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Causes of Crack Formation in Reinforced Concrete Structures and New Ways of Prevention (AGB2003/003)

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Background & Policy context

Reinforced concrete elements made of modern concretes have comparatively high cement contents and low water cement ratios. Due to this autogenous shrinkage causes separating cracks at early ages. Hence, unlike in normal concrete where drying shrinkage causes V-shaped surface cracks modern concretes have a quite high risk of damage. In this project the current knowledge regarding the causes, influencing parameters, mechanisms, properties and options to prevent cracking will be evaluated. This serves as a basis to suggest new approaches, how to prevent cracks, which affect durability.


This project aims to bring together the relevant work on the causes, impact parameters, mechanisms, effects and prevention possibilities of cracking described in the previous chapters, to discuss and formulate universally valid. This established knowledge gaps are described precisely and it is shown how this through the use of future-oriented methods (calculation method, concrete mix design, etc.) can be closed.


These are steps used in the project:

  • Literature research
  • Databases
  • Interviews


The final report allowed the builders and the project planner to identify situations with increased probability relevant to durability cracking. A possible follow-up project will use the knowledge gained to implement the proposed new ways to control the cracking in the practice and conduct by concrete objects.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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