How to prevent the cracking of tunnel lining concrete under a high-temperature and low-humidity environment has gradually become a challenge faced by the engineering community. Actually, the concrete structure will be restrained, which easily leads to cracking. Aiming at this problem, a self-restraint device of concrete specimens was designed in this paper, which aims to more realistically simulate the restrained state of concrete structures during construction. SEM, EDS and XRD detection methods were used to study the macroscopic and microscopic properties of an early-age restrained concrete specimen under a high-temperature and low-humidity environment, and the results were compared with those of a non-restrained concrete specimen. The results show that the change in the internal relative humidity of the concrete was an extremely slow process, and the response rate of the internal humidity of the concrete was much slower than that of the temperature. A cubic curve model was used to fit the measured concrete damage degree with the loading age, and the fitting effect was good. Under the environment of high temperature and low humidity, the loading age from the 0.6th day to the 1st day was the period of a relatively large fluctuation in the concrete temperature and humidity, and the restraint would aggravate the damage of the concrete. The damage degree increased with the increase in the loading age, the microcracks gradually increased and, finally, macrocracks were formed. The restraint effect was to intensify the formation of microcracks, affect the hydration of the cement at the micro level and, finally, increase the risk of concrete cracking perpendicular to the restrained direction at the macro level. The research results may provide guidance for research on the cracking mechanism of tunnel lining concrete constructed under a high-temperature and low-humidity environment.
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