Concrete Shrinkage Concrete is subjected to changes in volume either induced. The Shrinkge in concrete can be defined as the volume changes observed in concrete due to the loss moisture at different stages due to different reasons. concrete mixture due to the loss of capillary water called as Drying shrinkage. shrinkage causes an increase in tensile stress, which may lead to cracking, internal warping, and external deflection, before the concrete is subjected to any kind of loading.

Concrete Shrinkage Preventions Over Time

Drying shrinkage is the contraction in the concrete caused by moisture loss from drying concrete. to prevent conditions it has many options, Shrinkage-compensating concrete is used to minimize cracking and structural movement caused by drying shrinkage in concrete. Wiki stated ‘ Changes of pore water content due to drying or wetting processes cause significant volume changes of concrete in load-free specimens ” all about creep and shrinkage of concrete. drying shrinkage that occurs in concrete structures depends on the constituent materials, mixture proportions, curing, drying environment, and restraint. Concrete can also lose water through absorption by the subbase and in some applications the formwork. Such loss of water can aggravate the effects of surface evaporation.

During placing and compacting the concrete shrinks because of temperature and less water for hydration. Drying shrinkage is a phenomenon happen in concrete when there is no sufficient water for hydration process, whether it may be evaporated or poor curing method. Reduce drying shrinkage in concrete. various factors affecting drying shrinkage, It may include site measurements, Material quality, Mix-design , Admixtures & remedies after casting the concretes. To reduce drying shrinkage design concrete mix properly to avoid segregation, use lower water cement ratio, protect concrete surface from rapid drying, use randomly distributed fibres

Shrinkage of concrete can be classified into the following categories:

1. Plastic Shrinkage
2. Drying Shrinkage
3. Autogenous Shrinkage
4. Carbonation Shrinkage.

Plastic Shrinkage

Plastic Shrinkage: Loss of water from fresh concrete, which leads to plastic shrinkage changes in volume due to water movement from the concrete while still in the plastic state. changes atmosphere due to the process of evaporation from the ground level of structure. This may reason for cracks in concrete of the structure. In the case of a mix design where water-cement ratio is high,there is the possibility of excess water pathways causing bleeding. Plastic concrete is sometimes subjected to unintended vibration or yielding of formwork support which again causes plastic shrinkage cracks as the concrete at this stage has not developed enough strength. Proper vibration of the concrete can prevent plastic shrinkage. Plastic shrinkage in concrete structures can be reduced by use of aluminum powder. Plastic shrinkage in concrete can be reduced mainly by preventing the rapid loss of water from surface. Precautionary measures to control plastic shrinkage include adjustments to the concrete mixture and the use of proven construction techniques.

Drying Shrinkage:

Drying shrinkage is dependent upon several factors for reasons. These factors include the properties of the components, components proportions, mixing manner, amount of moisture while curing, dry environment, and member size. The loss of moisture from concrete after it hardens, and hence drying shrinkage Withdrawal of water from hardened concrete stored in unsaturated air develops drying shrinkage. Under drying conditions, the gel water is lost progressively over a long time, as long as the concrete is kept in drying conditions. Drying shrinkage is mainly due to the deformation of the paste, though the aggregate stiffness also influences it. The amounts of water and admixtures used during mixing also have direct and indirect effects on drying shrinkage of concrete. Concrete shrinkage occurs mostly due to the evaporation of the mixing capillary water. There are several factors that affect drying shrinkage. These include the characteristics of the concrete mixture ingredients and their proportions. Cracking due to shrinkage occurs mainly because of restraint. The restraint can be externally applied as with a bonded overlay or due to internal factors, such as reinforcement or nonuniform shrinkage within the thickness of the concrete member.


The concrete properties influence on drying shrinkage depends on the ratio of water to cementitious materials content, aggregate content, and total water content. The total water content is the most important of these. To control plastic shrinkage, the surface of fresh concrete should be prevented from drying out until finishing operations have been completed, and curing initiated. The relationship between the amount of water content of fresh concrete and the drying shrinkage is linear. Increase of the water content by one percent will approximately increase the drying shrinkage by three percent. Constant water to cementitous materials ratio coincides with changes in the amount of aggregate used.

Autogenous Shrinkage Cracks

Autogenous Shrinkage is an important role in mixing and compating young concrete. Caused due to low water cement ratio, it less than about 0.42 all the water is rapidly drawn into the hydration process and demand for more water creates very fine capillaries. early autogenous shrinkage of high strength concrete, and the possibilities of its reduction are discussed here. Autogenous shrinkage of concrete is caused by self-desiccation in the pore system of the hardened cement paste, when water is consumed during the cement hydration process.

Shrinkage-reducing admixtures able to reduce the surface tension of the pore solution by 50% or even more. on mixing In the case of concrete with low water cement ratios, the amount percentage of water is relatively small, so that inside the finest capillary pores it is soon used up, resulting in the occurrence of large forces inside a relatively flexible structure inside. The shrinkage of concrete consists of chemical and autogenous shrinkage, as well as shrinkage due to drying, plastic shrinkage, shrinkage due to temperature changes, and shrinkage due to carbonation. The shrinkage-reducing admixture reduces the surface tension of the pore solution. Chemical admixtures for the reduction of shrinkage in concrete, which contain hexylene glycol, reduce the surface tension of the water in the pore system of the cement paste.

Autogenous shrinkage, Concrete Shrinkage

Carbonation Shrinkage.

Carbonation is the reaction of carbon dioxide CO2 present in the atmosphere, with the hydrated cement minerals in the presence of moisture. Carbonation is the result of the dissolution of CO2 in the concrete pore fluid and this reacts with calcium from calcium hydroxide and calcium silicate hydrate to form calcite (CaCO3). Aragonite may form in hot conditions. test results so far, The highest carbonation shrinkage reaches 3 to 4 mm/m.

The time necessary to reach half of the final shrinkage (the parameter b) is a minimum between 50 and 80% rh for all hcp samples studied. Relative Humidity, Setting time, water and cement ratio, cement content and quality factors affecting the rate of carbonation. Results carbonation is greater in concrete protecĀ­ted from direct rain, but exposed to moist air, then concrete periodically exposed fully to rain.

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