Thermo-mechanical analysis of mass concrete elements made of rubberized concrete
AbstractIn this study mass concrete samples with tire rubber chips (rubberized concrete) were evaluated in order to determine if the addition of rubber particles would enhance the resistance to cracking due to volumetric variations of thermal origin, compared to a reference concrete, without rubber. Samples of the concretes studied were initially tested to characterize their thermal and mechanical properties. The test results were used as parameters for the analysis of the thermo-mechanic behavior of the rubberized concrete by means of a software that determined the thermal and stress response on a bi-dimensional dominion of a structural element of hypothetical geometry, typical of dam construction, applying FEM (finite element method) analysis. The results obtained indicated that, although the maximum temperatures expected are similar for both concretes (reference and rubberized), those containing tire rubber chips are subjected to lower tensile stresses, about half the stress generated in the control concrete. This behavior indicates that the addition of tire rubber chips in concrete is an efficient strategy to minimize the risk of cracking due to thermal stresses. Key words: mass concrete, tire rubber, thermal stress analysis, finite element method.