Research Brief: Examining Freeze-Thaw Damage at the Microscopic Scale

Research Brief: Examining Freeze-Thaw Damage at the Microscopic Scalee
August 31, 2016

Freeze-thaw damage is a potentially serious deterioration process that occurs in concrete structures in cold climates. While it is known that using certain deicing salts can aggravate the damage, and that appropriately distributed entrained air bubbles can prevent damage, whether the expansion and contraction of freezing and thawing water generates enough pressure to cause cracking is debated. This research brief looks at the behavior of electrolytes in cement paste pores. The research suggests it may be possible to tune the chemical recipe of cement paste pore solution and tailor the selection of deicing salts to combat freeze-thaw damage. Read the brief.