Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Knizley, Alta

Committee Member

Howard, Isaac L.

Committee Member

Gullett, Philip M.

Committee Member

Shannon, Jameson D.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Mechanical Engineering

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Mechanical Engineering


Structural elements comprised of high strength concrete (HSCs) have gained popularity due to their high compressive strength, increased tensile strength, and low permeability that can be achieved with smaller placements relative to what would be needed with traditional ready mixed concretes. HSCs are also gaining interest for mass placements that are very large. Determining in-place properties of any of these structures is critical to the overall success of a project and elusive to determine prior to placement. In this dissertation, a laboratory based thermo-mechanical framework is outlined to predict in-place properties of modest to mass sized HSC structures using mostly existing and common laboratory testing methods with a few additional items on the same scale as existing equipment. Various curing protocols were evaluated in this study to determine a recommended set of protocols to reproduce thermal profiles of modest and mass sized structures on laboratory scale specimens. These specimens can then be tested following standard testing protocols to reasonably estimate in-place mechanical properties. This framework is envisioned to be a foundational piece of a standard test method in the future. Approximately 600 concrete specimens were tested for compressive strength, 300 specimens for elastic modulus, 100 for splitting tensile strength as well as 100 cement paste specimens for compressive strength. Additionally, approximately 400 time-temperature curves were recorded for both cement paste and HSC specimens.


This dissertation is based upon work supported by the Military Engineering R&D program of ERDC supported by TARDEC under Contract No. W56HZV-17-C-0095 (PE 0602784A Project T53 Military Engineering Applied Research Task 08).