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Review on the modelling methods for the frost action characterization in cementitious materials at different scales

Institut de Recherche en Génie Civil et Mécanique, GeM-UMR 6183, Centrale Nantes-Université de Nantes-CNRS, 1 rue de la Noe, 44321 Nantes, France

Experimental studies on the frost action in concrete have showed a complex behaviour due to a high thermo-hydro-chemo-mechanical coupling. Many researchers have developed models to simulate freeze-thaw effects in cementitious materials. They showed the difficulties to take into account all phenomena: hydraulic, hydrostatic and osmotic pressures into pores; swelling and shrinkage; scaling, etc. Some researchers have firstly proposed descriptive models with the objective to reproduce the macroscopic observations, by calibrating the behaviour law and to show the influence of each parameters. Other researchers have proposed predictive models without calibration but with probabilistic methods. The different models show interesting results but are limited to few physical phenomena listed above. This paper presents a review on these different modelling methods and the limitations of each model. A short discussion is given to suggest a coupling method to consider all physical phenomena.
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