Shrinkage occurs in all concrete and is relative to the amount of water loss in the hydration process and quality of cement and raw materials. However with advances in technology, at Holcim we can adjust the materials needed to minimise cracking where possible.
By using the maximum amount of coarse aggregate permitted in a mix and keeping the concrete moist (curing) as long as possible during setting, Holcim is able to deliver top-quality concrete for your needs.
As the binder in concrete hydrates (or reacts with water), the material undergoes a volume change with time. This volume instability is commonly measured as concrete shrinkage.
The materials selected must be controlled by materials selection, site procedures and design. Excessive shrinkage can result in:
- Unacceptably high joint movements (particularly critical in pavement design)
- The requirement for increased numbers of joints and reduced joint spacing
- Increased loss of pre-stress in pre-stressed and post-tensioned elements
- Increased axial shortening in column elements (particularly critical in multistory building design)
- Reduced durability resulting from enhanced cracking tendency and ready ingress of harmful agents