Understanding the potential causes of cracking in combination with proper design and construction can minimize the incidence of cracks in concrete and significantly improve durability, as well as aesthetics, of a structure.
By Charles Nmai for publication by CSI 11/12/2018.
It is universally accepted that concrete is a versatile and durable construction material. Though concrete is very strong in compression, and compressive strengths greater than 20,000 psi (138 MPa) have been achieved in various high-rise building applications, its tensile strength is only about one-tenth of the compressive strength. Consequently, concrete is prone to cracking unless precautions are taken to minimize factors that can cause cracking. In addition to affecting aesthetic appeal, cracking can have a profound impact on the durability of a concrete structure. The issue of cracking has taken on new prominence with the focus on sustainability in concrete construction with regards to service life and the potential for repairs or replacement.