Simple and Rapid Test for Monitoring the Heat Evolution of Concrete Mixtures for Laboratory and Field Applications, Phase 2

Project Status


Start Date: 08/01/2005
End Date: 07/31/2007


Principal Investigator(s)


  • Federal Highway Administration


About the Research

Recently, activities and interest in monitoring the heat evolution of cement hydration in concrete have increased. This is because the development of early-age concrete properties (such as workability, setting time, strength gain, and thermal cracking resistance) is predominantly influenced by the kinetics of cement hydration. Various test methods are currently available for measuring heat of cement hydration; however, most existing methods require expensive equipment, complex testing procedures, and/or extensive time, thus making them unsuitable for field application. Although ASTM C 186 is used for determining the heat of hydration of cement, there is no standard test method for concrete. The overall object of this three-phase study is to identify, develop, and evaluate a standard test procedure for monitoring pavement concrete using a calorimetry technique. It is envisioned that the newly developed calorimetry test method will be able to verify appropriate concrete proportions, to identify potentially incompatible materials and conditions, and to predict concrete performance. The primary objective of Phase II (presented in this report) is to establish a standard test procedure as well as the methods for interpreting the calorimeter test results. The newly developed calorimeter test is completed more quickly than ASTM C 186, in approximately 24 hours. Among a number of uses, the test can be utilized as a quality control measure for prescreening concrete materials and a prediction tool for early-age cracking. The Phase II results demonstrate that the new calorimetry test method has a high potential for detecting concrete incompatibility problems, predicting fresh concrete properties (such as set time), and assessing hardened concrete performance characteristics (such as strength gain and thermal cracking).