An analytical equation to predict mortar spalling at laboratory scale

F. F. Mendonça Filho*, L. de Vilder, E. Schlangen, O. Çopuroğlu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Spalling is the main problem concerning safety in concrete structures under rapid heating. Despite being studied for nearly a century, its prediction remains a challenge. In addition, the main recommendations for its prevention are merely the addition of a fixed amount of polypropylene fibres, without accounting for mix design. This paper presents an experimental study focusing on the thermo-hygral mechanism contribution to spalling. The use of mercury intrusion porosimetry and X-ray microtomography for the determination of pore connectivity is considered a key parameter. The results of the experiment are used for the development and calibration of an analytical equation capable of predicting spalling in concrete samples. The equation is then validated using over 100 examples extracted from literature, achieving an accuracy of 91.2%. Based on the validation, the proposed equation is a step forward in the prediction of concrete spalling based on the mix design parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Article number136366
Number of pages13
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Concrete fire damage
  • Concrete spalling
  • Pore connectivity
  • X-ray microtomography


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