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A Case Study on Controlling Temperature Rise Due to Heat

of Hydration in Large Concrete Elements by Using Water


Cooling Pipe System
K.J.S. Munasinghe, M.B.S. Fernando and K.K. Nanayakkara
Abstract: - Recently, severe cracks were observed on some bridge pile caps, pier stems and abutment
stems in Southern Transport Development Project (STDP) in Sri Lanka. After extensive investigation it
was concluded that main reasons for cracking was due to the internal sulphate attack. In literature,
this is referred to as Delayed Ettringite Formation (DEF). DEF causes internal swelling of concrete due
to chemical reaction of concrete in the presence of water and without external ingress of sulphate. DEF
formation of bridge elements was first observed in Sri Lanka in STDP. When cement is mixed with
water heat is liberated and large concrete sections tend to have high core temperature for several days.
Investigation had revealed that maximum hydration temperature exceeded more than 70 0C within
the core of large concrete elements. DEF induced damage risk could take place in such situations.
After the investigation, a water cooling pipe system was used to dissipate the excessive heat at the
core and to reduce the temperature rise during hydration in the core of large concrete elements. This
system was used for bridges pile cap, abutment stem, pier stem and box underpass elements in STDP.
Before the implementation of cooling pipe system, experimental investigation was carried out to
monitor the maximum hydration temperature rise in fresh concrete. A concrete cube was cast with
dimensions of 1.5m x 1.5m x 1.5m and the temperature rise was monitored by using embedded
thermocouples during concreting. Concrete mixes with cement contents of 430 Kg/m3 with freewater/cement ratio of 0.48 was used. Design calculations of real application of water cooling system
may be used to demonstrate the practicability of water cooling system to keep the maximum
hydration temperature bellow 70 0C.
The main aim of this paper is to control deterioration of concrete due to the DEF induced damage. If
the hydration temperature increases more than 70 0C then there is a risk of DEF expansion and
cracking of large concrete members several years after concreting. Hence this paper is focused to
encourage the engineers to control the temperature rise within the concrete core and avoid the risk of
DEF expansion that may cause durability problems.
Keywords: DEF, Cracking, Crack mapping, Cooling pipe system,
deterioration on some other pile caps as well as
on pier stems of several bridges in STDP.

1.0 Background
Southern Transport Development Project is the
first expressway project in Sri Lanka. Kumagai
Gumi Construction Company in Japan, the
main contractor of the STDP from
Kurudugahahetakma to Matara section,
constructed seventeen road underpass bridges
and five river bridges across the local roads
and rivers. Detail design of the bridges had
been done by Central Engineering Consultancy
Bureau (CECB) in Sri Lanka.

All the deteriorated pile caps had been


subjected to continuously wetting and
intermittent wetting/drying areas owing to the
variation of ground water levels in the area.
According to the crack patterns, possible
reasons for the severe cracking was suspected
to be due to alkali silica reaction (ASR) or
alkali carbonate reaction (ACR) or delayed
ettringite formation (DEF) or combination of
these mechanisms.

The bridge pile caps and pier stems had been


constructed before the year in 2006. When one
of the pile caps in Gin Ganga Bridge was
exposed for strengthening the pier cap in
December 2008, cracks were observed (Figure
01) on the top surface of the pile cap. The pile
cap was exposed four years after concreting.
The main contractor of the STDP decided to
expose all bride pile caps to check the existing
condition of the other pile caps. After the
excavation contractor had observed similar

Eng.K.J.S. Munasinghe, B.Sc. Eng. (Hons) (Ruhuna).


AMIE (Sri Lanka),
Southern Transport Development Project, Sri Lanka
Eng. M.B.S. Fernando, MSc, CEng. FIE (SL), FCPM
Team Leader (Supervision Consultant)
Southern Transport Development Project, Sri Lanka
Eng. K.K. Nanayakkara, B.Sc.Eng.(Hons) Moratuwa).
MEng(struct)(Moratuwa), CEng, MIESL
Southern Transport Development Project, Sri Lanka

These three mechanisms are internal chemical


reactions which cause expansion of concrete
and leading to cracking under wetting
condition. Extensive investigations had been
carried out for determining contributory
factors from above three causes.

map cracking patterns were visible on the pier


stem and top surface of the pile cap and were
continuous on side faces to bottom of the pile
cap also. Extensive investigation had been
carried out to confirm factors relating to above
three causes. After the investigation, it was
concluded that main cause of cracking was due
to the DEF expansion.

University of Moratuwa (UM) in Sri Lanka had


carried out accelerated mortar bar tests with
coarse aggregate, fine aggregate (sand, quarry
dust), cement samples (Ordinary Portland
Cement-OPC and Portland Limestone CementPLC) and used admixture samples for residual
expansion of concrete core samples. After the
investigation, UM had concluded that the main
cause for cracking was due to the DEF
expansion (Reference no.1). Concrete material,
water and soil samples, cement testing and
other related testing had been done by
Industrial Technology Institute (ITI), National
Building Research Organization (NBRO), and
Geological Survey & Mines Bureau (GSMB) in
Sri Lanka.

Cracked pile caps and pier stems are


considerably thick varying from 800 mm to
1400 mm. Ready mixed grade 30/20 concrete
with PLC and crushed aggregate as fine and
course aggregate had been used in
construction of pile caps and pier stems. Used
PLC content was around 400 Kg per cubic
meter. Hence there is a high possibility that the
maximum temperature would have exceeded
70 0C at the concrete core. According to the
Project Technical Specification of STDP,
concrete placing temperature had been kept
bellow 32 0C by using chilled water and ice.
But Project Technical Specification had been
silent about the controlling of hydration
temperature inside the concrete core.

AECOM Asia Ltd and Hewson Consulting


Engineering Ltd (HCEL), United Kingdom
(UK) had been appointed by Kumagai Gumi
Construction Company as independent
consultants for further investigation of sever
cracking of bridge pile caps in STDP. AECOM
Asia Ltd had also established that the main
reason for the cracking may be due to the DEF
expansion. HCEL had proposed remedial
action to reinstate the deteriorated bridge pile
caps and pier stems. After successfully
reinstating the bridge pile caps and pier stems,
expressway had been opened to public in
November 2011.

After the DEF formation was identified, water


cooling pipe system had been introduced
where the maximum thickness of the member
was more than 600mm in order to control the
maximum hydration temperature bellow 70 0C.
The cooling pipe system consisted of 25 mm
diameter GI pipes spaced vertically and
horizontally at approximately 500 mm centers.
Maximum length of the pipe was limited to 70
m in length. 15 mm thick plywood sheets were
used for making formwork.
1.3 Delayed Ettringite Formation (DEF)

1.1 Introduction
Cores of large concrete elements naturally
have high temperatures due to hydration
reactions within the cement matrix, which lead
to the suppression or chemical change of the
natural ettringite formed during the concrete
plastic stage after the addition of water. A
further chemical reaction with the sulphate,
naturally present in the concrete if the concrete
is in a wet condition and what is sometimes
called late ettringite is formed, This is DEF,
and it is these needle-like crystals which
provide sufficient force to cause cracking of the
concrete, usually associated with some
probably thermally induced micro cracking.
Typically the cracks appear at the concrete
surface where there is less restraint. The effect
of the DEF expansion of the core of the thick

Cracking of a pile cap was first observed in


December 2008, when a pile cap was exposed
for remedial work of the bridge. This led to
exposing of other bridge pile caps. Eleven pile
caps had exhibited moderately to sever
cracking. Those pile caps had been constructed
during the period of November 2004 and June
2005. Preliminary investigation proved that
only pile caps exposed to continuously wet
and wet/dry environment had cracked and
there were no visible cracks in pile caps
exposed to continuously dry environment.
Crack patterns of the severely cracked pile
caps represented typical map cracking (See
figure 02) pattern of ASR, ACR and DEF. These

Figure 01: Severely cracked pile cap at bridge B18 P05 pile cap

Figure 02: Map cracking pattern at bridge B18 - P05 pile cap
Cured with Spray Water and HESSIAN

Thermocuples
with Socket
12 mm Thick
Expanded
Polystyrene

TC2

12 mm Thick
Plywood
Formwork

A
TC4
TC1

Thermocuples

TC3

Grade 30/20
Concrete
Concrete Slab
SECTION A-A

PLAN

Figure 03: Cross section and plan of the specimen

concrete member is to create a tensile stress in


the surrounding concrete not affected by the
DEF, and cracking occurs when this tensile
stress exceeds the tensile capacity of the
concrete.

2.2 Temperature Measurement


In order to monitor the temperature gradients
four thermocouples were embedded in the
specimen before casting of concrete specimen.
The locations of the thermocouples are shown
on the Figure 03. Additional thermocouples
were used for measuring the ambient
temperature. The temperature at these
locations was measured at two hour intervals
for a period until the temperature fell to 10 0C
from the peak temperature.

2. Experimental Investigation
2.1 Size of the Specimen
In order to measure the hydration temperature
rise, a concrete block with the dimensions of
1.5m x 1.5m x 1.5m was prepared. The concrete
block was cast on an earlier cast concrete bed
and the four sides covered with 12 mm
wrought plywood formwork sheets. As well
the top surface of the block was cured with
sprayed water and hessian. Necessary lateral
supports were provided to prevent sideways
deflection. This specimen size was selected
based on real structural requirement. Typical
cross section and plan of the arrangement is
shown in Figure 03. The materials and 12 mm
plywood formwork were selected since it is the
most common type used in Sri Lanka. The
experimental investigation was carried out
under actual local environmental conditions
close to the real structure. TC1, TC2, TC3 and
TC4 are the appropriate positions of the
thermocouples used to measure temperatures.

2.3 Result of the Investigation


The temperature variations of the concrete due
to heat of hydration of cement at the location
of thermocouples are shown on Graph 1. The
graph represents the temperature variations vs
the time at locations of thermocouples. It can
be seen that the maximum peak temperature
rise was 74.9 0C at the middle of the specimen
28 hours after placing the concrete.

3. Demonstration of Cooling Pipe


System on Reinforced Concrete Box
Underpass Structure
3.1 Proposed Pipe Configuration
Embedded GI cooling pipes had been used to
reduce the temperature rise during hydration
process in elements of reinforce concrete box
underpass and bridge structures in STDP.
More than 50 structural elements had been cast
using embedded cooling pipe system with
thermocouples. Main target of the cooling pipe
installation was to control the maximum
hydration temperature rise bellow 65 0C.

The temperature rise of concrete mainly


depends on the cement content and chemical
compositions. Cement content of the mix
proportions used in this investigation was
limited to 430 Kg/m3. Ordinary Portland
Cement (OPC) was used for casting of the
specimen and the real structure. Ready mix
concrete of grade 30/20 was used with a slump
of 120 25 mm. Concrete placing temperature
was around 27 0C.

One of the box underpass structures had been


selected for demonstration of cooling pipe
application system. The segmental length of
the underpass structure is around 6000 mm.
the thicknesses of the top and bottom slab and
walls are 700 mm, 750mm and 600mm
respectively. 2500 mm x 150 mm hunches were
provided at the end of the top slab and
1200mm x 215mm curbs were provided at the
ends of bottom slab. Hence top and base slab
thicknesses are varied 700 mm to 850mm and
750 mm to 960 mm respectively. Most of the
structure base slabs are located in continuous
wet and wet/dry locations.
To achieve the required cooling capacity, an
array of pipes was installed as shown in Figure
04, 05 and 06. This comprised a network of

Graph 1:- Hydration Temperature Variation of


Specimen

twelve pipe with 25 mm diameter GI pipes on


a rectangular grid. The full cross sectional area
of the concrete base and top slab and walls are
about 8.25m2, 8.2 m2 and 3.32 m2 respectively.
Cooling pipes were spaced at a maximum of
450 mm centers and length of the network was
limited to maximum 70m of pipe length.

1525

6190

2875

WATER
OUT
TC23/TC24

NET WORK 11/


NET WORK12
TC21/TC22

TC19/TC20

3.2 Removal of Hydration Heat

WATER
OUT

WATER
OUT

NET WORK 8

NET WORK 5

NET WORK 6

NET WORK 11

1785
WATER
IN

m AL

5540

WATER
IN

WATER
OUT

WATER
OUT

600
NET WORK 9

NET WORK 10

NET WORK 3

750

600
WATER
IN

NET WORK 4

NET WORK 1
WATER
IN

NET WORK 2
WATER
OUT

WATER
IN

WATER
OUT

FRONT ELEVATION

1500

Figure 04: Elevations of the cooling pipe


arrangement

TC6

TC7

TC8

6 100

TC5

TC1

TC3

TC4

1500

TC2

NET WORK 1
WATER
IN

NET WORK 2
WATER
OUT

WATER
OUT

The heat to be removed Hr per metre length of


pipe is calculated as follows.

Hr mcc

NET WORK12

WATER
IN

WATER
IN

Figure 06: Pipe network arrangement on walls

WATER
OUT

9800

NET WORK 9/
NET WORK10

NETWORK ON WALLS

WATER
OUT

NET WORK 7

700

WATER
IN

3135

The amount of the hydration heat to be


removed by the cooling pipe system is
represented by the difference between the peak
temperature profile without cooling system
(Adiabatic condition) and the temperature
profile at the end of the cooling period.
Normal water was circulated through the pipe
to remove the hydration heat.

TC17/TC18

WATER
IN
WATER
OUT

WATER
IN

........................................ 1

............................................. 2

Where,
m is the mass of concrete influenced by the
pipe
A is the area affected by the pipe (m2) assume
to be the area of a cylinder with a radius equal
to half the pipe spacing. With pipes at 450 mm,
A = 0.159 m2
L is the length of the pipe (m)
r is the density of the concrete (= 2394
kg/m3)
Cc is the specific heat of the concrete (= 1.045
kJ/Kg0C)

is the average reduction in the


temperature between that estimated due to
natural cooling only and that achieved with
the cooling pipes. Estimated maximum
hydration temperature was 83.6 0C (Reference
no.5) in the concrete core. Cooling pipe
systems had been arrange to reduced
maximum hydration temperature bellow 65 0C.
Hence has been taken as 18.6 0C after 24
hours. The heat to be removed per m run of
pipe is therefore (0.159 x 1.045 x 2394) x 1000 x
18.6 = 7.4 x 105 J/m run of pipe.
3.3Estimating Water Flow Rate
The density of water is 1000 kg/m3 and its
specific heat Cw is 4186 J/kg 0C. The increase in
the water temperature as it passes through the
pipe will be governed by the flow rate. It has
been assumed that the inlet temperature of the
water would be 30 0C and that the outlet

BOTTOM LAYER OF BOTTOM SLAB

Figure 05: Pipe network arrangement on base

temperature was limited to 40 0C. Maximum


length of the pipe network was selected as 70m
with bends. Hence the allowable temperature
rise per m length of pipe is w = 10/70 =
0.143 0C. The mass of the water mw required to
remove 7.4 x 106 J with a temperature increase
of 0.143 0C is calculated as follows.

mw

Hr
C w w

5. Temperature Controlling of Box


Underpass Structure
5.1 Temperature Measurements
In order to monitor the temperature rise,
thermocouples had been embedded into the
concrete before casting of reinforced concrete
box underpass structure. The locations of the
thermocouples are shown on the Figure 05 and
06. Additional thermocouples were used for
measuring the ambient temperature and inlet
and outlet water temperature of the cooling
pipe. Once concreting was started, Water had
been circulating through the pipe at the rate
1300 l/hr up to the temperature of embedded
thermocouple readings fell to ambient
condition.
The
temperature
at
these
thermocouples was measured at 30 minutes
intervals until water circulation was stopped.
Water flow rate was monitored during the
three hours intervals.

...................................... 3

mw =( 7.4 x 106) /(4186 x 0.143) = 12362 kg


The heat is removed over a period of 24 hours,
requiring a mean volume flow rate of 12362/24
= 515 l/hr. Rate of heat generation and heat
transfer to the pipe is not constant and regular
hence 2.5 safety factor was considered for
volume flow rate. Considering safety factor,
required minimum flow rate is 2.5 x 515 = 1300
l/hr. Water circulation of the pipe was carried
out to until maximum temperature fell to
ambient condition.

Graph 02:- Peak Temperature variation of base slab at ch: 52+100 box underpass structure
It can be seen that the maximum peak
temperature reached 52.2 0C, 18 hours after
placing the concrete. It is very much lower
than estimated peak temperature of 83.6 0C for
430 kg/m3 cement content. This is a reduction
of 31.4 0C from peak temperature of about 83.6
0C if cooling was not used. The measured flow
rate of water through the cooling pipe was
around 3000 l/hr, which was 2.3-times of the
minimum estimated factored volume flow rate.
The mean ambient temperature was around 27

5.2 Result of Cooling System


The temperature variations of the bottom and
top slabs and walls due to heat of hydration at
the locations of embedded thermocouples
could be managed less than the 65 0C as it was
targeted. The temperature variations Vs time
of the base slab which is thicker, at the
locations of thermocouples are shown on
Graph 02.

0C

of the environment, which was lower than 5


from estimated mean ambient temperature
of about 32 0C. Changes in ambient
temperature may have little impact on the
concrete at the center of the section core.
0C

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
The authors would like to convey their
gratitude to the employer of the project, Road
Development Authority, Eng. B.V.D.N.
Chandrasiri, Project Director (STDP) for
providing the background to carry out the
investigation. Further they thank previous
supervision consultant of the STDP Roughton
International, UK and main contractor
Kumagai Gumi Construction Company in
Japan as well as current consultant of the STDP
south
section
Resource
Development
Consultant, Engineering Consultant Limited,
MG Consultants JV and main contractor China
National Technical Import and Export
Corporation for their assistance in this work.

The mean concrete placing temperature was


around 28 0C, which was lower 3 0C from
estimated concrete placing temperature of 32
0C. When the heat loss to the surrounding is
assumed as the same, if the concrete placed at
lower temperature, would result a lower rise of
temperature and if the concrete was placed at
higher temperature a higher rise of
temperature would result.
As the water cooling system was running, the
inlet and outlet water temperatures were
observed at one degree difference. But the
system was designed assuming 30 0C inlet and
40 0C outlet temperature i.e. mean cooling
water temperature of 35 0C. But the observed
average mean cooling water temperature was
less than 30 0C.

We also thank Eng. Roger Knight (Senior


Bridge Engineer of STDP), Prof. S.M.A.
Nanayakkara, Prof. Roger Buckby, Dr. P.B.
Bamforth, Dr. Ian Sims, Eng. Nigel Hewson
and Eng. R.D.D. Dayawansa who were actively
involved to find reasons for sever cracking and
remedial measures for the bridge pile caps.

Maximum hydration temperature of the


concrete core was about 52.2 0C with the water
cooling system and its lower than the critical
margin 650 ~ 70oC. As such, there was no any
risk of forming of DEF, owing to the concrete
expansion and cracking.

Note: The opinions expressed in this article are


those of the authors and do not represent the
views of the Road Development Authority or
the Southern Transport Development project.

5. Conclusion

Reference

Sever cracks had been observed in some of the


pile caps and pier stems in STDP. Cracked pile
caps thicknesses were varying from 800mm to
1400 mm. Grade 30/20 ready mixed concrete
had been used for cracked pile cap cast with
PLC content around 400 kg/m3. Cracks were
observed 4 years after casting. After extensive
investigation, it was concluded that main
possible reason for cracking was due to the
DEF expansion. When the large concrete
element core temperature exceeds more than
70 0C, ettringite may be formed inside the core.
Hence there is a risk of DEF induced damage
due to the expansion and cracking. DEF risk
can be reduced by installing water cooling pipe
system to control the maximum hydration
temperature rise in large concrete element
core.

1.

In the cooling system maximum flow rate


through the pipe was 3000 l/hr with inlet
water at 26.5 0C. It could be managed the
maximum peak temperature at 52.2 0C, 18
hours after placing the concrete.

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