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Techbrief: Freeze-Thaw Resistance of Concrete with Marginal Air Content

Primary Topic: Materials-Concrete

Description: Freeze-thaw resistance is a key durability factor for concrete pavements. Recommendations for the air void system parameters are normally 6 ± 1 percent total air and a spacing factor of < 0.20 millimeter (mm) (0.008 inch). However, it was observed that some concretes without these commonly accepted thresholds presented good freeze-thaw resistance in laboratory studies.

This study evaluated the freeze-thaw resistance of several marginal air void mixes with two types of air-entraining admixtures, a Vinsol ® resin and a synthetic admixture. To conduct the study, researchers used rapid cycles of freezing and thawing in plain water, with no deicing salts.

For the specific materials and concrete mixture proportions used in this project, the marginal air mixes (concretes with fresh air contents of 3.5 percent or higher) presented an adequate freeze-thaw performance when Vinsol resin-based air-entraining admixture was used. The synthetic admixture used in this study did not show the same good performance as the Vinsol resin admixture.

FHWA Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-06-118

Publication Year: 2007

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