This paper summarizes an engineering experience of solving the problem of thermal cracking in mass concrete by using a large project, Zhongguancun No.1 (Beijing, China), as an example. A new method is presented for controlling temperature cracks in the mass concrete of a foundation. The method involves controlled cycles of water circulating between the surface of mass concrete foundation and the atmospheric environment. The temperature gradient between the surface and the core of the mass concrete is controlled at a relatively stable state. Water collected from the well-points used for dewatering and from rainfall is used as the source for circulating water. Mass concrete of a foundation slab is experimentally investigated through field temperature monitoring. Numerical analyses are performed by developing a finite element model of the foundation with and without water circulation. The calculation parameters are proposed based on the experiment, and finite element analysis software MIDAS/CIVIL is used to calculate the 3D temperature field of the mass concrete during the entire process of heat of hydration. The numerical results are in good agreement with the measured results. The proposed method provides an alternative practical basis for preventing thermal cracks in mass concrete.
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