Evolutionary identification method for determining thermophysical parameters of hardening concrete


The kinetics of heat transfer in hardening concrete is a key issue in engineering practice for erecting massive concrete structures. Prediction of the temperature fields in early age concrete should allow for proper control of the construction process to minimize temperature gradients and the peak temperatures, which is of particular importance for concrete durability. The paper presents a method of identification of the thermophysical parameters of early age concrete such as the thermal conductivity, the specific heat, and the heat generated by cement hydration in time. Proper numerical models of transient heat conduction problems were formulated by means of finite-element method, including two types of heat losses. The developed experimental–numerical approach included the transient temperature measurements in an isolated tube device and an in-house implementation of an evolutionary algorithm to solve the parameter identification task. Parametric Bezier curves were proposed to model heat source function, which allowed for identifying such function as a smooth curve utilizing a small number of parameters. Numerical identification tasks were solved for experimental data acquired on hardening concrete mixes differing in the type of cement and type of mineral aggregate, demonstrating the effectiveness of the proposed method (the mean-squared error less than 1 °C). The proposed approach allows for the identification of thermophysical parameters of early age concrete even for mixtures containing non-standard components while omitting drawbacks typical for classical optimization methods.

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This study is funded by National Center for Research and Development (Grant Nos. PBSII/A2/15/2014 and V4-Korea/2/2018) and Politechnika Śląska (10/040/BK_20/0094).

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Correspondence to Adam Długosz.

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Długosz, A., Pokorska, I., Jaskulski, R. et al. Evolutionary identification method for determining thermophysical parameters of hardening concrete. Archiv.Civ.Mech.Eng 21, 35 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s43452-020-00154-7

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  • Early age concrete
  • Evolutionary algorithm
  • Inverse solution
  • Heat transfer problem
  • Mass concrete
  • Thermal properties