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The thermal properties of hardened concrete that are of engineering significance are thermal conductivity, specific heat, thermal diffusivity, and coefficient of thermal expansion. Thermal conductivity is the measure of rate of heat flow; specific heat is the measure of heat capacity; thermal diffusivity is an index of the facility with which the temperature can change; and coefficient of thermal expansion governs change in volume, or as usually measured, change in length with change in temperature. Adiabatic temperature rise, or the heat of hydration of the cement, may well be considered as another, although transient, thermal property of the concrete. This property and proper control of it is of vital consideration in the design of modern, massive, concrete structures [1–4]. Knowledge of these properties is used in designing and predicting the behavior of all types of structures, from the building of lightweight concrete in which insulation is a major factor to large massive structures in which artificial cooling may be employed. Stabilizing the structure thermally and volumetrically is of prime importance. An accurate knowledge of these properties or the ability to predict them with reasonable accuracy can do much to bring about better design and more efficient construction of all concrete structures.
Mitchell, L. J.
Supervisory engineer, Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, Colo.