Experimental analysis of the spalling phenomenon in precast reinforced concrete columns exposed to high temperatures
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Abstract Among the processes that involve the degradation of concrete structures subject to the high temperatures of a fire there is the spalling phenomenon. Its mechanisms are related to the thermal stress of the materials dilatations and pore pressure the process of vaporization of water during heating. The factors that influences in its occurrence are related to concrete properties, structural member characteristics or the exposure conditions, and their parameters are not clearly known yet. This paper aimed to study the influence of three concrete mixtures, four coating thicknesses and two bars diameters of longitudinal reinforcement in the spalling phenomena exposed to ISO 834 fire curve. The characterization of concrete were performed either of the axial compression strength tests, water absorption by capillary and mercury intrusion porosimetry, besides the fire resistance tests in real-scale specimens. It was concluded that the diameter of the bar does not have influence, while the mixture and the concrete cover thickness does. More spalling was recorded for the columns with thicker concrete cover and concrete compressive strength at 61,9 MPa, and although higher strength concrete have less permeability, this characteristic can be balanced with the higher tensile strength of this type of concrete.