Concrete Cracking: Causes And What Can Be Done


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The presentation will cover the three main mechanisims of why concrete cracks.


Cracking due to imposed compressive force - Extremely rare, engineers and designers generally understand compressive strength needs for structures.

Cracking due to imposed flexural force - Happens occasionally, typically seen in slab on ground applications.  Imposed flexural force usually as a result of:

  • Insufficient support (eg sub-base washout)
  • Ground movement from shrink/swell of subbase (eg clay soils)
  • Ground movement from external forces (eg tree roots)
  • Insufficient or inappropriate location of steel reinforcement

Cracking due to imposed tensile force - Quite common, the vast majority of cracking complaints.  Imposed tensile stress due to:
  • ‚ÄčTensile stress in the surface due to volume reduction rapid moisture loss (occurs within the first 2-24 hours post placement)
  • Tensile stress in the surface due to concrete movement in early stages of post placement
  • Induced tension from different rates of thermal expansion (similar to cracking glass with rapid cooling) 
  • Concrete drying shrinkage over time (typically occurs weeks or months post placement)

Presenter: Wayne Milligan l Technical Support Manager l Boral

Total viewing time - 19min

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By purchasing this Online Learning Module, you will have the opportunity to view recorded presentations (video and audio) at your own pace over a 90-day period.