Mechanical and drying shrinkage properties of structural-graded polystyrene aggregate concrete

W. C. Tang, Y. Lo, A. Nadeem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Citations (Scopus)


Polystyrene aggregate concrete (PAC) is a lightweight concrete with good deformation capacity, but its application is usually limited to non-structural use because of its apparent low strength properties. The present study is an effort to develop a class of structural grade PAC with a wide range of concrete densities between 1400 and 2100 kg/m3 through partial replacement of coarse aggregate with polystyrene aggregate (PA) in control concrete. Extensive laboratory tests have been carried out and the focus of this paper is to characterize the strength and long-term drying shrinkage properties of PAC. The parameters studied include PA content and curing conditions. The results show that the concrete density, concrete strength and elastic modulus of PAC decrease with increase of PA content in the mix. From the calorimetric test results, the increase in strength acceleration of PAC at early ages is due to the low specific thermal capacity of polystyrene aggregate. Besides, the long-term shrinkage and swelling of PAC are highly dependent on the PA content and the duration of water curing. Owing to the non-absorbent property of polystyrene aggregate, the ratio of reversible shrinkage to drying shrinkage observed for PAC was lower compared to the control concrete.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-409
Number of pages7
JournalCement and Concrete Composites
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Drying shrinkage
  • Mechanical properties
  • PAC
  • Swelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)

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