Microcracks in concrete: their characteristics and impact on durability by Dr. Hong Wong, UK

Speaker: Dr Hong S. Wong, Imperial College London, United Kingdom

Host: Prof. Karen Scrivener, EPFL, Switzerland

Title: Microcracks in concrete: their characteristics and impact on durability

Cracks induced by volumetric changes can affect the performance of concrete. For example, they degrade water-tightness and accelerate ingress of aggressive species causing degradation. Microcracks are a particular concern because they are difficult to control and eliminate by design. However, the impact of microcracks on durability is not well understood because of their complex nature. Other phases in the microstructure contribute to mass transport and the net effect is influenced by several interacting factors that are difficult to isolate. Yet, understanding these factors is critical for developing more durable and sustainable concretes, and reliable service-life management. This webinar highlights recent research to isolate, quantify and understand the impact of microcracks through mass transport testing, three-dimensional imaging and numerical modelling. The presentation will address the characteristics of drying and autogenous shrinkage-induced microcracks, and their influence on transport processes. Mitigating strategies, implications on durability and future research needs are discussed.


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