Standard Active Last Updated: Sep 10, 2018
ASTM C1581/C1581M-18a

Standard Test Method for Determining Age at Cracking and Induced Tensile Stress Characteristics of Mortar and Concrete under Restrained Shrinkage

Significance and Use

5.1 This test method is for relative comparison of materials and is not intended to determine the age at cracking of mortar or concrete in any specific type of structure, configuration, or exposure.

5.2 This test method is applicable to mixtures with aggregates of 13-mm [0.5-in.] maximum nominal size or less.

5.3 This test method is useful for determining the relative likelihood of early-age cracking of different cementitious mixtures and for aiding in the selection of cement-based materials that are less likely to crack under retrained shrinkage. Actual cracking tendency in service depends on many variables including type of structure, degree of restraint, rate of property development, construction and curing methods, and environmental conditions.

5.4 This test method can be used to determine the relative effects of material variations on induced tensile stresses and cracking potential. These variations can include, but are not limited to, aggregate source, aggregate gradation, cement type, cement content, water content, supplementary cementing materials, or chemical admixtures.

5.5 For materials that have not cracked during the test, the rate of tensile stress development at the time the test is terminated provides a basis for comparison of the materials.


1.1 This test method covers the laboratory determination of the age at cracking and induced tensile stress characteristics of mortar or concrete specimens under restrained shrinkage. The procedure can be used to determine the effects of variations in the proportions and material properties of mortar or concrete on cracking due to both drying shrinkage and deformations caused by autogenous shrinkage and heat of hydration.

1.2 This test method is not intended for expansive materials.

1.3 The values stated in either SI units or inch-pound units are to be regarded separately as standard. The values stated in each system may not be exact equivalents; therefore, each system shall be used independently of the other. Combining values from the two systems may result in non-conformance with the standard.

1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.(Warning—Fresh hydraulic cementitious mixtures are caustic and may cause chemical burns to skin and tissue upon prolonged exposure.2)

1.5 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 04.02
Developed by Subcommittee: C09.68
Pages: 7
DOI: 10.1520/C1581_C1581M-18A
ICS Code: 91.100.30