Integrating Construction Practices and Weather Into Freeze Thaw Specifications

It has been suggested that the freeze-thaw behavior of concrete can be related to the rate at which the concrete absorbs water and reaches a critical degree of saturation. After the critical degree of saturation is reached and frozen the sample begins to crack and the stiffness degrades rapidly. This mechanism was suggested by Fagerlund and then expanded by research completed under pooled fund - TPF-5-297. Despite these advancements, there is still more work that is needed. Current design practices for freeze thaw durability are not based on actual weather conditions and are instead based on artificial conditions created in ASTM C 666 testing of concrete. While these conditions seem to have been conservative, a better answer could be obtained if there was more information about how concrete wetted and dried in different environments. This research will use a novel way to measure this by combining low-cost data loggers to measure the moisture and temperature changes in a concrete sent to a number of different environments. This information will be combined with new models that account for the rate that concrete reaches a critical degree of saturation. This work will create specifications that are tailored for different weather conditions and also create a useful forensic tool that could be used to determine the loss in the life of a structure if a substandard concrete is placed. Freeze thaw damage can be suppressed by casting a small and well distributed bubble system in the concrete. The Super Air Meter (SAM) is a new method to measure the size and spacing of these bubbles while the concrete is still fresh by using sequential pressures. Under pooled fund TPF-5-297 the validity of the SAM was established in the lab and the field as well as several new tools were developed to improve the accuracy of the method. Testing was then done to investigate how different construction methods impact the air void system such as pumping. This work will aim to continue to develop the SAM and how different construction practices impact the air void system in fresh concrete. The ultimate goal of this work is to build on previous research efforts to produce improved specifications and advance existing test methods; while, improve the underlying understanding of freeze thaw damage. This work will specifically focus on construction practices and the impact of weather.


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  • Status: Programmed
  • Funding: $780000
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Colorado Department of Transportation

    2829 W. Howard Place
    Denver, CO  United States  80204

    California Department of Transportation

    1227 O Street
    Sacramento, CA  United States  95814

    Idaho Department of Transportation

    P.O. Box 7129
    3311 W. State Street
    Boise, ID  United States  83707-1129

    Illinois Department of Transportation

    2300 S. Dirksen Parkway
    Springfield, IL  United States  62764

    Iowa Department of Transportation

    800 Lincoln Way
    Ames, IA  United States  50010

    Kansas Department of Transportation

    Eisenhower State Office Building
    700 SW Harrison Street
    Topeka, KS  United States  66603-3754

    Minnesota Department of Transportation

    Transportation Building
    395 John Ireland Boulevard
    St Paul, MN  United States  55155

    Missouri Department of Transportation

    1617 Missouri Blvd.
    P.O. Box 270
    Jefferson City, MO  United States  65102

    Nebraska Department of Transportation

    1500 Highway 2
    P.O. Box 94759
    Lincoln, NE  United States  68509-4759

    North Dakota Department of Transportation

    608 East Boulevard Avenue
    Bismarck, ND  United States  58505-0700

    Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

    Keystone Building
    400 North Street
    Harrisburg, PA  United States  17120

    Wisconsin Department of Transportation

    PO Box 7910
    4802 Sheboygan Avenue, Room 104
    Madison, WI  United States  53707-7910

    Oklahoma Transportation

    200 NE 21st Street
    Oklahoma City, OK  United States  73105

    New York State Department of Transportation

    50 Wolf Road
    Albany, NY  United States  12232
  • Managing Organizations:

    Oklahoma Department of Transportation

    200 NE 21st Street
    Oklahoma City, OK  United States  73105
  • Project Managers:

    Curb, Ron

  • Start Date: 20221105
  • Expected Completion Date: 20230731
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01731884
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Federal Highway Administration
  • Contract Numbers: TPF-5(448)
  • Created Date: Feb 25 2020 9:08PM