Materials and Structures

, 51:168 | Cite as

The effect of realistic curing temperature on the strength and E-modulus of concrete

  • Anja Estensen KlausenEmail author
  • Terje Kanstad
  • Øyvind Bjøntegaard
  • Erik J. Sellevold
Original Article


The strength and E-modulus of concrete are decisive parameters when it comes to ultimate limit state design, serviceability limit state design, and early age crack assessment. The properties of concrete are generally determined in the laboratory under 20 °C isothermal conditions and then used as the basis for calculations under realistic temperature conditions. It is well-known, however, that the curing temperature affects both the rate of property development in concrete and the “final value” of a given property. The current study investigated the effect of a realistic temperature history on the compressive cube strength, the tensile strength, and the tensile E-modulus for two concretes, a reference concrete and a fly ash concrete. Concrete specimens were subjected to either (1) 20 °C isothermal curing conditions, or (2) realistic temperature curing conditions for 14 days and then 20 °C isothermal conditions, until they were tested after 28 and 91 days. Parallel tests performed in a Temperature-Stress Testing Machine were also used to evaluate the results. The reference concrete showed a general reduction in strength and E-modulus when subjected to a realistic curing temperature, whereas the fly ash concrete showed an 11% increase in the 28-day E-modulus when cured under realistic temperature conditions. Furthermore, in both isothermal and realistic curing temperature conditions, the fly ash concrete showed a pronounced property development beyond 28 days, which could not be described by the material model currently used.


Concrete Strength Property development Temperature Fly ash 



The article is based on work carried out in the user-driven research-based innovation project DaCS (Durable advanced Concrete Solutions, 2015–2019) in addition to COIN (Concrete Innovation Centre, 2007–2014) ( COIN was a centre for research-based innovation established by the Research Council of Norway.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and animal rights

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals.


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Copyright information

© RILEM 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anja Estensen Klausen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Terje Kanstad
    • 1
  • Øyvind Bjøntegaard
    • 2
  • Erik J. Sellevold
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Structural EngineeringNorwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)TrondheimNorway
  2. 2.Norwegian Public Roads AdministrationTrondheimNorway

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