Long-Term Experimental Campaign on RC Shrinkage Cracking: Conceptualization, Planning and Experimental Procedures

José Gomes, José Granja, Carlos Sousa, Cláudio Ferreira, Dirk Schlicke, Rui Faria, Miguel Azenha*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Numerical and analytical simulation of cracking in reinforced concrete (RC) structures requires laboratory testing for validation of assumptions and calibration of modelling strategies. The scale, complexity and innovation of these experiments can present a challenge, even for experienced professionals, and a significant amount of time, effort and money might be inadequately invested on unsuitable test setups, or poorly planned experimental campaigns. This paper deals with the lessons learned from a complex long-term experimental campaign on RC slabs subjected to flexural cracking and restrained shrinkage. It intends to serve as a steppingstone for future works of the same nature. The final version of the restraining device is described and decisions on tested specimens, test conditions, sensing and material characterization are explained based on the available resources. The most relevant tasks during preparation of the long-term experimental campaign are described in detail. Finally, the hard-ships and problems faced during implementation of the experimental program, and the way they were overcome, are addressed. The application of concepts in line with Building Information Modelling (BIM) methodologies, such as object-oriented modelling and process maps, for design of the test setup and task scheduling, was of crucial importance for the success of the experimental campaign.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRILEM Bookseries
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameRILEM Bookseries
ISSN (Print)2211-0844
ISSN (Electronic)2211-0852


  • BIM
  • Experimental testing
  • Reinforced concrete slabs
  • Restrained shrinkage
  • Service life behaviour

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanics of Materials


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