Published: 2016-03-31

Design principles and testing of internal frost resistance of concrete for road structures - critical review

Michał A. Glinicki , Roman Jaskulski , Mariusz Dąbrowski


We present a review of freeze-thaw durability requirements laid down in both European standards and in the national specifications in relation to concrete for road structures. The principles of material selection for concrete mix are presented. We discuss local variations in the severity of the winter season and the extent of frost action in the components of road structures. The characteristic parameters of the test procedure for direct assessment of the resistance of concrete to internal damage are analysed, with particular attention paid to the specimen cooling rate. The temperature distribution in specimens was determined in standard freeze-thaw resistance tests carried out at two accredited laboratories. We discuss the criteria used in indirect assessment of freeze-thaw durability of air-entrained concrete on the basis of air void characteristics. Based on the determined temperature distribution in concrete specimens we postulate an improvement of the standard test procedure to clearly specify the cooling rate. It would be beneficial to distinguish frost impact zones depending on the severity of action of frost and de-icing salts on concrete in road structures.


air void characteristics, concrete, cooling rate, durability, internal frost resistance, mix design, performance specification, test methods

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Glinicki, M. A., Jaskulski, R., & Dąbrowski, M. (2016). Design principles and testing of internal frost resistance of concrete for road structures - critical review. Roads and Bridges - Drogi I Mosty, 15(1), 21–43.

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