High-Temperature Drying of Thick Concrete Slabs

by Harshavardhan C. Mehta, Research Asst.; Fritz Engrg. Lab., Lehigh Univ., Bethlehem, Pa.,
John W. Vanderhoff, Prof. of Chemistry and Assoc. Dir.; Center for Surface and Coatings, Lehigh Univ., Bethlehem, Pa.,
John A. Manson, Prof. of Chemistry and Dir.; Polymer Lab., Materials Research Center, Lehigh Univ., Bethlehem, Pa.,
Wai F. Chen, (M.ASCE), Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Lehigh Univ., Bethlehem, Pa.,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1976, Vol. 102, Issue 2, Pg. 185-200

Document Type: Journal Paper


The foremost requirement for deep polymer impregnation of thick concrete slabs is thorough drying to remove all evaporable water from the pore system in concrete. To facilitate rapid repair of bridge decks with polymer impregnation, it is desirable to dry the concrete from the surface with surface temperatures not exceedings 700-800°F (370-420°C). A time-temperature-moisture loss study is presented on six 24x24x6-in.(610x610x150-mm) concrete slabs, a 72x72x8-in.(1800x1800x200-mm) slab and a small section of 7-1/2-in. (190-mm) bridge deck. The specimens were dried from one surface using an automated propane gas fired torch assembly. The feasibility of high-temperature drying of concrete without cracking problems is demonstrated and a criterion for safe and rapid drying to the depth of 4-6-in.(100-150-mm) in the field is developed.

Subject Headings: Bridge decks | Temperature effects | Concrete slabs | Polymer | Concrete bridges | Pore water | Rehabilitation | Bridge management

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