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Nine Sources of Cracking in Concrete

Concrete is regularly used for its tried-and-true endurance, so when concrete begins to crack it is a serious issue. Cracking in concrete is usually brought on by one of the following sources.

Using Low-Grade Materials

cracking concrete

A major source of cracking is using low-grade materials which includes both concrete and steel in reinforced concrete structures.

Shrinkage

concrete shrinkage

If not controlled during the mix design and curing stage, shrinkage can cause cracking. Shrinkage can become critical in high strength concrete because of a low water/cement ratio as well as the use of Mineral Admixtures.

Quality and Type of Aggregate

shrinkage

The quality of aggregate used in concrete determines the overall strength of concrete. If the aggregate is of poor quality, it will not make a proper bond with cement.

Overloading of Structure

overloading

Especially at younger age, overloading of structure is a common source of cracking. This can happen if formwork is removed before time or more construction load is present.

Mistakes at Design Stage

design stage

With errors at the design stage, it is only logical that problems will occur at site – Concrete cracking included.

Improper Curing

Improper Curing

Curing done inappropriately for given time span will cause cracking.

Early Formwork Removal

Early Formwork Removal

There will be cracking if formwork is removed before concrete has achieved its strength.

Congested Reinforcement in Lean Concrete

Congested Reinforcement in Lean Concrete

If heavy reinforcement is used in average quality concrete, stress distribution between steel and concrete can become non-linear causing cracking.

Mistakes at the Site or During Erection

Erection of Formwork

Lack of proper and trained labor and workmanship during concreting can cause cracking.

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