Empirical models to predict concrete expansion caused by sulfate attack

Kimberly E. Kurtis, Paulo J.M. Monteiro, Samer M. Madanat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The development of empirical models to predict concrete expansion produced by sulfate attack is described. Data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation over a 40+ year period of non-accelerated testing form the basis for the model. In the nonaccelerated test program, concrete cylinders -were continuously submerged at room temperature in 2.1% sodium sulfate solution, which corresponds to severe field exposure conditions. Expansion measurements were made periodically. Over 8000 expansion measurements were collected for 114 specimens cast from 51 different mixtures. Analysis of the data showed the significance of water-cement ratio (w/c) and C3A content of the cement, with the data revealing distinct behavior for mixtures containing cements with low C3A content (< 8%) and high C3A content (> 10%). As a result, two models are proposed to predict expansion by sulfate attack as a function of\\/c, duration of exposure, and C3A content. The random effects method was used to capture unobserved heterogeneity in the data set, and the results from a simple regression and a regression including the random effects method are compared.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-161
Number of pages6
JournalACI Structural Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000


  • Accelerated tests
  • Concretes
  • Expansion
  • Sulfate attack

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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