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Frontiers of Structural and Civil Engineering >> 2021, Volume 15, Issue 3 doi: 10.1007/s11709-021-0733-9

Influence of construction-induced damage on the degradation of freeze–thawed lightweight cellular concrete

Received: 2020-11-09 Revised: 2021-05-25 Accepted: 2021-07-14 Available online: 2021-06-15

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During the construction of lightweight cellular concrete (LCC), material damage frequently occurs, causing the degradation and deterioration of the mechanical performance, durability, and subgrade quality of LCC. The construction-induced damage can be more significant than those from the service environment of LCC, such as freeze–thaw (F–T) action in cold regions. However, the effect of construction-induced damage on LCC during F–T cycles is often ignored and the deterioration mechanisms are not yet clarified. In this study, we investigated the factors causing damage during construction using a sample preparation method established to simulate the damage in the laboratory setting. We conducted F–T cycle tests and microstructural characterization to study the effect of microstructural damage on the overall strength of LCC with different water contents under F–T actions. We established the relationship between the pore-area ratio and F–T cycle times, pore-area ratio, and strength, as well as the F–T cycle times and strength under different damage forms. The damage evolution is provided with the rationality of the damage equation, verified by comparing the measured and predicted damage variables. This study would serve as a guide for the construction and performance of LCC in cold regions.

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