DOI: 10.1515/rams-2023-0102 ISSN:

Failure criteria and microstructure evolution mechanism of the alkali–silica reaction of concrete

Yongbo Wang, Peng Gao, Huaizhi Su, Yuanyu Qin, Yimeng Wang, Gang Xue
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • General Materials Science


In this study, the influence of two distinct reactive aggregate dosages on the alkali–silica reaction (ASR) of concrete was investigated. The expansion ratio, axial compressive strength, splitting tensile strength, and relative dynamic elastic modulus (RDEM) of concrete were considered as the main parameters to study the failure criteria of concrete induced by ASR at 40°C. Microscopic experiments, such as scanning electron microscopy and X-ray computed microtomography, were applied to analyze the damage induced by ASR on the concrete prisms and the propagation of internal cracks of the reactive aggregates in nanospace. The results showed that the two ranges can be used as the failure criteria produced by the ASR of concrete containing 3 and 6% dosages of reactive aggregates at 40°C, respectively, when the RDEM of concrete was reduced to 70‒75% and 85‒90%. Additionally, the results of CT indicated that microcracks tended to extend from the initial defects of aggregate to the cement slurry. Meanwhile, ASR gel packed with the pores, which reduced the porosity. It was noteworthy that the adhesive force between the ASR gel and the cement matrix after filling pores could not make up for the loss of the mechanical properties of concrete.

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