain-tempera-
3.6. Transient state creep and restraint ture curves and on the critical concrete
Transient tests for measuring the total temperature Tcr. The critical concrete tem-
deformation or restraint of concrete have, in peratures of rich mixes are, at higher load
principle, the strongest relation to building levels, lower in comparison to lean mixes.
fires and are supposed to give the most - - T h e harder the aggregate and the lower
realistic data with direct relevance to fire. its thermal expansion, the lower the total
The tests yield strain-temperature relation- deformations of normal concretes in transient
ships (parameter: load level ~) for given tests. Lightweight concretes with expanded
heating rates. Numerous publications in this clay aggregates indicate the lowest total
field of material research have appeared deformations.
recently. Theoretical considerations and ex- - - T h e curing conditions are of great impor-
perimental investigations are reported in tance in the temperature range of 20 - 300 C.
which the main features studied are the mix Air-cured and oven<lried specimens indicate
proportion, the t y p e of aggregate, the curing a significant lower transient creep than
condition and age of concrete and the test water-cured specimens. The influence of
conditions (e.g., heating rate). moisture content on the total deformations
Figure 16 shows the results of a total at higher temperatures is negligible.
deformation test with a normal and a light- - - T h e rate of heating is of minor influence
weight structural concrete. The test results as long as heating rates between 0.2 and
are typical for concrete and the following 5.0 K/min are considered.
conclusions can be derived: Restraint tests have been reported only in
- - T h e w a t e r - c e m e n t ratio and the original a few publications. The restraining and
strength are of little importance. transient creep phenomena are complemen-

tary to each other. Therefore, most of the highest restraining forces due to their high
statements regarding the transient creep data thermal expansion. Lightweight or limestone
are {inversely) valid for the restraining data, aggregate concretes attain lower restraining
e.g., if a special type of concrete is supposed forces due to a relatively lower thermal
to have a low thermal expansion and a high expansion.
transient creep, it follows from theoretical The moisture content is a factor which
considerations that relative low restraining determines the maximum value of the re-
forces are to be expected. Restraining forces straining forces in the temperature region
are very sensitive to factors like moisture between 20 to 200 C. With 100 C oven-dried
content, type of aggregate and the curing specimens, a maximum appears between
conditions, etc. Typical restraining force- approximately 100 to 200 C. The restraining
temperature curves are shown in Fig. 17. forces attain values in the range of 60 -80%
The type of aggregate and the restraining of the ultimate strength at 20 C. The peak
force suggest a close relationship. The b e - decreases rapidly. The behaviour of concrete
haviour of concretes made with different with a high moisture content, i.e., after water
types of aggregate is in agreement with storage, is quite different. The moisture
the results of the transient creep tests. At favours higher creep deformations which
temperatures above 200 C, sandstone and result in a much lower restraining peak at
siliceous aggregate concretes attain the 100 C compared with dried specimens. In
the temperature range 100 - 200 C a distinct
minimum occurs in the restraining forces,
which is connected with rapid drying and
- - qu~zife concrefe
I --timestne mncrete
shrinkage effects. In this case the absolute
--4==-~P 0~e maximum restraint appears at about 450 C.
dried 105[ Beyond this temperature the restraining
a6 forces decrease due to increasing plasticity.
The restraint of air-conditioned specimens
~ 0.4 (20 C/65% r.h.) is similar to that of the moist
I specimens.
-iniha[ load The main parameters which influence

To Zo : 3 0 %
200 400 600 800 1000
concrete creep at high temperatures are
summarized in Table 3. Compared to Table 1,
tempe~ure T in % it is obvious that the concrete strains depend
Fig. 17. Restraint forces of different concretes being on different effects than the concrete strength.
totally restrained during heating up. It is important to note that the high tempera-

Parameters determining the temperature creep of concrete

Type Effect Practical importance

Strong Medium Weak

Class of strength - - + great

w/c r a t i o - - + great
Aggregate - ++ - medium
Type of cement - - + medium
Agg./cem. ratio - ++ - medium
Max. aggr. 0 - - + small
Load level +++ - - f < 0.3fult
Heating rate - - + T < 4 ~3/min
Evaporation rate +++ - - a t T ~ 1 2 0 C
Age of concrete + t>28d
Type of curing ++ medium
Sealing +++ - till T < 2 0 0 C

ture concrete strains are significantly in- 12

fluenced by physical and chemical reactions 11--
10 (Khoury) --Il-l-v
in the cement paste during heating, i.e., the
dehydration of matrix material is an impor-
_ _ c0r~rere
I ,' i]!
tant factor with respect to p h e n o m e n a like
transient creep and transitional thermal 60
creep. The dehydration is accompanied b y an 2OO/o4~ ,~p 3OO/o
intensive development of micro and macro 4D
cracks which allow for further plastic strains. 3.0
Up to now, one has not succeeded in relating 2.0
different strain effects to microstructural 1.0
changes as dehydration and crack develop- C0 "~ 200 ~0 600 800 1(]00
ment. Therefore Table 3 is rather a rough tempe~ure T in C
estimate of the presumed concrete behaviour.
Fig. 18. L o a d - i n d u c e d t h e r m a l s t r a i n curves o f n o r m a l
and lightweight concrete.


BEHAVIOUR For stresses less than 0.5 of the strength
limit, Bazant [8] proposed for creep at
Modelling of concrete behaviour under high variable moisture content and temperatures:
temperatures has been discussed during the
e M = o X J ( T , t, t') (7)
recent 1 0 - 1 5 years. Following the avail-
ability of total deformation measurements, in which J ( T , t, t') = compliance function,
the debate has concentrated on the question which represents the strain at age t caused by
how the macroscopically measurable strains a unit stress that has been acting since age t'
could be subdivided into individual strain of concrete. The compliance function is
elements. It is generally agreed that the total approximated by the double power law,
strain ( e t o t ) comprises three parts:
1 fwXCT
J ( T , t, t') = - - + g ( w ) X - - X f(te)
eto t = e M + e H + 6 T (5)
Eo Eo
where e M = mechanical (elastic, plastic) strain, X (t- t') l ' s (8)
eH= hygral (shrinkage, swelling) strain and
e w = thermal dilatation [8]. The strains in which E0 = elastic modulus, g ( w ) = func-
derived from total deformation tests do n o t tion for drying rates, fw = function of water
distinguish between eH and eW, i.e., content, CW= function of temperature, f(te) =
function of maturity. The equation comprises
6tO t ---- e M + e t h (6) all effects which are relevant for concrete
According to Khoury [9], in this case the behaviour under fire with two exceptions:
term e M is called "load-induced thermal The modulus of elasticity is not just tempera-
strain". It consists of transient creep (transi- ture- b u t also load<iependent and e M turned
tional thermal creep and drying creep), basic o u t to be nearly time invariant, at least within
creep and elastic strains. Within the range of a time period of not more than a few hours,
tested heating rates, the load-induced thermal i.e.,
strains turned o u t to be nearly independent of
time, t y p e of concrete, moisture and thermal eM(T, t, t', o) = eM(T, O) (9)
expansion of concrete. Figure 18 shows the It is therefore convenient to write
induced thermal strain curves of a one-year-
old normal concrete and lightweight concrete. eM = Eel(T, O) + epl(T, o) + err. or(T, o) (10)
The strains indicate an approximately linear in which Eel represents the elastic strains,
increase with an increase in the stress level. epl accounts for plastic strains due to stresses
This observation is in agreement with earlier b e y o n d 0.5 of the strength limit, and eu,~
findings of Anderberg [10] and Schneider comprises all the other strain increments
[11]. which occur under rapid heating and drying

of loaded concrete and which is called tran- 10.C

sient creep [3]. aJ 9(

It should be noted that transient creep in ~ ac

this sense does not just comprise creep
strains which are due to rapid drying of
capillary water and connected with that ~4c
an internal redistribution of moisture in the
microstructure, but it also accounts for I 2C
the total loss of gel water and chemically 1.C
bounded water. Both effects are usually C
200 ~00 600 830 10~
called dehydration, i.e., transient creep holds temperature T in %
for strains occurring during the change of
Fig. 19. Transient creep function ~) for different
matter until the strength or strain limits are concretes derived from total deformation tests.
exceeded. During the change of matter the
microstructure converts into a solid with a
considerable a m o u n t of internal micro and limit. From the theoretical stress-strain
macro cracks. relationship for concrete
In this connection it should be mentioned
that Anderberg [10] proposed a slightly o(T) e(T) n
- X
different notation for the transient creep fult(T) Cult(T) (n--l)+ / ( e ( T ) \]"
\eult(T)/ (15)
etr, cr ----ear + (Ftr (11)
in which f u l t ( T ) = h i g h temperature com-
in which ecr = creep strain measured under pressive strength according to Fig. 6 and
high (constant) temperatures, it comprises eult(T) = u l t i m a t e strains after Fig. 13 the
drying creep plus basic creep, and etr = following expression can be derived
transient strain, accounting for the effect of 1
the strain increase under increasing tempera- - X (e(T)/eult(T))" (16)
tures. As ecr is small with respect to fire u--1
situations, Anderberg's formula yields no whereby n = 2.5 holds for lightweight concrete
advantages in practical applications. and n = 3.0 for normal concrete. A reasonable
A compliance function which accounts approximation for g is given by
for the three strain elements according to
eqn. (10) has the following form: - X (o(T)/fult(T)) s (17)
1 ~)
J ( T , o) = -~ (1 + ~) + E
-- (12) A descending branch in the o - e diagram
is not taken into account in the proposed
in which eqns. (16) and (17). Creep functions ~b have
E = E o X f(T) X g(o, T) (13) been derived by Schneider [11] and are
shown in Fig. 19. The function (I) is described
whereby f(T) may be a function according by
to Fig. 9 and g(o, T) allows for the increase
of elasticity due to external loads (cf. Fig. o(T) x (T-- 20)
~=g+ (18)
19): fc(20 C) x 100
o(T) whereby o ( T ) / f c ( 2 0 C) ~< 0.3 and
g = 1.0 + X ( T - - 20)/100 (14)
fc(20 C) = C1 tanh 7 w ( T - 20)
whereby the empirical boundary limit is
imposed, such that if o/fc, 2o> 0.3 then + C: tanh 7o(T -- Tg) + C3 (19)
o/fc, :o ~- 0.3 must be considered. The function g is given in eqn. (14) and 7w
The K-function accounts for the plastic accounts for the moisture content w in % by
magnifications in a stress-strain diagram. weight:
It may be neglected within the elastic range,
i.e., load levels less than 0.5 of the strength 7w = (0.3w + 2.2)10 -3 (20)

P a r a m e t e r s for t r a n s i e n t creep f u n c t i o n s ~ of s t r u c t u r a l c o n c r e t e s

Parameter Dimension Quartzite concrete Limestone concrete L i g h t w e i g h t concrete

C1 1 2.60 2.60 2.60

C2 1 1.40 2.40 3.00
C3 1 1.40 2.40 3.00
~'o C-1 7.5 x 10 - a 7.5 x 10 - a 7.5 x 10 - a
Tg C 700 650 600

Figure 19 is based on a moisture content 3O

of 2%. The overall influence is comparatively
small. Table 4 contains the parameters for the /
~b functions of three structural concretes. The ,~ 2o
normal //
parameters are slightly modified when com- conr_refe
pared to the results of earlier publications
[3, 11]. Values above 800 C are derived by
It should be mentioned t h a t almost no
transient creep occurs during the cooling of
concrete after temperature exposure. A
T 0 200 zOO 600 800 1000
tempe~t~ T in E
reasonable assumption for the concrete
behaviour under cooling is that the prevalent Fig. 20. U l t i m a t e s t r a i n o f c o n c r e t e derived f r o m
the results o f t o t a l d e f o r m a t i o n tests.
modulus of elasticity is fixed according to
the corresponding previous m a x i m u m tem-
perature and stress states. Furthermore, one have been derived from the results of con-
must consider that the thermal strains may be ventional o - e tests (cf. Fig. 13).
significantly irreversible under cooling con- As far as the tension behaviour of concrete
ditions. This holds especially for temperatures at high temperatures is concerned, it is
higher than 600 C and depends mainly on the c o m m o n to neglect it in structural design.
t y p e of aggregate in the concrete (cf. Section The tensile strength of concrete decreases
3.5). As the proposed concrete model does rapidly with increasing temperatures. Table 5
not account for the crack development in shows a rough estimate of observed pure
thick cross sections, the thermal strain accord- tensile strength values at high temperatures.
ing to Fig. 15 may be reduced by a factor of The ultimate strains under tension are nor-
0.8 if eqn. (6) is applied in a structural maUy less than 1/10 of the ultimate strains
design. under compression (cf. Fig. 13).
The failure of concrete may be determined
by the m a x i m u m of attainable compressive
strains e M ~ eul t which have been established 5. C O N C L U S I O N
in a total deformation test. Figure 20 shows
the results of structural concretes according Different models for determining the
to ref. 3. The strain limits are far b e y o n d the structural fire behaviour of concrete have
values of c o m m o n ultimate strains which been developed. The models use steady-state,

T e n s i o n s t r e n g t h of c o n c r e t e a t h i g h t e m p e r a t u r e s

T e m p e r a t u r e in C 20 100 200 300 400 500 600

Relative s t r e n g t h in % 100 80 60 40 20 10 0

t r a n s i e n t state a n d m i x e d d a t a a n d h a v e stress ( N / m m 2)
d i f f e r e n t degrees o f s o p h i s t i c a t i o n . As to b e stress r a t e ( N / m m 2 p e r m i n )
e x p e c t e d , t r a n s i e n t state m o d e l s c o r r e s p o n d
largely t o fire situations.
According to r e c e n t research results,
c o n c r e t e m o d e l s should consider t r a n s i e n t REFERENCES
creep or at least a p p r o p r i a t e strain effects.
Especially if t h e t h e o r e t i c a l c a l c u l a t i o n o f 1 Z. P. Bazant and J. C. Chern, Normal and Refrac-
tory Concretes for LMFBR Applications, EPRI:
c o n c r e t e m e m b e r s requires t h e d e t e r m i n a t i o n NP-2437, Vol. 1, Northwestern University,
o f d e f o r m a t i o n s and r e s t r a i n t , t h e considera- Evanston, 1982.
t i o n o f t r a n s i e n t e f f e c t s is m o s t necessary. 2 K. Kordina, The Behaviour o f Structural Ele-
T h e p r o p o s e d c o n c r e t e m o d e l covers m o s t ments and Buildings under Fire (in German),
t e m p e r a t u r e e f f e c t s w h i c h have b e e n o b s e r v e d Rheinisch-Westf~lische Akademie der Wissen-
schaften, Nr. 281, Westdeutscher Verlag, Opladen,
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Temperatures -- Concrete, RILEM 44-PHT,
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4 U. Schneider, Behaviour o f Concrete at High
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heron, Heft 337, Verlag W. Ernst und Sohn,
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cv heat capacity (kJ/kgK) Biaxial Strength and Deformation of Concrete at
E m o d u l u s o f elasticity ( N / m m 2) High Temperatures (in German), Dissertation,
fc c o m p r e s s i v e s t r e n g t h ( N / m m 2) Technical University of Braunschweig, 1985.
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Thermal Shrinkage o f Concrete at High Tem-
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etot t o t a l d e f o r m a t i o n u n d e r load (%0) 195 - 215.
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~b creep f u n c t i o n f o r t r a n s i e n t creep f l o w Structures -- An Experimental and Theoretical
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