Relating damage evolution of concrete cooled to cryogenic temperatures to permeability Academic Article uri icon


  • 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Typically, 9% Ni steel is used for primary containment of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Utilization of concrete in place of 9% Ni steel for primary containment would lead to significant cost savings. Hence, this study investigates changes in the microstructure of concrete due to cryogenic freezing that would affect its relevant engineering properties for containment. The study also evaluates the effect of aggregate type on the damage potential of concrete subjected to cryogenic freezing. The aim is to investigate design methodologies to produce damage-resistant cryogenic concrete. The study employed four concrete mixture designs involving river sand as fine aggregate, and coarse aggregates with different coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) values. Specifically, the coarse aggregates were limestone, sandstone, trap rock and lightweight aggregate. Concrete cubes were cured under water for at least 28 days and thereafter frozen from ambient (20 C) to cryogenic temperature (-165 C). Acoustic emission (AE) sensors were placed on the concrete cubes during freezing. X-ray computed tomography (XRCT) was employed to study the microstructure of concrete cores, before and after cryogenic freezing. The impact of the microstructural evolution thus obtained from AE and XRCT on relevant engineering properties was determined via water and chloride permeability tests. Microcrack propagation determined from AE correlated with changes in permeability. There were no observable cracks in majority of the concrete mixtures after freezing. This implies that microcracks detected via AE and increased permeability was very well distributed and smaller than the XRCT's resolution. Damage (microcracking) resistance of the concrete with different aggregates was in the order limestone trap rock >lightweight aggregate sandstone.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Kogbara, R. B., Iyengar, S. R., Grasley, Z. C., Rahman, S., Masad, E. A., & Zollinger, D. G.

citation count

  • 28

complete list of authors

  • Kogbara, Reginald B||Iyengar, Srinath R||Grasley, Zachary C||Rahman, Syeda||Masad, Eyad A||Zollinger, Dan G

publication date

  • January 2014