Early Age Cracking

Nearly all portland cement-based construction materials will crack on some scale. Early age cracks are often of negligible concern. However, in some cases, they may present a real problem. We determine the severity, relative age, and the mechanism(s) that cause the cracking, which may range from drying shrinkage, autogenous shrinkage, plastic shrinkage, thermal cracking and loading among others.

Reflected light photomicrograph of adhesion microcracks on the polished surface of a core from a slab that was finished prematurely.

Photograph of hairline crazing cracks on finished surface of a slab on ground.

Photograph of phenolphthalein-stained slab showing plastic shrinkage cracks.

Reflected light photomicrograph of polished surface showing thermal cracks in core from a massive column.

Photograph of phenolphthalein-stained surface showing shrinkage crack with carbonation halo.

Photograph of full depth shrinkage crack on polished surface from a slab on ground core.

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