Experimental Analysis and Micromechanics-Based Prediction of the Elastic and Creep Properties of Polymer-Modified Concrete at Early Ages

  • Luise Göbel
  • Bernhard Pichler
  • Andrea Osburg
Conference paper


Polymer-modified concrete (PCC) has been used since the 1980s mainly for repair and restoration. Nowadays, it is also increasingly applied in construction. The desirable future integration of PCC into guidelines and standards requires a reliable mathematical description of the mechanical behavior of PCC. Notably, PCC exhibits less elastic stiffness and a more pronounced creep activity compared to conventional concrete. This contribution presents a combined experimental-computational study concerning early-age mechanical properties of PCC. Experimental characterization comprised 3 min-long creep tests which were performed every hour, spanning material ages from 1 day after production up to 8 days. This allowed for a quasi-continuous quantification of the early-age evolutions of the elastic stiffness and of the non-aging creep properties. As for computational modeling, an existing multiscale model for the elastic stiffness of concrete is extended toward the consideration of polymers. It is shown that the extended model can reliably describe the elastic stiffness of PCC, provided that entrapped air is adequately considered.



This research is supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) via the Research Training Group 1462, which is gratefully acknowledged. This work was further supported by a short-term scientific mission (STSM) grant from COST Action TU1404 “Towards the Next Generation of Standards for Service Life of Cement-based Materials and Structures,” which is gratefully acknowledged.


  1. 1.
    Al-Zahrani, M. M., Maslehuddin, M., Al-Dulaijan, S. U., & Ibrahim, M. (2003). Mechanical properties and durability characteristics of polymer- and cement-based repair materials. Cement and Concrete Composites, 25, 527–537.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Wang, R., Wang, P.-M., & Li, X.-G. (2005). Physical and mechanical properties of styrene–butadiene rubber emulsion modified cement mortars. Cement and Concrete Research, 35, 900–906.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Irfan-ul-Hassan, M., Pichler, B., Reihsner, R., & Hellmich, C. (2016). Elastic and creep properties of young cement paste, as determined from hourly repeated minute-long quasi-static tests. Cement and Concrete Research, 82, 36–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kong, X., Emmerling, S., Pakusch, J., Rueckel, M., & Nieberle, J. (2015). Retardation effect of styrene-acrylate copolymer latexes on cement hydration. Cement and Concrete Research, 75, 23–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Drugan, W. R., & Willis, J. R. (1996). A micromechanics-based nonlocal constitutive equation and estimates of representative volume element size for elastic composites. Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 44, 497–524.MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Pichler, B., & Hellmich, C. (2011). Upscaling quasi-brittle strength of cement paste and mortar: A multi-scale engineering mechanics model. Cement and Concrete Research, 41, 467–476.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Powers, T. C., & Brownyard, T. L. (1948). Studies of the physical properties of hardened Portland cement paste. Research Laboratories of the Portland Cement Association Bulletin, 43, 101–132.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Göbel, L., Pichler, B., & Osburg, A. (2017). Early-age experimental characterization and semi-analytical modeling of elasticity and creep of polymer-modified cement pastes. In Second international RILEM conference on early-age cracking and serviceability in cement-based materials and structures; 12.09.–14.09.2017. Brussels.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Afridi, M., Ohama, Y., Demura, K., & Iqbal, M. Z. (2003). Development of polymer films by the coalescence of polymer particles in powdered and aqueous polymer-modified mortars. Cement and Concrete Research, 33, 1715–1721.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Pichler, B., Hellmich, C., & Eberhardsteiner, J. (2009). Spherical and acicular representation of hydrates in a micromechanical model for cement paste: Prediction of early-age elasticity and strength. Acta Mechanica, 203, 137–162.CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Research Training Group 1462WeimarGermany
  2. 2.TU Wien – Vienna University of Technology, Institute for Mechanics of Materials and StructuresViennaAustria
  3. 3.Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, F. A. Finger-Institute of Building Engineering MaterialsWeimarGermany

Personalised recommendations