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What is crazing in concrete?

Reinforced concrete is a widely used construction material due to its durability, strength, and versatility. However, it is not impervious to damage and can experience various types of cracks, including crazing. In this article, we will discuss what crazing of reinforced concrete is, how it occurs, and what can be done to prevent it.



Crazing is a network of fine cracks that can appear on the surface of reinforced concrete structures. These cracks are typically shallow and do not extend deeply into the concrete. They are often visible to the naked eye and resemble a spider web pattern. Crazing can occur on both horizontal and vertical concrete surfaces, including walls, slabs, and pavements.


Crazing occurs due to the tensile stresses in the concrete caused by shrinkage or thermal movement. The surface of the concrete dries and shrinks, creating tensile stress, which can result in the formation of fine cracks. Crazing is more likely to occur when the concrete is overworked during placement, resulting in an excess amount of water at the surface. The use of high slump concrete, high water-cement ratio, or improper finishing techniques can also increase the likelihood of crazing.


While crazing does not generally affect the structural integrity of the concrete, it can have negative aesthetic effects. Crazing can make the surface of the concrete appear patchy and uneven, which can detract from the overall appearance of the structure. Additionally, crazing can increase the porosity of the concrete, which can make it more susceptible to water penetration and damage from freeze-thaw cycles.


Preventing crazing in reinforced concrete involves taking measures to reduce the tensile stresses that cause the cracking. Proper curing techniques, such as keeping the concrete moist and covered during the curing process, can reduce the likelihood of crazing. Reducing the water-cement ratio and using a lower slump concrete can also help prevent crazing. Additionally, avoiding overworking the surface of the concrete during placement and finishing can help reduce the formation of fine cracks.


Crazing of reinforced concrete can occur due to tensile stresses caused by shrinkage or thermal movement. While crazing does not generally affect the structural integrity of the concrete, it can have negative aesthetic effects and increase the porosity of the concrete. Preventing crazing involves reducing the tensile stresses that cause the cracking, such as proper curing techniques and avoiding overworking the surface of the concrete.

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