Volume 7, Issue 1 (January 2010)
Freeze-Thaw Performance of Concrete: Reconciling Laboratory-Based Specifications with Field Experience
Specifications relating to frost resistance of concrete are generally based on laboratory tests of laboratory-produced concrete. Quality control for laboratory-produced concrete is usually significantly better than what can be achieved in the field, and laboratory freeze-thaw tests generally produce conditions that are not close to any real field exposure conditions. Field exposure testing is also problematic. Exposure conditions are not the same from one location to the next and may not even be the same from one year to the next at the same location. This paper attempts to provide guidance for interpreting the results of field tests of concrete exposed to natural freezing and thawing conditions. Types of frost damage as well as types of field test sites are discussed, and recommendations are provided for the use of field test results to modify frost-resistance specifications.