Materials and Structures

, 51:153 | Cite as

Statistical filtering of useful concrete creep data from imperfect laboratory tests

  • Mohammad Rasoolinejad
  • Saeed Rahimi-Aghdam
  • Zdeněk P. BažantEmail author
Original Article


The reporting and evaluation of creep tests of concrete is complicated by the fact that creep is significant even for the shortest observable load durations. Compared to the strain after 0.1 s load duration, the strain at 2 h duration is typically 53% greater. Most experimenters have for decades been unaware of this fact. Consequently, the reported creep curves require correction by a time shift, which ranges from 0 to 2 h. This further implies a vertical shift of entire creep curve, important for all times up to structure lifetime. To filter out the errors, it is argued that, within an initial period during which the advance of hydration is negligible, which is normally about 1 day, the initial basic creep must follow a power law of the time. Creep test data from the literature are used to prove it. Corrections by time and deformation shifts are determined by minimization of the sum of squared deviations of the power law from the creep test data. For a fixed exponent n and time shift s, the optimization is reduced to linear regressions of two kinds, depending on whether the data are given in terms of either the compliance function or the creep coefficient. For both, the linear regression parameters depend nonlinearly on the chosen values of n and s. To avoid nonlinear optimization, which need not converge to the correct result, a set of many discrete values of n and s within their realistic ranges is selected and the (ns) combination minimizing the objective function is obtained by a search. Enforcing a power law form of the initial creep curve is found to lead to better data fits. The optimum exponent n for the entire database is around 0.3, applicable to the time period cca (10 s, 1 day). After that, the exponent transits to about 0.1, and prior to that it is about 0.08. After filtering out the errors, the corrected database will allow better calibration of the general creep prediction model such as B3 or B4.


Creep testing Testing errors Error filtering Decontamination of big databases Optimization and Statistics Viscoelasticity Instantaneous elastic strain 



This study was partially funded by DoE through Grant 20778 from the Infrastructure Technology Institute of Northwestern University, and from the NSF under grant CMMI-1129449.

Compliance with ethical standards

Compliance is certified.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© RILEM 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohammad Rasoolinejad
    • 1
  • Saeed Rahimi-Aghdam
    • 1
  • Zdeněk P. Bažant
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA
  2. 2.Civil and Mechanical Engineering and Materials ScienceNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

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