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A Review of the Effects of Elevated Temperature on Concrete Materials and Structures

[+] Author Affiliations
D. J. Naus

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN

H. L. Graves, III

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, D.C.

Paper No. ICONE14-89631, pp. 615-624; 10 pages
  • 14th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering
  • Volume 1: Plant Operations, Maintenance and Life Cycle; Component Reliability and Materials Issues; Codes, Standards, Licensing and Regulatory Issues; Fuel Cycle and High Level Waste Management
  • Miami, Florida, USA, July 17–20, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4242-8 | eISBN: 0-7918-3783-1
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


Concrete’s properties are more complex than those of most materials because not only is concrete a composite material whose constituents have different properties, but its properties depend upon moisture and porosity. Exposure of concrete to elevated temperature affects its mechanical and physical properties. Elements could distort and displace, and, under certain conditions, the concrete surfaces could spall due to the buildup of steam pressure. Because thermally-induced dimensional changes, loss of structural integrity, and release of moisture and gases resulting from the migration of free water could adversely affect plant operations and safety, a complete understanding of the behavior of concrete under long-term elevated-temperature exposure as well as both during and after a thermal excursion resulting from a postulated design-basis accident condition is essential for reliable design evaluations and assessments of nuclear power plant structures. As the properties of concrete change with respect to time and the environment to which it is exposed, an assessment of the effects of concrete aging is also important in performing safety evaluations. The effects of elevated temperature on Portland cement concretes and constituent materials are summarized, design codes and standards identified, and considerations for elevated temperature service noted.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME



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