What is the purpose of setting indirect tensile strength in water-retaining structures?

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The crack width formation is dependent on the early tensile strength of concrete. The principle of critical steel ratio also applies in this situation. The amount of reinforcement required to control early thermal and shrinkage movement is determined by the capability of reinforcement to induce cracks on concrete structures. If an upper limit is set on the early tensile strength of immature concrete, then a range of tiny cracks would be formed by failing in concrete tension [4]. However, if the trength of reinforcement is lower than immature concrete, then the subsequent yielding of reinforcement will produce isolated and wide cracks which are undesirable for water-retaining structures. Therefore, in order to control the formation of such wide crack widths, the concrete mix is specified to have a tensile strength (normally measured by Brazilian test) at 7 days not exceeding a certain value (e.g. 2.8N/mm2 for potable water).


This question is taken from book named – A Self Learning Manual – Mastering Different Fields of Civil Engineering Works (VC-Q-A-Method) by Vincent T. H. CHU.

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