Heat of Hydration Stresses in Stainless-Steel-Reinforced-Concrete Sections
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Stainless steel (SS) is increasingly used in construction due to its high strength and corrosion resistance. However, its coefficient of thermal expansion is different from that of concrete. This difference raises concerns about the potential for concrete cracking during the hydration process. To address this concern, a thermal-structural finite element model was developed to predict the stresses in SS-reinforced concrete (RC) sections during the hydration process. Different curing regimes were taken into consideration. The analysis was performed in two stages. First, a transient thermal analysis was performed to determine the temperature distribution within the concrete section as a function of concrete age and its thermal properties. The evaluated temperature distribution was then utilized to conduct stress analysis. The ability of the model to predict the stresses induced by the expansion of the bars relative to the surrounding concrete was validated using relevant studies by others. The model outcomes provide in-depth understanding of the heat of hydration stresses in the examined SS RC sections. The developed stresses were found to reach their peak during the first two days following concrete casting (i.e., when concrete strength is relatively small).