Shrinkage cracking of concrete Slabs-on-Grade: A numerical parametric study

Guiseppe Tiberti, Antonio Mudadu, Giovanni Plizzari (Univ. Brescia); Bryan Barragan (Concrete Solutions)

Industrial pavements are thin slabs on a continuous support subjected to restrained shrinkage and loads. The use of fibers as an alternative reinforcement to steel welded wire mesh and rebars is today an extensive practice for the reinforcement of concrete slabs-on-grade. Despite the widespread use of fiber reinforcement, the corresponding benefits in controlling cracking phenomena due to shrinkage are generally not considered in the design process of Fiber Reinforced Concrete (FRC) slabs-on-grade. The post-cracking performance provided by glass macro-fibers at low crack openings is particularly convenient in structures with a high degree of redundancy. Referring to service conditions, it is well known that concrete shrinkage as well as thermal effects tend to be the principal reasons for the initial crack formation in slabs-on-grade. A numerical study on the risk of cracking due to shrinkage in ground-supported slabs is presented herein. Special attention is devoted to the evaluation of the beneficial effects of glass fibers in controlling cracking phenomena due to shrinkage. The numerical analyses are carried out on jointless pavements of different sizes. Since shrinkage stresses in slabs-on-grade are considerably influenced by external constraints which limit the contractions, different subgrade conditions have been also considered.

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