Early age cracking risk in a massive concrete foundation slab: comparison of analytical and numerical prediction models with on-site measurements

Aneta Smolana, Barbara Klemczak, Miguel Azenha, Dirk Schlicke*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mass foundation slabs represent unique structures because of the considerable thermal effects generated by the exothermic reactions of cement hydration that occur during concrete curing. Arising temperature variations in early age concrete generate tensile thermal stresses that may reach values resulting in cracking in foundation slabs. That is why a realistic estimation of early-age thermal loads and induced stresses is essential in engineering science and practice. In this work, several alternative methods that can be used in the assessment of the early age cracking risk have been thoroughly reviewed and discussed. First, a brief review of analytic and numerical methods has been performed to present the possible design-making paths. Next, a real mass foundation slab is analysed using the described analytical and numerical methods, with simultaneous reference to the measurements made during the construction process. Finally, the advantages and weak points of each method are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124135
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
Publication statusPublished - 27 Sept 2021


  • Early age cracking
  • Foundation slabs
  • Hydration
  • Mass concrete
  • Modelling
  • Thermal stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Building and Construction
  • Civil and Structural Engineering

Fields of Expertise

  • Sustainable Systems

Treatment code (Nähere Zuordnung)

  • Basic - Fundamental (Grundlagenforschung)
  • Application

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