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Structural Engineering and Mechanics
  Volume 22, Number 1, January10 2006 , pages 71-83

Concrete beams submitted to various moisture environments
S. Multon, J-F. Seignol and F. Toutlemonde

    This paper deals with the effects of various moisture environments on the structural behavior of concrete beams. The presented results were obtained within a large experimental program carried out at the Laboratoire Central des Ponts et ChaussŽes (LCPC), with Electricite de France (EDF) as a partner. The aim of this paper is to point out and to quantify the strains resulting from unidirectional moisture conditions: a drying gradient applied during 14 months, followed by the re-wetting of the dried surface during 9 months. The effect of reinforcement on the shrinkage and on the deformation due to water absorption is pointed out. Moreover, a lot of tests on companion cylinders and prisms were carried out to determine the mechanical characteristics of the material and help checking analysis methods. The paper focuses on numerous measurements obtained during the 23 months on one plain concrete beam and one reinforced concrete beam: variation of water content, followed by precise weighing and gammadensitometry, relative humidity measurements, local and global deformations in the three directions and deflection of the beams. Thus, the effects of drying and water absorption on the behavior of concrete structures are documented and analyzed in comparison with existing representation of water diffusion.
Key Words
    concrete; reinforcement; moisture; shrinkage; water absorption.
S. Multon; Laboratoire MatŽriaux et Durabilite des Constructions, 135, Avenue de Rangueil,31077 Toulouse Cedex 4, France
J-F. Seignol and F. Toutlemonde;
Laboratoire Central des Ponts et ChaussŽes, 58, Boulevard Lefebvre, 75732 Paris, Cedex 15, France

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