The potential for drying shrinkage cracking in concrete is related, in part, to the development of a moisture gradient across the cross-section of the concrete element. A model has been developed that incorporates experimental measurements of internal relative humidity to investigate drying shrinkage stress gradients in concrete specimens. The experimental and analytical procedure for using the model is outlined. Initial research involving application of the model has indicated that there is a relationship between drying stress gradient severity and the time to cracking under full restraint. Further development of the model could involve combination with fracture models to investigate microcrack formation and propagation.
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