Freeze-Thaw Resistance

Definition - What does Freeze-Thaw Resistance mean?

Freeze-thaw-resistance is the ability of certain materials such as concrete, coatings or other materials to withstand the highly destructive forces of cyclic freezing and thawing. Water is the prime source in assisting the freeze-thaw process.

There are two main types of physical weathering in concrete structures and rocks:

  • Freeze and thaw
  • Freeze and expansion

Freeze-thaw-resistance is also known as freezing and thawing resistance.

Corrosionpedia explains Freeze-Thaw Resistance

Freeze-thaw-resistance is a property shown by materials used for industrial structures, such as concrete and coatings, to resist cyclic freezing and melting.

In the freeze-thaw process, water continuously seeps into cracks. When the water freezes and expands at low temperatures, it produces a tremendous amount of pressure on the pores of the concrete and any cracked concrete. In certain cases, if the pressure is greater than the tensile strength of the concrete, the cavities in the concrete where water has accumulated and frozen will dilate and rupture, thereby multiplying the cracks within the structure. The accumulative effect of successive freeze-thaw cycles and the disruption of paints, coatings and aggregates on the concrete structure can eventually cause expansion, cracking, scaling and crumbling of the concrete.

Some chemicals that can lower the freezing point of water and thus reduce the freeze-thaw process are sodium chloride, calcium chloride, magnesium chloride and potassium chloride.

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