A crack in concrete is a linear fracture that can partly or completely extend through the member as time pass. For example, if we consider a concrete member, the tensile stresses acting on it is taken by the concrete and reinforcement. When the tensile stress acting on the concrete member is more than the tensile strength of the concrete material, the concrete cracks. After which, the tensile force is transferred completely to the steel reinforcement.




Cracks can be created during the concrete construction, placement and curing. These cracks may get closed during its service life. The cracks are signs that implies any structural problem of the structure or a sign of concrete deterioration. 

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Types of Cracks in Concrete

The major types of cracks in concrete are:

  1. Physical Cracks
  2. Chemical Cracks
  3. Thermal Cracks
  4. Plastic Cracks
  5. Structural Cracks
Physical cracks in concrete are caused due to drying shrinkage and crazing issues. Chemical cracks are due to alkali-aggregate reactions, steel corrosion and carbonation. Thermal cracks are caused due to early thermal contraction and freezing and thawing issues. Plastic cracks are caused due to plastic shrinkage, plastic settlement and formwork movement. Structural cracks in concrete are due to service loads, blasting or impact loads and creep issues.


In a concrete member with cracks, its width and propagation of cracks is controlled by the steel reinforcement. In a fiber-reinforced concrete, cracks are controlled more efficiently compared to steel reinforced concrete. 

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