Temperature-related performance factors for chemical demolition agents

Minh Phuoc Huynh, Debra F. Laefer, Jenny McGuill, Aisling White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Soundless chemical demolition agents (SCDAs) are percussion-free alternatives to blasting for selective demolition. Although known to be temperature sensitive, to date their performance has not been quantified in ambient environments below 20°C. This paper examines 6 large-scale specimens at 16.1-19.3°C. Substantially slower response than that reported by manufacturers was documented. Initial cracking required 25 + h and continued for 4-8 days. Cracks opened rapidly after minimum demolition time [(MDT)cumulative cracking around the perimeter reaching ~25 mm], which was at 42 and 70 h, respectively in 16.8 and 33.1 MPa specimens. Post-MDT, crack width opening velocities were 0.35-0.96 mm/h, approximately one-third to two-thirds pre-MDT velocities. A 0.5°C ambient temperature drop delayed MDT by 6.5 h amongst equi-sized specimens of the same strength. Generally, MDT correlated with material strength (irrespective of ambient temperature or specimen size), whereas time to first crack was more influenced by temperature. Also, SCDA reapplication proved effective for incompletely cracked specimens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-240
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Masonry Research and Innovation, Inderscience
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 2017


  • Concrete
  • Cracking
  • Demolition
  • Expansive cements
  • Masonry conservation
  • SCDAs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)


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