Influence of Specimen Size/Geometry on the Potential for Shrinkage Cracking in Rings

  1. Prof. F. H. Wittmann
  1. W. Jason Weiss1,
  2. Wei Yang2 and
  3. Surendra P. Shah2

Published Online: 23 DEC 2005

DOI: 10.1002/3527606211.ch6

Materials for Buildings and Structures, Volume 6

Materials for Buildings and Structures, Volume 6

How to Cite

Weiss, W. J., Yang, W. and Shah, S. P. (2000) Influence of Specimen Size/Geometry on the Potential for Shrinkage Cracking in Rings, in Materials for Buildings and Structures, Volume 6 (ed F. H. Wittmann), Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, FRG. doi: 10.1002/3527606211.ch6

Editor Information

  1. ETH Zürich, Institut für Baustoffe, Werkstoffchemie und Korrosion, ETH Hönggerberg, HIF E12, 8093 Zürich, Switzerland

Author Information

  1. 1

    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN USA

  2. 2

    Northwestern University, Evanston, IL USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 23 DEC 2005
  2. Published Print: 20 APR 2000

Book Series:

  1. EUROMAT 99

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9783527301256

Online ISBN: 9783527606214



  • materials for buildings and structures;
  • shrinkage cracking;
  • influence of specimen size;
  • geometry;
  • shrinkage cracking in rings


Early-age cracking can occur in concrete when drying, autogenous, or thermal shrinkage is prevented by the surrounding structure. While the potential for early-age shrinkage cracking is influenced by many factors including the magnitude of shrinkage, rate of shrinkage, stress relaxation, degree of structural restraint, and age-dependent material property development; this paper highlights a recent investigation which has illustrated that shrinkage cracking is also influenced by the size/geometry of the structure. A series of experiments were conducted using three different ring size specimens to illustrate this fact. The rings have the same inner diameter and drying surface to volume ratio but different wall thickness. Despite having the same residual strain (and similar residual stress), the experiments showed that the age at which concrete cracks varies with specimen size. This paper highlights how a fracture mechanics based solution can be used to describe the size/geometry dependent early-age cracking behavior of concrete. The stress development is simulated by considering that concrete behaves as an aging, linear, visco-elastic material. A non-linear fracture mechanics failure criterion is used to determine the time and geometry dependent tensile strength. Finally, the developed stress and size/geometry/age dependent strength are used to predict the age of cracking. The theoretical simulations were found to compare reasonably with the experimental observations.