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The thermal properties of concrete aggregates are of greater or lesser concern to the user, depending upon the nature of the concrete structure and the exposure to which it is subjected. Examples of where knowledge of thermal properties are of greater concern are in the design of massive structures, such as dams, where thermal and volume stability are important and in lightweight concrete structures where insulating value is a primary factor. Except for thermal coefficient of expansion, the thermal properties of the aggregates used in normal concrete structures, such as office buildings, warehouses, pavements, and the like, are seldom considered. An understanding of the effects of the thermal properties of aggregates on the properties of concrete can have an effect on improving concrete quality and in some instances may well be mandatory. The attention that has been given to the thermal properties of concrete aggregates is not as great as the amount of research and the volume of testing performed in connection with other properties of aggregate. This may be because the significance of thermal properties is not as apparent, and in many instances the effects do not appear to be as important as the effects of other properties of aggregates. A discussion of the significance of the thermal characteristics of concrete aggregates is further complicated by the effect of the relationship between the thermal properties of the concrete as a whole and the thermal properties of the component materials. Insofar as possible the discussion in this paper is confined to the significance of tests of thermal properties of the aggregates; however, in some instances it has been necessary to discuss briefly the thermal properties of the concrete as affected by the aggregates. The significance of tests of thermal properties of concrete is discussed in another paper in this publication.
Cook, H. K.
Vice president for research and engineering, Master Builders, Division of Martin Marietta Corp., Cleveland, Ohio