American Society of Civil Engineers

Influence of Types of Coarse Aggregates on the Coefficient of Thermal Expansion of Concrete

by Tarun R. Naik, (corresponding author), F.ASCE, (Research Professor and Academic Program Director, Univ. of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Center for By-Products Utilization, PO Box 784, Milwaukee, WI 53211 E-mail:, Rudolph N. Kraus, M.ASCE, (Assistant Director, Univ. of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Center for By-Products Utilization, PO Box 784, Milwaukee, WI 53211. E-mail:, and Rakesh Kumar, (Scientist, Rigid Pavements Division, Central Road Research Institute, Mathura Road, New Delhi, India; formerly, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Univ. of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Center for By-Products Utilization. E-mail:

Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, Vol. 23, No. 4, April 2011, pp. 467-472, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: The coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) was determined for a typical concrete-paving mixture made with six different types of coarse aggregates belonging to the basic class of glacial gravel, quartzite, granite, diabase, basalt, and dolomite. The CTE, compressive strength, and splitting tensile strength of fifteen different concrete mixtures were determined at the age of 28 days. Two parameters, CTE and splitting tensile strength, are the basic input in AASHTO’s new mechanistic-empirical pavement design method. The study revealed a noticeable variation in the values of the CTE of concrete with different types of aggregates. Concrete with quartzite aggregate had the highest value of the CTE followed by dolomite, glacial gravel, granite, and diabase or basalt. The estimated value of the splitting tensile strength of concrete, considering its compressive strength and using AASHTO’s Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide for Level 2 design of concrete pavements was discovered to be significantly lower (17–31%) than its actual experimentally determined value.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Thermal factors
Tensile strength

Author Keywords:
Coarse aggregate
Coefficient of thermal expansion
Splitting tensile strength
Mechanistic-empirical design